It has been an AMAZING weekend! It was a big long but I don’t get many legitimate weekends (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) so I took full advantage of it!
Thursday was completely off because I needed to catch up on laundry and take some photos for you guys. I basically stayed inside all day except when I took the dog out.
But FRIDAY! Friday!
On Friday I said goodbye to my old Jeep and purchased this beauty:
THAT my friends, is a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with pretty much every feature I could have possibly asked for. My FAVORITE thing is the proximity key which allows me to just have the keys close to the Jeep and it will unlock AND start. There is an actual key in case all else fails but I doubt I’ll need to use it much.
- Heated seats? Check
- Heated steering wheel? Check
- Auto Start? Check
- Backup camera? Check
- Satellite Radio? Check
- Input for any sort of device? Check
- Panoramic moon roof? Check
It is by far the most luxurious vehicle I have ever driven much less owned. I’m so, so happy with it and I’ll give a full tour of it later on but check out my Instagram for a few video highlights.
So that took most of Friday.
Saturday was spent taking a woodturning class down (up?) in Baltimore. I took it because I wanted to see what it was like before I posted this Wednesday’s post about handmade things. I was sitting at my computer writing about how I had never tried woodturning and then pretty much just decided to sign up for a class. I found Mark Supik who has been turning wood since the 1970’s. He gives one day classes focused on turning bowls. It was….interesting.
It was a bit more scary than I thought it would be, mostly because of flying bowls. Also, it was really, really easy to mess up a bowl and just ruin it.
We started by talking about the basic concepts and then essentially chose bowl blanks (pretty much just rough cut log halves) and began smoothing them out:
This was the end result of just smoothing it out. see how the outside is rounded and has no splinters? In this photo I hadn’t done anything to the edge yet. You do that last.
Then we started working on the bottom of the bowl. This is where it got a little bit difficult. Since bowls are supposed to be rounded on the sides you have to be very careful when shaping the bowl so that you don’t just get a tube. That raised round bit is called a ‘tenon’ and you use it to carve the inside of the bowl. It holds the bowl blank steady in another grip so that you can carve out the inside.
Unfortunately, I got carried away with the process and don’t have any more pictures after this point. You smooth out the bottom, shape it, then turn the bowl around so that you can access the inside. Then you scoop out the insides of the bowl.
While you’re scooping out the insides it is very easy to send the bowl flying off of the lathe. And when I mean flying, I mean spinning off into the person standing in front of you. The lathes were set up so that this wouldn’t happen frequently but I did get hit twice and eventually got a little bit jumpy to the point where I would stop working on my bowl when my neighbor started making funny noises with his gouge tool.
Don’t let this discourage you from trying woodturning though. I’m just going to take the last lathe in the line next time so that I don’t get hit by any more bowls.
But you’re also going to send bowls flying. Despite my best efforts my bowl flew around at least five very frustrating times.
The owner of the shop, Mark, was extremely patient and I could tell that he’d pretty much seen everything there is to see when it comes to new people turning bowls. Despite the entire class throwing things all over the place he never lost his cool.
Lunch was provided – sandwiches from a local deli – as was breakfast and as much coffee as we could drink.
Each student was able to make as many bowls as they could finish but most of us just finished two. Some people accidentally broke their first one so they only took one home.
Here are my two finished bowls! The bowl on the left is the bowl I completed first. As you can see, the walls are thicker and if you were to look at it from a lower angle you’d see that it has a very weird shape. I mean, it is a bowl, it is just wide. The one on the right is the second bowl I made which turned out much better until I got ahead of myself while carving out the middle. I accidentally gouged the bowl (and couldn’t get rid of the mark) and sent it flying which cracked the rim. You can see on the left side the wet looking spot? That’s where a piece was glued back in.
I’m not sure where to display them yet but I really like them, even though they’re pretty quirky. All in all, I’d say the class was a huge success and if you’re interested in woodturning, absolutely look up a class near you! I’m going to go back and do it again before I strike out on my own. The fear of flinging my bowl into the air has made me forget how to hold the tools appropriately.
And that was my weekend! I’m staring down the barrel of six, twelve-hour days – 72 hours of work. I signed up for it three months ago when I forgot what it felt like. It’s going to be okay, just long.
I’ve got three days of yoga this week which includes some new classes I’ve never tried before so I’m looking forward to that. I also signed up for a 5k in March (for St. Patrick’s Day) so I started running again. I did 1.30 miles today. Going to run that for about one more week and then go up to 1.40. In theory you can go up 10% of your distance every week which means the distance should get higher as I get more consistent. I’ll write about that later on though.
Have a great week, everyone! Any plans you’re excited about? Leave a comment below! I’d love to hear about them!
Also, if you don’t already follow me on Instagram, find me at @watchlizgo and give me a holler! I love seeing other people’s Instas!