Marshall Family Bean Bag Game

December 30, 2015

Nat Anna Bean Bag Game - CopyNat Anna's side of bean bag game - Copy Kids side of bean bag game - Copy

  • Walnut and mixed hardwood trim on birch plywood, painted with acrylics and marker
  • 36″ x 24″

A Bean Bag Game for the Nat and Anna Marshall family
A woodworking project painted with images of the Marshall kids on a lily pad. Behind them are two Zimney cousins plus lots of cartoon characters that color their imaginations. The parents’ portrait is inspired by Grant Wood’s American Gothic painting. The surrounding landscape shows a world of plenty and plenty of fun.

Another bean bag game I made for the Zimney family can be seen here.

Kitchen Countertop

January 31, 2014



  • Mixed hardwoods; mahogany, walnut and maple. Inlays are maple and walnut.
  • Size 85.5″ x 13″
  • NFS

This is one of four wooden counter tops that I’m building with the guidance of Jay Hindley, the ever patient and knowledgeable instructor in my woodworking class. The wood is recycled hardwood semi-truck flooring and the maple was once a gym bench. A small amount of trim work is still to be done, but I’m so pleased with the results, I’m posting. Another post shows a dining room table using the same materials. That table began as a counter top, but after deciding not to use wood around the sink, it was redesigned and now sits in the Zimney dining room.

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  • Walnut, Mixed hardwood, Maple and Colored Glass
  • Table size approx. 70″ x 38″ x 29.5″
  • Serving Board size approx. 20″ x 16″
  • NFS

This dining room table follows the American folk tradition and is called a Sawbuck Table. The legs and rail are walnut while the braces are maple. The table top is re-purposed wood; the maple was once a gym bench in a high school locker room and the mixed hardwood, some Brazilian, was once the flooring of a semi-truck. The inlays are maple and walnut edged in colored ink. The rail pins are stained with the same color of ink.
The serving board which slides under the table top, is made of the same wood. The colored glass inlay has an orderly pattern that appears to tumble and the inlay changes to wood.


April 8, 2013



  • Oil on Masonite (Ampersand)
  • 36″ x 12″

Charlie is independent, resourceful and skilled. He planted an orchard, including the American Plum, and raises his own food from seeds he has saved. He is a forester, a sawyer, a builder and a fine woodworker. He is a collector of interesting things and a vivid storyteller with a sense of humor. He shares his gifts with those he loves. Charlie is a fine man.

Note: Charlie died in his home late in 2013; a home he built, filled with the furniture he masterfully made. I was lucky to meet this man.

Hansel & Gretel Dollhouse

Hansel & Gretel interior

Hansel & Gretel Dollhouse, front and rt. side

Hansel & Gretel Dollhouse, side and rear view

Asked to paint a dollhouse for the Douglas County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), I was joined and benefited from the skilled help of family, John and Mindy Huston. My son suggested the theme, and two of my grandchildren modeled. The front facade of the witch lair finds Hansel reaching for a cookie shingle while the witch peeks out the cottage door. Gretel has pulled a gumdrop from the wall to eat. The back side of the house is dark and stormy. The interior has bats, spiders, black cats, a jar of eyeballs and all things creepy. Hansel has been fattened in his cage and Gretel acts to save their lives.

CASA, which benefits abused and neglected children, raises fund by selling chances to win a large dollhouse. To support their efforts, please go to the CASA website. or visit the CASA office, 1009 N.H., Suite B.

The Hansel & Gretel dollhouse, along with other donated dollhouses, was sold in a silent auction at the 20th annual CASA Playhouse Celebration July 16, 2011 at the Lawrence Arts Center.

Wood Stacks

December 29, 2010

Made from rough 1 3/4″ walnut, finished with olive oil, these wood stacks were gifts for two fire loving men in my life. The cutout wooden forms on the top were drawn by my grandchildren, Maxx and Naomi, painted in acrylic and varnished with polymer. I inserted a dowel to mount them.

Bean Bag Game

April 27, 2010

Varnishing Laura and Dan's Bean Bag Game

Salmon Enter the Columbia

Salmon Run in the Columbia River

  • 2 – 36″ x 24″ panels
  • Acrylic on Plywood

I’ve constructed and painted a Bean Bag Game for my daughter, Laura, and son-in-law (to be), Dan. In late spring, the inaugural game will be played at their wedding celebration on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge (note the heart). The salmon won’t be running yet, but the motif was too good not to use. The bean bags still have to be made, so I’ll add a picture of the game set up on site later.

The object of the game is to toss a bean bag to the board which is set up 30 ft. away, aiming for the hole in the board for 3 points. A bag on the board scores 1 point. The first player to reach 21, wins.


November 9, 2009

Cutting Board with rocks and glass

  • Serving Board
  • Walnut and Maple with inlaid stones and glass
  • Approx. 8″ x 14″

Creating illusions with paint is my thing. But I’ve always enjoyed functional crafts too. I taught pottery for years and have been known to weave. Now, I’m playing with wood. The woodworking class meets every Wed. night at the high school shop, where I’m guided through projects by a patient, game and excellent instructor named Jay Hundley.¬† I wanted to try inlaying rocks and glass in wood. The rocks, Rob and I purchased at the only rock shop we could find along eastern Oklahoma’s Hwy 59. The glass beads are from the Marble Factory in Bonner Springs. Maple and walnut slabs were taped together before an organic cut was made with a band saw. Initially I used a dremel tool, but quickly switched to a router to make a bed for the rocks and glass inlays. After the epoxy has dried, the glass and rocks can be run through the sander. I learned to do it slowly, taking my time, because rocks and glass¬† will overheat and crack.

The two pieces of trim wood from this project gave me the material for a baguette board seen below. Both projects were finished using tung oil.
Serving Board with Glass Inlay

  • Baguette board
  • Walnut and maple with inlaid glass bead
  • Approx 4″ x 14″
Let's See What Happens

Let’s See What Happens

Today Maxx, Naomi and I fed fish in the pond, waded down Rock Creek, balanced on logs and watched a snake sunning. It was exhausting good fun. When Rob returned from taking them home, he gave me a hand drawn heart and said it was from Maxx and Nomi. I’m rewarded.

The picture: As an amateur woodworker, I’ve learned that making frames is no easy task. The beautiful mahogany came from a friend and the glass bead inserts (look hard at the frames’ bottom horizontal) are something I’m experimenting with. Nomi marbled the background paper and she and Maxx added their hand prints. The picture and story, a gift for Anna’s birthday, were inspired by a walk in the woods with Maxx and Nomi.

The story:
Let’s See What Happens.
Not far from their house
Maxx and Naomi follow the river trail
into the dark woods.

“Be still,” whispers Maxx,
A strange clicking noise
is coming from a tree along the path.
“Trees don’t click”, Maxx says,
Naomi points to a colorful
orange, black and white bug.
(Cream Spot Tiger Moth)
“I think that bug is afraid of us” Maxx
says. They decide not to move and
the clicking stops.
(Cream Spot Tiger Moths make a rapid
clicking noise to scare away attackers.)

“I know! Let’s stand here,
listen, watch,
and see what happens” Maxx says.
Naomi agrees.

Before long a fluttering sound
announces a flock of butterflies.
(Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly)
They swirl around Maxx and Naomi.
One lands on Naomi’s pink dress
while others collect on the nearby tree.
Naomi gently lifts the butterfly onto her

A twig breaks under the hoof of a passing
deer as she leads her fawn to the river to

A dragonfly darts along the trail, stopping
to hover above Maxx and Naomi’s heads.
Maxx raises his finger
and the dragonfly (Twelve-spot Skimmer) lands.
Maxx and Naomi take a close look at the insect.

A sudden splash makes them jump.
An eagle skims the surface of the river,
and lifts a fish with his talons.

“I have an idea,” Maxx tells Naomi,
“next time, let’s bring our chairs.”