Today, I’m taking a break from talking about what we do away from home to fill you in on the happenings that take place inside our home. We love to travel and go for adventures, but sometimes we’re completely torn by our opposing dreams: on one hand, we’d love to just spend our time traveling the country, the continent, the world; on the other, we have a desire to live “off the grid” and be homesteaders in the middle of nowhere. As fun as traveling is, there is no comforting or cozier feeling for me than to be at home with my husband and puppy and enjoy the simple life that we live. I’m sure there’s a way we can try to accomplish both, either together or at different points in life, but for now, neither dream is an option. Our commitment to the military determines where we live, and we’re learning to be flexible and embrace that. But that can’t stop us from doing little things with what time we have now to pursue the dreams we have!
What we’ve done in our 2 ½ years of marriage to prepare for the possibility of homesteading has mostly revolved around food. In Tucson, we practiced canning, dehydrating, freezing, and otherwise to preserve food. I feel like I have the chance to practice this every day through meal planning, grocery shopping, and how I prepare food. As soon as we moved into our home here in SC, we started our first garden (and while we’re skeptical that it’ll actually produce anything, I can say for sure that it’s been a real learning experience and someday when we’re professionals at this we’ll fondly remember all the seeds and plants we killed while learning… 😉 ).
The other big thing that Curtis has been practicing and we’ve begun investing in is woodworking! In case you didn’t know, not only is my husband dashingly handsome, incredibly intelligent and extremely hardworking, he also is very gifted and experienced in manly things such as construction, electrical, fixing things and furniture making! Growing up, his family was always working on something in their home, and he learned so much from his dad that by the time he was a sophomore in high school, he finished his family’s basement!
Now, we’re of course renting a home so there’s no fixing-up or anything that we can do, so he’s staying busy with building furniture for our home. When we first got married, we basically got the bare minimum that we’d need for furniture off of Craigslist or at consignment stores, knowing that someday we’d replace it all with beautiful, homemade furniture, designed and constructed by Curtis. He started a couple projects before we got married using his dad’s shop and tools, but when we were living in our apartment he had to take a break from that due to lack of space and not having the tools he needed. As soon as we were all moved in though, we went out and found the tool of his dreams – a Shopsmith Mark 5 – bought it used, and turned half of our garage into a shop. He’s been working hard in his free time, and I’m so proud of him and all he’s learning and how he’s improving. I’ll do more posts like this to show off his creations, but today I’m highlighting the 2 finished projects that he started before we were married: our coffee table and bedframe!
OUR COFFEE TABLE
During his first year of college, Curtis started doodling and designing a table top using weird angles and shapes. He’s not the type to do things the easy way; he knows what makes for quality furniture, and wanted to build something that was completely unique. He started working on this during the summer after his freshman year (2012), creating the table top, then finished the base the following summer before our wedding. This walnut and elm table features a 9-sided top with 6 legs for the base. He cut each piece of the top individually with a jig he made for the Shopsmith and glued them all together, then finished by sealing with polyurethane. Tada!
I love this so much – it’s without a doubt the most beautiful piece of furniture we own. I’m going to have to give our cheap futon a makeover so that it’ll actually look decent next to the table (and by that I mean make it so that it’s not such a sight for sore eyes that draws your attention away from the table). Stay tuned for that post. 😉
OUR BED FRAME
Curtis began constructing the bed frame in the months prior to our wedding. While he was purchasing the walnut wood for the base of the table, he saw some beautiful cedar wood that he couldn’t walk away from. It was totally an impulse buy, but he soon decided that he could use it in a headboard. He got my opinion on what I liked in headboards, then went to work on the project, going by a plan he found online and modified to match what we liked. He made most of the bed with ash and used the cedar as a colorful touch. He was only able to finish the head and base boards before we moved to AZ, so the project sat unfinished in our living room for the 2 years we were there. (But we still found a way to utilize it – we would sometimes use the baseboard upside down as a gate to keep Charlotte in or out of the kitchen! 🙂 )
After setting up his shop here in SC, he got the remainder of the wood he needed, messed around with the framing, then finally sealed it with polyurethane and finally – we have a big fancy bed! If I had to change anything, I’d pick a comforter that’s less busy and doesn’t draw attention away from the bed – haha. But I can be content with this for now – I feel so lucky to be married to such a talented man. I love seeing him put in his time and effort into something he’s so passionate about. 🙂
Right now, he’s working on making us a table. If you want to watch his progress, follow @squatchis on Instagram.