What's Up Wednesday

An Early Christmas At Our House


Hello everyone!

It has been a little while since I have written anything on the blog, so I decided that I would sit down and take some time on ‘What’s Up Wednesday’ to give a little bit of info on what has been going on.

Usually you see some pictures of the latest project I have been working on (for quite some time) and that being the cheval mirror for my wife. I am glad to say that the mirror part is finished so we have at least a full length mirror available!

photo (1)

It may sound silly to take on another project while I am finishing this one, but I find that working on another gets me motivated to work on the other, because I always reach a point where glue or a finish needs to dry, and then I can switch to the other one and keep going.

I decided to build a jewelry box for my wife, which I thought would be a pleasant surprise for her. I have no clue what I said that clued her in, though, because she straight out asked if I was building one! I could not keep it from her because I was so shocked that she guessed, that I knew I could not hide it in my expression!

Sunday we celebrated a little bit of Christmas early, and exchanged our “big gifts” with each other. This is only the start of our Christmas celebrating, as we have our stocking stuffers and Christmas dinner on Friday, and then we will celebrate with family after that! It will definitely be busy next week!


Pier picked out the perfect gifts for me!  I will share a couple of them! I received a red and green plaid flannel shirt, which will be the perfect and warm shirt to wear on Christmas! After opening that, she gave me this HUGE box. Although it was not heavy for its size, I began to open it and I soon realized that there was another box inside wrapped up… and I opened that to find another and another and another and another and another! I never thought it would be 7 boxes to open!! Just for her to find 7 boxes to fit perfectly inside one another must of taken months!

Once I finally got down to the actual gift box I opened it and found a Citizen Eco-Drive Skyhawk Blue Angels edition watch! I was fascinated by the fact that it set itself to the correct time with radio waves right then and there and later I read the “mini book” called an instruction manual and found out the many other features of this watch including the E6-B computer on the face dial of the watch! Pilots will know exactly what I am talking about! Also, no batteries to replace as it is charged by any light source and will run 6 months in complete darkness with a full battery!

I loved watching Pier open her gifts.  As some of you know, my wife has an amazing voice and I love to hear her sing. The best thing is she loves to sing, so I get to hear her often! I decided to get her a whole home recording and vocal system. I watched her smile as she opened the boxes containing the pro grade speaker,  song database of 17,000 songs, 2 pro microphones (one for me so we can sing together!) and a mixing board and cables! It is unfair if only I get to hear her, so I also included a special recording mic and audio interface so  we can record her singing!! I am sure that she will have some songs on the blog in the future!  We have already used both systems and I will say she sounds amazing on them!

Well, I need to get back down to the workshop and finish Pier’s jewelry box! We hope you all have a wonderful day, and join us again tomorrow for Thirsty For Christ Thursday!


Christmas, Woodworking, and Fondue!!

Once more I find myself on the road again. Ironically I am writing from Wisconsin again, Madison this time, and again the Vikes are prepping for another game against the Packers! Pier and I had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends and hope that all of you did as well. Our first Christmas together was absolutely wonderful. We started Christmas day off with Mass at midnight and it was great to hear and sing the Christmas hymns with my wife by my side! Then in the morning we woke and enjoyed our time together and to share our gifts with each other. I could have not asked for any better gifts than what Pier gave me. She knows me so well that she found the perfect gift for me, a painted picture of several breeds of cattle on it! Now it may not sound exciting but anyone that knows me knows how I love anything to do with farming. I love it and we have the perfect spot for it in our living room!sloop nude Anyone that knows Pier knows how she loves fashion and she had been hinting mentioning how she would like a comfortable flat and that she had researched the perfect ones! She knew I would key in on the research that she did and that I would probably remember exactly what she wants. Well she was right! I got her the pair that she had been looking at, a pair of FSNY flats. Now the only way I could remember the initials was to say Fox Sports News Yes because I had no clue what it stood for. Although after a little research I discovered that it stands for French Sole New York. Now mind you I was not up to the task of picking and buying a pair of shoes since there are so many variables… size, shape, color, texture, design, etc. So I had to be creative. I ended up printing out the FSNY logo and I picked a pair that I thought she would like and I printed them out on paper. I found a shoe box and I placed the label on the box and then placed the paper cut outs in the box and wrapped it up. Needless to say she loved it and I also picked out the exact pair that she ended up getting!


Josh and JuliaWe also celebrated Christmas with our friends Josh and Julia. On Wednesday night we headed up to the Melting Pot and enjoyed a long fondue dinner! It was delicious. It was my first time to eat fondue and I must sayCraig and Pier that it is a perfect dinner to have great food and great conversation. I look forward to another visit in the future!

Now comes the wood technical part…. 🙂


In the middle of all this I have found some time to work down in the shop on Pier’s wedding gift. I must say it is coming along quite well. This past week I got the wood dimensioned out to the correct thickness and out to a rough size. To do this I first laid out wood and I drew out the individual pieces on the boards so I would know where to cut each piece from. Parts laid out on boardThen I used a jig to flatten the board in my planer.

Support adjusted to hold board
Support adjusted to hold board

I place the wood on the jig and slide the adjustable supports up to support the board and then slide it through the planer multiple times and it creates a flat top.

Then I can flip the board over and plane it to the correct thickness. Then I joint an edge with another created jig, to create a 90 degree angle to the top and bottom. That takes care of 3 sides (top bottom and side) and the 4th side will be finished in the next step when I run it through the table saw to rip the stock to a workable width. Those will eventually be glued up to create the top and bottom of the cabinet piece.

Planed and flat on top
Planed and flat on top

So now I have 3/4″ and 1 1/4″ thick square pieces of stock that are ready to be glued or cut into final dimensions.

This past week has been busy and it does not look like it will be slowing down in the near future with our plans of traveling to Rome, Italy in early February. We both are excited to travel and see all the sites Rome has to offer! Happy New Year to everyone!! Craig and Pier


What will be a cheval mirror for Pier

Some of you may know that I do some woodworking as a hobby that I just recently in the past few years have picked up. I have in that time equipped a basement shop with some the essential tools for some basic furniture building. I have a number of hand tools and power tools and enjoy working with both. Woodworking also produced the very first gift that I gave Pier on our 4th date. This wooden cross that now hangs in our bedroom.

Maple and Walnut cross

I love to put my woodworking skills to use and I can not think of any better way to use them than to build something for our home! For our wedding we both exchanged gifts to each other. I received the perfect and wonderful gift of a Family Bible that will help me to be the spiritual leader of our family.

Red Oak in the rough cut
60 Board ft of Red Oak

I promised Pier I would build a cheval mirror for our master bedroom. I had it designed out and printed up some pictures of it. We decided on a type of wood and finish for it and finally now I have acquired the wood to begin the project!

I will take these 6/4, 5/4, and 4/4, pronounced 6 quarter, and turn them into a wonderful piece of furniture. In case you are wondering the 6/4 is how hardwood is measured in thickness. 4/4 being one inch and 6/4 being 1.5 inch thick.  That is the daily wood lesson for the day 😉

All laid out in the shop.

I know Pier is hoping that this one goes a little faster than the night stands. I hope so too but seeing how they turned out I don’t mind taking my time to produce the same quality that they turned out as!

Let the saw dust fly!

        Craig and Pier