Blog: Family

Heart Spoon for Mom

In my last blog post I talked about my kids carving this spoon for their mom. Here is the finished project. The wood is pine and was an easy wood for the kids to learn how to carve with. The spoon now has a permenent home on the back of the stove for all of us to look at every time we cook!

I loved how the kids’ imaginations worked while carving the spoon. It was my daughter’s idea to carve the heart into the spoon, and it was my son’s idea to carve the small notch just above the bowl. These are things I wouldn’t have even thought about doing, so I am glad that the kids got creative!

I want to thank Doug Pauls of Rocky Mountain Alphorns – he was the one that gave me the spoon blank and spurred the idea. Here is a youtube video you can watch of his journey into carving!  Watching this makes teaching my kids how to carve that much more special.

Carving a Spoon for Mom

I got inspired last winter to carve some spoons for gifts for the holiday season. My kids loved hanging out in the wood shop with me, and they decided that they wanted to help carve a wooden soup spoon for their mom.

Not only did they both participate in using the chisels to shape and texture the spoon, they also came up with the idea to carve a heart into the end of the handle. I was very proud of my son and daughter for listening to my safety expectations so that they could carefully use the sharp chisels.

I love teaching them how to use hand tools to create their own wood projects, because we get to spend that special time together and they feel so good about what they have made with their hands.

We finished the spoon with food-grade oil & beeswax finish, then wrapped it up to give to mom! Watch for the next blog to see a photo of it finished.

My Son’s House Art

Since my woodworking shop is in the bottom floor of my house, my kids spend a lot of time in there with me. They both have a set of ear muffs and a few tools. My daughter “sets up shop” on the big flat table saw bench (blade retracted, don’t worry). She might sand or saw things with me for a bit, then she brings down blankets, pillows, books, art supplies, and snacks. She plays make believe games, calling her friends on the “phone” and inviting them over to have tea.

My son likes to work on projects at the work bench. Underneath my chop saw, there is a big tote bin with the cut offs from various pieces of wood. He sorts through them and finds ones that are interesting, then makes wood art – like the one you can see in the photo. (This process was inspired a few years ago by his one of his art teachers Nancylee Smith). The project you see is a house that he built himself. He also sweeps up the saw dust on my shop floor for a loonie (he’s saving up for a mountain bike). Pretty soon he’ll be planing timbers with me!

I love seeing his initiative and his creativity. And I love having both him and his sister hang out in my shop with me!

You’re Never Too Young (Or Too Old!)

Whenever someone says they are “too old” or “too young” for something, I wonder if the reason for it is really that they are afraid of failure or even afraid of success!

I have so much admiration for people who are open minded and willing to try something new – at any age. My daughter is not yet three, and there is no concept of “too young” for her. Continue reading You’re Never Too Young (Or Too Old!)

Young Protege

I love having my son around creating his own wood projects when I am in the shop. He has his own set of tools, and he finds scraps of wood in my recycle bin that fuel his imagination.

This is how I grew up — hanging around my dad’s shop while he worked on custom cabinetry orders. I didn’t realize until I started my own carpentry and timber framing business how much I picked up just by watching my dad and helping him here and there. Continue reading Young Protege

Happy Worksite

Yes, the words “Happy” and “Work” can be in the same sentence! Especially when my family visits, and I get a big hug from my sweet daughter.

One of my goals is to create worksites that are both healthy and enjoyable. A 40 hour work week means we are spending a quarter of our lives at a worksite or office. I am still living while I am working, and I want my life to be purposeful, fulfilling, and enjoyable. So how can I achieve this at the worksite for me and everyone I work with? Continue reading Happy Worksite

CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

These beautiful veggies came from a farm close to us that is set up as a CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. You buy a share in the CSA at the beginning of the season, and you enjoy a box of local, organic, seasonal vegetables each week. The first time I had garden-fresh broccoli (so sweet!), I was completely sold.

In a time where we get apples shipped from New Zealand, broccoli shipped from California, and zucchini shipped from Mexico, we have become disconnected from our food sources and the people who grow it. These are all foods that grow in Canada, and if we are able to find local produce and shift our diet to be more seasonal, we can enjoy fresh delicious food that was ripened by the sun in the fields rather than by chemicals en route. Continue reading CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

Good Old Fashioned Clothes Line

We put up a clothes line this summer at our new house, and I just had to take a photo of it. How nostalgic as well as environmentally sound is a clothes line!? I love seeing the kids’ clothes lined up together, reminding me of how quickly they grow. And hanging the laundry not only gives me satisfaction because I am reducing electricity use, it also gives me a little space in the day for a peaceful (yet practical!) meditative activity.

Our modern culture has bought into an idea that everything needs to be sterilized with antibacterial soap or bleach, both of which cause harm to our health. Yet the sun is the original disinfectant and brightening agent, and it is free and easily accessible. Hang out dish cloths that have started to smell, hang cloth diapers that have staining, and hang clothes that you don’t want to shrink in the dryer. And best of all, the old saying is true that sheets which have been hanging on the line smell divine when you lay down to sleep at night. Continue reading Good Old Fashioned Clothes Line