"Anyone that doesn't agree with leggings as pants can physically fight me.
And I'm going to win because I have a full range of motion due to the fact that I am wearing leggings as pants."

Monday, May 21, 2007

Power Tools vs Elbow Grease

This past weekend, I was invited to show some of my aromatherapy necklaces at a Goddess Party. So with less than a week before the party, I decided that I needed something pretty to show my necklaces on. I was inspired by a super cool tree stand on Etsy, but of course didn't have the time to have it shipped. Also, I wanted to make it way more complicated and intricate because, well, I guess I thought I needed a challenge. Also, I had visions of these Goddesses buying my entire stock of necklaces and I wanted to be able to hang all of them on the tree at once.

Anyway, my sister (who is always up for trying this sort of thing- the more complicated the better) drew up a beautiful tree and transfered it to cardboard for me. We paid no attention what-so-ever to the spaces between those gorgeous little tree tips nor did we give any thought at all to how I would get the excess wood out from between them. I cut out this mock up and was really happy with what it looked like, even in cardboard. I had no idea how much more difficult it would be on the real thing.

So we enlarged it onto the piece of birch plywood that I found in my garage (I knew I was keeping all that wood for a reason!) and I started cutting. Now, for those of you who don't know me, I'll explain my experience with woodworking. I've been around carpenters my entire life (grandpa & various uncles), but really I've only picked up what I know through osmosis, I've never really been taught anything by anyone. Also, I love to watch The New Yankee Workshop, but Norm has more tools than I would have any idea what to do with. I understand the function of about one in five of his tools.

Since we don’t own a band saw or a scroll saw, I was stuck with a jig saw, a drill and a dremel.

If I went around the outline first, the dremel cut down on the tear out from the plywood, but overall it was pretty crude. On the second day, Jeff went and bought me a coping saw, which made much nicer, if not necessarily quicker, cuts. I kept vacillating between speed (the party was in one day) and actually having it look good. Eventually, I got both pieces out the the wood intact, a miracle in and of itself, and got the entire thing sanded to a relatively smooth finish about 30 minutes before I needed to leave for the party. Here is what it looks like for now.

I plan to clean it up quite a bit later, but for now, I'm weary of looking at it. Although even if it is crude, I think it's amazing. I just cannot believe that I actually made this thing.

Also, since I was a vendor, I needed to bring snacks. And since I was busy with this project, Jeff offered to make cake, hummus and lemon iced tea for me. He is so wonderful; I have no idea what I did to deserve him.


Unknown said...

The tree is aMaZiNg!! I want one! :)

c_hs162@yahoo.com said...

Can you make some more and sell them. I really really want one. It is so cool.