Tag Archives: trees

The ClutterStuff Shoppe!

To shop or not to shop that was the question. My wife and I just returned from a very much needed day “away from the farm.” What we had decided to do was to get away from the smokie haze of the wind drift smog and take refuge on the north shore of Lake Superior.

historic lift bridge

Everything is changing!

First of all the drive took us through some of the most beautiful areas of northern Minnesota and past some of the range cites/towns on our way to the Great Lakes. The closer we got to Duluth the cleaner and more clear the air became. The “fog” had lifted, the clouds had all begun to thin, and soon the air was pure and clean and clear. With a windless temp in low seventies the Lake emerged smooth as glass and all the troubles we had been smothered by back home receded into the darkest parts of our concious awareness! What a change! Words are not good enough to describe how we felt. If only you had been with us you would know!

Along the way other changes were obvious. Some of the old tourist trap shops were still present, but every once in a while a new one or two or three had been built and/or sprung up in the old locations since we last made the trip. The brightly colored signs, the out front displays and the many clutches of curious folks such as us were coming and going. We couldn’t decide where to stop. But once we had gone to the end of Minnesota point and back, visited with an old frined, and made our way to one of the finest restaurants in Duluth, we began to relax and make plans for the rest of the day! So much was new and so many of our favorites were still there, we had a hard time mapping out our course for the rest of the day! WOW!

What about the shops?

There are hundreds of them. All over the place. How could we do justice to the seductive invitations? Maybe its the color of the paint. Maybe the architectual style, or maybe it was simply that we had been to that shop before and we knew what to expect. We have tried a lot of them; bar food restaurants, candy stores, clothing hangouts, ice cream parlours, pie shops, hand made this or that, artisan studios, and the places of learning that peddle their fare and finished products! We even stopped at the “absolutely must do” shop, the smoked cisco favorite of the driver of our car!

The shop that beckons

Let me degress here a little bit to make a point about different retail shops as I see them. There are those who “make it” and are successful, and those who come and go like these beautiful days on the North Shore. The survivors are the ones that are here to stay and they always have been. When you go into one of them you know immediately why you are there! Maybe its polished agates, clearly handmade wrought iron, or yum delicious pie alamode. There’s no guessing, there are no hooks, there’s no opportunistic proprietor trying to sell somethinig, anything, using the language of market blab just to make a few cents on over priced “ClutterStuff” picked up somewhare or nabbed at a clearance sale of dusty imports.

When sisters love to make candy and are pasionate about it you know! It looks like candy, smells like candy, and tastes like candy! And once you’ve tried some you can’t be told otherswise and you will go back again and again to get some more! Then there are…

The ClutterStuff Shoppes!

This is a Brewery!

Since I live in metropolitan with over a million people, I am familier with shopping! I’ve been taken shopping, I’ve been made to go shopping, I’ve even exercised my perogative by going shoping by myself, for myself, and without any kind of restraint (That’s another story!).

What you see is what you get!
I want you to know that I know a great shop when I see one. I also know a “crap shop” when I get sucked into one! If you are thinking about starting a business and opening a shop then, please, oh please, don’t make a great idea turn into a cesspool or dump of cast offs! Here I must tread lightly, but let me say that in my opinion, if you have a passion and a great idea then go for it. But make sure that your shop is identifiable both within and wthout. Don’t let some fast talkng consonee talk you into making your shop look like a collection of a “pickers” dumpster! Everything in your shop should serve the underlying core business you want to pursue. If you want to sell junk then call it a “junk” store, “Grandma’s suff unlimited” or “Tools Grandpa couldn’t wear out!”

The Peace of God?
Sometimes churches are like that! You walk through the door to the sanctuary and it smells like “pot Luck.” You look at the outside marquee and you’s think the pastor’s sermons are going to be some of the biggest jokes. Seating yourself in a beautiful quiet place to search your heart and recieve peace for your soul, and what happens, the ear splitting thumping and banging of heavy metal is served up endlessly. No “Good news to be heard, only a steady flow of psycho bable designed to make you feel good and live in the delusion that “all is well.” When you leave you move away to the quiet of a noisy world wondering about the definition of “Church!” Is this a “ClutterStuff Church like to many others?

May your church be about Our Lord Jesus Christ. Now may The peace of God which surpasses all human understanding keep your hearts and minds through faith in Christ Jesus!



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Pastor Kogler

The Glories of late summer through the eyes of Faith

Outside the back door of our north woods cabin we have this wonderful display of flowers and plants that are in full bloom. the combination of vibrant colors, proper sunlight, and the the right amount of moisture have combiCabin flowers 1ned to make this and the other flower gardens my Janet has nurtured throughout the summer some of the most beautiful of all the years that we have called Needles of the North our summer home.

Every time we make the journey to and fro (216 miles portal to portal) we have our little Honda CRV loaded “to the gills” with all the stuff we “must” have with us. Every time,  and I mean every time, I am instructed to load, protect and transport the precious living things that our master gardener has set out in our staging area on either end of the trip.

This process is one known to most Minnesotans!

Consider only this;

Today,  a spokesman for the Minnesota Seasonal Property Owners Coalition says the average cabin owner is 62 years old, the average household income is $58,000, and the average Minnesota cabin has been in the family for 25 years.

“This is something you want to hang on to forever and pass on to your kids, your grandkids,” said Johnson.

So take 122 thousand cabin owners, add the kids, grandkids and cousins: Forester from the owners group says you could easily have one million Minnesotans claiming a piece of a cabin.

Some names are clever, others are basic. “This is the Place”, “Dun Rov’n”, “Legacy”, “Up North”, are a few that come to mind. For many a surname says entitlement very well: i.e., “The Johnston’s Place” and its many  variations work and are considered to be the best.

“The cabin isn’t about the structure, it’s about the experience. That is part of our DNA in Minnesota. We have to get away,” said Ohman.

There’s more to it than flowers, fishing, food and fresh air.

Getting away doesn’t mean leaving it behind! We must have our flowers and our pets! Oh, yes…and our many tools! (for me my buckets of turning tools are just the beginning.)

Late Summer Beauties

There is no doubt that I love to turn wood into different things with my lathe. And, oh boy do I need my tools! Sometimes its a bowl, sometimes its a spinning top, and sometimes its a seasonal Christmas tree! Most of the time, however, I dabble! Here you can see a few special interest pens that I made toward the end of summer. I’ve sold them all, but will take orders for others. (kogler@comcast.net) ;o)!

I have deer antler bolt action pens, over and under shotgun style awards and gifts, fly fishing models, acrylic as well as wood. Mostly, however, I use native woods from our part of the world and apply different kinds of finish on each of them. While I work in my northern shop I have all the windows and main door wide open. In the full light of the sun, and in the quiet moments of rest I listen as the White pines speak. When the slightest breeze comes up they begin to whisper the calming sounds of acknowledgement that I ascribe to them. Those things give me great peace. To see my partner puttering in her flower garden, to smell the scents of the north woods and to hear the combination of God’s creatures and creation causes me to pause and be at rest.

Further thoughts of my fellow turners and our common bond make me smile within as I conjure up a picture of hundreds of guys and gals seated and transfixed as they absorb the lessons of the more experienced or accomplished members or friends of the MWA. That, too, gives me great satisfaction. I wish they could all find a sense of peace in what they accomplish on their various journeys. Oh, how I hope to see you all at one of our next meetings….

It has a lot to do with spiritual peace

The greatest and most perfect peace, however, comes to any and all who remember at the urging of The Holy Sprit the words of our Savior God. It makes little difference whether one is in her apartment, confined to a care facility, or roaming on the open road…and hopefully standing at one’s lathe with chisel in hand making shavings.

A familiar text in all cases is John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace, In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Until next time: “God bless!”



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Rainy Day Turning – Sorting, cleaning, divesting!

Weather or Whether not?

Reorganization and rainy day! Right now its raining “cats and dogs.”  Lightning and thunder punctuate my train of thought, and I don’t feel much like making anything.

As I continue to develop my wood turning library of

6 pens 5.11.16
Custom six – rainy day output

things to put into production, I have gathered lots of tools, kit parts, jigs and accessories. You might say I have a closet full of wardrobe pieces that have been crying out for organization and storage. this is the tedious process best suited for a rainy day in my part of the world!

 

Rainy Day, not! This is the “real” problem…

One of the things that has kept me from properly working at this process is the failure on my part to develop and implement a procedure to follow to make it easy enough to fit into my work ethic.  I commonly divide my week into segments in which I do certain things. Each day begins with prayer time and personal study time before breakfast.

Monday is usually church review day.

My video devotions are done on a weekly
basis every Tuesday morning.

Wednesday is class day when I teach several classes beginning at 9:00AM and wrapping it up with my last class ending around 7:15 PM.

3 bolt action antlers
Bolt action – antler bodies

Thursday is turning day, shop time, or general putz. Currently I’m making strides on fulfilling commissions and organizing my shop supplies.  Recently I completed an order for 27 spin tops and have one more order of 9 to complete. Here are a few things I’ve been working on. I will donate one of these to a non-profit fund raiser. I like to see the expressions of surprise and satisfaction on the faces of those who receive one of my pens as a gift.

Friday-Saturday are study days.

Currently I’m trying to locate a dye that will mix with stabilization and allow cedar oil stabilization while at the same time coloring the wood I want to turn. If anyone has a suggestion or can point me to some examples of how to dye woods while stabilizing it let me know.

The next few weeks I will be working in my north-woods shop designing and making a little table to place in the studio in Marcell, MN. I’ve studied a few Karl Larssen paintings and found one I think fits pretty well. I’ll post a photo of the finished product soon.

Time for supper… I can’t forget that!

 

 



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The Nativity Trees

Forest of the Nativity 3
The Nativity Trees

Greetings everyone. I have been working in my shop to create small turnings that I call “Seasonal Trees.”  Included is a set I refer to as: “The Nativity Trees”. I have been working with various wood types and sizes in many colors that have been in my shop for some time. The trees you see here are part of a collection made this Fall and as a group called “The Nativity Trees.”

Some materials for the “forest” include pine, spalted birch, cocobolo, aromatic red cedar, oak, ash, and boxelder. In addition, I have used several different colors including “strata-board” variations that have been used to turn pens, bottle stoppers and engraved medallions.

Each tree that I turn is “custom”, that is, there are no exact copies. This is by design so that I may stay interested in the process, and, so those who might want to collect them will have, in each case, a signed, dated, and unique addition to their ‘forest’.

Patriot's Christmas Tree
Patriot’s Christmas Tree

Although basic turning is rather simple, a more challenging part in the process is to impart a high gloss permanent finish that will withstand the much handling that these trees invite.  I sand each tree with 14 different sandpaper grits, apply 9 coats of CA Kwick Krystal(TM) finish and finally use a very durable high gloss polish to complete the custom tree. Even though each tree is wood, the finished product looks and feels like polished glass.

Each tree is topped with either a Swarovski crystal, a glass or metal star, or an Hungarian furnishing. The tree sizes vary from 1.5″ – 4.5″ and come in a presentation box that is stamped with the “Needles of the North” logo.  These trees make excellent hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, or special occasion mementos.

First offered at a shop in Bigfork, Minnesota Timber Rose Floral and Gifts they have found a high acceptance level and there are individuals who have begun to collect them to be displayed all year round. If you are interested pleased send me an email or contact me through Facebook.Facebook .



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