Category Archives: Jason’s Woodworking

Christmas Moments

I hope you enjoyed Christmas with your loved ones. Jason and I had a (mostly) nice holiday. Celebrating Christmas three times is always a bit much for me. As an only child with a very small immediate family, I grew up celebrating one time, Christmas Day itself, in my own home.

Christmas Eve eve was spent with Jason’s dad. Christmas Day was spent with Jason’s mom. Christmas Eve was our at-home celebration with my mom and grandma. We fixed a huge meal for just four people – maple-glazed ham, hash brown casserole, garlic mushrooms, scalloped carrots, watergate salad, and biscuits. To top it off, Jason made mint oreo truffles. We have a lot of yummy leftovers.

Whenever we host guests at our house, Thea and Bailey make themselves the center of attention. Christmas is no different.

Thea becomes overly affectionate towards guests, in this case my mom.

Bailey was just content to lounge.

Gift-wise, Jason and I did very well. The highlight of the gifts I received was snowshoes. I have been asking for snowshoes for a few years, because I really want to try the sport. Now, I have a pair of very pretty snowshoes in their own case with coordinating poles. All I need is some snow, which we are still without in Southern Wisconsin.

One of the gifts I gave to Jason was a set of chess pieces for the board he and his dad made years ago. It is a beautiful board that I have made the centerpiece on our dining room table, so it’s wonderful to have the pieces to make it a functioning game. Jason is teaching me to play. I’m not doing too badly, but I have yet to win.

It has been a nice and relaxing way to spend our evenings, making for the perfect end to a very hectic year.

Let There Be Candlelight

I’ve said it time and again: I love my backyard! I’m sure I’ll love the backyard of our future home just as much – hopefully even more. But this backyard is pretty cool, in large part thanks to Jason.

As promised, here is the chandelier he built to hang from our pergola over our dining table on the deck.

Jason and I got our hands on a bunch of mason jars last summer, and we decided to use them as candle holders around the deck. Shortly thereafter, in one of the many catalogs we get, I saw a picture of a backyard that included a chandelier. I wanted one! Around the same time, in another catalog, I spotted a photo of hanging mason jars with candles in them as a backyard lighting. (I’m surprised Jason hasn’t started burning every catalog that comes into this house.) An idea was born!

Jason designed and built this creation from scratch!

What I didn’t take a picture of is the base of each jar – it’s open on the bottom. While not a lot of light shines down, there’s just a little hint of it when the candles are lit.

We haven’t “used it” used it yet, but we will have to change that soon  🙂

In other backyard news, Jason got started on a new project, one from our initial, but now revised, project list for this house. Time to start getting things where we want and need them to be when the time comes to sell…

We are expanding the fenced portion of our backyard and adding a new gate. We probably didn’t think through the fence as much as we should have when we put it in. For some reason, we ended it along the back staircase of the deck instead of at the back corner. I don’t know.

Backyard 2011

When we planned on adding a garage and new driveway on the south side of the house, we figured we’d expand the fence the meet the new structure. Since those plans were scrapped, things have sat as they are. That’s about to change.

The new posts are ready for fence.

As part of the expansion, the gate you see will be flipped to the backside of the fence. It will then lead directly to the backyard instead of the side yard.

Once this phase of the project is complete, we will be adding a gate to the portion of fence that runs along the top of the driveway (between the house and the shed in the picture above). This will be a little trickier and will take some strategic planning, but I think it will make our yard feel better. I never realized how much not having a garage would impact day-to-day life. Needless to say, I would love for our future home to have garages up the wazoo  😀  Or at least just one.

I will have more pictures to come!


Jason’s Project: Pergola

One of Jason’s most recent projects was a pergola over the top level of our deck. Despite their growing popularity, we have found that few people know what pergolas are. A pergola is basically an arbor. They often support vines, providing a shady place to rest, and they are common features in Italian gardens.

I desperately wanted a pergola somewhere in our backyard. Jason was the one who finally conceived of building it over our deck.

Here’s a picture of the back of our house as Jason began to build the pergola. (We were in the midst of a tree removal project at the same time.)

Pergola Project 1

Pergola Project 2

Since our deck sits in the blazing sun most of the day, we are developing a plan to rig up some kind of shade using outdoor fabric. We would like to create a retractable shade very similar to one we have seen on a pergola from Plow & Hearth.

Retractable Roof Pergola

For now, we are simply enjoying the new addition to our awesome backyard. Come on over if you’d like to sit back, relax, and enjoy our own personal great outdoors.

Pergola Project 3

Pergola Project 4

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