Coffee Table Progress

WIN_20151108_183137 (2)I am almost finished with the coffee table top. I hope to glue it up Friday, and attach the top sometime this weekend. This mosaic is more colorful than others I have made. Most of my painted scrap wood is white, black, red and occasionally blue. I had some yellow and orange pieces that I have been WIN_20151108_183212saving for the right project, since the base I am using is yellow I thought this was the right table for the yellow and orange scraps. To attach the top I will have to reinforce and tighten the legs and add extra supports. It looks like yellow was not the original color, it may have been green. Before I add the top  I may do a little sanding and expose some of the green, giving it a distressed look. I think it wood look cool. What else am I up to?  I put another wall hanging on etsy. It’s made from pallet wood, cutting board cull and barn board. IMG_20151107_210440I painted another peace sign, the new one is orange and blue. I hope to put that up once the paint dries. I finished painting the airplane puzzle and frame. This one is a prototype, I painted the frame with enamel paint which would be unsafe for kids. If I decide to sell it I would sell it as a decorative item only. Most likely I will keep it to use as a template for other plane puzzles. When I make new puzzles I will leave them natural  and apply a food safe oil or paint using non toxic kid friendly paint.

let it snow!

WIN_20151023_192130Crazy weather we have been having it’s 70 one day and 30 the next.  It did snow last week and it feels like it could happen again today so it seems a good time to make winter products. I have been working on snowman puzzles in preparation for the season.  The first one I cut was okay. I did not like him that much, his arms seemed to short for me and I simulated his face with small drill holes. I think it was suppose to give a button like effect. I made another snowman, cut this one a bit bigger and this time I used a  sharpie for his face. I like his look better. The big guy was cut from an old shelf that had been painted white. I will do at least one more coat of white on him, and I  plan to paint his hat black. The little guy is made from walnut and I am going to sand him and use a water based stain to finish him.

WIN_20151023_191911I have also been working on plane puzzles, I have cut two so far. I thought it would be simple, they are small and most of the pieces only have one connector to cut. When I cut the first plane It was too loose, so if you picked up the puzzle it would fall apart, the second puzzle is tighter but I have decided that the plane puzzles really need a frame. So I made a frame for the second puzzle, painted it red and painted the plane orange and yellow. Seems to be a color scheme I like at the moment. I am glad I tried the plane puzzle, it’s good to try new things, it’s the only way to really learn.



my booth


me working the booth

Had a great time at oktoberfest last weekend. The weather was great, the leaves were pretty and there were lots of people out having a good time. Pumpkin puzzles were my big seller. I also sold peace puzzles, and dog puzzles. I got some leads for upcoming events, which is great.  I handed out a ton of business cards and did a lot of networking. I am not good at networking but I am getting better. It’s all a learning experience. All and all it was a great day, I saw old friends and made new ones. Our booth neighbors were Touch of Peace Farms from North Bennington. They were great neighbors and they make an amazing maple syrup.

more puzzles

IMG_20151006_180037I cut some more puzzles this week. I had some unexpected difficulty cutting  pumpkin puzzles. I found some scrap maple and thought it would make a nice pumpkin. It had other ideas, It was thick maple but I can cut wood up to 2  inches thick on my scroll saw so I thought it would work. It did not. The basic shape came out okay but there was a lot of skipping and it took a lot of pressure to keep the wood on the saw plate. The skipping and hopping  impacted the integrity and stability of the puzzle. IMG_20151004_185402Every puzzle is different, some are a tighter fit  than others, but as long as they stay together I call it a successful cut. I test the pumpkin puzzles by lifting by the stem. If the pumpkin pieces stay together when I lift it up by its stem than it is a decent puzzle. The maple puzzle did not stay together when I did the stem test. I moved on to a pine pumpkin puzzle and cut the tail on the stem too narrow snapping it. I gave up on the pumpkins for a while and moved on to a peace sign  puzzle. I cut a large peace sign and moved on to a small peace puzzle. I managed to cut a knotty piece so the  small peace puzzle pieces were useless.  IIMG_20151003_191449 did not want to finish on a failure so,I cut out one more peace sign and cut out a train silhouette puzzle. I stained  two  pine pumpkins and I painted a peace sign that I cut out last week. The perimeter pieces i painted red and yellow and the internal pieces are orange. It was a pain to do but it looks neat. I also made another small mosaic piece. Not sure what it is yet, a small table?  A wall hanging? Or perhaps a,tray?

October Projects

walnut pumpkin

walnut pumpkin

I am working on finishing some old projects and starting new projects.  I added a few more items to my etsy store. I am working on getting a selection of my work together for my application to the Bennington Arts Guild. I need two pieces and 3 images of my work made in the last 3 years.  If I pass the jury process I will have to put at least one item in the guild store.  I looked at the form today and they need an artist statement and each of the 5 pieces needs a tittle.There are other artists who work with wood but they don’t have anything quite like what I do, so hopefully I will pass the jury panel, wish me luck. It takes about a month for them to decide so if I can get it all  together in the next week I should know their decision by mid November. Continue reading

Harvest Festival

Norman's Attic August 2015

Normans attic August 2015

Tomorrow, September 26 I will be in Arlington,VT from 9 am to 5 pm for the St. James Episcopal Church 2015 harvest festival. Stop by, say hi and check out some of my work. I have a few puzzles, wall hangings and tables to sell. The weather is suppose to be great, it should be a fun day. The festival takes place on the church grounds and the arlington village green.


IMG_20150913_172447-2 (2)I make  a lot of tables but I make other things too. I make shelves and cabinets but I also do small projects, like puzzles. I mostly stick to simple 4&5 piece puzzles. My most popular puzzle is a labrador puzzle. I also make a pumpkin puzzle. Even simple puzzles can be tricky sometimes. I recently took a scrap piece of 1/2 inch walnut and made a lab puzzle. It looked great but they head was not staying when the puzzle was assembled. I was frustrated but I did not want to abandon it so I set it aside and went to work on a solution. I took the assembled puzzle and traced it on to a piece of pine. I carefully cut out the dog shape. Once I had the piece cut I used as a frame to fit the IMG_20150920_184112puzzle. The head was still a bit wobbly so I soaked the support piece in water so it would expand a bit. It worked. I also cut out two pumpkin puzzles. I had planned on painting the pumpkins orange but I liked the look of the wood so I did a thin coat of maple stain.