Wow, what a large gap between my last post on June 12 and this one today July 26th. Not because I’ve been lazy, or bored with doing this, and not because I just did not feel like writing. Instead, we had a family emergency and because of that, we’ve been extra busy….Read More
My husband Steven has found great satisfaction since moving to Florida by taking the woodworking skills he learned from my dad . . . and then applying them to making something he knows well and loves: kayak paddles! Steven recently sent what he described as "the best paddle he ever made" up north to the wife of a very dear friend of ours, Garth. His wife Nora is the kayaker in their family! Garth was the best man at our wedding in 2005 and Steven & I have both known him forever. I was just 14 years old when I met Garth, and Steven and I originally met in 1972 because of Garth! Here’s what Nora had to say after using Steven's handmade paddle for the first time . . . the direct link to the video is here if you don’t see it below: http://youtu.be/h6nSq1rrS_A
We so enjoyed received this short video from them!!! When Nora speaks of the paddle being effortless, I believe she is talking about how lightweight the paddle is, making it easy to power her boat even in winds and not get tired. Steve's paddles weigh between 20 and 28 oz, which is very light weight, but he also makes them strong.
Here is Steven in action, making a paddle in his shop . . .
He uses skills my dad taught him . . .
yes, I gave him my bone folder for this part! He's preparing to airbrush . . .
I have put together a series of videos sharing his airbrushing and finishing process. He’s actually painting the paddle he sent to Nora in these videos. Links are below":
Part one: getting started airbrushing
Part 2: more of the process (many layers)
Part 3: finishing the paddle
I filmed and produced these videos at Steven's request and you can sometimes hear me in the background! It was fun to do and I learned a lot about filming & editing. Below is the paddle rack Steven built outside his tent shop at Lucas Boatworks. My dad would be proud! In fact, that is my dad's John Deere tractor. Steven uses it all the time.
The photo above shows what I did with foam block stamps on a table Steven recently made - stamping in progress.
This stamping was modeled after what I did 15 years ago, on the table shown below!
We both really liked the original table but our home in Florida is much smaller. The living room is especially tiny! So we came up with the idea to re-size some existing pieces and remove others. A boot bench is already gone. We don't really need it here!! Steven offered to make a new table. My job would be to art it up! Steven's beautiful table below.
I got out my stash of decorator Glaze and cosmetic sponges.
I like mixing the glaze right on the stamps.
I practiced on a piece of painted scrap wood first, to get the feel of it.
my first stamp . . .
a few more are added . . .
I added gold spatters too! (I just can't help myself)
A day to let it dry, then Steven sanded the legs and prepared to coat the whole thing with epoxy. I really like the way he designed the legs.
After the epoxy treatment, it came home to our living room. It’s difficult to photograph because it is so shiny, but you get the idea.
I love it! This new table fits so much better. Thank you, Steven! xoxo
My husband Steven started making handcrafted, custom made paddles earlier this year. It was a natural thing actually. He was a white water kayak guy for many, many years and he still loves flat water paddling.
He always tells me that the paddle is your connection to the water. When we moved here, he spent much time with my dad learning woodworking skills he never had before, so he was in perfect alignment for this. I believe his paddle making started with my friend Cheryl Wilson, who gave him the idea to make a stand up paddle (SUP) for paddle boarding. Here’s Steven with his first hand crafted paddles on December 31st, 2011! The SUP paddle is hanging right next to him.
Here's me and cheryl with her finished SUP paddle on January 7, 2012
Since then Steven has been perfecting his skills . . .
He has even gotten out his airbrush and tried various kinds of wood and techniques.
His paddles are purposely extremely lightweight, weighing only 20-25 ozs. They are also very beautiful.
These paddles are practically dripless (no water on your lap when kayaking) because of the way Steven shapes the paddle blades; see below. He uses tools that were my dad's to make these including some tools that dad made, keeping dad and all he taught us in our hearts and in our spirits.
The blue speckled paddle above is Cheryl's new kayak paddle!
I have just finished editing and producing a set of videos that show Steven's process of airbrushing a "night sky" / star design. One day I went to Lucas Boatworks where Steven spends time working on these paddles and other boat related things and filmed him as he worked. I will embed this first video here. There are 3 videos total and you can find them here on my YouTube site if you so desire a peek into his art! I am obviously very proud of him. There was a lot of raw film that had to be edited and I had to learn how to do it . . . but I did not mind the work at all. xoxo
I am taking a stamp carving class with Julie Balzer and originally wrote about what I did in lesson 4 here, in case you missed it. This particular lesson is about creating a series or set of stamps to use together. At the beginning of the video Julie showed us a banner shaped set she made with a cute little flat top, but then she went on to make a chevron set with a pointed top for the actual lesson. I really liked the banner shape and decided to make my first set that way. While I love this cute set of stamps I made . . .
I wanted to have a little fun with some photos of our pups Asia and Chloe, so I made a slideshow video, below. And wanted to share this drawing of Asia here is by my husband, Steven Deming (smile) . . .Read More
One of the paddles Steven's holding is the kayak paddle he made for me. The other one is the stand up paddle he made for me with the special 'S' design, xoxo. This is all for when my arm is better and I can go kayaking again or learn SUP! Unfortunately, I over-stretched my shoulder and arm in a yoga class on February 1st - that long ago. My doctor says it's tendinitis, which is really no fun and slow to heal. It is very difficult to not re-injure my over-stretched tendons in just regular everyday movements, but I am trying. Steven had tendinitis once when he was a whitewater kayak-er and tells me it could be 3 or 4 months till it is healed. argh.
The last time I posted I showed you Steven's test piece with Lumiere on a small piece of prepared wood. Since that was successful he tried the technique on a canoe paddle he recently made from extra wood, which you'll see below . . .
Earlier today I was shocked to discover that this blog and my creative swaps blog and another blog I have set up but not published to yet (a photo blog) were truly removed from the world wide web!! When I went to the blog addresses I saw a page that said they no longer existed and had been removed. I questioned blogger via a form and sent in a verification code they text messaged me. After an hour or two, my blogs were back again. When I was asked to verify myself blogger said something about unusual activity on my sites . . . I don't know what it was (the solar flares?? a spammer?) but I am glad to have them back, especially this blog. It is a 5 year journey of my art and life. I really would have been okay without it, but I am glad it has returned!!
|Dallas Chandler Foster and Elizabeth Kee Porter Hood|
October 1, 2011