The number one reason I went to the NAME convention this year was for the opportunity to take workshops. I was happy with the ones I chose, though there were many others that would have been great as well (choosing was tough). But there are only so many days, so many hours. Below are photos of what I made, plus kits I bought that I’ve started to put together. (Click photos for larger versions)

Corner Cupboard (Class with Shannon Moore)

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The cupboard is made with cherry hardwood. We scalloped the shelves, fit everything together, installed the working door. It’s a lovely piece. I finished it with paste wax (though in these pics, it’s unfinished).

Arts and Crafts shaving stand (Class with Shannon Moore)

This Arts and Crafts stand was a half-day class, the wood again cherry. Drawers and door are working, mirror swivels on its stand.

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I finished this one at home, adding the final hardward and mirror, and finishing it with varnish and paste wax. The finish brought out the richness of the wood.

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Inlay hall table (class with Pam and Pete Boorum)

Probably the most challenging class, but I learned a lot and came out with this beautiful piece of furnture! We did the inlay of ebony and cherry on the top (mitering the ebony border and then the cherry border around that was…interesting). We also cut all the pieces for the table, including tapering the legs using a jig on the power saw. Drawers are working. The hardest for me was using the router (shaper) to put the lip on the table top. I’d never used a shaper before so I wasn’t sure how much pressure to put on it (or not put on it).

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Hepplewhite Dressing Table (class with Shannon Moore)

I signed up for three classes with Shannon Moore, and I’m glad I did. I learned so much! This class was a Heppelwhite dressing table, also a challenge. (The toiletries case on top is a separate kit I bought from Lisa Engler).

The table is made of cherry and mahagony. We learned to curve the drawers to match the curve of the table, apply veneer, and create the look of inlay by sandwiching. There was much sanding! I brought the table home and finished all the sanding then finished it with varnish and paste wax. Came out beautifully!

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Kits!

I went a little kit crazy in the sales room. Found lots of nice kits for accessories in all scales. I started pulling out one kit a day and making it (time permitting–sometimes it goes to 2 days). I decided that there’s a difference between collecting and hoarding, so I started making the kits. 🙂

Regency era toiletries box

First, the kit from Lisa Engler called “Napoleonic Influence.” Because I write mysteries and romances set in this period, I was attracted to it right away. It’s a very cool little kit, making a leather box with bottles, hairbrush, powder boxes, shoe brushes, and nail and teeth cleaning. I can imagine this belonging to an army officer, looked after by his valet or batman.

I thought it would look great on the Heppelwhite dressing table, since the table is from the same period.

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Secret book and Vintage sewing display

These two kits caught my eye, because they’re so unusual. The “Secret Book” is by the Betterleys, and the vintage sewing display I bought from Dorothy’s Doo-Dads.

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The Secret Book is a cool little “I wish I’d thought of that” kind of thing. It makes a little box that looks like a book, with a tiny room that slides in and out. They come in two sizes, a larger one, and this one called “A Teeny Weeny Secret Book.” It’s about the right size for a 1″ scale book, and so can be a knick-knack in a 1″ house. (I put it on the fireplace mantel of the bedroom of The Blue House B&B). I bought one of the larger ones as well, which I’m looking forward to.

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The vintage sewing accessories shadowbox has a tape measure, scissors, a wooden spool of thread, ribbon, lace, buttons, and more. It all goes together in a little frame–I hung it on the wall of the downstairs hall of the Blue House B&B.

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I keep reaching into the boxes of kits–good stress relief on a busy day.
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The number one thing I took away from the woodworking classes was–don’t be afraid to sand! I hear over and over not to sand too much in case you ruin the square of the piece, but I think it’s made me too timid. I sanded the heck out of the ebony / cherry inlay until it was smooth, smooth, smooth, and I bet I could have done even more. If I hadn’t sanded the drawers of the mahogany / cherry dressing table like crazy, I never would have finally made the curve it’s supposed to have. After all the sanding, the finish made the wood rich and smooth without coating it (if that makes sense).

I learned *a lot* in these classes, incuding things I didn’t know I didn’t know. I plan to take more classes in the future, whenever I’m able!

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