Dad’s Denim Jacket and Templates

I often write about my parents, the love they shared, their creativity and the skills they helped all 5 of us kids develop. Today my dad is in the forefront of my mind. I miss him a lot. I have tons of memories of my dad, and my favorites are of us working on a project together in the shop. In most of those shop memories, he’s wearing an old denim jacket, and he’s covered with sawdust. That denim jacket has lots character; it’s got a few colorful stains from painting and staining wood, and a few dime-sized stiff areas that are wood glue remnants, and it is color-worn where the collar and cuffs fold, but I love that jacket, and now I wear it whenever I need to have him with me.

Me in Dad’s jacket

Here are a couple pictures of my dad.

My dad passed away in October of 2003, and when my mom was giving us the things that he wanted us to have, she gave me two large crates of old backer-board and cardboard templates he had made
over the years. Whenever there was a wood project that we had asked him to cut out or build more than one of, he made a template. Those crates, filled with templates, have traveled from our childhood home in Las Vegas, Nevada, to my parents retirement home in Yakima, Washington, and then clear across the country to Montgomery, Alabama, and this is where they were eventually given to me.

Recently I re-organized my garage to make room to work on some large project pieces and had to move those crates. I pulled them out from under one of my work tables, where they were covered with my saw dust. Well, I had to clean them up. Piece by piece I laid them out in three piles.  Pile one – the things I wanted to make soon. Pile two – Things that I wanted to make in the future. Pile three – Things I had no interest in making ever again, which ended up being a very small pile that my sister asked for. I managed to get things organized into the largest of the two crates and found a safe place for it.

Here are a few things we made a long time ago, that I recently made for my open house. Some of them will be available at

This is a crow we did, as a bank, but recently I made them to sit around in my house and garden.
You can’t see them in this picture but it has cute little wings that can also hold seed packets!

A cinnamon and sugar pie that holds measuring spoons. 
I made several colors and have different spoon designs too!

Our wooden version of a cast iron pan makes a great paper plate holder.

I like some extra details on the front so I hand painted this Autumn scene.

My tip for you is: MAKE A PATTERN OR TEMPLATE!! Someday you may wish you could remember how you did something. Having a pattern or even a drawing, kept in a safe place, will help. I keep large sheets of cardboard around to make my patterns. 
Thank you for joining me on my walk down memory lane.

Living and Celebrating Autumn all year!

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