January 19, 2014

A Gift Just Because

Janna has been sick for the past week and I've had to be the lone ranger taking care of her, the house the kiddo and keeping our business going. In the interest of keeping myself healthy and not catching the same thing she has, I've been voluntarily sleeping on the couch all week. So, since she hasn't been expecting me to come to bed, I've been using my time late at night, from about 11pm to 1am, to accomplish some personal projects that I've been waiting to have time for. 

I've finally put together the basics of a work shop in our basement with a work bench and shelves and hooks for my tools, so I decided to put them to good use and do something to cheer up my wife who's been so miserably sick. 

Like most women, she loves to receive gifts "just because." It makes her feel loved and know that I'm thinking about her. She also has a habit of asking for reasons why when I tell her that I love her. "Tell me why" she'll say with a warm smile and a twinkle in her eye and I'll stumble my way through saying something sweet since I'm not very good at expressing my emotions. But with that in mind, I wanted to do something that would feed her desire for loving words and her appreciation for thoughtful gifts and get to exercise some of my own creativity with wood at the same time. 

I have big pile of scrap wood that I burn in our fireplace, but every now and then, I find a good a use for some of the cool looking old cracked and weathered pieces other than just watching them burn. I chose a few chunks from the pile, put them in a box and brought it into our basement and left it there  next to the furnace for a couple days to dry since it had been out in the snowy weather.

I also remembered that I have a few old windows that I had collected for fun projects. I chose one and removed a pane of glass from it. 

I also happened to have roll of burlap sitting in a closet, leftover from a previous project some time ago... hmmm, ideas, ideas... 

The wheels in my head turned and I decided to make a decorative wall piece that I could write her love notes on with a dry erase marker.  I chose a cool looking piece of wood for a backing and laid a piece of burlap over it. The burlap would make for a nice rustic, yet warm/soft look combined with the wood. The piece of glass I took from the window would be the writing surface.

I took some wood pieces from an empty crate of oranges which was pretty close to the same thickness as the glass to serve as a backing for the trim that I would place around the glass. I stapled these spacer pieces over the burlap onto the main backing creating a perfect fit for the glass.

At this point I remembered that I had some black chain leftover from another previous project and I decided to use that to hang the finished project.

I didn't have any wood glue on hand so I applied contact cement onto the wood spacers and the trim pieces and clamped them in place. Also, as you can see here below, I printed out the phrase "I love you because..." on a sheet of translucent vellum paper and then tore it out and placed it and a flower blossom under the glass.

I let the glue set up over night and then attached the chain and the project was done. Ready to be gift wrapped and delivered to my unsuspecting wife along with breakfast in bed.

After almost 6 years of marriage, for the very first time, I succeeded in actually surprising her. She had one of those clutch your chest and say "awww" moments and I felt all warm and fuzzy inside. Then I told her, since she's been sick all week and we didn't really get to have any quality time together, I wanted to do something that would fulfill all of the other love languages. (You know, the 5 love languages? Google it if you don't know...) I said that all in one fell swoop I gave her a gift, an act of service and words of affirmation which will lead to quality time and physical touch. 

Boo yah! :P

I have some more plans for wood projects coming up, stay tuned if you're enjoying these little wood working blogging stories. :)

Now here's Isaac and mommy having a cute moment together...  

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