My dad practically rebuilt our house after our family bought it. My grandma still swears it should have been condemned and never purchased by a family who had young kids. However, we moved in and lived through construction and renovation. I always saw my dad working with wood – it could be the floors, the trim, built-ins, our TV console, whatever it was at the time, I always thought he was amazing at doing it.
Of course, it was not until after I married Tory and moved four hours away from my dad’s workshop, that I became interested in basic woodworking. Don’t be too impressed. I mean cutting, sanding, and drilling holes. I am not even sure if that qualifies. It all started when I discovered the antique shopping world where we live. Barn windows, homemade frames, Amish furniture, it is all here and nearby! Across the street from us is a cedar furniture plant that sells its leftover scraps for pennies, from which my crazy idea was born. I really wanted to make coasters. It sounded simple enough and I did not want to spend a chunk of money on something I could make, so I bought cork squares and mod-podge and made some. We still have those coasters and use them daily, but they aren’t exactly the dreamy design people would want to buy.
However, my dad informed me that I should get a bag of cedar scraps and make coasters out of that. Great idea Dad! There I went, walking across the street, oblivious to how heavy a bag of cedar scraps was. I found out. There is a reason people use cars, but instead, I carried my bag of cedar like Santa might carry his pack when he visits the house of an exceptionally well behaved child. So there I was, proud as a could be that I had my own bag of cedar. About a month later, Tory and I drove across the state so that I could go to a Boden sample sale and Tory could cut coasters (my idea of job delegation) with my dad.
A few months later, I actually made some coasters for a good friend of mine (bless her for being my guinea pig). They turned out great! Color-blocked wood, naturally made by the color differentiation in wood and an added pop of neutral color with some trendy acrylic paint.
It did take a lot of sanding, a couple of finger tips, and creative use of our small studio loft space, but they are complete and the process was well worth the end product.