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In addition to furniture I enjoy making things that add to the decoration of our home. Over the years Pam and I have acquired some nice artwork for our home in the form of figurines of various types, photos and art prints. Most of the figurines are not considered fine art so they are placed in our cabinets or elsewhere. We have, however, started collecting some stone fetishes. I've decided that they need special shelves. While most of our flat art pieces came with frames or we found some nice, pre-made frames, some I felt needed a more custom frame. I've also created some frames for ribbons the dogs have won. As time goes on I plan to add other things to this page.
One of our favorite places to visit is Muir Woods north of San Francisco. Pam has especially loved the redwoods and ferns that grow under them since she was a little girl. We've looked for a painting of a redwood forest for many years to no avail. One day I found this photograph of Muir Woods on the Internet during one of my searches. The photo is number one of five that the photographer planned to print. I framed it appropriately in a redwood frame. It's very difficult to photograph because of the reflections.
Dog Photos & Ribbon
Sorry about the reflections. Our favorite town along the California coast in our area is Encinitas. It has a special charm to it. This town is the home of the biggest show of woodies in the world, Wavecrest. There are plenty of great eating places including a cafe where we have breakfast.
We purchased this print from a local artist because it shows a woodie and the Encinitas sign along Coast Highway. I framed it with ash and mahogany plus some silver color studs just like the on a real woodie.
The Santa Ynez hills around Solvang, California are very beautiful. They are one of our favorite places to go for a drive. This area is also horse country. We love this area so we bought this unframed print of a painting. I chose to frame the picture in quarter sawn white oak in an Arts and Crafts style.
We have numerous frames with ribbons and photos for our basset hounds. Most have been purchased or custom made by framers. Because this was such a special weekend of special wins for our basset hounds I decided they needed a special frame. These ribbons and photos are from a Basset Hound Club of Southern California specialty show where our two bassets won what we call Winners Dog and Winners Bitch both days. It is highly unusual for one dog to win both days and unheard of for litter mates to win both days. The flags, United Kingdom and Australia, were added to represent the two countries that the judges were from. The patch is the club's logo. I chose to frame the ribbons in quarter sawn white oak in an Arts and Crafts style. The shadow box underneath the frame is one that I bought.
Shelves for Art Pieces
Pam and I have started collecting Indian fetishes of buffalo. The fetishes we collect were made by Indian artists from various tribes. In addition to the fetishes we've added some Christmas ornaments of buffalo.
A fetish is a rock carving of an animal that captures the spirit and the essence of the animal, not necessarily its exact detailed conformation. The American buffalo or bison is a symbol of prophesy and fulfillment of powers. In addition buffalo represents the perseverance and ability to rise above one's weaknesses. The buffalo teaches that everything exists in abundance if it is respected and accepted with gratitude. The birth of a sacred white buffalo is a sign of hope and an indication of good times to come.
When I was the president of the Basset Hound Club of Southern California, Inc. the first time it was their custom to give out Lifetime Membership cards to Presidents when they had completed their term. The cards were actually engraved in metal. I decided to make a plaque out of black walnut for mine so that I could hang it on the wall. The silhouette is one of our Joy.
This is a Navajo fetish of a white buffalo. with a medicine bundle, offering bundle, or adornment tied on its back. It often consists of coral seed beads, shell heishi, feathers and other stone pieces. In this case the other stone is a piece of turquoise shaped like a arrowhead. The bundle may be used as an offering to the fetish, to evoke the spirit of the fetish or to increase the strength of a fetish.
Behind the fetish, attached to the cherry back piece, is a Christmas ornament made from copper by a local artist. The back piece was shaped just like an actual arrowhead found on the plains. The shelf that the fetish is sitting on is walnut.
This buffalo fetish has an inlaid turquoise heart line with an arrowhead and turquoise horns. Frequently found in Zuni fetish carvings, the heart line or lifeline represents breath as the source of life for all living creatures. The arrow-shaped line begins at the mouth and flows through the body to the heart. Representing life force, the heartline may also indicate that the Native American warrior’s heart is strong like the buffalo.
Behind the fetish, attached to the quilted maple back piece which represents the buffalo's head, is a Christmas ornament made from silver with turquoise ornamentation by a Navajo artist. It also has a heart line with an arrowhead. The shelf that the fetish is sitting on is zebra wood and the horns are made from walnut.
I've mentioned that I've been working with wood for as long as I can remember and that I took woodshop classes in junior high school. The first project that everyone in the class was expected to make was this burger press. Yes, this is the one I made.
The burger press was designed to make hamburger patties. Ground beef was rolled up in a ball, placed between two pieces of wax paper and placed on the bottom piece of the press. The top piece was then closed to press the hamburger meet into a patty. My mother used this for many years.
I decided to take a quick break from building my workbench to try out my new lathe. Turning is something I haden't done in over thirty years. In fact Pam was reminding me that the turning I did was on the coffee table and end tables that we had in our first apartment when we got married in 1971. This is my first project on my new lathe and I am pleased at how well my skills are coming back to me. Yes, I'm very rusty but I'm sure I'll be able to get better. This is the ice cream scoop we now use on a regular basis at home. We really like the design of the scoop. While the handle is very simple it does fit nicely in the hand. The wood is a type of African mahogany.
Ice Cream Scoop
Some pictures of the turning process:
A Dozen Ice Cream Scoops
Since the single ice cream scoop worked so well Pam and I decided that I could turn some ice cream scoop handles for Christmas presents. This was one of the reasons that I bought the lathe. Making presents on a lathe is much faster than trying to make other wood items and the result is a functioning item that the recipients can use and enjoy.
After looking closely at our gift list we eventually decided that I needed to make twelve ice cream scoops for close friends and family. As can be seen in the picture below I got very creative in my design which made each scoop handle unique. The wood I chose to use is Bocote which is a tripical exotic hardwood. For more information click on this wood click on .
Fifteen Pizza Cutters
Coffee Scoop from FrogWood
I received an email message from FrogBlanks.com with an offer to send me some scrap material for a turning project in exchange for producing a video on my YouTube channel. After explaining to them that My channel is very small and that I was interested only I could make what I wanted to make and say what I wanted to say about their product. They fully agreed and sent me several pieces of their FrogBlank© material to work with.
For this project I decided to turn a coffee scoop handle. A coffee scoop is something I use at home every morning to scoop out coffee beans into my coffee maker. The scoop I had was a cheap plastic scoop that came with the coffee maker. The link to the resulting video can be found below. There is also a link to it on http://www.frogblanks.com.
Since the icecream scoops that I gave out for Christmas in 2018 were such a hit Pam and I decided to give out similar gifts in 2019. We chose to make pizza cutters. I chose the Rockler turning kit because it's a very sturdy cutter and they were on sale at the time I ordered them.
I chose to turn the handles from Zebrawood. I got the turning blanks at Tropical Exotic Hardwoods in Carlsbad, California. Fortunately for me they are just a few minutes away from my home but they do list the vast majority of their inventory on their website https://www.tehwoods.com. This is a small family run business that has been around since the 1960s.
The resulting pizza cutters have been a great hit with all who received them. They are great for cutting pizza. The Rockler kit is very well made and sturdy unlike many of the flimsly pizza cutters available in stores.
Our niece, Rosie Hatch, even used one in a professional photo she created for one of her clients. I've included it below and is the photo I used for my thumbnail photos for YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. She is a professional photographer who specializes in food photography. Through he company, RH Marketing, Rosie creates recipets for clients, cooks the food and photographs what she made.