I don’t usually feel cool. I mean, I’m not cool. I’ve never been cool. But when I DO, I feel cool. And this past weekend’s adventures to help decorate a fundraiser with some photo props left me feeling really cool.

First we have to draw the shapes. We borrow a projector to put the image on the wood. This is destined to become a 1920s “paper moon” photo prop.





A Distressing Situation

The finishing on my jewelry has been going through a “distressing” phase *crazy eyebrow wiggling”. See what I did there? ’cause it’s not bothering me, but I’ve been using paint and distressing the pieces before shallac-ing & calling them finished.

I’m blaming Joanna of “Fixer Upper” who loves to distress her tables. We binged the whole thing on Netflix. I even bought grey nailpolish like she wears. Totally rockin’ that at BlogHer16! And I found a great tutorial on Pinterest to distress wood using multiple layers of paint and the results can be fabulous!

Originally I was going with a more pure wood look for the pieces I want to give as gifts in the gift bags for my girlfriends, but I think at least one of them may get a mixed piece with one shaped wood + bead + distressed wood charm.


rings and pendants

What’s your preference? Painted, semi-painted, distressed, or natural wood?


I’m continuing to have a great time with my scroll saw, learning woods, learning control. I’m also practicing staining. This whale, which my sister is modelling, is from eucalyptus salvaged from the floor in our house& then stained with a dark finish that my husband had left over from a project.

In addition to the eucalyptus from the floor & the redwood from the ceiling, I’ve been practicing with pine from the trailer. I have purchased some poplar (meh, won’t use again), alder, and Mahogany from Home Depot.


And finally, I’m playing a bit with the stains as well as watered down acrylic paints.

Scroll Saw

I recently acquired a scroll saw. It’s a bit like a mini band saw. Or like a teeny jigsaw. My goal with it has been to make some beautiful pendants for myself & friends. I’d love a lathe, too, but maybe I can find a neighbor to borrow that from.

I also saw some amazing rings someone made with her scroll saw!

So I started practicing.



And as it turns out, this stuff is harder than it looks and I’m gonna need quite a bit of practice. We even stopped by Soboba, a local specialty wood shop – and man some of that is gorgeous! We saw some zebrawood, walnut, purple heart. But I think I need to stick to smaller, less expensive things for a bit longer.



Though some sanding, staining, and finishing wax certainly help clean things up a bit!

Adjacent Update

For a test case, these have been very successful! They were originally cut from an umbrella stand. I sanded the discs, drilled holes, and then ran embroidery thread through them in either a flower/sunburst pattern or a random pattern.

I’m not a random person. I trained as an engineer in college. And doing lighting design I learned that your brain actually skips over patterns after a bit, which is good if you want to see the light and not the fixture. Which is a long way of saying that my brain has a really hard time not making order.

But I really love the sunburst/flower pattern and want to try that again when I find better wood to use.

Knitting Adjacent

We took an old umbrella stand and cut it into 1/4″ wide discs. Then sanded down the edges and drilled holes in random locations. Next step will be taking embroidery thread (similar to yarn, right?!) and sewing some simple designs. We’ll add loops and hopefully these will become fabulous pendants!

I’ve seen this wood embroidery on Pinterest with some beautiful layouts, but random seems the speed right now. I’ll update on how they turn out at the end of the week.