winter projects

I made a set of tree blocks for Natasha’s preschool classroom a few weeks ago, and that set off a mini-storm of new tree block requests. Since then I’ve made at least six sets, more than 300 blocks total. That’s about 30 hours worth of work, between collecting materials, cutting blocks, a few rounds of sanding (starting with 120 grit and working down to 400 or 600) and then the finishing process which is four or five applications of spray or brush-on shellac. Needless to say, I am a little tree-blocked out right now but it has been wonderful to see kids enjoying the blocks.

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Aside from that I am also working on a new barn. I am really happy with this design so far. It’s similar to the one I made my neice but a bit smaller, about 12″ x 18″ x 12″. I’m templating some of the pieces so I’ll be able to recreate it if I’m happy with how it comes out. Here’s a photo of its progress so far, and some sketches I made during the design process. I am still figuring out the best roof design, and this one will have a few other bells and whistles like a sliding door along one side, and a pulley to lift hay up into the loft.

new barn in progress new barn sketches

I’ve started playing around a little bit with some kinetic motion/automated toy designs. No finished products yet, I have just been working on with design concepts and tinkering with balance and different mechanisms. More to come on these… what a beautiful waste of time this will be.

The big project this weekend will be taking down this 20′ section of tree that fell on our canoe and house during a big overnight wind storm this week. Thankfully not too much damage. Does anyone know how to patch fiberglass? Hopefully it’ll be a good weekend to do some burning outside.

canoe damage tree fallen on house and canoe