December was a busy month for me, so busy in fact, that here I am halfway through January and I am just getting around to blogging about it. I was busy with the holidays, with projects, and with a new venture that I am hoping to announce in the weeks to come. While I got a fair amount accomplished in the closing weeks of the 2012, I didn’t do a very good job documenting what I was working on. Looking back at the different things I made I realized that I didn’t take very many pictures (and the ones I did snap were rushed and not very pretty). So instead of writing up several different entries, here is some of what I did in the Month of December.
Nothing fancy, this is all about being practical. We primarily use the backdoor in the comings and goings from our abode, but the coat closet is nowhere nearby, so my wife stated that she wanted a something to hang coats on. I took some of the Oak I had downstairs (that I bought for a project that I never started and can’t really recall what it was going to be) and cut it to size. Using a block plane I added a nice bevel around the edges. Then I stained it dark with some mahogany stain, my wife likes dark colored wood and the eventual goal is transition all the woodwork to a mahogany hue. Wiped on a couple coats of poly and then added the hooks. Instead of recessing hangers into the back of the oak board I decided to simply nail the coat rack to the wall. Using a stud finder and some long finish nails I attached it to the wall and concealed the nail heads.
Some of you might recall I made a journal for a gift earlier this year, using some figured maple for the cover boards and brown leather for the spine. I received several nice compliments for it, with one being from my wife’s Grandmother, who is an avid journaler. I nearly forgot to start on it until it was down to the wire, then with only days to spare I focused on it completely and got it done. It is nearly identical to the last one I made with just some small changes. Most of the changes had to do with technique and methodology. I had learned some lessons about sizing and order-of-steps from the first journal and heeded them accordingly. The only noticeable design change was in the stitching, which I failed to get a picture of. In the original I stitched the leather along the edge joining it to the board, as well as, across the top and the bottom. On my latest journal I only stitched the edge where the leather and board joined. I felt that it gave the journal a cleaner look.
A few years ago I volunteered to improve my church’s website. At the time I thought I was good at it (now I know I wasn’t and have only slightly improved). But it was a responsibility I had taken on and wanted to do well. It wasn’t long after I made the first revision that I realized how dependent the site was going to be on me in order to be dynamic. I had before that time scoffed at websites that used WordPress as their underpinning, but I quickly realized how valuable that easy interface could be. So I sat down to learn how to customize it for my needs. I had never realized the power and complexity of WordPress until I tried to unlock it and manipulate it. But slowly its secrets were revealed to me and I built a site with it that is no longer dependent on me. It also convinced me of the value of WordPress and led me to dream about all the possible ways I could use it for other projects.