What We’re Working On – Nov 21

What a week! Snowstorms, parkas, winter boots. It feels like mid December, not November. For any of you in Buffalo, I hope you’re digging out, that you don’t get rain and flooding this weekend, and that the Bills stadium will be rid of its snow so they can get back to playing there sometime soon.


Enough about snow! Here is what we’ve been working on this past week.

Progress has continued on Project Nelson. The bench frames were assembled (using lots of clamps!)

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While El Granto was working on cutting the frames, I was outside sanding the bench tops. It got a wee bit cold last weekend in Canada, so I was sporting a parka & snow mitts while sanding away.


Boy I wish we had a bigger workshop! There just is not enough room for a motorcycle, woodworking tools & me sanding two 7 foot long benches.

We also learned that our new shop heater could not be run at the same time as say the miter saw or the table saw… guess 200 amp service to the garage is on the wish list. Cause you know, turning the heater off every time you need to use a tool is not my idea of practical. The wee little heater does a good job of warming the air, but the cold concrete floor in the garage is still a load of trouble. We need to get some sort of flooring in there to keep the cold from transferring up through our feet. Any recommendations? Do those rubber puzzle piece flooring mats do anything? Does such a thing as insulated flooring exist?

Last weekend we also celebrated our good friend Josh’s birthday. It was a heck of a good time, that included some beers at Steam Whistle Brewery, and a trip to the Gentleman’s Expo.

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You may notice most of the boys are sporting moustaches. They are raising funds for mens health as part of Movember. You can see their team the Lip Wigs here, and if you’d like to contribute, check out El Granto’s fundraising page.

When the weather turned super cold & snowy, I moved down to the basement and got started on a couple small concrete projects using the new 10lb mix from Buddy Rhodes. I’m super stoked with how they turned out, and hope to have something to show you early next week.

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This is going to be epic, it just doesn’t look that way right now. You will never guess what I’m making with a dollar store Christmas cookie tray,  an old plastic screw box, and a jar of Vaseline.

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The Vaseline was something I had on hand and is just there for weight purposes. Before you ask me why I have Vaseline in my basement,  you use Vaseline as a mold release. I just don’t randomly keep a jar of Vaseline in my workshop. I’m not that weird.

Wednesday night out of nowhere the city got hit with a snowstorm, that made commuting a nightmare. I braved the weather and headed to my local Target (Stockyards) for a Red Card event.

A Target Red Card chocolate. I only wish I could shop with it AND eat it.

They had a bunch of cool activities set up, such as a makeup consultations, a nice gentleman making ice cream in a Vitamix (seriously), a fashion designer who would do a sketch of you etc.

The fabulous Jen from Rambling Renovators was giving out styling advice. I even caught this behind the scenes shot while she was about to give an interview.

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Oh and loved this Holiday table setting! Those candlesticks are fab, and who can resist that dapper deer sporting a mink stole.

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The highlight of the evening however was a book signing with Sarah Richardson for hew new book Sarah Style. Sarah is one of my design idols, and I was super excited to meet her and get my book signed! Such a fangirl!


So that’s our week in review. What have you been working on?

We have a bunch of work on the docket for this weekend, and I will be sharing a great handmade gift idea for you on Monday. Have a great weekend!

What We’re Working On – Nov 12

I have a new weekly feature on the blog starting today! It’s going to be called “What We’re Working On”. As we often have a bunch of larger projects on the go, our updates and project reveals are a long time in the making. As such, you don’t really see what we’ve been up to, and what we’re working on. This will be a weekly update with a quick check-in and summary of what we’ve got on our plate.

So here goes!

We are moving ahead well on the dining table & benches for Project Nelson. The table top is built, and this past weekend we got started on the legs after a quick stop to change the table saw blade. The new blade is an awesomesauce Freud blade. Once you switch to Freud blades, you will never go back.

Installing new freud table saw blade

With the new saw blade installed, we did all the kerf cuts for the table legs.

El Granto making kerf cuts on the table stretcher supports

The legs are notched out for the stretcher support to fit in, as well as the stretcher support is notched for the stretcher. (lots of gibberish I know, but it will make sense when you see it.) El Granto kerfed away on the table saw, while I removed the kerfed slices of wood, and cleaned up the joints with a chisel and an orbital multi tool. (check out this post from a previous table build to see how kerfing/notching the legs is done.)

After everything was notched, it was all assembled.

Assembling the table legs and marking for the dowels

We made the dowels connecting the legs to the stretcher support visible for an interesting detail. El Granto then spent a morning sanding down the legs, and they are now ready for stain.

Sanded visible dowel joints

I am also slowing working away at the powder room. I got a print of a vintage 1930’s Toronto street barber, and set out to framing it. It’s not going so well. Love the print, but the framing situation is off the mark. The mat either needs to go, our the frame (or both!)

framed barber print

Last weekend we added a couple new things to the workshop. We picked up a small heater (this one). This will hopefully give us a bit more time to work in the garage. While picking up our heater, El Granto happened to stumble on Shop Vac’s on sale, so a new shop vac came home with us as well. This lil yellow fella will be a sawdust vacuum, and spend his life hooked up to various tools in the garage, in an effort to control the sawdust issues a bit.

Assembling new yellow shop vac vacuum

I arrived home to a super fun delivery last week. Jeremy from Buddy Rhodes sent me down some of their new 10lbs mix. Cant wait to try it out, and show you what projects I come up with.

Buddy Rhodes 10lbs artisan concrete mix

So that’s what we’ve been working on this past week. What have you been up to?

Backyard Update

The backyard project is coming to a close, I promise! If I get some decent weather and daylight, I will take some pics of the daybed to share with you guys. As the big stuff is checked off the list, we are now working on all the little stuff. The last 10% that always seems to take up 80% of the project timeline. Here’s what we’ve been up to: Continue reading “Backyard Update”

Bring It, Weekend!

I am counting down the minutes to the weekend. This one is going to be EPIC.

We have El Granto’s Mum’s SUV and a very long to-do list. When I say very long, I really mean it. We’ve started tracking our home to-do list, broken down into tasks on a project manager website called Trello. Our Backyard & Balcony lists are almost off the page. It gives me anxiety just looking at them.

However, we are making some progress! (even above and beyond our progress here.) We made all our outdoor fabric choices, and I ordered all the Sunbrella fabric for the whole backyard.  We’re talking new curtains, a daybed cover etc. As soon as the fabric arrives, we can get started sewing. Little secret… sewing was the first DIY I ever learned, and I almost went to school in Halifax for textiles. However, since we moved to the Storefront, I haven’t gotten a sewing machine out ONCE. Literally, I have not sewn a single thing in over three years. I hope I’m not too rusty, and I still remember how to make cording, and how to sew a zipper panel.

Here is what our weekend plans are:

Till backyard, and plant grass & clover seed.

Finish pathway.

Dig garden beds, edge and plant.

Buy lumber for deck pergola.

Build pergola.

Buy & install new exterior lights.

Install new door hardware.

Paint Doors.

Wash deck.

Finish this little outdoor side table project I started this week.

Bonus Project: We got a Bagster! This means we also hope to clear out all the reno debris and junk in the garage. [yeah, we still have reno debris from our kitchen reno, yikes!] We cant wait to get rid of all that junk.

Once the debris is out of the garage, El Granto can get to building a new work bench, and we can get permanent homes for some new tools we acquired over the winter (and we even added a few more new ones this past week.)

What have you got planned for the weekend? Wanna come over and lend us some muscle?