Friday, April 28, 2017

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

My son's favourite song is George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" ... I too love this song and would listen to it on my parents' stereo with the headset on when I was in my teens ;)

My son Kevin is turning 19 next month. He's been playing guitar since he was eight years old. He still plays with the same instructor, John, except now his lessons have become more of a jam session on Friday evenings. It's a nice friendship that has built up between them, and John has shared and encouraged my son's love of music. I doubt the guitar playing will lead to anything career wise, but when I walk past Kevin's room and hear him quietly playing guitar along with something on youtube, it lifts my heart.

Kevin has collected a few guitars over the years. His first guitar was tiny ... and blue. It fell apart a year or so after we bought it, but it really was just a toy. We then bought him a three-quarter size acoustic guitar when he was still small. He then bought himself an electric guitar with money earned from his paper route. A couple of years ago we bought him a full-sized acoustic guitar ... something he could play around the campfire. 

In a woodworking class Kevin took in grade 11, he decided he was going to make an electric guitar. His dad was all over that since he enjoys woodworking himself. The plans quickly started to take shape with Kevin doing all the work, and my husband helping him use the woodworking tools here at home when the shop tools at school weren't adequate. He decided to have a veneer of "tiger maple" or as my son prefers to call it "flame maple". This refers to the grain of the wood. He knew what colours he wanted the guitar, and with this vision in his head he got to work.

This is what he finally finished for the woodworking class (above). I know. It didn't get finished before school ended that summer. You can sort of see the ripples in the flame maple that are skinny lines from side to side of the wood. It's a veneer glued onto the solid wood backing, and it was all cut out and sanded and sanded and sanded. The shape is modeled after a Fender telecaster, but with a slightly different shape. 

What with one excuse and another, the guitar was left in this state for quite a while. Finally, Kevin and my husband picked up working on it again. It has been the most agonizing thing Kevin has worked on with respect to the finishing details. He decided it would be dyed (not stained) black. Many a youtube video was watched to figure out all these details. He dyed the guitar, sanded it, dyed it again, wasn't happy with the finish, sanded it right back to bare wood, dyed it again and again! He was so particular about it and it was driving me crazy to see him come upstairs after working on it and explain to me all the agonizing details. Then the hardware had to be purchased ... another drawn out process to get exactly what he wanted at a reasonable price. He purchased the neck too since he'd read they are really tricky to make and he didn't feel he wanted to get into that with his "first" guitar.

Happily though, the guitar is now finished ... and it looks spectacular! 

I really have to get it outside to take a decent photo of it with my phone :[ but here are some shots that I took in the late afternoon sunshine ...

The flames in the maple showed up so well with the dye. Kevin was thrilled with the final results. There are so many coats of varnish on this thing that I lost count. He even had a plastic tent set up in the basement to keep any tiny bits of dust from falling onto it between coats. 

The pick guard isn't exactly what he wanted, but these are interchangeable, and he may find something that he likes better later on. He really wanted a bright red pick guard, but I personally like this reddish wood look myself.

He took it in to show John last week, and between them they got it all strung and tuned to perfection. I think they both enjoyed the process as John had a few little trade secrets to share.

three favourite guitars
I was going to take photos of all the different stages as Kevin worked on this, but I was afraid of dropping dust on any of the finishes, so I just took that one and left it alone.

Now Kevin is talking about what he's going to do with his next guitar ... oh boy!

Thanks for stopping by today!


Thursday, April 20, 2017

May Garden ... Last Year

This spring seems to be off to a bit of a slow start. I was admiring my friend Amy's gardens on her blog yesterday, and kind of wished our gardens were as far along as hers. I looked back through my photos of my gardens last spring, and these photos were taken on May 11, 2016. It's still a couple of weeks' difference, but there is nothing in my garden yet except for one flower. So here are some images of what the gardens will hopefully soon look like again.

Well that has cheered me up a bit.
Been a crappy day all round.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

10th Teacup & Mug Exchange

Today is reveal day with Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose for her
10th Teacup & Mug Exchange!

Thank you so much Stephanie for organizing this fun event where many blogging friends are created through the exchange of a teacup or mug. There is so much work involved to make this happen, and I really appreciate all that you have done with pairing us up and keeping everyone happy and informed.

I didn't know who was sending my own teacup until the day it arrived all the way from ... the Yukon!! How exciting it was to see the address on the box when I picked it up! Jennifer was my partner here, and she blogs at My Cubby Crafts. I really hope you visit Jennifer's blog as she shares lots of interesting things happening in her life in the far north.  I've been enjoying reading back through her posts to get to know her better. 

The teacup Jennifer sent is just perfect for me. A lovely chocolate brown with a simple pattern on the side. I've been using it quite a bit! It's such a nice big teacup and the saucer is roomy enough for a cookie to sit on the side.  I have a couple of "Brown Betty" teapots, and this teacup looks great with them. Jennifer crocheted a couple of doilies for me as well. One is shown under the teacup below.

Don't you love the shape of the teacup & saucer!

... and this is the other doily ...

The blue and brown look so nice together :)

The card enclosed was made by Jennifer herself, and it's just so pretty! 
Tiny crocheted flowers, pretty lace and lovely distressed paper with birds on it.

 There were some chocolate fingers added, and they went so well with my Earl Grey tea!


The tea came in this sweet foxy tin.

I've enjoyed everything that Jennifer packaged up for me. Thank you so much again Jennifer for your thoughtfulness and care in these beautiful gifts. It's really nice to have met Jennifer now through our blogs, and we seem to have a lot in common.

see the tiny fox paw print on the lid ;)

I received word that Kelly at Homespuns ' n Hayfields would be the person receiving a teacup from me. I have known Kelly through our blogs for a little while now. Here are a few collages of what I sent to Kelly.

I embroidered Kelly's blog name onto a piece of muslin set
in an embroidery hoop. I added some country flowers & buttons.

purchased tea towels with a cotton dishcloth I knit up

The tiny birdie creamer fit perfectly into a bunny box

the teacup fit perfectly inside this bright yellow gift box

I knit up a "coffee cozy" for take-out coffee/tea

Kelly collects Ironstone, and I saw this gorgeous pitcher when shopping for her teacup.
I scooped it up without a second thought ;)

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Be sure to hop over to Stephanie's blog to see what other's are sharing today in this exchange.



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Spring Crafts for Kids

I hope you all had a nice Easter weekend. The weather here was wonderful, but I spent all my time indoors. I've spent all my weekends for the past month dealing with stuff for my dad, and this weekend I had to concentrate on my own income taxes for my daycare business. A tedious chore that I'm sure no one enjoys, but it's pretty much ready for the accountant now. So Easter weekend was not what it used to be. It used to be a traditional Good Friday hike with my entire family, usually somewhere along the Niagara Escarpment where my parents used to live. Then it was an Easter dinner on the Sunday at my parents' place. Really missing all of that now, but hopefully some of these family traditions can be revived in coming years.

In the days leading up to Easter I did a few springtime crafts with the daycare kids. I wasn't really into the whole Easter holiday at all this year with my dad having recently departed, but I enjoyed working on these easy things with the kids. I didn't put much out for Easter decorating in the house either, and I realized too late that I didn't get out any of my decorated eggs that my own kids worked on many years ago. I'll be more into my game soon ... hopefully by the next holiday which is Canada's 150th birthday! Onto the craft ... these are just some small wicker wreaths I picked up at the thrift store last year. I cut out a bunch of large felt flowers, circles and butterflies for the kids and they glued them all together. The small flowers were purchased at the dollar store.

We also made these cute bunny masks with big pom pom noses. I didn't have all the colours I would have liked with the foam sheets, but they turned out not too bad. I only remembered to take a photo of one of the masks before the last child headed home on Thursday afternoon.

I like to give the kids a few chocolate treats for Easter, and normally for the babies and toddlers I will add something handmade like the little knitted rabbits I made a couple of years ago. I posted the pattern for these in a separate page which you will see on my sidebar.

But this year I wasn't on top of all this stuff and didn't have time to make even one knitted rabbit. I just stuffed a few stickers in the small bag for the little guys, but did quickly make a couple of bookmarks for the two school-aged kids who are avid readers.

Just a short post today. Tomorrow be sure to stop by for the teacup reveal with The Enchanted Rose teacup exchange! See my sidebar at the top for details. Have a great day folks :)

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