My friend Jessica came by DT Flea this past weekend where I happened to be selling my homemade wood goods. She looked at my faceted candleholders and said that I should make a modular menorah out of them. She also said that Hanukkah was early this year, so I better get on the stick. So this week in the shop I made a couple different versions of modern menorahs and guess what? You can totally buy them from my Few Bits Etsy store!
What do you think?
Most of my memories of my paternal grandparents involve a lamp. A mid-century
ceramic terra-cotta lamp that had different sized and colored bottles painted on it. It sat next to my grandfathers chair, where he would sit and do crossword puzzles or watch golf on TV. When I was bored, made to sit nicely in the living room and be quiet while the adults talked, I would study that that lamp. I loved it. So when my grandpa Ira died, I took it. I kept that lamp for 20 years. My husband Adrian hated it, he thought it was so ugly; but no matter how many times he made fun of it, I refused to get rid if it.
I was going to take it to a lamp store get a new shade for it (the original went bye bye a while ago and the IKEA one I had on it looked horrible) and was just about to load it into my car when I dropped it in the garage. Onto the cement floor. It broke.
I was chagrined, Adrian rejoiced. I had some nice ash left over from making Adrian’s standing desk, so I decided to make a new lamp. Turns out, it’s really easy to make a lamp. See how I did it after the jump.
They’re up! Episodes 3 & 4 featuring the wonderful Kimrie Davis and hilarious Jude Shelton. I teach Kimrie band saw basics and Jude learned how to use the drill press and vertical sander.
I’m off to NYC for a week of inspiration and shop visits, I’ll have much to blog about in the coming weeks!
Our friends Melanie and David had Adrian and me over for dinner not long ago and Melanie expressed her frustration in finding a modern looking pepper mill that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Her current pepper grinder had been mysteriously broken and she needed a new one. Drunkenly, I said that making a pepper mill was easy and I’d make her one. I know that they sell salt and pepper mill kits and Rockler, I know how to use a lathe, how hard could it be? Kinda hard, it turned out. But also pretty fun.
The folks at Rockler gave me a ceramic grinder kit, an olive wood turning blank, and instruction booklet. They were also kind enough to give me a carbide turning set to try out. I highly recommend buying the instruction booklet if you’re new to turning. The one-sheet instruction booklet included with the crush grind mechanism is really not that informative. I was still pretty confused after reading the more detailed booklet, so I enlisted some help from one of my favorite turners, Pete Carta. I know Pete from the El Camino Woodturners Guild; he is part of the team of turners that run woodturning classes at El Camino. Pete also works at Rockler and told me about a new thing they’re doing at Rockler, which is private instruction for $25/hour. Perfect!
Melanie did not want the traditional shaped pepper mill, you know which shape I’m talking about:
She gave me some examples of what she wanted, this image of old Dansk pepper grinders. She liked the one on the far right.
So I headed off to Rockler with all my gear and Pete and I got to work. Tutorial of how to do it after the jump.
There is a new thing happening in furniture. Open source furniture plans that anyone can download and take to their closest shop with a CNC. I think this is a really exciting time in woodworking and furniture design. Here are a few good ones I have seen around the web:
1. Open Desk
My husband recently started working from home and decided he wanted a standing desk. What is a standing desk, you ask? Well, it’s pretty self explanatory. Perhaps the better question is: WHY would anyone want a standing desk? I mean, I am lying on my chaise right now eating some cottage cheese as I type this. Why would anyone want to stand? Standing desks have come into favor recently, as studies have shown that too much sitting down may shorten your life. Standing desks are not new; Ben Franklin, DaVinci, Churchill, Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemingway are all said to have favored the standing desk. For Adrian, it was simple. He wanted the choice to sit or stand in front of his computer while he worked.
Back when I used to take acting classes, much was made of “happy accidents”; things that happened during a scene the actors did not plan but ultimately made it better. The example my old teacher used all the time was of Jodie Foster missing her chair in the movie Maverick. The fall was accidental but made the scene better. I have no idea if that is true because I have never seen the film, but you know, stories. This week I have an example of a woodworking happy accident.
I made a bunch of small succulent planters out of wood scraps in prep for LA’s newest flea market, DT Flea. I made them all different, sculpting them using the bandsaw and then the vertical sander.
A new flea market called DT Flea is coming to Downtown Los Angeles and I am one of the 250 vendors who will be selling her wares at the inaugural market. It’s run by Phillip Dane, who started the Melrose and Fairfax flea market that every Angeleno has been to at one time or another. The market will span four parking lots along Spring, Main, and Broadway. There’s a great article in the LA Times about it and they featured a photo of one of the many items that I will be selling. Check out the article here.
Side note: Those candleholders will be sold for $20 a pair, not each. What a bargain!
Woodworker West Magazine did a story about Kickstarting your wood business or project and were kind enough to include my story. And they spelled my name right! If you know me, you know that is a big deal to me.
There are a lot of cool stories in the article. To read it, go here.