Category Archives: Inspiration

Taming your stash

This post was written by Mary Elizabeth O’Toole

Every artist that I have ever met has a stash of materials that exceeds what they could use in a lifetime.  It is hard to resist the lure of new material to turn into a work of art. We all see the potential, the future possibilities. What crafter or artisan has not acquired source material because it called to them, or felt good in the hands, or was a gift, or was a really good deal – or was just too beautiful to resist? Continue reading Taming your stash

Tech Tuesday: Back to Basics

This post was written by Mary Elizabeth O’Toole

Last week, Stephen introduced our Tech Tuesdays with musings on the importance of thinking about why and how you select a particular tool to develop or enhance creativity and/or the artistic process.  I don’t always share Stephen’s enthusiasm for technology and rarely am motivated to just play.  As a result, when I consider a technology option, it is most frequently in pursuit of a particular solution.  It is not often I am tempted by the toy factor. Continue reading Tech Tuesday: Back to Basics

Something Whimsical

Today’s post is written by Stephen Parsons.

People who are new to woodworking and those who view it from the perspective of an external observer may think of woodworking as being somewhat an homogeneous field of work. But there are many styles and perspectives of woodworking; what appeals to one woodworker may not particularly appeal to another. Continue reading Something Whimsical

Tech Tuesday: Technology – Tool, or Toy?

Today’s post is written by Stephen Parsons.

During the Holidays, the subject of acquiring a laser cutting/ engraving system came up several times and it has me thinking about technology usage in artisan work. As a woodworker, I work wood. But to make wood into something functional or creative or artistic, I need tools to help with that conversion. Continue reading Tech Tuesday: Technology – Tool, or Toy?

Fun from

Matthias Wandel is a favourite resource for us. His website, and his YouTube channel are fun and full of clever ideas. Stephen discovered Matthias some time ago and turned me on to him so now we are both regular viewers. Every week he posts new articles and videos to share some very creative work.   Stephen has made wooden jigs using patterns and is going to write a post soon on the very cool box joint jig he made. Continue reading Fun from

South Shore Road Trip

I spent the day on the South Shore of Nova Scotia with a number of members of the Atlantic Woodworkers’ Association (AWA)  watching some skilled trades people .  What a time we had.   I have often wished that  I had learned woodworking much younger and today really wondered if I am too old to start an apprenticeship.  Probably a little ambitious at this stage of life so I will have to be content with working in the home woodshop – and admiring the work of artists like we saw today. Continue reading South Shore Road Trip

Month of learning

I’m excited!  I just learned about the Craftsy October All Access Pass.   It is the first time that I have seen something like this on ths site.  For a limited time, you can buy a one month pass to any of Craftsy’s 800+ classes.  It looks until you have until October 6th to register so pop on over to take advantage.  It don’t know if there are a limited number of passes available so you’ll want to pop on over quickly to take advantage.   Until the end of October, you will have full access to all classes, including being able to ask questions of the instructor on their interactive platform. Continue reading Month of learning

Not feeling inspired?

Now that fall has officially arrived, time to reflect on the summer.  The past few months have not been as productive as hoped.  This has many causes – low energy, limited inspiration and the usual glut of distractions.  Whatever the reason, my output was not as high as hoped and my organizational efforts have failed to create an acceptable level of results. Continue reading Not feeling inspired?

Hacking Becksvoort

Today’s post is written by Stephen Parsons.

In the August edition of Fine Woodworking Christian Becksvoort presented an article on making a traditional Shaker laptop writing desk. His version uses dovetail joinery and features a small drawer at the side of the cabinet to house a tiny inkwell.

In spite of my propensity to blog from time to time, I don’t consider myself much of a writer, but as an erstwhile (or maybe lapsed) artist I thought this might make an interesting kind of laptop desk for a painter. Our recent trip to Italy (and especially our time on the trains) made me realize how useful such a product might be to the travelling artist. Here is my version of the laptop desk. Continue reading Hacking Becksvoort