Dealing With Creative Blocks

Sometimes the creative block hits me. What I mean is that no matter how much I want to create something, the juices aren't flowing and the process is slowed. My best strategy is to just workthrough it . Not every day is a great creative day. But waiting for the right moment is unpredictable.

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So what do I do in those moments? Make something anyway. That next project may suck but it's the same as training through injuries and fatigue. Eventually things will fall into place.
Have a hot cider and rum in the meantime

Happy Turkey Day!!

Today all the creative juices will be spent in the kitchen. My drink of choice is a tumbler of Crown Royal.

Happy thanksgiving everyone!


Side Gigs Online

You know by now that I am all about creating things, and it goes well beyond the projects that I have done so far. I love seeing other people do the same. So as a way to support that effort, and to create a side revenue stream for myself in the process, I jumped on Fivver to see what I could do.

If you have never taken a minute to peruse Fivver, take a minute to check it out.  It's an online freelance marketplace that helps guys like me find work or services on the cheap.

You can find someone to do just about anything for you on the site, and on the flip side, you can offer your own services at a price. And it can be very easy.

If you have something to offer give it a try, and see if you can land a few bucks. Or if you need some help on your own projects, there is probably someone on Fivver who will do some work for you.

Here's a link to one of the gigs I've been making money on lately: Here


Lighting Room With Pallet Decor

Here's a stained version of the candle sconce. I have made a few variations, but with the lights off and the candles lit, the room really feels warm with this pallet art. Enjoy

Pallet Kitchen Decor

Well a while back the wife said she wanted an Americana themed kitchen. It's a work in progress but this is her birthday week, so I had to make sure to get something done.

For this project I used wood from two different pallets and a dowel rod. I went back to using the forklift cutout pieces of the pallet to get that look on the struts of the rack.

You'll notice that the wood is less than perfect in a few instances, and that was on purpose. I wanted something that had the imperfections. Something that would look old and have the feel of something you might see in an old farmhouse. Or Cracker Barrel. Lol.

Stain was minimal too. A light stain rubbed on with a rag. I only used a brush to make sure seems and cracks got color on them.

As always, this piece is a little heavy, so four toggle bolts keep it in place on the wall.

Hope you like it. Leave me your thoughts and questions below!

Order Updates-I'm using Venmo!

I'm already a few weeks into my 40s and I've done my best to keep up with the worthy technology. Some of it I will never adopt, but there is some good stuff out there.

That said, I am adding a Venmo account to accept payments for projects and orders. I still have my PayPal account as well, and I never turn down green hard cash either. But paying for stuff really should be easier than it is. I've had local buyers flake on me or even try to haggle after a verbal deal is made. I understand the art of a deal. And for projects that I make, they also must realize the time it takes to make something. For a unique handmade piece, I only ask what is fair. 

So that said, here's my Venmo info: @Nathan-Graybill 

It's an easy service and I want to make it easy. Meanwhile, I'll get back to working on a few projects !

Use the contact form on the side, or leave a comment if you would like something made just for you!


Wednesday Update

I've been working long hours at my day job so the projects are a little slow...BUT I did complete a great pallet project piece that I will showcase very soon. Once the stain dries I will snap a few pictures.

I also have been working on tuning up my drawing skills. I have a few sketches that I've been working on and those too will get posted shortly.

My thoughts on the building and brews lifestyle? Always work on something, even if time is limited. Draw a sketch when you have a second. Jot down a note or a blog post even if it's short. Get something made, and always be creating. Motion creates motion.

Sometimes it's work. It's a process. But just keep moving forward.

Goodnight all!


Planning Out My Home Decor

I think a lot of Americans are at a point where their home decor is coming full circle. That 70s look is definitely dated, that 80s look was drab. The 90s and the 2000s didn't have much to offer, aside from something called "ultra-modern", which, if you ask me, is ultra boring.

So that rustic and worn Americana look is back in full force. And I kind of like it. 

It brings some familiarity, along with a homey comfort that was missing with the other afore mentioned styles.

Part of this style is the salvaged and upcycle design that I love. Which is why I am so jazzed on pallet projects.

Wood brings another layer of life into the home. I mean after all, wood is alive. Or was alive? I'm not totally sure. Trees are alive. Wood comes from trees. You do the math.

So what I'm going for is a rustic beachy Americana look. It's going to take some time. But that's part of the fun. 

Today was no exception. I was working on a pallet creation for the kitchen. Photos to follow once I get it done.

Of course I still have some half finished projects that need finishing. Buckets full of shells from the Florida beach that need to be used in something....I haven't figured it out yet. Some blank canvases that need painting. The list is long.

So the work in progress will be "in progress" for a long time to come. And truthfully, once it's done, it may be time to change it again. So the work continues. And so will this blog. 

So I'll finish up this Pabst Blue Ribbon, and get back to work. Tomorrow. Today I'm punching that proverbial clock and turning in. Goodnight all!


Late Night Rant

It's late but I need to get a quick post up on the blog.

Partly because I have been swamped with work, and family time, which cuts into my creative hobby time. That means I don't have any new project pictures to share. And I feel guilty about that.

But what I have been doing is prepping for that moment when I do have time to create more. For example, the family and I spent all day yesterday on the boat and on a nice little island beach not far from home. I put my oldest son to work collecting shells and driftwood. Why? Well I'm sure down the road I'll need those things for some craft projects.

He did good, and now I have a nice collection of shells from beautiful Florida to use in my home decore. Project photos to follow. Let me brainstorm an idea and I'll get that up on the blog.

I also spent some time chatting with my sister across the country. We discussed our creative processes and I mentioned to her that I have this blog to showcase my hobbies. And more than just physical art and projects, I also began writing again. In fact, I wrote a first draft to a short story which I threw up on my other blog( it's still in the works, but I'll give you the link here ) So check that out and leave me some criticism if you so please. http://fyrstories.blogspot.com/

I love to draw and paint but it pains me to say I don't have any new pieces to share. I did spend some time collecting photos that inspired me. I do that regularly. If I see something I like, I snap a pic so I can reference it later.

The creative process is ongoing. Never stop learning and never stop creating.

Thank you all for checking out the blog. Leave a comment below!!


Sunday Update

It's late on a Sunday and it's time for an obligatory blog post, since I've been neglectful for a few days. Work life is great which means time for side projects is limited. I do have a few pieces in the works though. Hopefully this week is a little more forgiving and I'll have some pictures of final projects to share.

On the list of pallet projects, I have a few great pieces that I'll probably end up keeping for my own home. A pair of candle sconces to hang on the landing of the stairs is almost done. For those I found a perfect pallet that had really took some abuse from the Florida sun. Once I sanded it down, the grey wood had a nice boathouse look. I'm excited to get those on the wall and burn a few candles on them, it will bring back that Americana beachy feel to my home

I've also got a great pallet fresh off the mill that I found behind Staples, that I will promptly turn into a liquor bottle rack and coffee mug holder. I know, I know, it sounds like two things that don't go together but the finished product will change your mind.

Beyond that I've got some art that needs creating.. I'm trying to master the art of ink drawing , which is a favorite style of mine. Comic book art holds my fascination.

So that said, I'll be posting some updates soon. Thanks for checking out the blog. Comments are welcome!


Rustic Wine Bottle Rack

Rustic Shabby Chic Bottle Rack
For the beverage connoisseur I made this little project. Total time, less than a day. Two days in all when you factor in the paint and sand job I did to give it the shabby look.

The pallets you find with the cutouts for forklifts are the best, because they give the variety to your strut boards. I mitred the ends off, and sanded them down just enough to make them smooth.

I purposely found wood that had a few nicks and blemishes so the whole thing would have that farmhouse look. I didn't want this to be anything but rustic. Not totally my style, but I can appreciate it. Also, I promptly posted this for sale so the end customer in mind who is looking for something like this is my target consumer.

All in all, it was as easy at it looks. I did take a bench plane to the face board to scrub it down so I didn't waste all day sanding it. A few passes with a sander and it was good to go. I also ran the plane over the edges at an angle to get that bevel look. Another few passes with the sander at they rounded out just right.

Next I took a can of apple red paint and poured it in a solo cup, added some water to thin it down to a stain and brushed it on.

Aside from the face board, I didn't sand much on the rest of the wood before I painted. I wanted to have something to sand off after the paint dried.

The thin coat of red looked great after it dried, so I took my oscilating tool with a medium sand paper and ran it over the wood.

The unsanded boards came out great, as the rough parts sanded off, the grain was left stained red, and a little wood is showing. I think that really made it pop.

I also sanded along the edges to expose some wood and really get it to look old and worn.

Usually I would say to sand by hand after painting but I think I managed to get a feel for using power tools with just enough pressure to get the look I wanted without going too far. .

A few hours down and I'm all set.

Here's the finished product

If you love it or hate it..leave a comment below!


Tuesday Update

Today wasn't too forgiving so getting projects done was next to impossible. But I still made some time to get out to the man cave, also known as the garage, and plane a few boards for an upcoming project.

I'm motivated because I've got some buyers for some of the pieces I've made and requests for more. The best part is, I can make more stuff without worrying that my own home will fill up with my creations. Oh, and of course selling the stuff means money in my pocket. Always a plus.

I looked into making an Etsy store, so that is in the works. So look forward to some shameless stuff plugs once I get that set up.

For now I'm listing my stuff for sale locally on facebook groups and Craigslist. Of course that doesn't mean I can't ship something if you want it. Just send me a message and I'll take care of you.

Hope everyone had a great Halloween, and now we are in no shave November. Let it grow gents, let it grow!

Have a great night!