Monday, October 15, 2012

Paper House Workshop

~ Paper House Workshop ~

It was a busy workshop weekend here at Hutch and on a blustery and wet Sunday we were cozy and creative making paper houses.
I'm always curious about what paper will be brought and this fun group of ladies had some good stuff.  Prints, colors, and textures were all over the table.  Exciting!

In no time at all little houses began popping up where the sheets of paper once were.  Ok, it took a little time to cut, fold, and assemble the houses, but it still is a bit magical nonetheless.

These ladies were so nice to work with and they were full of ideas.
We all had a great time, and I'm sure there will be many little paper houses appearing around their homes this holiday season.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wedding Anniversary Whirligigs!

~ Wedding Anniversary Whirligigs ~

It was a very special whirligig workshop this Saturday.  Bruce and Annette chose to celebrate their 1st wedding anniversary at Hutch making whirligigs.  

Bruce created a circus themed gig (pictured above) and Annette made hers on a candy theme.  Both were amazing and spun beautifully in our gusty Saturday weather.

I could tell that they were both so excited to get their whirligigs home and put them in a spot where they will always remember that other special day when they made whirlgigs at Hutch. 

May Annettte and Bruce's love spin on.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Whirligigs at the Farm.

~ Whirligigs at the Farm ~

What a beautiful weekend it was last Saturday and Sunday.  Sunny and warm in October.  Can you believe it?  I had the opportunity to be at Gordon's Skagit Farm for the annual Festival of Family Farms event.  Thousands of people visited the farm enjoying the weather and the pumpkin and squash harvest.  Making whirligigs and talking to people was non stop and very enjoyable.  These photos of me were taken by a fun couple who are big fans of the hutch whirligigs  (Brian and Becky Burch). It was so nice of them to send them to me.

Here I am soaking up the sun and working on a gig redesign.

The funny thing about this picture is that my son makes this same goofy grin in all his school photos.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, that's for sure.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Notes on Hubs.

~ Notes on Bike Hubs ~

You may wonder what makes our whirligigs spin.
The answer is a bicycle hub.  A basic front wheel hub is designed to spin well and fast and last a good long time.  I originally repurposed old bike wheels to get their hubs, but when I began teaching workshops and needing so many so often I had to start ordering them new.  I wanted to point out that not all front hubs are the same.  TYhey all should spin and work for a whirligig but the material it's made of an it's dimensions can vary slightly. Aluminum hubs are lighter in weight than steel but this makes little difference as far as the spinning goes.  What does matter is that often a hub is tight and not smooth moving.  Hold onto one bolt end an spin with your fingers.  It should rotate smoothly and easily.

If it doesn't, it may have a little rubber dust cover over the black lock nut.  These aren'y needed for whirligig purposes and they slow down the spin.  Just pry it off with fingers or a flat head screwdriver. (see below).

Next if it still seems tight, put one ends lock nut in a table top vice clamp and with a closed end wrench on the opposite black lock nut turn gradually to the left.  As you do this, continually stop and spin the hub.  Stop  turning the wrench as soon as the hub is spinning smoothly and easily.  If you over loosen the nuts you will notice a up and down wiggle in the hub that can cause the whirligig to vibrate as it spins.  If you experience this vibration in your gig, tighten up the hub slightly.

Happy Spinning!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Baker's Whirligig.

~ A Baker's Whirligig ~

Well, we have a new addition to our fence at Hutch.  The "Baker" whirligig is a combination of large mixing bowl, hand sifters, and an old Sunbeam beater mixer.  I'm waiting for a good windy day to see it in action, but I have a feeling that this one will really cook.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hutch at Gordon's Farm!

~ Hutch at Gordon's Farm ~

Just a reminder to everyone planning a visit to Hutch this weekend.
We will not be there.  We have a booth at Gordon Skagit Farms for the "Festival of Family Farms" in the beautiful Skagit Valley.  I will be demonstrating whirligig making from 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday, October 6th and 7th.  Bring the family by Gordon's for pumpkin picking, corn mazing, and cider drinking.  I hope to see you there!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Frames of Cardboard

~ Frames of Cardboard ~

My love of paper (cardboard) to be more specific is well documented but making frames has been one of my favorite things to make with this versatile material.  As you first enter Hutch you see several examples of how unique and creative these frames can be. A lot of people think they look like wood.  Pictured above is the "Picket Fence" frame which is the largest measuring 29 by 34 inches.

This is the "Bunny Pulling Carrot" frame and a reproduction of the original that was purchased not too long ago along with the original of the below pictured "Sewing Bunny" frame.  Both of the originals had applied white paint that gave them a sense of light.  I mostly hand cut using scissors and and x-acto knife but I'm trying to utilize a die-cut machine to make things more efficient.  Besides selling them in the shop we have monthly workshops here at Hutch. It's a super creative and fun time.

So get your glue guns ready and sign up for a workshop now!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Bunny Room

~ The Bunny Room ~

A magical playland for little bunnies and kitties is what we created in the front room at Hutch.  It is the first thing you see as you enter our shop and I have to say that it lets you know what kind of experience lies ahead. A fun, childlike, and whimsical adventure.

Sometimes the bunnies are working on craft projects, sewing, cutting out paper carrots, and sometimes they are having cookies and carrot tea.  

The little bunny chairs are made of cardboard, but are sturdy enough to support bunny weight.

This cardboard dollhouse is something that I made a while ago and has been in different places in and out of the shop.  It along with a couple of vintage dollhouses add to the feeling of "play" in the room.  

Pictured below is the grand chandelier mobile which was the center and focal point of the room floating above the bunny table. 

Every time it rains, it rains, carrots from heaven.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Back in the day we used typewriters.

~ Back in the day we used typewriters. ~

We've had a few old typewriters kicking around the shop for some time now and I always get a kick out of all the conversation that they conjure with customers.  It's an age and time thing.  Older patrons may recall using a similar machine themselves once upon a time.  For the middle ager they may trigger a memory of parents or grandparents typing away.  For the children in the shop they are an unknown, an artifact, or an object of curiosity.  It's always explained to them that these are what people used before computers were invented to make writing faster.  They are amazed!

All 3 of these machines are for sale and available in the shop.  Prices from top to bottom are $60.00, $100.00,& $55.00.  Call 360-466-2303 or email to inquire.
Tickety Tick Tick!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Festival of Family Farms.

~ Festival of Family Farms ~

The Skagit Valley celebrates it's Festival of Family Farms on the weekend of October 6th and 7th.  During the weekend you can enjoy farm tours, harvest markets, animal exhibits, demonstrations, kid's activities, hay rides, corn and hay mazes, pumpkin patches, food, and music.  It is a wonderful thing to do with the family this fall.  Gordon Skagit Farms on McLean Rd. in Mount Vernon has been a local fall tradition for my family and my wife's family before me.  Picking pumpkins, drinking apple cider, getting lost in a corn maze, and taking scary pictures in the "Haunted Room" against the backdrop of Eddie Gordon's fantastic painted scenes, are things our whole family looks forward to. The above pictured pumpkin is a sign in front of the farm painted by Eddie.  Look for it.

This year I will be watching the family as I demonstrate the wonders of whirligig making.  Hutch will have a booth where I, with drill in hand will be spinning the junk and old tools that you find in your backyard shed or kitchen draws into whimsical kinetic sculpture.  It will be a good time to observe the process or even to sign up for upcoming workshops at Hutch.

So I look forward to seeing you in the crisp fall air on October 6th and 7th from 10am-4pm at Gordon Skagit Farm.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Whirligigs of Summer- Part 6

~ The Whirligigs of Summer ~
Part VI

Summer ended on a very fun note with this whirligig made by Margie.  When she started unloading her goodies from the boxes she brought in I started to drool.  Fun and colorful vintage toys and kitchen doodads.  She admittedly wasn't planning on putting her gig outside unless she was having a party so it she did't have to concern herself at all about function and she could just create fun visual eye candy.

This is a picture of some of the items that she didn't use. Margie has enough stuff for multiple whirligigs and I have a feeling I'll see her again for another workshop.  Looking forward to it!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Paper House Lights at Hutch

~ Paper House Lights at Hutch ~

1963 Good Housekeeping Cookbook House Light,  21"x 15"x 15",   $185.

The paper house light has been something that has always received a great deal of attention both here in the shop and on line. I remember when I first posted the image below on the internet. It was everywhere in no time. The exact light pictured below was featured on an episode of "Dear Genevieve" on HGTV a year ago and I sadly have not seen it yet.  They are for sale in the shop and I still plan on making it a DIY kit at some point but for now the workshops that teach others how to make the light are what's popular.  To see the current schedule of hutch workshops just click on "workshops" on our blog's main page.


Oh the shadows.....  If you have a dark space to hang the light, like a corner close to 2 walls, you take full advantage of it's shadow casting abilities and magic.

World Atlas House Light,  15"x 13"x 13",   $160.

This light is made out of a old World Atlas. You may be able to locate your place in the world on one of the houses.  The paper is a little thicker and not as translucent compared to the cookbook lights, but it has soft color pallet of blues, greens, and yellows.

Gail, one of my favorite workshoppers has taken this class twice and created two beautiful lights.  Both creations were very thoughtful.  The first repurposed maps that were specifically places that her daughter had been.  It was a graduation gift.  The second, a detail shown below.  Was machine stitched pages from "Pride and Prejudice" a favorite of her daughter.  Another gift.  It's obvious that she loves her daughters a great deal and  I'm sure they love their special gifts from mom.

So don't you want to check out the upcoming workshop schedule and sign up to make your own paper house light now?  Just go for it!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Whimsical Windows

~ Whimsical Windows ~

Not too long ago I stopped into Hutch and found our creative leader Krys Kirkpatrick busy as a bee in the bay windows of the aqua room.  She was magically transforming the windows into delightful floral frames with bunnies, ducks, and mushrooms.  

She painted them on the inside and went back into the painted images by scratching lines. I think it is so important to experiment when it comes to art. Krys definitely gets it and it's the only way to discover new things.  And it's fun!

 A snail peeks from in between two magical mushrooms. Would't you want to go in and see what else is in store? 

I love when the sunshine beams through the window panes casting fun shadows on the sill.  Also seeing through to the bushes and flowers moving in the breeze brings it all to life.

So Sweet!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Whirligigs of Summer- Part 5

~ The Whirligigs of Summer ~
Part V

I just can't help it but when someone brings an item that I haven't seen before I get excited about the whirligig.  In this case it was the tin mold that sits below the enameled coffee pot.  The larger cake pan that the spoons are attached to is pretty interesting as well with its' star like shape.

The little copper Buda bells and rope molds on this gig I definitely hadn't seen before.  The flower petal bowl at the center adds a lot to the look of this whirligig.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Whirligigs of Summer- Part 4

~ The Whirligigs of Summer ~
Part IV

The two whirligigs shown here are good examples of a color pallet.  Yellow, black and red is a striking choice.  Outdoors they will begin to rust and the colors will fade and soften.  But for now they will spin in the wind showing off their boldness. Brenda, the creator of the whirligig at the top is a super talented Steampunk artist and we used to carry her extraordinary jewelry in our shop. Her friend that created the gum ball machine topped gig below was also an artist and art teacher.  It was great getting the chance to hang out with these cool women and making 2 very cool whirligigs.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Whirligigs of Summer- Part 3

~ The Whirligigs of Summer ~
Part III (revised)

A record was set in July for the longest distance traveled to take the whirligig workshop at Hutch.  Karen and Frank drove all the way from Southern California just to make whirligigs.  That is amazing!  Karen had been wanting to take the workshop for a couple of years and it finally worked out.  I loved it, and I'm pretty sure they did too.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Whirligigs of Summer- Part 2

~ The Whirligigs of Summer ~
Part II

The June whirligigs were pretty special.  This is one of my favorites to date and has a story that's a workshop first. The couple that made it are from Gig Harbor, which in itself it pretty funny. They ran a half marathon that morning in Seattle, then drove up to La Conner and built this Whirligig finishing in almost record time (2:30pm). That's fast. They were a super fun couple and they produced a super fun whirligig.  I could use that kind of energy. I'm assuming that this whirligig spins on their Dahlia farm in Gig Harbor now.

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