Little Shop of Dreams

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When we first purchased our house, we were not originally looking for a place that had a shop. I only required a garage at the time. I am sure happy that we ended up with a detached shop to go along with the house we love. I have always liked to build and create things, but I hadn’t done much building in the years leading up to us purchasing our house and had been using different outlets for my creativity. It wasn’t until we started working on the yard that I remembered how much I enjoyed building things.

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Our shop nestled in the cedars

For the last few years, we have been stocking up on tools that help us with the yard. In the last year, I have also been stocking up on tools that feed my creative brain. I love what we are doing with the yard, but sometimes I just want to create something for the sake of creating something. I learned most of my building skills early in life on a theatre stage, building sets and props for my high school and university productions, so building has always been part of a creative process for me.

This winter I took over the shop in order to play with more projects. The boat was tarped and left outside in order for me to have free-reign of our full shop. I was able to “play” and and get back into the skills that had been pushed to the back of my brain. It started with the home-made Christmas gifts that I made, including the custom boxes and has been expanding from there.

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Now, I want to create more and more. Our guest room needed some matching side tables rather than the mis-matched ones we just happened to have kicking around, so I found a couple designs I liked and created my own final product. With two dogs, I wanted the kitchen to be a little tidier, so I built some custom dog bowl stands. I also needed a proper place for their leashes & collars, so I built a custom dog shelf.Now I have plans for planter boxes, a privacy fence, a king-size bed frame with a headboard that has lights and floating shelves built in, some carving ideas, and so much more. Now I just need the time, and the wood to get it all done!

I am lucky in the way that I can visualize things and be able to come up with my own plans based on photos. I rarely find exactly what I want on sites like Pinterest, but I will often find a few items that have elements that I like. I can usually figure out how to make them work together. K will sometimes find photos of things that he thinks will work well in our yard and shows them to me so that I can find ways to build and incorporate them.

I also started carving with my dad again, and am really enjoying continuing a project that I started a year ago. I unfortunately got side tracked and let the project fall to a back-burner, but it is back on track and I am excited how the mask is coming together. I don’t think I will have the same talent my dad has with carving, but it is certainly enjoyable.

With the warm weather showing up, it is getting into prime fishing season, which means I have to make room for the boat. I have really enjoyed having the full shop to build in, but it is just as important for the boat to go into the shop as that is our evening and weekend getaway. Being on a quiet lake, in the middle of the woods, is about as relaxing as it gets.

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I worked on streamlining how the shop was setup, including some of my larger equipment. I built a wood storage rack to better utilize the space that was being taken up by all of our scrap wood, and I re-arranged our shelving. In the end, we ended up with a much better utilization of the space, and when K put the boat in the garage, I have more room that I expected to have. In fact, the boat barely impacts the space I had been previously using.

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There is still some tweaking I would like to do in the shop, including removing and re-building one of the benches for a better setup, but for now, it works great! Our little shop is going to make a big impact on our dream yard and home for years to come.

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