April, April, April…You had me running like crazy.  Let’s dive in with both feet and rehash what happened!

I started out the beginning of the month with one of my favorite builds to date – a lumber cart.

 I have fallen in love with this thing.  I designed it to work for smaller shops and work spaces.  There are some desirable aspects that I unfortunately had to leave off so I could make it smaller but it still holds a ton!  Much more than I ever expected.  One thing that I almost left off the cart was the rear ledge to hold larger pieces of plywood.  That would have been a huge mistake!

To say it’s loaded down would be an understatement.  After a small bit of use, I realized I needed to make a couple other additions.  I added a handle on each side and a lower set of rings for another bungee cord.  They make a world of difference in securing wood and moving the cart around when it’s fully loaded.

I also did something for the very first time with this cart.  I made my first set of downloadable plans!

You should really check them out.  The cart is super easy to build for any skill level so I’d love to see your version.

The fifth season of the Instagram Builder’s Challenge kicked off April 1st.  I always look forward to the challenges.  If you’ve never hear about it, it’s a challenge where one set of plans is released and all of the participants are encouraged to put their own spin on the plans then submit the pictures for judging.  There aren’t many rules but you only have three weeks to build it.  This season’s plans were for an X brace coffee table.  You guys… I really don’t like X brace furniture.  It can look nice and has its place but it’s a bit over done for me.  I wasn’t going to participate in the challenge for a few different reasons but watching everyone posting their progress got to me and I couldn’t stand it anymore.  I worked up plans to turn the coffee table into a bench and made it simple enough to be built rather quickly.  So, I challenged myself to build it all in one day.  And I did!  Finishing, however, took two days because of dry time.  Since I already had to do X braces, I decided to embrace all of the farmhouse.

I did white paint with stained accents then rubbed an antiquing glaze all over the painted part.  My favorite part of the whole bench is the stacked X’s.  Funny how my favorite part is one of the reasons I didn’t want to do the build in the first place. Ha!  My drawing skills in SketchUp are getting better.  Check out the digital rendering I drew to work from then compare it to my finished bench!

The build window closed Saturday night so it’s just a waiting game until the judges make their decision.  By the way guys…Clint Harp will be examining my work.  Don’t be jealous.  If you want to check out all of the other amazing builds, look up the hashtag #igbc5final on Instagram!

Because I like show and tell as much as any other kid, I want to share with you a couple additional projects I squeezed in this month.  A person I follow on Instagram came up with an idea to make 50 things over the course of a year that only uses items you have on hand.  It could range from using shop scraps to making a new meal with leftovers.  Another maker friend and I have taken it a step further and challenged each other to see who could get to 50 items first.  Here are two I’ve made this month.

The flag transformation was pretty interesting and I’ll be sharing a post on how I did it soon.  For a sneak peek at what it looked like before, check out my posts on Facebook and Instagram.

I also like to find different projects to practice my scroll saw skills (I just had an idea.  I need to devote a month to nothing but scroll saw making.  That would be fun, right? Right??).  Antiqued US cutout on weathered fence boards? You got it!  This was a fun and quick project to use up some scraps.

By the way, LD totally posed there by herself.  Really!  She always feels the need to be right where I am and I wouldn’t let her get in certain areas because of shadows and just plain being in my way so she plopped her plump self down right there.

One exciting thing that I almost forgot about was my website and blog hit one year in existence!

 I learned much more about things I never even knew existed over the last year.  Although I have learned a lot, I have a long way to go to get this thing where I want it.  In order to further my abilities, I signed up for a couple online classes through a local technology center.  I am currently learning how to properly use Photoshop and will be learning Illustrator next month.  Clicking random buttons to figure things out was getting old.  So far, I have learned how to make a tie-dye lamb!

Actually, I’ve learned several things but this was the funniest thing I had to show for it.

Back in January I shared with you guys some goals I had for the year.  One of them was to rent a booth in a local vendor mall.  Well, that goal hit a major roadblock this week.  I learned that the store I was going to rent the booth in is closing next month.

 I’m equally disappointed and a bit relieved.  I was having trouble making the time to get products made for the booth.  I’m chalking it up to someone else having a hand in it.  Unfortunately, there really isn’t another space quite like that in my small town but I’m hopeful that I may be able to work out something that would be a better fit for me.

I always have to be looking forward to what’s coming up next so I’ve been working on plans for a series of posts for next month.  We going to be talking about curb appeal and I’ve come up with a few quick things you can do to spruce up your space.  In addition to the blog posts, I’m thinking about making some social media posts about it so if you have something you think would be a good project, please send it my way!

What have I done outside of the shop?  Well…not much. Ha!  I’ve been pretty hooked up but I did make time for some baseball.  This month was the home opener for a local affiliate team (the OKC Dodgers) and I’ve been looking forward to this for months!

The warm weather, the atmosphere, and, more importantly, the food!  A Polish sausage with peppers and onions is my must have at every game.

I can remember as a kid going to state fairs with my dad and we always got a Polish sausage.  That was the only time of the year I had one so, while strange to say so, it’s a bit of a sentimental treat.

Wow.  I knew I was busy in April but I didn’t think I would talk (type?) your ear off quite like that!  Sorry, not sorry, I suppose.  Get ready for next month because it will be packed with projects!

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