Posted tagged ‘art’

Etsy, Etsy, or Etsy?

January 21, 2009

I’m thinking about Etsy. Do I need a store? Is now the time to try to sell some of my pieces? Do I even have enough finished to start that in motion?

I like Etsy. It gives artists an easy place to be found and sell their work. From the site:  Your place to buy & sell things handmade. There’s even an entire woodworking category. Here’s a fun looking chess board I’ve found.  Oh, and a set of rings that I wouldn’t mind getting as a gift.  Too bad they are all the way in France;  I’d like a closer look.  I could go on and on about the items and shops that I’ve bookmarked.

Anyway, I’m looking into it,and reading the Dos and Don’ts of Etsy.  Feel free to send me your thougts on this, as I’m having trouble even posting about it. Really, I’d love some input.

Hand made violin — the back

January 12, 2009

Here’s a look at what I did with the back:

First, the penciled design

First, the penciled design

The beginning of the design

The beginning


It took my quite some time to work out the top

Almost ready for the base color

The home stretch

The home stretch

The final artwork

The final artwork

Handmade violin — the front

January 8, 2009
Pics of the front both in progress and the finished look.

Just the penciled lines of the design. Yes, I use tracing paper!


Working on the design


Almost all of the design has been stained.

The design is almost done, and I've started the base color.

The design is mostly done, and I've started the base color.

No more design to work on.  Just the base.

No more design to work on. Just the base.

The front is almost done.  I did the side and past the purfling at the same time.

The front is almost done. I did the sides and past the purfling at the same time.

That's the front, with finish.

There's the front!

Here’s a link or two that might be interesting:

About the purfling

Inlaying the purfling — a video

Handmade violin

January 6, 2009

My first musical instrument project was a violin made by my Uncle Gene.  He had decided to quite making them, but was kind enough to add one more to the list. He even sent along a book called Violin Making to help and inspire. I remember being terrified that I would ruin his beautiful craftsmanship with my crazy stain designs.  I went through many design ideas before I settled on something that I thought would work. (I’d still like to make something based on the f-hole, maybe next time.)  f-hole

Here’s a couple of pics before I did too much damage:



Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!

December 24, 2008

It’s the best time of the year… At least that’s what I’ve heard.  My ornaments and I will be making a second attempt to visit friends and family today.    We had to turn back after freezing rain made the roads gridlocked.  It’s amazing how much relief my husband and I felt just getting out of traffic and turning back.  We’d just barely made it to 37N in the 45 minutes we’d been travelling — and if you’re familiar with Bloomington, you know that’s usually a 5 minute trip.  Here’s a tiny pic I snapped after we turned around.  Not the greatest, but you get the idea.


We’ll try to leave again, soon.  Wishing everyone the best of luck this season!


Finished ornaments

December 16, 2008

Yes, it’s true.  I’ve managed to finish some ornaments over a week before Christmas.   I’m not sure how, but I do know that I haven’t baked anything, yet.  So, here’s what they look like after several coats of high gloss tung oil finish.

img_6971 Large stripeTwo at a time


December 11, 2008

I had to put away my trivets for a little bit. I realized that my next idea was on a time crunch. Ornaments!! I found some little tag-shaped craft wood. (Yes, I spend a decent amount of time at Michael’s.)  A few round ones, and am turning them into stained wood ornaments. So far, I like them, and think they have great potential. This seems like a natural holiday project.  Perhaps an annual one?  Maybe I should just give them as gifts?

The work table

The work table

A little one on a sanding block

A little one on a sanding block

With a ruler for scale

With a ruler for scale

I guess I should get back to work.  Only a few are out of the stain phase.  Tick, tock!

New Trivets

December 7, 2008

I’m not sure why I’ve decided to work on a bunch of different trivets at one time, but that’s what I seem to be doing.  New designs and new sizes.  More complex than ever before.  It’s exhausting.

In the past the trivets have been 9 1/2″ squares of pine that I stain and finish with polyurethane.  Many, many coats of polyurethane.  It works great.  I’ve been known to take things straight out of the oven and onto the trivet without any problems.  Now, I’m trying out some 6″ squares.  I think they will work out nicely.  I’m working on several different pieces right now, including a better version of the DC Star — both large and small.



That’s actually the smaller DC star, and a comparison of the two sizes with another pattern.  I guess I should look up what that one is called, huh?  Any ideas?

The Farmers Market turned Winter Market

November 30, 2008

Yesterday morning after breakfast downtown, my husband and I stumbled into the Winter Market.  The usual gang of veggie and flower sellers weren’t there, but the coffee place was as popular as ever.  Bloomington’s market had an end-of-year hurrah by having many local artisans set up shop for the day.  There were Tuba Santas and carriage rides, even a reindeer or two! It was all very festive.

I like to check out the art to see what’s new and if anything inspires me.   I really fell for this wooden ring from Studio AMF.  She uses braille as a design element.  What a great idea!

I also stopped in at the Tattoo Dreams stall.  Lots of wood items, but embellished with stamps, using letters and words –which always interests me.  I guess we didn’t spend enough time there, because I keep thinking about one of her boxes that might have been Day of the Dead inspired.  I think the chilly weather got the best of me.

Here’s are a few Bloomington pics that I took this week:


Downtown before and after:


The beginning of stained woods

November 25, 2008


I didn’t start out staining wood–I painted it.   The first piece I did was a raw wood toy chest-type thing.   It was the first time I realized that I needed a creative outlet to offset work (and sometimes life).  The pattern is a takeoff from a school assignment where we had to draw our versions of a mandala.  It’s done in acrylics, and I’m not sure how many months it too to finish.  I do remember mixing all the paint, and having to re-do parts that I did not like.  I’ve also had to refinish it a couple of times, but once I put on several coats of Polycrylic (it’s a Minwax product) in 2003, it’s been fine ever since.