Well it is that time of year again. It is a busy season for our little Etsy shop, M2C1Kraftwerks, of homemade gifts. This time last year, we were entering into our first holiday season and were still so new to it all. A little has changed since then. This year we have a good inventory of items already in the shop, with more going up all the time. We also have some great reviews, which helps when trying to attract buyers. I have also built a pretty busy social media schedule as well, to help showcase all the items we have built. Our little shop keeps us all busy doing what we love, and brings in a little cash to cover the costs of materials and tools.
Last year, I shared a lot about different projects I was hoping to work on. I had hoped to make some cutting boards, coasters, charcuterie knives, bookends, and a king size bed frame. Not all of those projects have materialized but some have, and of course, new projects have been added to my list.
Once again, advent calendars are a big hit. My mother-in-law does a phenomenal job of adding so much whimsey and Christmas magic to the calendars that we always have such interest in them. We didn’t sell out last year, so she had only planned on making 6 this year. Within the first week of posting them, we had sold 4. Being more prepared this year, the posting went up earlier, so Janice decided to make a few more. She worked to decorate 3 more, so I prepared a few more frames. I feel like I almost have them down to a science now. Plus, having a table saw that cuts such perfectly square pieces also helps. For 1 box, I have to cut 129 pieces. I don’t have a CNC machines, so I actually cut every piece. I then sit and glue all the pieces together. The frames isn’t bad, but the 24 little boxes, have 5 pieces each that need to be glued. It takes a bit of time. Then it all needs to be painted before Janice can add her decoration. It is truly a labour of love, and a wonderful project for me to work on with my mother-in-law.
I once again, have a spare calendar made, so my dad and I are teaming up to do another calendar together, with the centre feature being one of his carved plates. This time we went more whimsical with bright green and red colouring for the frame and boxes. The plate showcases the same red and green colours for a more vibrant display.
On top of that, I have really gotten into cutting boards. I have already sold a few and have had great feedback on them. I have been giving Kurt notice that the boat needs to be moved out of the shop so that I can get some more boards made. A few weeks ago, I pushed it out for the day so that I could get some wood cut and ready to go for one of my patterns. Over the last week, I have managed to get the first glue-up done. They are end grain, which means they get cut and glued twice so that the super hard end grain is what you cut on. It also makes for some really beautiful designs.
Kurt has finally agreed to store the boat for winter, so I managed to get that done last week so that I could continue working on the cutting boards. I managed to do a good clean of the shop while moving the boat out for the winter, and got to work assembling the boards. There are 4 of the same pattern, and one that is a new experiment. All of them turned out great and are going up on the etsy shop asap.
I am also working on a few other styles of cutting boards. One pattern reminds me of Alice in Wonderland with the wobbly cuts. The other is a chevron design. I will test out a few as a full board, and a few I will make smaller so that I can incorporate them into other boards. I really enjoy making them and thinking of new ways to make designs. I follow a lot of other amazing woodworkers and there are so many stunning patterns and boards out there.
I have also explored making some smaller charcuterie boards. Some are standard rectangular boards, and a few I made into a paddle shape. Luck of having some scraps and not wanting to waste any of the wood. I ended up with some long sections of maple that made perfect handles. I love the look of the paddles and will definitely make a few more of these. They make for a fun serving dish. The next batch with be a little wider, with the handle being a little shorter, allowing for the board to be a little longer. More charcuterie room right!
Earlier in the summer, I finally got around to making some charcuterie knives. It was a fun project and I plan to make a few more designs now that I have more space to work with in the shop. I would also like to try out a few larger cooking utensils like some spatulas. I think it would be a neat packaged option with a cutting board and some matching cooking utensils. The knives were my first crack at some sanding as well as some carving. Luckily, I had a good teacher for the carving portion, so I was able to come up with some fun designs.
I also have a lathe now, which has been fun to learn. I haven’t done too much with it since I got it, but now that the boat is out, I have more room to set it up and get working on some projects. To learn, I will be making some honey dippers. They apparently make a good beginner project to learn a few techniques and is fairly safe compared to bowls. I would also like to make some garden dibbers. They are for planting seeds and have some measurements along the tool so that you know you are setting your seeds at the right depth. Looks like a fun project, and a practical tool that Kurt and I can use.
I still haven’t made our king size bed. I would love to, but wood is just so expensive for large projects right now. I may suck it up and just buy a bed for now as we plan to re-do the flooring in our room due to Ellie’s explosive illness recently. It destroyed our carpet, and gave us the excuse we needed to put in the laminate flooring that we have been talking about putting in our room since we moved in 8 years ago. Might as well add a king-size bed while we are at it. I will still build a bed-frame and headboard one day, but it will unfortunately have to wait.
Some other projects I would like to work on if I can find the time? Some nice bathtub trays for reading. One of my co-workers mentioned she would like one, so it gives me an excuse to try building one. I want to make sure it has a nice stand to rest a book on, and room for a drink or candles. Perfect for a pampering bath. Her favourite colour is purple, so I am planning on incorporating some purple heart into the design.
I would also still like to try out a few bookends. My love of reading had me build some large bookshelves in our rec room a few years ago. Although they are filling quickly with books and keepsakes from our travels, there are a few areas where some bookends could be added for a nice touch.
So much to do with so little time. Kurt has asked if I could plan accordingly so that I am not spending all of December making gifts for family. I agreed with him. I am going to try to better plan my time so that I can still make some gifts along with items I am adding to our shop, and relax a little more in December. I think it will be doable since I have registered my dad, mother-in-law and I for a craft fair at the end of November. Once that is over, Christmas shopping on our shop will also start winding down. Really, everything that I would like to sell, needs to be made by Nov. 25.
If you are interested in checking out our little shop please visit https://www.etsy.com/shop/M2C1Kraftwerks.
Well enough writing, time to get out to the shop to play some more.