Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So long ago

Has it really been that long since I posted on this site? A lot can happen in six months! One of those being the birth of Brookside Creations, an artistic partnership between a woodworker (me) and a quilt artist (the wife). To the left of this blog, you should see a small Etsy mini shop. Clicking anywhere on that box will take you to our Etsy location, where you can directly purchase furniture, quilts or any number of accessories. Don't see what you want? Feel free to ask about having something created just for you (or for a friend or loved one). We'll be happy to work with you!

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Plan, Procrastinate or Plunge???

Do you ever think about how you work? Does it have to do with who you are and how you generally approach your life? Are you able to justify your particular work traits logically? Do you even give a rip?? Sometimes I look at how I accomplish (or don't) certain tasks and it causes me to pause and reflect on whether or not I put my efforts into planning to the point of it becoming procrastination. And still, when I commence work, I usually work at a decidedly good clip and in a "straight line". Which brings me to the title question...Do you plan, procrastinate or plunge. For myself, I find that I do a little of all three at various times but mostly I'm a "plunger". Now you may lay the "semantics card" on the table but personally , my definition of "planning" is probably a bit different than yours. I "plan" almost entirely in my head. (This is where my wife gets into the semantics thing and will accuse me of procrastinating.) While many woodworkers view planning as a multi-step preliminary to actual commencement of dust creation, my planning rarely requires putting pencil to paper, no hi-tech, extravagant software generated cut-lists or multi-paged, exploded view printouts. I prefer some of the simpler forms of planning.....napping and showering being two of my favorites. Both can produce excellent ideas or serve to work out the kinks of ideas dreamed up earlier. Plus , of course, there are the added values of rest, refreshment & cleanliness. (Hey...you multi-task your way........) Aside from a few hen scratchings here & there to get an idea as to the quantity of lumber I might need, I personally find measuring and calculating all to be a part of the actual construction phase of any given project and best utilized when getting to the point of needing said computations. No, for me planning is all about visualization and if I can truly visualize it before starting , then I know I'm good to go and I know that the piece is going to look in the end exactly how I visualized it before starting. This brings me to the point of procrastination. There are times when even the best intentions are sidetracked for viable reasons.....lack of time due to commitments, lack of funds to purchase materials for the project or being sidelined by illness. But if you aren't facing those things, you are failing to commence simply because you are lacking confidence in something (likely your ideas or abilities). That unfortunately is procrastination and we need to move beyond it. And yes, I, myself still procrastinate for those very reasons on occasion. But the actual joy I most often receive is that of The Plunge. Once I find my mental visionings to be complete, I really can't wait to see them come to fruition if for no other reason than to be able to say, "See Self....right again!!! Just as you visioned it!!!" Does all this mean that you will never have to stop along the way to work out a detail here & there....of course not. But what you will usually find is that you now have something in progress that you can reference to. Example: If you're a "paper-planner", how often have you designed a table with "x" amount of overhang of the top only to find that what it looked like on paper (while to scale) looks nothing like it should in reality? Hmmmm.....x + 2" looks better. So, what's my advice in all this?? Put the paper, pencil and tape measure away for a change, get a handle on your inner procrastinator and take the Plunge! Hey...you may wake up rested and have some great ideas! If not....hit the shower!!

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

So Many Sites....So Little Time.

Being in the woodworking business and building a lot of custom furniture, I try to stay abreast of as many things as I can that pertain to my line of work and running my business. The Internet is certainly a great tool for helping with that but at the same time it can overwhelm. I suspect that there is a little ADD in all of us but generally speaking, I'm a pretty organized guy and with so many choices laying in wait at every click of the mouse, I often find myself wandering off in directions not originally intended. "What was it I was doing? What was I looking for again????" When it comes to heading off into the WWW, I find myself recalling the old riddle, "How many kids with ADD does it take to change a light bulb?" ...Answer: "Let's ride bikes!!"

But alas, if we remember that life is about the journey and not the destination, we can all hopefully return to our homepage none the worse for wear despite our seemingly out-of-the-way forays into the left fields of life. I often recall a columnist from some years back by the name of Sydney Harris. You may remember him as he was syndicated and numerous papers ran his pieces weekly. While he wrote on many subjects, he had a recurring "theme" column that he included every few weeks entiltled "Things I learned Enroute to Looking Up Other Things". That pretty much sums up my quest on the Internet more times than not.

For example, while looking for art furniture makers and studio furniture artists, the likes of Todd Fillingham and Jamie Yocono , I run across a link to another artist of a whole different bent, Kevin Connolly. Go to Jeff Gitomer's site to bone up on some business insight and from there you'll end up in one of dozen other places who each in turn.....you get the idea. Just remember, you started out looking for handcrafted furniture at my website.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Furniture...Just the Right Size

Sometimes your dining room table works just fine... other times, it won't hold everyone it needs to hold. Such was the case with ours. Two parents, two sons, their girls, grandchildren, parents... holiday time found us crammed around a table that would barely hold all the plates and glasses.

Voila - a new, longer table that holds everyone comfortably. Made from curly maple, the new table is long and sturdy with more delicate legs than we had before.

If your dining room (or kitchen) table doesn't work, how long will you put up with it?

Measure your table, measure the room and space it goes in, and consider having some custom furniture made that will make you - and those you love - much more comfortable. You deserve it!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Time To Open the Windows.......

.........or a polite way of saying, I'm gonna vent here a bit. Let me begin by wishing everyone a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year! The operative word here would be "prosperous". If you are like many across the land right now, you may be feeling the sting of the last years' many financial crunches and are not entirely certain about what lies ahead in the coming months of 2008. It's an election year which if we ascribe to the many fine tenets upon which this nation was founded, we should be thrilled. But reality says that we more likely will simply become sick of and disgusted with the bickering and the mudslinging and the constant innundation of TV and radio spots long before November arrives. Living here in Michigan has not been "pretty" in recent months.....no, make that recent years. While it is one of the nation's unique states with regard to shape, beauty and features, it's also somewhat of a unique state for many less than positive things. We have been plagued with governmental, in-house condescension and bickering to such a high degree that one finds oneself feeling afoul of the law with every slip of the tongue that makes reference to our government "leaders". Quite simply.....They Don't Lead!! Recent statistics show Michigan to be THE only state in the Union showing population decline. Thousands of people are walking away from their homes as they either have no jobs, have been caught in one of the many mortgage or lending fiascos, or simply need to be able live. Prosperous is a word that has taken on new meaning in recent years and unfortunately, it has a somewhat hollow ring to it of late. In many ways, "survival" is the new "prosperous" and that is just sad. I have always felt that while I have never gotten particularly rich from the work I have chosen, I have "felt" rich in being afforded the oppportunity to to do what I wanted and to some degree, being able to pick and choose how I've run my business and the types of jobs I've taken on. I also have come to realize in recent months that I've likely taken many things for granted over the years. The past couple of years has pointed to some grim realities. I have had many commercial relationships with businesses that have dealt in specialty facets related to the kinds of work I perform. And while I may not have made huge amounts of money from any one of these businesses, all tolled it was usually a substansial part of my annual gross. But it was also the the constant source of networking that paid off well in an ongoing way that was something money couldn't buy. But little by little the ripple effects of a poor economy have all but forced out an alarming number of these small, independent businesses not unlike my own. It hurts and it's damned scarey. I have been one of the forntunate few remaining in my area and while I continue to have work, it is a constant struggle to stay afloat. Clients who have jobs with an employer (rather than being the employer) continually fail to recognize that they, in fact, are MY employer when they hire me to perform my services for them. There are days when you want to scream at them when they fail to pick up completed work in a timely manner......." HEY....Don't you GET it???? YOU are my paycheck!!!!!" Would you stand for it if your employer blew you off for three or four days (or two or three weeks) after your payday because they "were going away for the week- end" or "I've been kinda busy." While I still very much love the work that I do, I find it harder and harder to like the "business". Unfortunately, I fear that the times will get worse before they get better. I'm a firm believer in the workings of God and the power of prayer. I pray that you are too. We can all use all the help we can get. Let me know if any of this strikes a cord. I'd hate to be simply labeled as a "crank".

Friday, January 04, 2008

Mahogany Dictionary Stand

Mahogany Dictionary Stand-
Private Client, Flushing, MI

This dictionary stand was made for an elderly client who had always toyed with the idea of “doing a little writing”. Her husband had passed away in recent months and she decided it was time to get on with it. The piece was nicely proportioned but not quite as tall as what one might expect a dictionary stand to be. Though a bit shorter than normal, the piece actually appears considerably taller if the client is next to it as she is of diminutive stature.

Overall, a nice piece with classic lines, an additional shelf and functional accessory drawer.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Customized Furniture... Just for You!

You’re looked for just the right piece of furniture, but can’t find what you want – or the right size piece to fit where it needs to go. What do you do?

Commission a custom piece of furniture built to your size, color, and wood preference. The first time you come into my shop, we discuss your needs, style preference, likes and dislikes, and talk about the other furniture in your home. It is helpful to have photos or sketches of what you’re looking for if you already have a good idea of what you want. If you don’t have these, it’s okay! It also helps to know rough (or precise) dimensions of both the area in which your piece of furniture will go, and the size that you want the furniture to be.

Our first meeting is usually an information-gathering time; a time for you to tell what you want, a chance for me to tell you what might work best and give you any ideas I have. After our discussion, I will usually prepare a sketch , “blueprint” and price quote based on our decisions. Once it is shown to you, and you agree on the style and projected price of the completed project, a deposit is given to begin purchase of materials and start construction. If your new furniture needs to match the color of other furniture in your home, you will be asked to bring in a sample of your furniture (like a drawer front) so that I can specially prepare the right finish for your wood.

When your new furniture is close to completion, you will receive a call and/or email giving a finish date for pick-up.

Quite often, people think that having a piece of furniture made especially for you is very expensive, but that’s not usually the case. What you end up with is exactly what you want, in the size you want it, and in a better quality than what you can normally buy from the store. Your new furniture will last for generations, and will be something you will be proud to show off to your friends and relatives.

In essence, Wood… Works. Check out the commission pages on my website, http://www.moseyswoodworks.com/ and see for yourself what other people have had specially made for their homes. Then, start dreaming!

If you have any questions or if you already have an idea in mind, please feel free to contact me at the studio... 810-659-9801 or send an email.