Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cat Castle-plans and discussion

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had a safe and happy holiday. Our holiday was enlivened by the arrival of two very cute orange tabby kittens that we adopted on Saturday and here is a photo of our new princes:

These guys have rough history between them: they and their mom and litter mates were abandoned on a farm in Farmington, Minnesota shortly after birth and these two guys had very, very bad eye infections. They recovered from the infections and a veterinary ophthalmologist examined them and certified that they are both healthy and their eyes are normal except for a small amount of vision loss. The infections also left their eyes a little cloudy and while their mom and litter mates were adopted out, no one wanted these guys because of the cloudiness. So they've been in a foster home for several months.

We had been wanting to adopt a cat or cats as we missed our old cat who passed away several years ago and we especially wanted a cat that was either older or had special needs and who would have difficulty being placed. We saw these guys on line, discussed it for several days and contacted the shelter and officially adopted them on Saturday. So our tribe has increased by two.

Cat Castle-Plans and Discussion

As these guys are going to be inside cats, they need something to play on so they can get daily exercise so I decided to build them a cat castle. We have a small deck with several bird feeders and a large window to watch the birds from so we thought a tall cat castle that is high enough for the cats to perch on would be just the thing that they need. So here we go:

I am going to use some plans from Cat Tree Plans. com and you can see the castle I'm planning on making here at: As the plans are copyrighted I can't share the details with you but you can see some of the steps involved. Here are two photographs of the parts that I've cut out:

The plywood panels will be the shelves where they get to sit and the 2x4's will be the supports. I started screwing the supports together when the battery in my drill fizzled out so I had to stop but I will have more photos tomorrow for you to see. And we have to find a 9'x7' carpet remanent some where to cover it with.

So more tomorrow.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays

Hi Everyone,

Well, it has been cold and snowy here in the upper Midwest and we're going to have a white Christmas with friends and family.

I would like to take a moment to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday Season and a terrific New Year.
It's been a difficult year here in the US and I hope we all have a better year in 2013. And thank you for looking at the blog this year. As always, we have more adventures ahead.

Here for your listening enjoyment is the Nutcracker Suite with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, a great holiday favorite here in the US:

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See you all soon,

Best Always,


Friday, December 14, 2012

In Memory

In memory of the students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School

Photograph by Douglas D'Urso

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Finishing up some projects

Hi Everyone,

Well, it's cold in Minnesota but we've had basically no snow since the beginning of November. It looks like we're going to have a brown Christmas this year. I love the snow and the cold and the change of seasons, but ice is something I can live without so I'm not terribly upset about this.

Here are a couple of updates for you all:

First of all the Blue House bowl was one by a colleague of a friend of mine. I'm not sure of her name and I don't have a photo as of yet but I'm assured we'll have one later this week so stay tuned.

Red Maple bowl

I absolutely love red maple wood. It is got a nice closed grain, lovely figure, it holds small detail well, the colors is pretty, and it finishes beautifully. I had a chance to purchase two red maple bowl blanks in October and I'm currently making them into bowls for a couple of friends of mine. I began turning this large bowl this morning and I've finished the underside of it:

I've rubbed oil into the surface and it looks great. I've brought it in to help the finish set as it's too cold outside right now for that. I'll send photos of the inside of the bowl later this weekend.

I've also finished the basswood fruit platter:

It's a lovely ivory color and the surface is wonderfully smooth. This goes to it's new owner this weekend.

I also have another bowl but my camera batteries have died so I couldn't get a photo. I'll get more batteries and send one along later this week.

Just a reminder: I will be closing for my annual shop cleanup and time off beginning right after Christmas and ending at the end of January. If you have a question about any of the postings send me an email.

I'm going to go and make some bread and have some hot cocoa. See you this weekend.