Monday, 28 October 2013

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery

In growing and keeping bonsai over the last 11 or more years I have never really tried to make my own.
I have bought a couple (mostly they died) and vaguely attempted to turn small stick trees into something more.

Though something has changed this last year. I have felt a confidence and an excitement in trying to create my own great looking trees. The pulses of creativity are one of the mysteries of the humanity that i love, when the urge to make, create, write or design comes upon you nothing in the world can tell you that it is wrong (unless of course it is very wrong, then its just wrong!...if you know what i mean) The thought of buying a ready made tree ( i have 3 of these) makes me bored. The thought of finding something wild and making it a healthy and beautiful bonsai....very exciting.

I don't know why....just one of those funny quirks of me

I like the idea that a tree could take ten years to look the way it should. The long process is something that i now like. There is an un-hurried approach to this hobby.

Do some work on a tree.....leave for a year or two....excellent

Do some more work, take another few years off..

Come back later....hmmm..no..leave it for another year....

excellent!

What do you find worth waiting for?


Saturday, 26 October 2013

Table for you madam???

This was a making day. 

You know sometimes you have being days? 

You sometimes have adventuring days? 

You know what I mean ....right?

Today I made a table for a friend of mine who has started back at theological college to study for her second year, she is amazing  as you would never know that she had a serious stroke aged 24 and is now 39, so long term heart patient. One of the most grace filled people i know, so to make it was not a hardship....and i get to enjoy the sun in my yard.

I was given a bunch of wood from my friend the professor (who has sheds full of reclaimed wood) The legs on this table are oak, the frame at the top is pine. The edge of the table top is mahogany and the centre of the table is a long pine board. Usefully the legs already had the joints cut into them (don't know the name of the joints,,,sorry) So it was just a matter of figuring out how to screw it altogether and cut the rebated edge for the pine board to drop into (a few large saw blade marks that shouldn't be there)

It still needs some more sanding and is a little on the wobbly side, but i like it. She was delighted.

What have you made lately?

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Make your own fun!

There are two pictures with this blog post.

On one hand you have a lovely wooden London bus.

The shock nearly made me pass out....

HOW MUCH!!!..GASPS ...FAINTS...CLUTCHING WALLET

A toy kitchen unit for £116, a toy phone for £16 and this lovely bus for over £20. These last two may not sound like a lot but once you have a couple of items then your approaching the cost of a weekly food shop.

As stated on the blog bio i dabble in creativity from time to time so i thought....time to make my own toys.

I also upcycle, freecycle, skip dive and make friends with many building site managers.

In the picture below the car on the left is made from Oak flooring whilst the one of the right is lovingly created from mahogany. Both close grained hard woods as so to not splinter and cause pain to small children. I drew a template on a bit of card and transferred the shape to wood. Using a sliding chop saw I roughed out the shape and finished with some sanding

The wheels are old wooden thread bobbins that you would use on a sowing machine (gleaned from a friends wedding after the event, as they were used to hold place cards, yes I took a lot and looked quite odd in my smart suit with large bulging pockets)

The axles are just 8mm or 1/4 inch dowel fixed with wood glue.

After much time trawling the interwebs for wisdom about what paints are child friendly i ended up talking to my dad who made us wooden toys when i was small who advised me to leave it plain as paint that safe still can peel off.

Personally i think they look rather good.

What can you make today?


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A little growing to do..

This is my son whom I often call Wonder Boy!

Clearly the clothes I have laid out aren't his but it made me think that before too long (given his genes) that these clothes will be too small for him.

Until then I am happy that the journey is a long and slow affair full of games, fun and a lot of giggling.

What do like about your life currently?

Monday, 21 October 2013

The kindness of strangers

Whilst walking home the other night i came across this pram and car seat by the side of the road just near my house. We have a pram and car seat so i walked past it then i remember my friends Oli and Cono who have just become pregnant with their first baby. They are free spirited wandering missionaries that work with World Harvest and therefore are not the richest people in the world.
This where he story gets investing i think. We had been told by my friends who run a Baptist church here in Orpington that they had some members who lived on our street. We had been meaning to call in and introduce ourselves but with the hectic-ness of moving we had not got around to it.
So there was this pram outside their house on a dark and cold English night. I knocked on the door and a young woman answered , which surprised me as we had been told that the folk who lived gear were elderly. Turns out that she was their daughter and was moving to Ipswich the following morning. She was baptised in the church that we are just about to start going to. At that point her mother pulls up in a car and joins in the conversation. I explain that we are still on leadership at another church but will soon come to Green Street Green Baptist. She says "Thats wonderful, we've been praying for more Christians on this street". So not only do we have a really nice pram for our friends but have started a great friendship with members of this part of the body of Christ.

God loves to connect his family together.

What has God done for you lately?

Stay at home dad review

I thought i would browse the interwebs for other bit of writing in a concerted effort to put a lot of articles in one place about stay at home dads.

Those who are realists, cynical and honest
Those who are very well informed and helpful
Those who are switched on
Those who are amazingly worried
Those who are arty and sometimes not dads

I have to say that I am amazed by the reaction that stay at home dads get. That for millions of years fathers have loved and cared for their kids and now it seems we are doing something new. I disagree.

Of course after the work apocalypse it will be new for me in terms of time spent and how i think about each day.

But I think on all of this and come to the concluesion that we as humans were made to do this.

Purpose, work and the non rad dad

This coming new year heralds the start of something that hadn't even crossed my mind till we started down the road of having a family...

That I would become a stay at home dad!

At the time of writing we have 2 and 1/2 months to go till the work apocalypse hits us.

I have to say that I am excited and feeling rather challenged by the prospect. I don't know how many stay at home dads there are, i suspect there are many many of them, a vast tide of caring folk.

I haven't blogged in a long  time so will try and make this blog interesting.

There seems to be a few dads out there who blog and write about it and I wonder if i fit into a particular pigeon hole?
The are many who want to be rad dads, alternative dads, dads that are keen having a meaningful political point to their child's life.

On reflection I am not sure I am any of these, boxes after all, are for keeping things in not for living in.
I have no interested in being a cool dad, a hip dad or my child's best friend dad.

Don't get me wrong, if you have a particular passion to raise your child with a certain style, theme or angle then go for it. I am for you being the best dad you can be in whatever way makes sense to you.

I just want to love my kid with as much love as i can channel through this feeble and broken heart of mine and let him know that i am for him even if making the right choices for him means we fall out.

Also this blog will contain other interests other mine, namely gardening, bonsai, pets, walking, creativity, woodwork, music, reading and photography.

The photo is the Wonder Boy  (aged 6-1/2 months) and I after an early morning photography trip to a local wildlife reserve.