I heart wood. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about wood that I love to work with. I love the look and feel of it. I took wood shop for a bit in high school and worked in the production department at the Japanese American National Museum in college, so maybe those experiences gave me some of the basic skills I needed to feel confident working with the stuff. Yet, I’d like to believe that I developed a love for working with my hands because I used to see my grandpa build things out of wood around the house when I was younger… cabinets, truck beds, shelves, etc. Anything he needed, he built! Maybe that old Japanese ingenuity was passed down to me without me knowing.
1) CHALKBOARD >> I had a large bare wall in my kitchen and I wanted to make an art piece that added character. The thing is, I think I might get bored of a static piece sitting there for so long… plus… I wanted something that would inspire me, and that I could change with the seasons. So, I decided to make a giant chalkboard! I ordered chalkboard paint online and went to home depot to p/u some wood and board. I wanted to make it rustic/farmhouse to fit in with the rest of the house decor, which made it easier to build. Exposed screws and other minor “imperfections” give much-needed character. Now I use it to write quotes, Bible verses, messages, or draw pictures for different parties and gatherings I host here. My friends and their children love it when they come over too!!
2) TABLE >> I’ve been enamored with long wooden tables. I wanted one for my house so I could fit our small group and friends around one table for dinner. I also wanted something that could be outside in the summer to enjoy the view I have here. The only problem: long tables cost a LOT of money. I could easily dish out a few thousand dollars for the table I wanted… so the only solution: build it myself!
I’d never built a dining table before… and this one was going to be extra challenging because I calculated that I needed it to be at least 10ft long to accommodate the amount of people I wanted to fit. I poured over furniture catalogs and websites to help me figure out a design I liked, then drew up some sketches. Next, I got some cheap pine from home depot, stain, and weatherproofing finish. My dad who was an engineer gave me some helpful structural advice, and here’s what I came up with…
3) PALLET GALLERY >> I’ve been wanting to use re-purposed wooden pallets to design something for a while now. When the opportunity came up to partner with one of my college students to put together a gallery, I jumped at the chance to put my pallet vision to the test! With the help of Don Liv, Dennis Chow, Stuart Kobata, and a bunch of men from our church, we were able to make that vision come to life.
We used donated pallets from IFCO Systems (a company in Riverside that rebuilds wooden pallets) and created our gallery walls in a very “green” way. I had to fight off termites and a rain storm… but in the end, it came out FAB.
Take a look!