Friday, 15 May 2015

Marmora Farmer's Market This Weekend!

Seven months is a long time to wait. Throw in a particularly long, cold winter and it seems even longer. Far too long to be away from friends and community.

The long wait is over (or will be tomorrow). The Marmora Farmer's Market will be starting tomorrow, Saturday May 16, with an official kick off event next weekend. The market will be open to the public from 9am to 2 pm, but feel free to come by early.

The market is held at the park in Marmora, next to the tourist information building.

Looking forward to seeing everyone, both vendors and regulars alike.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

New Product: Maple Ridge Jewellery

My last post showed a fairly large project. Today I want to show some samples of some very small ones.

The news: Maple Ridge Creations will be trying a line of natural wood jewellery this season. How wide the product line is and how long they will be available will depend on the response, but we're hopeful.

The hesitation: Some of you know that we have made minor attempts to enter the jewellery market before but there have always been large drawbacks: it takes a lot of time to accurately cut small shapes and to finish them nicely; jewellery is a glutted market often with multiple vendors at a show; and frankly, our early attempts weren't all that great (I think it's a virtue to recognize one's own failings and shortcomings and to learn from them).

Hopefully this stuff is a bit different. We feel the quality is pretty good and we're sure you will too. Here's a few samples.

Spalted Maple Teardrop Earrings

Staghorn Sumac Earrings

Spalted Maple Live Edge Earrings

Spalted Maple Rectangle Earrings

Butternut Burl Cookie Earrings

Cherry Crotchwood Pendant

Butternut Burl Live Edge Pendant

That's just a small sample of what's currently made and what we have plans for. Feel free to share your thoughts or questions with us at or just come and see what we have in stock.

I will be at the Marmora Farmer's Market this Saturday, open from 9-2, at the park. See you there.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Projects: Big...

Well gentle reader, it has been a long time. We'll have to make it a point to get together more often. In the meantime, welcome back.

Hopefully I'll be showing off some exciting new products in the next few weeks, but today I want to share a project I did almost a year ago.

Typically I do a lot of smaller projects. I've done bookmarks and key rings, and due to space constraints, the largest thing I normally travel to a market with is a bench or small table. But that doesn't mean I'm constrained to small, only that big doesn't always fit in my van...

A little over a year ago I was contacted by a local who was interested in having some renovations done to their new house. A number of different projects developed, but since I only have pictures of one, I'll stick to that one. I was asked about bookcases. Easy enough, I thought. I'd made bookcases for myself and small ones to sell. She wanted them to be adjustable. Not a problem. Use a jig for drilling holes and get some shelf biggie. She wanted them to go from the floor to the ceiling and from one wall to the other. Alright, her ceiling slopes up from the's only an angle, no problem. Getting a bit on the big side though.

After a couple consultations and some email exchanges of ideas to make sure we were on the same page, we had come to a few more particulars:

There was an electric fireplace downstairs that she wanted to fit into the shelves.
Instead of going all the way to the outside wall we would stop about a foot and a half away from the wall and put a row of shelves at a 45 degree angle to make things feel a bit more open.
The bottom row of shelves would be fixed, while the others would be movable.
The top would have a bulkhead to cover the angle of the ceiling.

Before we get to the finished photo I need to admit that I did not paint the shelves myself. The customer had hired a professional painter to do a number of surfaces in the house and he handled all of the painting very well.

That said, here's what the final product looked like. My apologies for not having a before picture.

I am not a professional contractor. I am not licensed, or even insured. I have no staff apart from myself and my wife (who does not come to the job site with me). What I am is a full time woodworker. What I do have is integrity and a desire to make customers happy.

If that sounds like something you're comfortable with and you have a project around the house you'd like to consult me on, and you live within about an hour or so of the Madoc area, feel free to email me at

Of course the real question to ask is, "Was the customer satisfied?"

I went on to build two more bookcases and a coffered ceiling.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Last Minute Gift Ideas

 Well, it's official: my craft sale season is over for 2014. No more formal shows or events until 2015.

Of course, that doesn't mean that you've finished all of your Christmas shopping!
Here are a few ideas for gifts. This is not an extensive list and I've not shown any puzzles or toys since I've posted lots about them in the past.

Please keep in mind that if you're not local to the Madoc area, shipping will take some time, so please order promptly so we can get it to you in time for Christmas.

I will not be writing much about any of these things, just showing a price. For more information on a specific product, or for shipping information or special orders, please contact me at

Outdoor Cedar Bench $115

Classic bench (price based on size)

Spiral Candle Holders $15/pair

Guitar Wall Clock $35

Walnut Mantle Clock $45

Spalted Birch Bowl (sold)

Maple 3 Candle Holder (sold)

Maple Bowl (sold)

Stepped Candle Holder $15

Mahogany Broken Heart Candle Holder $15

 Butterfly Book Ends $25

Fish Bowl $15

Word Art Coat Hook $30

Hummingbirds $15

Horseshoes $15 each

Hummingbird Pedestal $20

Dachshund Bookend $15

Men Book Ends $15

Horse Napkin holder $15

Wolf Mini Clock $45

Rearing Stallion $30

Most items are available in custom colours and finishes. Obviously this is not an exhaustive list, but it might give some ideas. 

I am not doing regular production until after Christmas, but I will work on custom orders. I cannot guarantee shipping arrival times for any items, but I can arrange priority shipping which should make North American deliveries (in most places) before Christmas. 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Wild Horses

I posted one of these a long time ago, but I think it's time for a revisit. 

People, as a rule, like horses. Not everyone is an aficionado or zealot (though I can think of a few people I know), but there is something about the strength, grace and beauty of a horse, as well as the sense of freedom they exude (and impart) that we tend to gravitate towards them naturally. Even if someone doesn't like to ride them, almost everyone likes to look at them. Speaking of which...

Wild Horse $30 each (discounts or orders of 3 or more)

Isn't that better? Now that you've had a look? 

These ornamental horses (no, you can't ride them) stand just under a foot tall. Made of high quality baltic birch plywood, they are stained and available in a wide selection of colours with a matching solid pine base. 

How many colours? Too many to have in stock at once. Multiple shades of brown, black, reds and lighter wood tones. Made to order, with discounts on bulk purchases (beginning at 3 or more). Inquire to get more specific pricing info. 

A quick heads up for this coming weekend. I will be in Oshawa at the Shriners Club at 1626 Simcoe St. North, Oshawa, from 10am to 4pm. I'll be there a lot longer than that, but those are the hours of the bazaar. The event is hosted by Milestones Christian Center. 

I'd also like to give my thanks to Maggie and the staff and volunteers of Dawn House in Kingston for their show this past weekend at the Kingston airport. My apologies for not getting the show advertised on the blog, but thanks ladies, for a great event. Dawn house if South Eastern Ontario's only homeless women's shelter and it was great to be a part of their annual fundraising efforts. 

Monday, 8 December 2014

Custom Bathroom Stool

A couple weeks ago I was asked if I could make a bathroom stool. I assured the inquirer that  I had in fact, made many stools of various sizes and for various purposes and that since I had children of my own, a child's bathroom stool wouldn't pose a problem. 

She then asked if I would be able to burn a name in the top. Again, I answered in the affirmative. Within a little while we had the whole thing straightened out. 

These pictures were taken prior to finish being added in order to avoid glare. 

The customer was very happy with the results. 

Available in a wide variety of colours, either with a name burned in or without. They are also available as blank stools, which would be great for the application of folk art or other custom decoration.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Custom Name Puzzles

Custom puzzles have been popular lately. I've already shared a couple of customized dog puzzles, but custom staining is only one way of customizing a puzzle.

I've had several orders for puzzles with children's names burned on them and below I've attached images for two of those.

While most puzzles I do can be made to have between 3 and 15 pieces, typically a name puzzle will have fewer, depending on how many letters are in the child's name and the shape of the puzzle. Generally these end up as more of a keepsake toy than a regular play toy. 

All of the animal shape puzzles in my regular inventory are available for custom lettering. If there is an animal (or other shape) you think would suit better then please feel free to ask, and if possible, I'll make that shape. The honeybee, hippo and a few others have come about as requests from customers. 

With Christmas coming up fast, it's not too early to order something special for the children in your life. You won't find these on the shelves at Wal-Mart!