You guys may know by now that we’re from Texas, God’s chosen land. And in God’s chosen land, God has chosen for us a delicacy to represent our status as those chosen people living in his land – Barbecue, or BBQ for you abbreviators.
Yes, yes we did. We take our BBQ down here seriously.
If it’s not, well, you’re wrong. Go sit in the corner.
Nativity sets are one of those essential Christmas things, up there with the tree and the advent calendar and lights outside. Lots of folks have good memories of the nativity set their families put out when they were kids, and just as many folks collect them and display them at Christmastime.
There’s a really great pattern for a very minimalistic and simple nativity over at a blog called Under My Umbrella (though it hasn’t been updated for a couple of years) that cuts great with the scroll saw. I haven’t tried it with a jigsaw – it might get tricky because of the smaller shape of the pieces, but you probably can pull it off if you clamp the pieces right to the edge of your work table or something like that.
So it’s 9 PM, your kiddos are asleep, and you’re an hour deep into a Netflix marathon when that old familiar rumble hits you – no, not the bathroom rumble, the stomach rumble. THE MUNCHIES.
You pause the TV (thank you technology!) and make for the kitchen, where you whip yourself up some tasty snacks (plural, because you don’t do things halfway) and a big drink, and get ready to head back into the living room.
But wait! You are only a mortal human and only have two hands. You can’t possibly carry it all!
Fear not! We have a solution for you, friend.
So far the things we’ve done for 31 Days of Handmade Christmas have fallen into two categories: decor or gifts. This one’s no different, but it can be used as either!
Chalkboards are so hot right now, guys. They’re all over Pinterest and Etsy. And they’re even better if you have a knack for lettering.
So today I’m throwing together a couple of easy, fast rustic chalkboards that make great gifts or decor on a shelf. These come together in less than an hour and cost me about $10 because I used scrap wood. Total cost might run to $20 or more if you buy new wood.
Leslie’s family is one full of musicians. Her grandmother has been teaching piano for decades, and taught her when she was young. Leslie plays the piano, french horn (and most other brass instruments to some degree), and even has a degree in music education. Her mom and all of her aunts and uncles play piano and other instruments. Her sister is currently the drum major for the local high school marching band and excels at the euphonium. Her brother is a pretty great guitar player, and now her stepfather is picking it up, too.
Needless to say, music runs pretty hard in our blood. We just recently celebrated her stepdad’s birthday and I put together this guitar hook for him. It makes a great Christmas gift for any musician and it’s especially awesome because it’s so customizable – not to mention stupid easy and inexpensive to make!
While we haven’t talked about it much here, we have a physical presence for Sprinkles and Sawdust – we’ve done several craft shows and farmer’s markets, and occasionally have seen some success. We haven’t done as many as some folks have because we want to spend most of our weekends with our kiddos, but we’ve managed to make it to a few. This past weekend we did our biggest potential event yet – a craft booth at a city-wide event much like a county fair.
I’ll sum up how well we did with an image:
I have been many things over the course of my short 35 years here: son, brother, teenager, juvenile delinquent, husband, Batman, dad, Tech Genius, Woodworker, Champion Llama Roper, and part-time truth-teller, just to name a few. Those things aside, though, one thing I have never been is a “cook”. I mean, I can cook things, but I am not the gourmand of the household – that’s why Leslie’s the Sprinkles and I’m the Sawdust. Trust me, you don’t want sawdust on your cupcakes.
That being said, what I am pretty good at is MAN FOOD. That’s right, kids. MAN FOOD. I can grill meat with the best of them. I make a mean hamburger, and I don’t mean the kind that makes sidelong comments about your weight when you go for seconds. This stuff ain’t healthy, it ain’t hard to make, and it sure as heck ain’t frou-frou frilly 10+ ingredient hippie food.
HON HON HON FRENCHY FRENCH SIL VOUS PLAIT
I’ve got such a backlog of projects. There’s a list of stuff I’ve got to build for an upcoming craft show, a list of stuff I’m planning to build for posting on here – not to mention the list of things I need to build for the house. These, though, I made a priority, mainly because they’re just so stinkin’ cool, you guys.
Leslie was actually the one that generated this idea last year when we were prepping for a Christmas show. She was looking at some kind of stained-glass nativity look with the silhouette in front of the glass. From there we brainstormed and thought about different ways we could diffuse the light behind a silhouette to make it look awesome. That jam session then became this:
It sold immediately at the show and I had to convince the buyer to let me keep it for the night so I could continue to show it. Because of that I ended up selling five more! We even took the idea to another level when we decorated the exterior of our house:
That’s another post, though. Stay tuned around Christmastime!
So here we are building for another craft show, and of course I have to build a few of these because apparently people in this area eat ’em up. And since I’m doing them anyway, it’s time to share!
In my previous post, Shop Safety for the Total Goober, Part 1, we established a commonly-overlooked fact about most of us weekend DIY-ers and woodworkers: we’re goobers. We take shortcuts – heck, there are entire blogs out there about said shortcuts. After all, who has time to do everything a professional contractor or woodworker does? We have day jobs, ya’ll.
Why yes, Ron, yes it is.
But as we also established in the previous post, shortcuts are bad when it comes to safety. They’re a great way to lose an eye or a finger or worse. And while the two we covered previously – eye protection and ear protection – are probably the most important, there are a few other major things that you should consider before getting out this weekend and busting up those pallets you found.