Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Handmade Stone Coat Hooks

Finally! I have completed another step in my coat nook. I first started posting about this problem area right at the beginning of my blogging as I described my mitten dilemma. It has taken years but the functioning of this area has improved dramatically and it really didn't cost much or take much time. The latest addition has been stone coat hooks.

I had successfully solved the mitten problem with the ladder of baskets but we were still using a coat tree in the corner. Even though it was a beautiful handcrafted coat tree, the spacing was too tight and it didn't function well. The coat tree was moved to David's studio and we made a series of coat hooks from smooth ocean stones we'd collected from the Rhode Island shore.

This isn't an original idea but it is a perfect one for our home which combines nature with the decor in many interesting ways. This was just a natural addition. I epoxied a T nut on the back of each rock and screwed them onto their matching bolt inserted through piece of clear pine.

And I am thrilled with how much better the space functions. Now that the coat tree is out of the corner, I can center the mitten/hat ladder. Its side hooks work wonderfully for David's hat collection.

We have been using the mitten ladder for a year now. (Construction post here). It has been an excellent solution to storing and finding mittens, gloves and knit hats. One of the critical design elements is that the baskets are wire mesh so at a glance, you can see what is in the basket without having to dig through.  And it is easy to put your gloves away right as you take them off. 

Still need to cover the white cushion on the bench. Always another thing on the to-do list!

©2015 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Valentine Spiral Tree Tablescape

Have you thought about your next centerpiece for your table? After the holidays I like to do a winter scape but I have jumped ahead to Valentine's Day this year so others can see my idea and make it themselves.  I had a fun time learning the spiral tool in Illustrator and design a pattern for a  spiral heart which I then replicated into a Spiral Heart Tree.

And then I made a forest full in different sizes.....

These come from a pattern I designed for use on a cutting machine like a Silhouette or Cameo. The file is available here on 3dcuts.com. As I was cutting them out I noticed that the scraps were a terrific shape as well. I saved them and made these 3-d heart ornaments, too.

I like how the spiral design reflects some of the other artwork in my dining area. I have an unintentional theme going on here. There are spirals in the woodcut by Lynita Shimizu, spirals in the sculpture by my husband, David Roy, and spirals in the candelabra made by my grandfather, Conrad Carlson.

Still loving working in paper!

This cutting file is available along with others over at my 3dcuts.com store in SVG, PDF, and DXF formats. I also have a complete tutorial to help you in making these trees here.

©2015 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy, 3dcuts.com

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Handcrafted Stars from a Cherry Tree

Each Christmas I try to make one new handcrafted decoration. For the past few years I have worked on tree ornaments (here, here, and here) but this year inspiration struck in a different area. Stars!

It all started with a cherry tree toppling in our woods. This tree had been dead and need to come down and when it fell, a major part of the trunk was suspend off the ground.  This is important because when chain sawing, my husband hates it when the chain saw hits the dirt. It dulls the blade instantly. But with a trunk suspended I could request that he try and cut off some slices. And he did. He cut me a selection of cherry slices about 14" in diameter and from 3/4 to 3" thick.  I saved these in the top of the garage for the better part of a year and as they dried, they warped and cracked.  They gained charter but also became rather limited in how I could use them with out major sanding. That is when inspiration struck. I decided to not sand them but to leave them rough sawn and create rustic stars.

Using David's bandsaw I cut free form stars.

I cut lots of them, in all thicknesses.

I then I added them to my Christmas decor.

 This project combines lots of elements that I love - wood, rustic, and quick!

And, during the holiday season I found little Swedi3h Tomtens hanging out among the stars.

©2015 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy