So, it is the 2nd day back to work from our lovely Christmas break, and I am finding that I actually have a lot to write about! Instead of spacing these out more and inevitably forgetting to write them (or setting them to publish on a later date), I’m just going to give them to you straight.
I did a lot of things in December.
This is going to have to be a…..SUPER POST! (edit: Actually, this post is becoming so long that I’m changing it to a “the rest of the Christmas presents I worked on ” post)
First off, I made some floor cushions following this pattern from Living with Punks. This was a really fun and easy (not to mention cheap) sewing project that resulted in two excellent Christmas gifts for my brothers, Logan and Greyson. Also, it lead me to the discovery that you can buy already made piping! I had no idea. So that was abundantly cool to learn!
So, as you can see, the floor cushions are fun and they aid in the comfort of one’s bottom, so how could you not enjoy them!?
After the floor cushions were complete, I started working on something completely out of my comfort zone: clocks. I have never had to sand or stain anything in my life, except for maybe my little CO2 cartridge car that I made in 7th grade Industrial Technology class (and that was just sanding). So, I had to do a little bit of research to figure out how to go about that. I learned about the different grains of sandpaper, and now I feel like a sanding pro! Also, I learned that as convenient as gel stain is smell and spillage-wise, I’m not a fan of how it actually finishes (at least the brand of gel stain that I bought). It had these granules in it that wouldn’t quite dissolve, so when they got wiped on the wood they just smeared in really dark streaks. Next time I do a project that involves staining, I’m going to try using regular stinky, watery stain, just to see if it gives a more even finish. For my sister’s clock, I stained parts of it, and painted the rest. Where each segment meets (and in the case of the bigger segments, the middle) is where a number on the clock-face would be (ex. where the white segment meets the pink polka dot segment, is where the 1 would go on the clock).
Along with learning the wonders of sanding and staining, I also learned how to do a little bit of pyrography. Not much mind you, but enough to burn an image into wood. My middle brother, Jordan, is a big fan of The Office, so I decided to make him an intimidating clock with Dwight Shrute’s face on it… it’s kind of one of those things you have to squint to visualize because I am NOT an artist, let alone a face artist, but I think it does the trick.
Lastly, for Brandon, I wood burned the Kansas Jayhawk into his clock. I was fairly proud of this one, but that’s also because it took the longest and I was just so glad to finally have it done!
I feel I should also mention that I had to learn about clock-faces and their movements to complete this project as well. Each movement has two lengths, a threaded shaft length and an overall length. The threaded shaft length has to at least be as long as the width of your piece, so in my case it had to be at least a 1/2″ long. This is what the washer screws onto to hold the movement in place. Then you have to find hands to go along with your movement (if you aren’t buying a set) that look reasonable with the size of your clock. In order to keep correct time, the movement has to have a mechanism that will keep up with the length of the hands. So, a simple clock movement will work with smaller and lighter hands, but at a certain point, a high torque clock movement is needed with larger or heavier hands.
Now. That’s enough about clocks.
But, we will continue a little bit more with the pyrography. I decided that my mom could use a little box to put some extra jewelry she had in, since the pieces have just been sitting up on a shelf in her closet. So, I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a little wooden box for like, 3 bucks or something like that. I burned a design into the top and sides, and then (using that same crappy gel stain) stained the box after a final fine sand.
It ended up with a little bit of a worn/rustic look to it, but we’ll just say that was what I was going for and not think twice about it:) Do you recognize the pattern? It’s the same pattern I drew on the tea towel I made for Mama Peg! It’s nice, easy, and carefree. Not to mention, it’s a doodle that I can just draw absentmindedly while lost in thought, which is wonderful to be able to resort to after a long day of experiments going awry.
Along with making presents that would be from James and I for Christmas, I also helped my mom and dad out by sewing some Purdue blankets that would be for Greyson and Logan from them!
Presents are always fun to work on, and I particularly enjoyed the ones I worked on for Christmas this year, since they taught me and sparked my interest in so much. I’m already excited to start thinking about the things I’m going to make next year, and hopefully will keep this mentality so that I don’t fall behind or procrastinate as much as I did this year:) What would Christmas be like without a last minute rush? I really hope to find out in 2016!