I know I used this picture of him already, but it is so cute I had to use it again! My Dad is a preacher, and has been a Pastor forever (as long as I have been around). But when my parents get to go out and stay at their farm, they shed the dress-up clothes and shampoo :) for their overalls and bug spray!!!!
They love the farm and they have taken it from a ramshackle old house and over grown yard and transformed it into the cutest little cottage, gorgeous gardens, carpentry workshop, guest pond house, and beautiful little vacation spot. They have worked so hard, and been so ingenious at making a home out of things they have built (or sewn, or gathered from a thrift store or auction). Before vintage or flea markets were cool- my parents where doing it!
Most of the things my Dad builds are out of necessity. Here is a well that he built for the farm (or I guess it is the cover for a well.)
My Dad's pride and joy! He says that this is the ladies room :) He built this for anyone who stays in the pond house (a little tiny cabin out at the farm, set away from the house a little and too far for someone who may need to use the bathroom in the night). I have never slept in the pond house for this reason. The boys almost slept in the pond house- but when we did a trial run at naptime they didn't last too long.
This is the kitchen in the pond house. These are the kinds of chairs that my parents like and collect by the side of the road when someone has thrown them away.
A nifty little candle holder. I am assuming you made this, Dad. He wasn't with me half of the time that I went around taking pictures.
Here is our interview:
Sara- When did you start building?
Dad- I was always building when I was a kid on Vashon Island. We would use driftwood, and whatever we could find. We would make boats, cabins, forts. I basically learned how to build for myself. In college I worked for a carpenter. We would do roofing and fix fences, etc.
Sara- How did you figure out how to build twig furniture? (so sorry I don't have a picture of these. He had built several pieces of twig furniture and some got wrecked from being outside, and I think someone sat on a chair and it broke)
Dad- I saw them in a store and thought that I could try it. I wanted to do this because we have so many trees, so the material was readily available.
Sara- I know that you used to have a different hobby every year, how did that start?
Dad- when I was in my 20's I was a youth pastor and going to seminary. I started to have heart pains and the Dr. told me I needed to have a hobby to take my mind off of the stress of my job and school. So we decided to have a different hobby each year. There were the tropical fish. We had 3 tanks of fish. Then there were the rose bushes. We had 18 rose bushes. There was photography, and antiques and refinishing furniture. We had horses at our camp, so we would ride those. Of course we love to read books, and also fishing. Now we just have the farm as a hobby!
Sara-So building stuff really is your hobby now?
Dad-Well, since we have come to the farm, it is a necessity. And also we have so many of the materials here, wood, old barn boards, etc. We come out here to work and it is really relaxing.
Sara-Where do some of your ideas come from?
Dad- Well, I can remember how I worked out the design for the outhouse. We were at the oncology dept of the hospital (this was when Mom had breast cancer and had to get radiation treatments, she is fine now!). The people in the waiting room were always so stressed and worried looking. There was a man sitting there and I sat down by him and asked him if he had ever built an outhouse before. The man was a little surprised and I told him why I wanted to know, and he helped me work out the plans.
(Dad- you will have to excuse if the details aren't exact. You remember when we were doing this interview and "we" would get off on the rabbit trails- so some of my notes seem to have some holes....)
Dad- Anyway, it is fun to build things you can use.
Sara- What kind of tools would you buy if you had the chance?
Dad- Miter saw. A reciprocating saw- this is very versatile and portable. The key to anything is to have the right tools. I have collected tools from my Dad. Also, my shop is very important. You need a shop and a workbench. I have gotten some great tools at yard sales, I have picked them out of the trash, or the city clean up day! (when people put anything out on the curb and the garbage men will pick it up- if there is anything left!)
One thing that is very valuable to me is the battery powered drill. (and then he mentions an impact drill and an air nailer which I can't remember if he needs them or values them....) Next time I will record the interview then you can hear the jokes....
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Dad! You are truly one of the most creative people I know. You and Mom can make anything beautiful. And your hard work is such an inspiration! I love you!!!