Among the Pines

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers

This morning I have a small business feature for a lovely handcrafted business that features hand made soaps as well as wood products and what’s even better is that they work not just to make but to educate people about living a more sustainable life. Meet Among the Pines.

The wood products that are made are simple and rustic but elegantly made and useful.

Not only do they give a lovely selection of hand made products that can be bought and enjoyed yourself or given as lovely gifts like cheese boards, beer flights made from reclaimed wood or even ones like this that really can be gifted, and filled with beer for the loved recipient…

 

They also offer a wood butter which is what I was most impressed with.

It is a wood conditioner that you can use to preserve and make beautiful all of your wood kitchen utensils and cutting boards that is free of any petroleum products like mineral oil.

Their other offering was their soap. Also hand made and wonderful, and best of all they have one that is made from beer that smells amazing.  What’s lovely is that you can find these guys on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to follow not just their excellent products, but their philosophy as well.

~ Megan


DIY: Rustic Magnetic Knife Rack

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Hello Thursday Readers,

Here’s a nifty little tutorial I found for something I’ve always had a soft spot for: a magnetic knife rack. Now of course, if you’re going to do this tutorial, you’ll need to ensure safety first, so when choosing a place to mount this beauty, you will need to make sure that it is out of the reach of any little hands, and not in any danger of being knocked off accidentally. The original tutorial for this was posted here, if you’d like to visit the source.

You will, of course, need some tools and materials. You’ll need a wood board 15 inches by 3.5 inches. You can reclaim wood, or even use driftwood. You can pick it up at the hardware store, sand and stain it yourself. It all depends on how you want it to look. You’ll also need some sandpaper, a tape measure, trigger clamps (these are optional) a power drill with a 1 inch round Forstner bit, 1 inch round ceramic magnets (54 of them), some gel adhesive, a 5/32 drill bit, and 2.5 inch wall mounting screws (two of them).

Your fist step is to measure and cut the board to your desired size. For this particular tutorial though, it was made to be 15 inches long. If you’re buying wood at a hardware store, they will generally cut wood to your preferred size for no extra cost. You will need to clean and sand the board to your desired finished. As I said, if you want to apply stain and sealer, now is the time. Decide which side of the board you’d like to display and then turn it over to measure the back where you will be inlaying the magnets.

Allow one inch on each end of the board for drilling the wall screws into and then mark two straight lines 2.5 inches apart. This will help you line up your two rows of magnets. On each of the lines, mark nine points that are 1.5 inches apart, and you’re ready to drill. Your goal is to have two central rows of nine holes that measure half an inch apart.

It is now time to make the holes so you can inlay your magnets. Use your Forstner drill bit, which will drill a solid round well into the wood. The key to having a good, strong magnetic hold is to get the magnet as close to the front of the wood as possible, so you want to drill as far as you can without drilling through the surface. You might want to practice this a couple times before you begin for realsies, and when you find the right depth for the drill, you can put a piece of painter’s tape on your drill to mark where you should stop. This will take the guesswork out of your drilling.

You can use trigger clamps to hold the wood in place to allow for more overall control during this step. Then you can drill your 18 holes (two rows of nine) as close to the surface as possible, leaving about 1/8 inch of wood where the magnets will sit.

Now is the time if you’d like to have starter holes for your screws in the sides. Measure and drill a starter so you don’t have to guess where the screw will be going.  So for the strongest hold, stack three 1 inch round ceramic magnets together. Use your adhesive to glue your magnets to the back of the board. It isn’t necessary to glue the magnets to each other… they’ll stick to themselves.

Use your wall mounting screws to mount the rack in place on your wall, and then you’re ready to display all your wonderful knives!

 

I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial. I thought it was really neat, and such a cool way to display some pretty amazing sliceware.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan


Cute in the Kitchen

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Happy Sunday, all!

The unseasonable warmth continues here in the midwest US but that does not mean that I’m not spending time with a warm oven on! I do spend a great deal of time in my kitchen as I have an especial passion for baking. Creating comfort foods is one of my favorite activities for stress release. If you’ve followed the Sunday posts for a while, you may have also grasped that I love all things cute. So imagine my surprise and delight to come across many of the adorable Studio Ghibli oriented kitchen utensils in Zeniba’s Attic:

No Face, Catbus, and Totoro spoons for that geeky chef in your life!

Joanne, the artist, burns the images into the very functional pieces to create these wonderful and adorable items.

Some soot sprites to help scoop with the spatula?

I think many of them would make fantastic gifts for any Ghibli enthusiast.

Like this Totoro cutting/cheese/serving board!

She not only creates cute kitchen utensils but also paints ceramic items to match!

Maybe you shouldn’t have a Calcifer oil burner near your bacon, though.

Since she makes her items to order and they are shipping from the UK, it may take a while to receive your lovely pieces but it looks like all are well worth it! Zeniba’s Attic can be found on Etsy and Facebook.

Have a wonderful week, everyone – I’m off to bake!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


DIY Awesome Framed shelves.

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a lovely tutorial today brought to you by Shanty 2 Chic  that transforms frames into fabulous little shelves where you can display anything from books to collectables. You can find the whole tutorial here, but I’ll give you the basic rundown with some photos from both this website and others to give you some inspiration.

Beautiful white painted frame shelves.

Your first task is to assemble what you need to make this business happen! First you will need your frames. You can decorate old ones you have lying around, buy cheap ones at a garage sale or second hand store to dress up, or buy new ones that you can dress up or leave bare, whatever you prefer! And of course the number you make is up to you. With your frames, you’ll need to remove the glass, the backing and any hardware that is attached to the frame itself.

Your next step is to measure your frames – measure the inside of the frame and cut the wood (1 inch by 4 inch cut to your measurements). You can use scrap boards, as long as you have the means to cut it, and it doesn’t really matter the type of wood. If you don’t have the means to cut it, many hardware stores that sell unfinished wood will help you with this. Make two cuts for each side (as pictured above). Keep in mind that you do not need to have the boards set inside the lip where the glass used to sit. Just keep it a little bit bigger than that edge so that you have a little room for error and a little breathing room so we don’t give ourselves anxiety attacks over worrying about millimeters.

Next you will need to build your square. This tutorial recommends first gluing all the sides together with Gorilla Glue or wood glue, and then nailing them together either with a nailgun or just a good old fashioned hammer.

You should end up with a frame like this (pictured above), that is smaller than your actual frame.

This poster uses the same process of first gluing the picture frame to the crafted frame and then using 1 1/4 inch brad nails, they nailed through the front of the frame to hold onto the back securely.

You have a couple small last steps before you can display your marvelous DIY for all the world to see. First you’ll need to get a little tube of hole filler (found at your local hardware store) to fill the little holes left by the nails. And after that is dry, it’s time to paint your frame! You can use a spray paint to do it all one colour, whether it’s metallic or neon pink or just a plain, sophisticated white, or you can crack out your artist’s palate and paint them all individually by hand in whatever artistic way you can imagine.

Your last step is to hang them on the wall. Just be sure to buy some picture hanging supplies so that you don’t do any undue damage to your walls, especially if you’re going to be putting anything heavy on your shelves. If you’re not going to be putting anything too heavy inside, you can use these types of picture hanging supplies (one on each side) to hold your frame up and these types of no hole hanging supplies can be found at hardware stores. If you’re going to be putting something heavier on your shelves, I fully recommend heavier hardware.

Taken from Porch – using larger, more ornate frames to create these. Check out second hand and vintage stores for these babies!

I hope that this was an inspiring little DIY. I think it’s a fantastic alternative to bookshelves or whole shelving units that looks a whole bunch more unique and amazing.

Happy crafting!

~ Megan


Dragon Hair Barrettes

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Back before puberty and genetics completely changed my hair, I used to very thick and wavy hair. Like, can barely put a hair tie around it think. Some days I miss it, but other days I don’t miss the brushing and maintenance involved. One thing I wish I’d had then? Awesome hair pieces like these:

Created in Bulgaria by artisan Ivaylo Zlatev, these are beautifully made hand carved wooden hair barrettes. They’re beautifully created and simple enough to accent just about any outfit so great for daily wear. If Dragons aren’t your thing though, they do make lots of of designs like an Octopus or even just simple geometric shapes. All of them are beautifully done, and if you’re like me and have thin hair, you can instead pursue the lovely collection of hand made woden decorations and toys that are also available in their shop. 🙂


Woodentek’s Woodworking

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While standard analog clocks seem to be slowly disappearing in favor of their digital counterparts, I for one still love having analog clocks in my house. There’s just a visual appeal to them that digital designs don’t do for it yet, and Woodentek has certainly got their visual appeal down.

Made from expertly cut and design wooden layers, Woodentek has some of the most beautiful wooden clock designs I’ve ever seen. Located in Spain, this company has a commitment to designing not just fandom clocks for the easy money, but a wide range of designs spanning historic recreations to astronomy signs. Their wood is from well managed forests, meaning they don’t just buy cheap lumber to make a buck. Their wood comes from land that grows and replants trees to crate a sustainable resource and is certified by the FSC and PEFC.

If you’re in the market for a reasonably priced change in your decor, or just want an art piece that can also tell the time, you should definitely give Woodentek your consideration.


Kickstarter Feature: Magnetic Game Master Screen

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The amazing people over at Wyrmwood have done it again!  They have a new Kickstarter for a new project that I am really excited for.

This will take tabletop gaming to a whole new level!  I am super excited about it and hope they reach all of the stretch goals to unlock the chest of holding.  I may want a few of these for my desk!

Take a look at their Kickstarter to see everything for yourself and pledge!

-Toni


DIY Pallet Swing Chair

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I saw this, Saturday readers, and I thought I needed to share it with you.

This is super cool and the materials are super cheap. The full tutorial can be found here, on Instructables. You just need a few tools and a ploace to hang it and you’re all set to relax. You’ll need some tools: A drill, mask and gloves, a saw and a lighter. You will need some materials: Paracord (you should be able to find this at any hardware store), a pallet (you may be able to do it with one, but it depends on the usable wood) and possibly some sandpaper and wood sealant.

Pallet wood is hardwood and can be found if not for free, for very cheap. Pallets are what shipments are brought into stores on. This is treated wood, so you will need to wear a mask and gloves at all times, and when you are finished cutting and drilling, it’s very important that you seal your wood. You can use other ropes, but this tutorial recommends paracord because it’s small, strong and doesn’t tend to stretch. You can also keep it from unravelling or fraying by using fire to melt the ends of the cords.

Your first step is to take apart your pallet. The trick is to get the wood apart without breaking it (prying it can cause a lot of breakage but can be done). A sawzall (pictured above) can be used to cut the pieces apart through the nails. You can pop the rest of the nail out of the wood after you’re done.

Before you cut your wood, you’ll need to decide how wide to cut your wood for your chair. This tutorial was done with 20 inch long boards, but you can opt for bigger or smaller. Bigger would allow for more sizes of bottoms to fit in it. But it’s up to you. 16 boards at 20 inches long were used for this particular project. Make sure if you’re swing yourself that you keep your eyes open for any nails you didn’t get out of the wood. If you don’t have a table saw, and don’t want to do it manually ( and I wouldn’t blame you) go talk to a local hardware store and you can see if they have a service of having someone use their tools for your needs.

Next you will need to mark the holes for your cord to go through. This tutorial put laces 1/2″ from the edge of the board and then 2″ apart. You can choose whatever dimensions suit your project and your tastes so long as the holes are far enough in from the edge of the board  so that it does not break once it has weight on it. Also, be aware that boards with laces that are spaced further apart will tend to pull away from each other more, which can create a gap that can pinch fingers, legs, and cheeks.


With everything marked, it’s time to drill. You can use a regular or table drill and just be sure to drill holes just slightly bigger than your cord. And as always… safety first! So be sure to be taking proper precautions for whichever method you choose.

Please check out the instructable for more photos.

Now it is time to lace, like you would shoes, with your paracord. You can melt the ends with the lighter to make it easier.

When you reach the end, cut the paracord, making sure you leave enough slack to tie a strong knot at the end. You should be using one piece to tie two slats together, and you can measure your first piece to use as a template for the rest. I would make them a little longer so you have a little room for error, in case you need it. Make sure you are aware of which side of the board is up and which is down so that you can end up with all of the nice looking wood facing up, and it looks better to have all the knots sticking out the bottom. When you finish a lace, go back and pull the cords tight at each “X” so that there’s no slack.

Now all you have to do is hang the chair from whatever structure you have available.
I used some 2×4’s between the trees in the back yard (not the prettiest but it works). Just drill a couple of holes in each of the four corners you would like to hang the chair from and thread the paracord through them, though I would drill a hole in the second last slat where your legs would hang so that it will be more comfortable. You can even adjust the lounge factor – hanging these further apart will let you lay back, and closer together will be more upright. Two strands of paracords were used for this one, but for extra strength, you can braid together more.

Once you get the idea you can stain it, use different cord colours, build a structure... really whatever you like

Once you get the idea you can stain it, use different cord colours, build a structure… really whatever you like

Hope you enjoyed this little DIY. I thought it was so simple, and so cool. You need a little know how with tools, but I find that even if I don’t have it, someone I know does. Which works for me.

Happy crafting!

 


In the face of Darkness, let there be Light

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I’m recently back from Germany, and so the news out of Berlin this week has hit me quite hard. This post was prepared before the tragedy struck, but I just felt I had to say something.

I was not feeling the holidays much this year until this trip and the Christmas markets of Dortmund and Düsseldorf. Christmas markets are one of the most wonderful things you can do during the holidays. Crafts, gluhwein, good friends, and fun in the cold. What is there not to love? It is awful to think that such horrifying attacks could happen at such a place of fun and joy. But rather than be defeated by the terror and anger, we must soldier on.

I love the German Christmas aesthetic. My mother has always loved it, and some of my favorite ornaments in her collections are German. I do love my woodworking, and a lot of the Christmas ornamentation and crafts I found at the Christmas markets were wood-based. But one of the best was Käthe Wohlfahrt.

From the larger pieces like the traditional Schwibbogen…

to the tiny handcrafted ornaments of cuteness. The quality of the craftmanship of Käthe Wohlfahrt is exceptional. In today’s world of mass-production, it is a joy to see unique and interesting options still out there, thriving.

Whatever your holiday aesthetic, let it be of cheer, let it be of joy, and let it be a light in this dark winter to drive away the sorrows and pain to lead you to better days.

~ eliste


Realistic Food Whittled From Wood

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Japanese artist Seiji Kawasaki creates food sculptures from wood that are so realistic, you’ll think you can actually eat them.

I chose that image specifically because if I picked a finished one, I know it wouldn’t be believed. I mean look at those potato chips!! It’s insane how good these look. Using just a small block of wood, Kawasaki is able to create any edible item in just a few hours. Some of which he then uses as chopstick holders.

He’s exhibited his work in several galleries around Japan, but that can be a costly ticket just to see them up close, so if you’d like to see more of the incredible sculptures he’s done you can take a gander at this Facebook gallery instead. I swear, with like 99% of them, I’d never have known they weren’t food if I just saw them on their own. It’s definitely worth your time.