New Ideas, Variations and a Very Different Possibility

New Ideas: Smallish planters of various shapes

This idea originated as another use for a construction method known as “birdsmouth construction.” This technique is used to build cylindrical (think long tubes) masts and booms for small boats (although it is used for some quite large – 40′ masts). You can see why it is called “birdsmouth” from the illustration.


I have been experimenting with the technique and decided that one of my test pieces could be repurposed as a planter, specifically for a cactus. But discussions with the intended recipient lead to the idea of different shapes – octagon, triangle, square (cube), and rectangle – only one of which uses the birdsmouth technique.


And so, a line of small boxes – these could be planters or just containers for stuff (the cylinder will make a nice pencil holder) – is in the prototype development stage. Figuring out sizes, construction processes and sorting out details.

Variations: Adult Beverage Flight Tray

Browsing the internet, I saw a good idea. Thinking about it, the concept morphed into a “new and improved” variation of the Whiskey Shot Flight Tray I made this past winter.


As this new variation develops, I’ll share the process.

A Very Different Possibility

My sister contacted me about building a “chalk box” for an artist friend of hers. He is a very talented artist who does some amazing sidewalk art with chalk. The box he is using now is, apparently, on its last legs and he is looking for a replacement. We’ll get together mid-week to discuss what he wants and need. This is an exciting opportunity to improve my box or dove-tail joint skills. I’ll share the progress of this project.

Oh, yes… winter is definitely on its way out!

Winter is almost gone

We’re back from a pre-spring break in pleasantly mild Atlanta! Warm, sunny days are quite soothing to a winter-weary soul. Winter is lingering here in Michigan – snow is still on the ground but spring is on its way out and winter is almost gone…

The break was good on so many levels:

  • A warming of the heart and soul
  • New ideas/designs for WoodDot Designs
  • New concepts and boat-building techniques that may carryover to WoodDot Designs
  • A new, albeit barely discernible, platform for this blog
  • A creative decision to do some cross-blogging and,
  • Finally, perhaps a clearer idea of where WoodDot Designs is headed

New project ideas are percolating and prototypes will be coming out of the workshop soon.

Good Enough?

That always seems to be the question, “Is my stuff good enough?”

Maybe that’s why I haven’t promoted my Etsy store very much (or at all) other than an earlier post. I’m not convinced my stuff is good enough.

We all seem to do this, questioning our own work, to some degree or another. For some it is merely a passing thought on their way to their next masterpiece. For others it can be debilitating. I’m somewhere in between those extremes.

I was given a nice reminder today that no one’s work is good enough… at first. But things improve with practice (which reminds of what I often told my children but which I seem to have forgotten: Practice, practice, practice.) Whether it is good enough in the marketplace doesn’t seem to matter as much as whether it is good enough for the creator. What I see in my mind’s eye doesn’t seem to come out of my hands – but I see improvement. My second boat is “better” than my first boat; today’s coasters are “better” than last year’s; and today’s napkin rings are “better” than the first ones I made three years ago.

So, I see improvement over time and that improvement keeps me going. One of these days, my stuff will be “good enough” for me! In the meantime, I will Practice Practice, Practice!

By the way, according to the calendar, Spring is only 20 days away…