Happy Friday! Today’s Friendly Friday comes from my dear friend Meredith and her husband Ben. This week I’ll feature Ben’s Christmas crafts and next week I’ll unveil Meredith’s creativity. Meredith is a beautiful writer, so I will just leave you with what she wrote up.
Now that the Christmas trees are departed; the lights stored in attics, I think a short reflection on the beauty of gifts that still provide meaning is in order.
Gifts like the pear jam that my college roommate, Emily, made from her grandmother’s pear tree that my husband Ben and I now savor on toast and biscuits.
Or the plaque with mod-podged old music sheets and a cute bird stencil that my friend Leticia designed, now hanging in our bedroom.
I love the time that went into these gifts. It puts a little bit of the giver into it, and I am reminded of that every time I see (or taste) the gift. It brings to mind the best of the Christmas spirit.
It was based on this sentiment that my husband Ben and I attempted to make 2011 a good year in the Bergstrom household for gift-making. My husband is a carpenter and has been blessed with a great shop he can use at work. As for me…well, I have no specific talent or workspace, but I do have a willingness to try!
Ben spent a good number of his December evenings working on these projects for family:
An 8” x 10” chalkboard – so fun for the kitchen or living area! Ben used cedar fence planks left over from our summer garden to make the frame. The backing is thin masonite from the local hardware store, painted with leftover chalkboard paint from when he made a larger version of this for our kitchen.
Coasters: I love how simple these are, perfectly accentuating the beauty of natural wood. Ben made three sets, experimenting with leaving or removing the bark based on the type of wood and finish. He found the oak logs at his workplace – a camp set in a pretty valley just west of Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
Napkin holder: This one is super fun. We agreed it looks like an alien. Last year, Ben made coasters with this white finish for his sister and brother-in-law, and they had requested a matching napkin holder. The dowel rods and tiny log cross-sections tie this together with the coaster design. Lift up the tamp and you can fit a good stack of napkins in here!
Here’s the crown jewel: a lamp! Ben has wanted to try a lamp for a while, and this white oak log proved to be really beautiful sanded down. The base is also white oak. The wood has two coatings of paste wax, buffed before it dried completely to ensure smoothness. We cheated on the lamp shade and got it at Lowe’s!
All gorgeous, right? Stay tuned for Mer’s creations next week. I can’t wait to see more from these two!