Vintage Canoe Paddle

This is my second post in honor of Father’s Day. Previously I posted a vintage tripod lamp DIY in honor of my Grandpa Al, but this week is for my Grandpa Frank.

By education Frank was a doctor, but when he retired he bought land overlooking Mt. Rainier, and spent most of his time hunting, fishing, and exploring the mountains. He was definitely an outdoorsy Grandpa. :) I caught my first “wild” fish with him, rode a pony for the first time (while crying) and enjoyed running around with my cousins on his farm. He loved spending time in nature. And whether it was hiking, fishing or just spending time on his land, he embodied that Northwest spirit that I love.

When I was in girl scouts I did two summers at canoe camp. We spent one to two weeks canoeing down local Northwest rivers, cooking and camping each night as we traveled down the river. It is one of my highlights of my childhood, and I grew to love canoeing because of it. My Grandfather also liked to canoe, and once upon a time ago he built a canoe with some buddies, and the story I heard was that he inevitably crashed it shortly after their first voyage. I inherited a beaver tail paddle from him and when I saw some painted paddles in a local boutique shop, I knew I needed to recreate something like it using his paddle.

I started by borrowing my brother-in-law’s sander, and then finished it off with my own. A Christmas gift from my family, most likely because I kept asking to borrow their tools. :) I used the sander with a few different grits of sandpaper.

  • High – for sanding off the burnt sienna paint job (and revealing another coat of gray paint underneath)
  • Medium – for working through all the groves
  • Light – for finishing it off smooth








Vintage Tripod Lamp

In honor of Father’s Day coming up on June 16th, this is the first of three posts in honor of the three most important father’s in my life. First up, my Grandpa Al.

My grandpa was an avid photographer. Not only in his free time, but as his job. After World War II and a stint in the Merchant Marines, he joined the Navy and worked his way up to becoming a photographer. Here he is, hard at work on board the USS Hancock CV/CVA-19.

He was a wonderful grandfather, father and husband. He had a gentle loving spirit and I miss him. :) We shared a love for photography, and when my Dad gave me his old tripod, I knew I needed to take special care in what I did with it. It is such a beautiful tripod (if there is such a thing)…solid chrome, and impeccably cared for. I would consider using it as an actual tripod, however it is heavy!! There is no way I would lug it around. I’m not sure how he did it.

I will think of him every time I see this lamp, and revel in his creativity when it shines light on what I’m making. So in honor of my Grandpa, I felt that the (above) quote by Ansel Adams was the perfect sentiment regarding the art of photography, as well as being a maker. So if you’re looking down Grandpa, I hope you enjoy my creation.





Step 1:

Find a friend who is an engineer (or handy.)

I thought this would be a fairly easy project, but what I thought would be a simple “unscrew the plate and attach the lamp kit” I realized that this screw was not easily removable, and the top portion needed to be taken apart, and a hole needed to be drilled to attach the lamp kit securely. Yikes. I mentioned it to my friend GT, and he had some ideas of how to accomplish it. He seriously gets all the credit for this DIY, because I literally couldn’t have done it without him. THANKS GT!!! :)


Step 2:

Once the threaded nipple was screwed into the tripod, you attach the socket cap. From there I threaded the lamp cord through the hole and attached each end to the terminals. Last step, place the socket shall over the top and made sure it was firmly set inside the socket cap.


Step 3:

Placed the wire cage over the socket shall and tightened in place.


Step 4:

Last step, screw in a new lightbulb and hope that when you plug it in…it turns on. :)