Friday, December 25, 2015
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
It's ridiculously cold right now, but as with every holiday season - there's no time to stay home and under a blanket. We've been finishing up last minute gifts for customers, and working like crazy to get the shop in shape for the next round of classes that start in just a few weeks. (They're almost all sold out, BTW!)
Here's a lovely little video to fuel your creative urges.
And below, pictures of a few things we've been working on.
Friday, December 18, 2015
Have you noticed my blogging has been a little slow lately? Holiday seasons are always like this for people who create! That's the good news/bad news part of life for artists - everyone wants things made by Christmas. Seriously, I had a woman call me the other day (on December 16th!) and ask if I could build a dining table by New Years Day.
Looking for a quick and easy gift, with some personalization added in? One of my students has an Etsy shop, where she sells these personalized travel coffee cups. I'm constantly running errand with a cup of coffee, so I'll use this cup all the time - the lid is great for not spilling java all over my truck!
In fact, she gave Denny and me a set, with the woodshop logo on them. (I "borrowed" his, since he's not much of a coffee drinker.)
I'm all about the hands - we have them on the walls and in various places around the shop to remind us of several things - how important it is to keep them safe and out of harm's way.
An old woodworking buddy of mine lost two fingers around Thanksgiving in a nasty tablesaw accident. Suffice it to say - hand accidents scare the hell out of me! So constant reminders keep us on our toes.
These coffee cups made my day! If you're looking for a quick and personalized gift for someone, check out Sarah's Etsy store here:
I suspect if you're local, you'll be able to work something out and have them in a day or two... tell Sarah I said Merry Christmas!
Monday, December 14, 2015
Oh man, I love this video! A friend of mine sent me this link, with the following description:
I've made my own version of a cooking video. It seems like every four posts on Facebook is a recipe video like this so I thought I'd add my own twist.If you like what you see please like my page at Facebook.com/aowoodworks Posted by Nathan Rench on Thursday, December 3, 2015
This is INSANELY creative!
Friday, December 11, 2015
Sunday, December 06, 2015
You know the NFR is in town when you see this sign at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
It's CowBoy Christmas time!
I don't care if you are a holiday Scrooge - it's hard to not get excited! This giant tree greets the visitors, and once you get inside the doors, you know you're in for a special treat.
The leather work is amazing - miles of saddles and horse related gear.
This wall of bridles almost had me hypnotized!
For some odd reason, they even included a velociraptor this year! It enjoyed a leisurely walk around the hall, posing with all the girls!
There was a long line for autographs from all the rodeo riders - lots of picture taking and cowboy flirting going on!
The apparel is always interesting - I saw more Wranglers in that one afternoon than I see all year!
This custom boot was about 28" long!
I always enjoying talking with the makers of these trunks - some of the most exquisite trunks you'll ever see!
These trunks include gorgeous interior upholstery, amazing craftsmanship, and several secret compartments, accessed only through a series of maneuvers known only to the buyer.
Seriously, someday, I'm going to own one of these.
Treestump Woodcrafts is also a favorite of mine, Christine's line of treen is always fresh and interesting.
This rocker, welded from spare parts including a tractor seat, horseshoes and leaf springs, was pretty special.
It even had cup holders!
Buckskin Outfitters always has a nice booth, filled with all sorts of western wares...
- from books to bells, tools and much more.
This booth was like a Bed, Bath and Beyond for cowboys! Who knew they were so into bath and body care products!?!
When we took a break from walking the aisles, we shared a lunch table with the makers of these gorgeous stirrups, made by Don Orrell. Honestly, I didn't even know what they were, sitting on the table, but Don was kind enough to explain some of his manufacturing methods, and share his story.
The craftsmanship was spot-on, and I was so impressed by the passion with which he makes these wares. Here's a terrific video from their website, giving you a tour of their shop and some insight into Don's stirrup making techniques.
I'll tell you, it was a pleasure talking with this fellow, and listening to the excitement in his voice when talking about his work. That's really what it's all about, isn't it?
That's one of the high spots for me when attending this Cowboy Christmas show - the love of this lifestyle is evident everywhere you look. From the custom saddles to the stirrups, this show highlights makers in their prime.
I may not be a cowgirl, but I can certainly appreciate all of this hard work and dedication to craft. The Cowboy Christmas show is running until December 12 - I highly recommend that you check it out. It's truly one of the highlights in my year!