It’s been a good week and I am happy the elections are over. Frankly I was getting a little tired of the whole deal. I know my phone has been very quiet since Tuesday. Heather and I are now vote-by-mail voters and actually cast our ballots a couple of weeks ago. This is one of the rare elections where most of the people and ballot propositions I voted for actually were elected or pasted. Very odd and I am sure the first sign of the coming apocalypse.
While waiting for the apocalypse I’ve been busy in my workshop trying to get Christmas gifts made. Heather’s been in on the deal and has been doing her share of the work – generally I do the cutting and assembly and she does the painting and finishing. Like all good and noble projects I started too late (August), had unexpected events steal my time (surgery) and ordered the parts too late (two weeks ago). Friday I received the last shipment of wood I need and yesterday Heather helped me modify some of the planning so we’ll have a chance to get the gifts in the mail so they’ll arrive by Christmas day.
Yes, it would be easier to just buy Lego for everyone but I am in that space in my life where I feel it more important to give something of me – something that I made. Something crafted with my hands. Something with more meaning than a Star Wars land speeder.
Perhaps a bit ambitious to attempt but I hope more meaningful. The more I think about what I want to do with the time I have left, the more the words come back, “make stuff.” There is nothing more soul satisfying that pointing to something and saying, “I made that.”
I do seem to have some skill with tools and a tiny amount of artistic sense so I do what I can to make what beauty I can. I also have Heather – a good artist and designer – to help me. We work as a team.
Here is an example of one of our projects, the Advent Calendars:
The calendar is made from thin plywood and the picture of the buildings are painted on with acrylic paint. I used the scroll saw to cut the parts and made all the little doors plus the little boxes glued on the back that hold the little gifts. Heather did all the painting and artistic work. We have three in progress and I just delivered the last face frame to Heather that she’s started to paint. The buildings are from Heather’s childhood memories of English buildings.
We’re a team.
Here’s another joint project we’re working on:
It’s a little bird Christmas ornament that I am cutting out and Heather will do the final shaping and painting. This is part of our little realignment plan for gift making. It’s becoming obvious that it’s going to be hard for me alone to get it all done so we’re shifting things around and making more projects that we can both contribute to.
and here is a picture of the projects currently on my work bench:
When they come out of the clamps I’ll tell you what they are.
I am not happy with my progress so far but I am happy that I’ve got Heather. We love doing these kinds of projects.
We had hoped to spend a lot time of this weekend working on our “Grandma and Grandpa Christmas Workshop projects” but time and energy have been a problem. Yesterday we went hiking (look for an upcoming report and pictures for that) and drove to the city to have dinner with our son, so only ended up with a couple of hours for the workshop.
Today we had delusions of spending time there but it turned out to be a very long church day. Our pastor is retiring and there was a special service and a long lunch with a program to celebrate his 42 years of ministry. Then we had to go get a few items from the hardware store and do the weekly grocery shopping.
By the time we got home we were just plain tired. Too tired to more than put things away and get a cup a tea.
Now I am off to take a long soak in a hot bath.
Then it’s pizza and movie night. And hopefully a nice restful evening will revive our energy.