The Noah Owl Box

My poor first born son finally has a toy box named after him! The first one (Noah Building Blocks table) I stopped offering about a year ago. Guaranteed, there will be lots of therapy for Noah in is coming years!!!

Anyhow, I designed and built this owl box for my excellent web designer. She has a Bertie but I thought two Bertie boxes might be a little boring so we decided on the owl.

I'm calling it "woodland mod" because I think it's a bit of arts and crafts style mixed with modern and would fit nicely into a room with a very natural, earthy modern look. And because I have to make up dumb design names now that I'm a designer in a British design book. :)

The owl eyes act as the handle on the lid. Children can put both index fingers into the eyes (like they're poking them out which is even more fun!) and pull back towards their chest and then throw the lightweight lid somewhere on the ground for all to step on. It's a brilliant system!!

The piece is 17 x 18 x 15 1/2 so it provides ample room for storing kid stuff...or wheeling a younger brother or sister around the house with intent of running over the lid that was thrown on the floor! Oh, the fun they will have!!!

I'll get this up on my website and online store soon! In the meantime, if you have questions, just email me(Kiersten@modmomfurniture.com) about it and I'll give you all the details.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!!

Veneer cut-outs make the circles surrounding the eyes, the nose, and the branch and leaves

(Can you see it? It's hiding in the "woods" since it's a "woodland mod" owl. I know...I know..)


Mushrooms With Expressions, by Patrick Gottlieb

I had some help on this next toy box/keepsake box! Patrick Gottlieb is my son's self-proclaimed best friend and a talented artist. He's been drawing mushrooms with expressions for about a year now and we talked awhile back about turning one of his mushrooms into a toy box. At last, it's finally done! Patrick's brother's, Eamonn and Sam also joined in by helping to color the many sketches of mushrooms with expressions to give me a better idea of what the final should look like.

On Saturday, Scott and I decided on which style we would be able to turn into a box. He copied the mushroom shape on the wood as well as add some input about circle colors and placement, and I happily started cutting the wood. By the end of a few hours, the mushroom with expression was born.

Check out Patrick's fantastic sketches of mushrooms as well as photos of the plus the completed box.

Patrick with the mushroom box

Inside the mushroom

Patrick's sketches

Many thanks to Patch for sharing his artwork with me and inspiring me to keep pushing artistic boundaries. By far, this is one of the coolest boxes I've built to date.

The Best Day EVER!

I just realized that it's been a week since this slacker woodworker has written anything on the blog. I could've sworn it was only a couple of days.

That's what getting geared up for the first day of school will do to ya. (And maybe all the other stuff plus a couple glasses of wine.)

So first off, Grace and Noah started back today. It was Grace's first day of school and she was really so excited, in her little Gracie way. Aside from not following the teacher into the classroom in a perfectly straight line..err..any line, she seemed to feel confident in her new title as kindergartner. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for good stories at pick-up. Noah's a big fourth grader so the whole first morning thing is old hat. I even got to kiss his forehead before sending him off into a classroom full of gangly, prepubescent almost-middleschoolers.

What did I do after dropping them off, you ask? Well, Scott and I went to breakfast where I ordered a Bloody Mary. Ok, ok, it was a virgin but it tasted/felt like a real one. After all, my day does involve power tools. :)


hair today, blond tomorrow

Build furniture? Sure, i can do that! Learn web design? Sure, I can do that? And the list goes on...or rather, in my husband's eyes, the illness persists. I think I may have some sort of sickness where it never dawns on me that maybe me doing something isn't the best idea for the best outcome. One time one of the inserts in my shoes was lost so I was wearing shoes all the while feeling the connector brackets under my feet. I figured if I cut an insert out of foam and hot glued it we'd be all set. At the insistence of my sweet husband, I threw the 10 yr. old shoes out. Now, hair color. That's a different story. Thankfully, this time around, very few strands of hair disintegrated into a blond sticky mess on my floor, but that's happened before. I dyed my hair blond --think platinum blond highlights and golden blond hair -- the other day. I'll post a photo later today but for now, my blond hair and I have to go cut some wood.

Sometimes I wonder why I have such clear conviction that no matter what I try, I'll be able to succeed. I guess I should look at it as a blessing, but the countless things I tried to sew, fix, or paint, might think otherwise.


Designed For Kids

NEVER in a million years would I have predicted this. A few of my designs are being published in a book by Phyllis Richardson, through Thames and Hudson, London. The book is called Designed For Kids.

Phyllis contacted me a long time ago and while reading her email, my jaw hit the floor. And then I calmly and cooly wrote her back saying, "oh please oh please, this can't be a joke, right? Really...my stuff? Really?" Well I didn't actually write that to her but I was thinking it.

For more information on this super cool book, click HERE.

It's a collection of items designed for kids which are modern in style. Major designers with names like Hans from around the world are included. And one semi-designer from LA who rarely showers and works in her garage.


Custom Shmustom

I rarely do custom work but sometimes I decide it's worth it to do a custom piece. Recently, a client asked for a custom piece -- Gracie Toy Box-like but with specific dimensions (4ft wide), custom walnut stain, short legs, and custom veneer applique across the top and OUTDOOR POLY. It was going to be used outdoors as a storage piece on a back patio. All was going well with it until I got to the outdoor polyurethane part. Even with a respirator, I thought I was going to pass out or puke. I've vowed never again to use outdoor poly. I'm very happy to stick with my low-voc, indoor poly on my indoor furniture.

Turns out, the stain color wasn't exactly what the client wanted so on a bad note, I'm out a lot of time and sweat. But on a good note, I'm kind of excited to create my own applique on it and see what i come up with. This is the first time this has happened (custom job not working out) in over two years but I'm really ok with it. Custom jobs are hard because they're so subjective. Most vendors are sticklers about custom work and keeping the deposit even if the job doesn't work out but in this case, I was happy to give back the deposit so she could get what she really wanted and I can have fun doing my own thing to it. I'll most likely sell it on my online store to local LA folks (or to a few people who've already seen the unfinished version.) It's a GREAT piece that can be indoor or outdoor. And it's not necessarily a kid's toy box.

I'll post a photo of it soon...well, as soon as I finish it. Because you already know it's a Bertie/Owyn/Owl week.:)


Wood Fog

A good friend of mine used to call the years I spent from age 25-30 my "baby fog" years. Because I was constantly saying I didn't remember this or that..or anything, really. She'd just say, "baby fog." I was thinking about her today and the fact that I'm now in the "wood fog." I keep, week after week, looking at my schedule and cranking out toy box after toy box. That's how I remember my weeks now. It was a two-Owyn, half-a-Bertie-week last week. This week is a Bertie/Owyn/Owl week. Now don't ask me what I had for lunch or where I left my sunglasses because I can't remember.

I WILL remember to post a photo of a new Owl Toy Box (similar to the Bertie Box) when I'm finished. Hopefully at the end of the week...or at the beginning of next week, a Bertie/Bertie week.


Shut It

Man, it's hot out there today. But life is sweet because my office is organized and my garage is walk-through-able. Which it never really is. I can actually walk all the way around the workbench/table without being stopped by a piece of plywood with jagged edges or mounds of crumpled, used masking tape.

I'm just plugging away so not much else to report other than I found this post written on Aug. 5th and LOVED two things: first, that they wrote about my furniture and second, that the title was SHUT IT. Brilliant.

Here's the link to the very nice post on Urbanbaby Blog.



I've not just disapeared and left with no warning. I'd tell you. All 3 of you who read this! I've been working on four different pieces so I'm keeping busy in the workshop. Also, I cleaned out the workshop. (Mom, catch your breath.) It's actually now a cleaned up, organized garage. For another two weeks. Then the old coffee cups, half-drunk ice teas, and Corona Lites, will be sitting on the workbench next to the foam rollers. Now where's that favorite tape measure of mine??!??