The blog and the galleries have been neglected. I have been having knee issues and am having a knee replacement next week. Something had to give and the website has always been the first to be ignored. During recovery, I have set aside time each day to organize our photos, so the galleries should have new photos in the next few weeks. Check back around March 5th for an update. In the meantime check us out on FaceBook.
That being said, we have been quite busy with custom furniture projects and teaching a few additional classes through the shop, as well as through the local community ed program.
I would love to say that we are going to improve our volume of posts, but that does not seem to be happening. We have found that we have been very good at adding to our Facebook page, but no promises on the website. We are busy building and teaching classes on a very regular basis, and the Facebook page helps us more that the website. Sorry to say we also get more valuable comments from our page readers. Check it out.
We received our Camaster Stinger I last week. We were geared up for it, but the first electrician we contacted, never bothered to check in after making several planned appointments. How embarrassing for the contractor who recommended him. When I finally called him, he made excuses (one was understandable) but all he needed to have done was call us and tell us he was not going to be available for a few weeks. I could vent specifically about his actions, but sadly, it seems that there are more and more people that do not value the simple concept of respect. If you can’t or don’t want to do a job, learn to say “NO” or at least don’t lead someone to believe that you will do what you say. I can respect being turned down because I then know to look elsewhere.
Rant is over.
Fortunately, we have found an electrician who is currently working in the shop to get all the new outlets wired. Soon you will see our first attempts using the CNC.
As I continue to work on rehabilitating my knee, I have spent more time in physical therapy and in my quilt studio, rather than in the wood shop. We have managed to juggle our schedules, but I am certain Kevin wants me back to work full time. We are doing some rearranging of ours spaces to make them more user-friendly, more production-friendly, and to increase our workspace/storage surfaces. This week we will be building more cabinets and storage spaces. Summer always seems to be the time to make changes, but then we don’t teach classes in the summer so we can work around ourselves.
We did order the CAMaster CNC machine that we have been considering. It should be here in the next two weeks. The software should be here sooner, so I can start learning it. Computers always draw me in, so I figure, I should have a few items created by the end of July. (Start small and go from there!) Even so, this machine is just a tool. We will still do much of our work by hand using tried and true methods because the best part of woodworking is being able to transform boards into items of beauty and pieces that have practical uses. Touch is part of this passion!
We do not really have air conditioning in our shop, but it is well insulated. That is a blessing, but it still does not keep out the humidity. Mornings are great, but later in the day the humidity makes everything move slower. Guess it is summer’s way of telling us to slow down and enjoy just being. Besides that, my knee is not progressing as quickly as I would like. The scoping worked well but the side of my leg is constantly sending messages of “Pain!” (Going to try some physical therapy to see if it can ease things.)
Kevin is continuing to work on his three rocking chairs, but one is getting most of the attention. He is creating a storyteller chair. He is not the first to make one, but it is his own interpretation based on several that he has seen. I like the fact that he has made the main seat wider so that little feet have a bit of room. The smaller seats, crest rails and back slats have been roughed out. Now I keep hearing him comment on the amount of sanding he is doing. The chair may be for a customer, but it is definitely a labor of love. He has been documenting his progress on our Facebook page.
Our current discussion centers around the purchase of a CNC machine. We are looking at table top versions. Despite the fact that we know we have a good size shop, we need to figure out how to create the best flow within the space, so that students don’t feel that we are squeezing their work spaces, yet give us plenty of room for our regular shop projects. Then there is the additional 220 wiring that needs to be added, plus the construction of a stand to hold the 400+ lbs of machine, and the learning curve. Fortunately, we are looking forward to the challenge and believe that the use of the machine will expand our business. I get back to you on our decisions. Hopefully it will come with photos.
I have been out of commission in the shop the past month because of my knee, but with the start of June, I have plans to be a regular worker in the shop and in the office. If we were to rely on my willingness to work in the shop when I am in pain, we would starve for want of income. Thankfully, Kevin always seems to carry on.
That being said, this month we have one last Community Ed class to teach, and I am going to be offering a router bowl class for some former students during the month. Otherwise, we will be working on pieces for clients and items that we will be taking to our two selected quilt shows (this fall). Summer is a great time for use to catch up and build up stock for shows. We manage to accomplish a great deal, but the pace is a bit slower and the pontoon gets a chance to get wet.
We have a good life!
Kevin and I have been feeling pretty good about our business. We are not making money hand over fist, but we are seeing more and more return customers and their friends coming to place orders. We are in business, so we do want to make money, but then again woodworking is a passion, so we plan to keep this business going by making products that represent high-quality heirlooms that can be passed down through the generations.
Beyond the passion for woodworking, we are lucky to be able to work together fulfilling this passion in the same space where we can collaborate on designs and concepts either on the same project and many times on our individual projects. An added bonus is teaching classes through Sioux Falls Community Education and as private classes. The students always leave with better skills and a finished project, but better yet, many of them come back not once but many times.
We know that our life is good and we are blessed to have this opportunity.
This cedar glider was a fun build. We did it together: I did the sanding and shaping and Kevin did most of building. My favorite part is that I know this is a very comfy because we built two for our own front porch. We purchased the plans from www.Woodplans.com.
We have been very busy in the wood shop, which is great, but there are always other things going on around here, too. The Kevin is always there during the day and during the first week of the month he also has many evening obligations. I usually manage several days a week in the shop and several mornings doing office work. Yesterday and today, I shaped and sanded the parts for a cedar glider. Kevin was busy cutting all the boards to length and putting sections together as I finished my part. We are a good team and love working on projects together.
This week, I have not been in the shop every day because our puppy—Abby was spayed and needed some calming supervision. Also I have a few sewing and quilting projects to finish up, and I don’t take Abby to the studio, so I had to sneak time when she was sleeping in the kennel or someone else was available to keep her company.
Question to ponder: Why to busy people always think they should take on one more thing? Love Abby, but forgot what it was like to have a puppy to train. Wildly crazy at this house!
We had a great time in Brookings, SD. as vendors at the “Keeping Warm in South Dakota X: Quilting with the Stars 2016. Making money selling our products is important, but the best parts are meeting and chatting with the quilters and the vendors. Dad went with us on Saturday and had a wonderful time chatting with everyone. We came away with several ideas for new products and a sense that we have some products that quilters can and do use. A number of customers told us that their friends had purchased items from us in years past and they wanted the same things.
The pictures are not perfect; you don’t get “do-overs” in this situation. Even so, you can see some of the quilting items we sell.