Homemade Holidays

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First, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. I didn’t get a chance this year to do a post to wish everyone a happy holiday season. I was once again spending most of my time in the shop. Though, Kurt did make sure that I spent a little more time enjoying the holidays watching Christmas movies and binging on treats.

Between preparing for the craft fair and making some homemade gifts, I was once again quite busy in the shop. Mostly with preparing with the craft fair, but there were a few larger holiday projects that I managed this year.

I like to give my co-workers a little something at Christmas. In the past it has usually been canned jams or jellies, along with some Christmas baking. This year, we did a little exchange of goodies, which was really nice since I didn’t really get any baking done this year. I had made some whipped shortbread cookies for decorating day at work. My boss had inquired if I would be doing any more baking over the last weekend before our office closed for the holidays. I hadn’t, but when she said she was craving more of the shortbread, I figured, why not? To sweeten (literally) the deal, everyone who was going to be in on the Monday of the last week, also offered to bring in some goodies. It ended up being a great holiday baking exchange.

To add to the baking, I decided to try out one of my shop list items. I have been wanting to try making some coasters for a bit now, so I decided it was time to try it out. I went with a fairly simple design of stripes. Since I plan to put these in my shop as well, this pattern let me figure out how long it takes to make a set, as well as how much material is used and the cost to make them. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they were pretty quick to make, and I can make a lot out of 1 board. I chose a bunch of different woods and cut them into 1″ x 14.5″ x 1/2″ strips. Because I was going for a variety of colours, I ended up with quite the stack of wood to work with. In the end I was able to make 9 sets of 4 coasters. I gave 5 sets away to my coworkers, and the other 4 will go on our Etsy shop. I still have enough wood strips in the shop for another 7 sets of coasters, which is fantastic. All my coworkers really liked the coasters, so it was a double success of learning how to make them, and having great feedback from those I gave them to.

Earlier in the year, I did a post called “A Little Bit of Magic In Every Box” about making some Magic The Gathering deck boxes as well as a larger carrying case that would carry 6 of the decks. That idea for a shop project originally came from my brother-in-law (BIL). I had planned to give him most of the items that I made, but I ended up getting contacted about someone wanting to buy the full set for their boyfriends birthday. In the end, I only had 1 deck box to give to my BIL. For Christmas, I decided to make a full set for him, especially since it was originally his idea. I had learned a lot from the first build, so the second build was much easier. I will be doing a follow-up post about that later, so for now, I will just note that it turned out amazing and my BIL was super happy with his gift. I also added a few MTG cards as well.

My final gift was for my mom. She really liked the Lazy Susan’s that I had built, but wanted one much larger so that she could use it as a serving tray when guests came over. After chatting with my dad, we figured a 20″ one would fit nicely on their dining room table, and still allow lots of space for charcuterie, or other goodies to be placed on the lazy susan for sharing. She had really liked the 14″ Lazy Susan that had featured ambrosia maple, walnut and purple heart, so I decided to use a similar colour scheme. I replaced the red grandis in with yellow tarara and padauk for a really dramatic and colourful centre. I also added a bit of ambrosia maple between the purple heart and walnut at the edge to give more definition to each of those stripes. Lastly, I added a low-profile base which will allow it to stay close to the table top. She was very happy with it. Now I am looking forward to getting invited for dinner or appies so that we can test it out!

We are now experiencing an extreme cold warning, so I will sit back and enjoy a few days in the house before I can get out to the shop again. I received a few books for Christmas, so I have a good excuse to curl up on the couch with a nice fire going and spend a few hours in another world.

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