Saturday, January 31, 2015

Finials for the Garden Castle Shed

Drum roll please! After all this time the finials are finally coming together. These are not soldered together yet.

The posts are dark after annealing them with a torch to soften the copper so I could continue working them round. All pieces will be flame colored for an overall same look. Below is the copper sheet being cut.

It's a bit of a problem working large pieces with my jewelry making tools. It takes a little longer. I do love the hammered look for a rustic ancient feel. Here I'm hammering the copper triangle on a leather sandbag to form a post. A ring mandrel was helpful.

Earlier in the week I made up a couple of copper heart ornaments and posted to my MaDil Designs Etsy shop. Hearts, just in time for valentine's day.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Mushroom Fairy House and Workbench

Jan made the most adorable mushroom fairy house. I'll be posting it on the Paris Cabinet Etsy shop. It is so cute!

Jan has been working on prototype organizers, can't reveal them till they are all done. He's made six so far and I'm testing them for useability. Two of them were designed for ribbon storage, different from any we've seen and they work so well. Both are filled with my rolls of ribbon.

The latest organizer he made was for my tea station on the kitchen counter, just needs painting so I can test it out. I could use a lot of organizers, jewelry and shoes are a problem and nothing I've seen has been flexible enough.

Last year I bought this woodworking bench from Harbor Freight for our studio and have been using one end for some of my jewelry making. I've been wanting a hand tool woodworking area and finally rearranged the studio and added a couple more shelves close together for hand tools. The best part is I finally mounted the three diamond sharpening plates that the incredible hand woodworker, Paul Sellers, recommends. Now they are stable to sharpen blades.

Here are two of the tools we've purchased, I did a quick sharpening of the small block plane and spoke shave.

Here are the two planes, waiting for their turn to be sharpened, the older Stanley and a new Kobalt, it was inexpensive and looked like it was good quality. Still need to find a piece of leather to make a strop for the final mirror finish of blades.

Glorious little shavings. Something weird about a woman who enjoys wood shavings so much. These are from the spoke shave and small block plane.

The garden castle shed has not been totally neglected, it's too cold to work out there. With highs in the 50s we are being real wimps, spoiled, yes, I don't know how people live in very cold weather.

I did finish painting the floor. Bookkeeping and taxes are on our minds right now so time is being juggled between many things.

The floor will have more done to it, in time. The drawer handles are looking brown, rust working its way through the paint, they will need to be worked on soon. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Blue Fairy Doors and There Was a Crooked Man

Miss Evergreen featured one of Jan's fairy doors on her blog, click here for Evergreen Dreamer.

This is the door featured in her blog story, Inviting the Fae Inside.

For the listing on our Etsy shop click here. 

Here are some of the small gothic miniature doors he has painted, all adorable.

They are all so well done, all totally hand painted. I don't have a favorite but the blue crooked door below reminds me of the nursery rhyme, There Was a Crooked Man.

The rhyme goes like this.

There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

Is there a rhyme for a blue wonky door?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dawn Wall Free Climb on El Capitan in Yosemite

Yesterday was a huge day for climbers. Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson completed the 19 day free climb of the Dawn Wall on El Capitan in Yosemite, just an hour and a half north of Fresno. Each time we go to Yosemite we stop to watch climbers, there are many routes up the stone wall which is more than twice the height of the Empire State Building.

Click here for the complete coverage and videos. 

The videos and story of these two dedicated climbers is amazing. They have spent more than five years planning and trying this climb. All evening I've been reading different stories and watching videos about them.

Tommy Caldwell is missing half of his index finger on his left hand and still free climbs. He lost his finger in a table saw accident, hmmmm, I'm into Paul Seller's woodworking with all hand tools, much safer. Tommy's finger was stitched back but after doctors told him he would never have the same strength in the finger he decided to have it removed and was climbing again a few months later.

The news has been story after story today. On the radio I heard one of them say, "Dream big, see projects through to the end."

I like that quote! It can be applied to so much.

Where is the Rain? Garden Castle Shed Project

We're all asking, where is the rain? The valley needs more and lots more in the Sierra mountains to end the three year drought. Farmers need their full allotment for their crops, they feed the world and we appreciate them.

The morning heavy fog cleared up early and we spent a couple of hours in the afternoon working on the glorified shed. Jan did the bentwood strips for the door frame.

All the screws and the piecing will be covered by the outside trim when we get to that point. I kept dodging around him to the left side moving things around to paint the floor.

 The left side got a coat of paint, only one shelf is up and it needs paint.

Half my time was spent painting the outside back of the lean-to portion, the center part of the shed, not too exciting but necessary. It was the second coat. We still need to add trim to all corners. What do I see beyond the shed?

Lemons on the our lemon tree! Time to make lemon curd and old fashioned lemon pie that my son, Doug, has been craving.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fog Lifted on Garden Castle Shed

The fog lifted today and the sun came out about two so we dashed out to work a couple of hours. After all these years with my Dutchman I've picked up some of the habits. I remember when we lived in Holland the three years. When the sun comes out by afternoon everyone drops what they are doing to go sit out in the sun a while.

I cleaned off a few pieces of barn wood and a turned piece we picked up in September.

The painting station in the turret is fun to work in, here I've got my paint washes for some of the wood. The log got a coat of clear varnish to protect the bark from flaking, I have plans for several logs.

More painting and that is my paper mache supplies on the left.

Jan is working on the entrance wall. We decided it needed to be solid for the door framing. He put in lots of pieces that go almost to the edge.

Now it's ready for the bending plywood strips for the door frame edges and the inside entrance wall. The ceiling will be insulated but not the rest of the walls, it is a shed after all.

I told Jan the front wall looks like it has chicken pox with all those screws! I'll be filling them in and painting them.

I wrote out my question on the blackboard after the post was paint washed.

These paint washed pieces will be signs.

Finally, here are some great buys from last weekend's swap meet, $1 each for the saw, chisel and file with the nice turned handle and $2 each for the Irwin clamp and coping saw.

A little cleaning and sharpening the chisel will get these tools in working order. Now I need a little rolling tool chest and hand wood working station.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Dancing at the Garden Castle Shed

Do I feel like a princess? Well, even at any age you can feel like one and have your prince dance you around the castle.

Ok, maybe we both look more like clowns wearing the cardboard roof finials but who cares.

Here is the final roof finial test, we think it works well. I need to get the copper finials made so Jan can nail them in place. Then we need to get to the other hundred things that need to be done to make our shed look complete.

Jan has been working on a painting for a friend who flew by the twin towers in his Beechcraft Bonanza the year before the tragedy. Here is the snapshot showing his airplane wing, he wants a large painting.


A customer of one of my copper rings left a great review on my Etsy shop:
"This ring is even more stunning on my finger than it appeared in the picture! I absolutely love it and will wear it every day. Thank you so much. :) "

 So this morning I decided to make it in silver since I hadn't done that.

I've worn it all day, it feels good, click here for link.

Real estate has started to pick up now in January so I'll be juggling my schedule even more, keeps me young! What keeps you young?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Happy Gargoyle Protects Garden Castle Shed

The little gargoyle is happy on a perch though it is just a test. He won't be pleased until he has a permanent perch high atop the garden castle shed.

 Our neighbor, Chris, gave me two very nice metal decorative sconce shelves. They were a light brown metal which I dry brushed with some paint for a different effect. 

It is so nice having a painting station in the shed!

First thing in the morning Jan got on the roof to see how the latest card stock finial looks. It is better but still not sure. What do you think? Hmmm, maybe the scallops should come down just a little lower and the flag just a tiny bit larger.

By early afternoon we went out to work on the shed. I've got my painting clothes on to get as sloppy as I want. The weather warmed up nicely till the sun set.

Another step is done, the outside window frames are up, still need to make the actual windows and then the door.

The sconce shelves are up and I slipped a solar light into each for now, still have to find lights with a warm glow.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Garden Castle Shed Turret Roof Caps

I was this close to cutting out the copper pattern for the roof caps, see my fingers a hair apart?  It just didn't feel right.

Earlier today Jan climbed the ladder to put up my card stock sample of the turret cap. It looks mighty small and I was standing on a two step ladder to take this photo.

So this evening I made the cardboard sample a little taller, the one on the right is 3/4 inch taller. I keep thinking this is a shed, it shouldn't matter but darn, it does!

It is still too small and the cap portion needs to be larger and maybe with a scallop bottom.

So back to the drawing board to enlarge the cap pattern.



This is more like it! Tomorrow we will see how it looks and if the proportion is right.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Display Ladder for Garden Castle Shed

We spent some time today working on projects for the garden castle shed. Jan worked on the window frames but I didn't get any photos of the glued frames. I worked on a display ladder. It's standing in front of the desk, still damp paint. It will have large storage pockets hanging from the four top rungs.

Here is my little saw we picked up a few weeks back at the swap meet. I sawed a couple of six inch wide boards for a shelf. It's surprising how easy it worked, did have to angle it down when it hit the braced back.

Here is the first shelf on the left side of the shed, simply made of recycled wood.

Now that the holidays are over and decorations are put away we should have some time to get back to our shed project. I can't wait to have windows and doors!