February 28, 2011

A Walk Along A Texan River

The other day Mother, Heather, Abigail and I went for a little walk.
We went on a path in Georgetown that twisted along near the San Gabriel River.

It was fun to see the green of spring along the way.
And in Davis tradition, Shoeless went without his leash for most of the trip.  What rebels we all are.
And with the path not being fully paved we parked the stroller and Abigail took a ride in the Moby.  What a wonderful thing to enjoy the warm air, arrival of spring, family and good friends.

February 25, 2011

All Dressed Up


Last Sunday Abigail and I were all dressed up for church and wanted to take the opportunity for a short photo shoot.  So fun to take this beautiful girl out and about.

February 24, 2011

A Visitor Arrives

Back in December, when Abigail was 4 days old, our good friends came to our home for a visit.
But it was a sad visit, because it was a time that Aunt Heather had to say good-bye to Abigail, Josh and me.  She and Kevin (with Baby Caroline 24 weeks along) were leaving Alaska and moving to Alabama.  But there was a little bit of hope on the horizon because February was coming.
And Aunt Heather was flying to Texas to visit us again.  This time Abigail is 11 weeks old and baby Caroline has reached 34 weeks.  So we are in Texas and together once again.  Aunt Heather is going though baby boot camp with Abigail as we get excited for baby Caroline to join us soon.  What a fun few days we will have.

February 22, 2011

A Face A Mother Loves

The other day mother and I were at the store with Abigail and I had her in the Moby Wrap.  (note to all mothers, a moby is the best thing ever) And mother commented how fat and chubby Abigail's face looked all scrunched up in the wrap.  Since I couldn't see her mother took a picture to show me. 
And you know what, I love it so very much.  My little girl, all bundled up against me, chubby face and all.  She is my everything.

February 21, 2011

And they say snow is supposed to be fun...


Just to follow up with this mornings post about the snow from last night, it is still snowing.  There is not much snow falling anymore, mostly just blowing around in the 20-30mph breeze we are experiencing.  Which means I get to dig out the car before I can go home this afternoon. Oh joy.

Always more to be done.

   Last Friday's task was simple, wipe tung oil on the finished parts of the project.  Unfortunately, I don't have enough to finish. I only managed to complete a first coat on three of the posts. So this will have to wait till Sunday when I buy some more. That aside, seen below is the difference between unfinished and oiled. Quite the contrast, that's one reason I like this wood.


   Since I was unable to proceed with the handrail, I decided to start the bookshelf for Abigail's room.  This project will be my first with soft Maple. Not a difficult wood to work with. I cuts nice and has a defined grain which makes it easy to determine which direction to run it through the jointer and plainer. Since this will be a simple bookshelf, I've decided not to do any difficult jointery. There a just a lot of glue-ups.


   There are 4 shelves that will be 10" deep, but the widest board I purchased is 7"; and after jointing and running through the table saw it will be about 6 3/4 wide. So I need to add width. Which means time will be spent watching glue dry, yipee.


   Another change I'm trying to work on is actually planning the project from the start.  Having all the measurements and cuts figured out before I start any work. That is difficult. My usual routine has little planning and lots of test fitting to make sure it works out. And, I tend to make changes to my projects as they progress towards completion. Most of my projects are in my head from start to finish, but that makes for a lot of wasted time. So here is proof that I did put something on paper. Now I just need to remember to use it.


     This is work from Sunday afternoon. I put the first coat of Tung Oil on all the pieces of the handrail. Unfortunately I put them on the freezer to cure. The freezer is where the meals that Kathleen prepared for me are kept. So I couldn't eat till the parts were dried and ready to be moved. But this is one less step to complete before the handrail can be assembled. probably not for another couple days.  There are other projects that I need to start before Kathleen and Abigail return that will fill the house with solvent fumes.



Winter is hanging on.

I woke up this morning to find that, while I slept nice and cozy inside, it snowed about 12 inches. This meant I had the 'opportunity' to shovel this morning, and I had a fun ride to work. Power sliding doing 65 on the highway is probably the most fun I've had in a while. But tonight, shoveling and snow-blowing will not be much fun.

Photo Shoot

While in Texas I had a wish to get pictures taken of all three cousins.
 So the other day we went to the store, found matching outfits, and then headed to Sears for a photo shoot.
 And even though the pictures were during lunch time and made Abigail miss a nap we worked through it to come up with some amazing photos.
They will grow up, other family members might been added, but for now we have these pictures, these memories and the ability to stop time for just a moment.

February 18, 2011

The Cloudy Days in Texas

While here in Texas Abigail and I have been loving the warm weather.
 But some mornings have been cloudy and on the damper/cooler side.
Nothing compared to what Josh is dealing with in Alaska but enough to make us just want to hang out in front of the fireplace with our puppy dog.
Not a bad vacation at all.  We will just relax here until the sun comes out this afternoon.
A few months back, I decided to make a cross-cut sled for my table saw.  At the time there was no real need for it.  I just felt like using some of the air dried birch that I milled from trees around the house. The sled turned out pretty nice, the base is a piece of Baltic birch ply and the miter bars are some scrap Ipe from another project.


Having the sled available made cutting the tenons simple. Last year I cut all the tenons on the router table which was difficult and inaccurate. Doing it on the sled let me avoid much time spent fitting the tenons to the mortises since they were pretty much a perfect fit.  Also, having mortises that were pretty uniform helped.



The picture below shows four of the 2x2s with the tenons at different stages of being cut. I was left with many little pieces of walnut that were about the perfect size to make dominoes out of.  Or I might make a cutting board.  Oh, the possibilities...


And here they are.  All the mortises and tenons are finished. The next step is to rout the grooves for the glass panes in the posts and in the 1x2s. Then I will rout the edge profiles on all the parts and bring the surfaces to a finish quality with a cabinet scraper and some fine grit sandpaper(usually 400 and 600 grit) for the profiled areas.

February 17, 2011

At it again.

   Last year I started working on the handrail for the sitting area on the top floor of the house.  Back then I started with the smaller of the two sections that needed to be completed. As you can see, I am now working on the second section of the handrail.
   This year's project is twice as large. Instead of two panes of glass there are four. This means I have twice as many structural pieces to make.

  
   Amazingly enough, though, it is taking me less time to make this handrail than it did the first one.  Mostly because I know what needs to be done and in what order. I also have less decisions to make, as I already made them last time and I'm just replicating the details.  This time however, the handrail section is not placed between two walls, one end is unsupported.  I thought for a while it would look nice to add a corbel to the end.  But, on further reflection, it is more work than I really want to get into.  And it will constrict the space that much more.  The four small pieces in the foreground of the above photo are the beginnings of the corbels that are now in a box.  They will probably be there for a long time.


   One part of the process that is going much faster is making the mortises in the posts.  Last year there were 16, this year there were 32.  When we were in Houston last spring I purchased a mortising chisel that works much better than the bench chisels I used last year.  Though they will never be seen after the glue-up, they are nice and square.   They are also exactly 1" square instead of about 1" square.  That makes cutting the tenons easier, since they are all exactly the same size this time around.
    

 Below are the horizontal frame pieces for the project.  Eight of each, 2"x2"s and 1"x2"s.  These pieces of wood, though you can't tell from the picture, are a bit on the lighter side compared to last years wood. The difference a tree makes. I should have bought all the wood for the two sections at the same time, oh well.


After about 8 hours of constantly pounding on a chisel with a mallet, my hands were starting to get sore. I actually got a red spot on my hands.  I have gone too long without using tools, my hands are getting soft.  It also doesn't help that it is about 100 degrees in the basement with the wood stove running on full; since it was down to -40 outside this week.  Gotta love being inside working on day's like that. 
   I watched a PBS movie from the library the other day about the Medal of Honor. The soldiers fighting in Korea back in the 50's were stuck outside without quality cold weather gear for weeks at -20.  I don't even like going out the start the car when it's that cold, let alone spent all day walking around in it. 
   Anyway, that's just a little off topic. I should have some more pictures up soon from the completion of this project, which we be assembled and installed this weekend, and pictures of my next project.

Grandma's Flowers

On one of the adventures mother and I took before Abigail we found this poster of Alaskan flowers.  Mother loved it, I bought it and then gave it to her for Christmas a few months ago.  Now home in Texas mother found a beautiful frame and had it sitting on the guest room dresser waiting to be hung on the wall.
And grandma's delay in hanging her poster has made Abigail so very happy.  Each and every time we go to change her or to dress her she loves to check out all of the Alaskan flowers.  She talks to them, points at them, and laughs deep baby belly laughs.
Yes, for sure, Abigail loves Grandma's flowers.

February 16, 2011

Cousins, Friends for Life

One of the joys of this trip to Texas is that I did not travel alone.  This trip is so special because Abigail gets the chance to meet more of her family.
 On Monday we arrived at Gigi's kindergarden class for her birthday party.  She was so sweet that she broke away from her party to meet and hold her new cousin Abigail.  
And Abigail loved getting to wear Gigi's birthday hat, watch Cash swing on his tire swing, and be loved, held and smiled at.  I hope that this trip is the first of many where cousins can be together and have fun.

February 15, 2011

The Celebration of Six

Yesterday was a very special day for our family.  My niece turned six years old. 
 I loved being able to be part of the family celebration with my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew.
 After the kindergarden valentine's day/birthday party celebration at school we went back to the house for relaxing outside and a little baseball. 
 And opening presents that are intended for a six year old is fun for everyone.
But most importantly we were able to love this little girl and celebrate the past six years.

February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day, A Day of Love in Texas

Abigail and I took several long flights and endured one very long layover in Seattle to reach Texas yesterday evening.  But the trip itself was well worth it.  Because we were on flight, Fairbanks to Destination Grandma and Popeye's house.
So this Valentine's Day was one of being loved by Popeye and
Grandma, her cousins Gigi and Cash and her Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Kelly.  What a wonderful Valentine's Day to remember.  I hope your days were as full of love and adventure as well.

February 11, 2011

Holding On

These days Abigail loves to hold her thumb.  And Josh loves to open up her fist and put things in it for her to hold onto instead.  It always makes me laugh to see her waving random things around.  

February 10, 2011

The Design Team's Next Project

Abigail and I are getting ready to go on a trip this weekend.  And as we get ready to go the design team is gearing up for all of the projects that will be worked on and the woodworking creations that will be made while we are gone.
And since all of their great creations occur in our basement these days, Josh has invested in this hood for the chop saw.  It will be fun to see all that is being created over the next few weeks when Josh doesn't have to worry about a wife and daughter.  Go design team, go.

February 9, 2011

Abigail, the Helper

After viewing posts about me making applesauce and sewing you are probably wondering just where Abigail is during all of these activities.  Well, sometimes she is napping, mostly she is in the Moby Wrap but sometimes she is also...
 hanging out in her bouncy seat or
spending a few minutes in her swing.  Regardless, this little girl is never far away from her mama.

February 8, 2011

A Little Sewing

 I recently converted our little sitting area upstairs into a sewing area.  I figure when Abigail starts into regular naps I could work on a few projects while she rests.  This still hasn't happened that way yet but a little project did get done over the course of 5 days anyway.
 A long time ago I had bought some wool sweaters from the second hand store and felted them in the washer.
 And the other day I cut one of the sweaters up, and an old mitten of mine, to make a new pair of mittens for a friend.
Overall the project went well, the thumb was hard, but they feel, look and fit like mittens at the end of it so I was pleased.  The hard part of making a pair of anything is making them the same size, in this case the left hand is a little smaller than the right.  Luckily my friend liked them and they fit her just fine.  What a fun project.  I am done with mittens at the moment but am thankful for my new sewing area for when the time comes that Abigail is taking longer naps during the day.  Luckily for me the shorter sleeping during the day is due to the fact that she is going to bed around 10 pm at night.  I will take almost no day time naps over being up all night any day!  Sewing during the day can wait for sure.