Dining Out San Diego Magazine


You might remember my post in early March about Carolyn Himes photographing Chef Rob Ruiz food for the Dining Out San Diego magazine, my post was San Diego Magazine. I am excited to write this post and grateful to Carolyn, Chef Rob Ruiz and all those at the Dining Out magazine that was involved in the process of the shoot and selecting this photograph, thank you! Carolyn emailed me late this evening to let me know that the Dining Out magazine is published as of this afternoon,  her photograph, chef Rob Ruiz food and my Walnut cutting board is on the front cover!!  Love it, Love it, Love it!!


Beautiful photos!


If you are interested in reading more, below are links to the story! 

Dining Out San Diego Instagram

Dining Out San Diego magazine digital issue, great article on Chef Ruiz!

Land and Water Company Instagram

Chef Rob Ruiz also posted on his Instagram as well, Chef Rob Ruiz Instagram

Carolyn Himes website; Carolyn Himes Imagery. Be sure to check out Carolyn’s website!

Thank you Carolyn!!





Milling Black Walnut Flitches


A friend milled Walnut flitches for me this week. You never know what is inside a log before you start cutting but this Black Walnut log was beautiful inside.


Each piece is stacked in the order they were cut, just like the shape of the original log.

The first cut of a log or “Flitching Line” is the most important cut as the location of the first cut dictates the grain pattern for the entire sequence of cuts. Only years of experience on where the flitching line should be on the log will unveil the best the log has to offer in grain and color. If you get this first cut wrong, you could have unusable lumber.


This Black Walnut log is absolutely beautiful, just amazing! I was so excited to see the beautiful colors and grain.


Each flitch is around 14+ inches wide.


All of these boards were stacked in order of the cut and will be slowly air-dried. The boards will be stacked 10″ off the ground on a stable base. So that air can pass over each board, sticker boards are placed between each board. The sticker boards are all the same size or it will cause warped boards as the boards would be unevenly  stacked. Once the stack is completed, each end of the boards will be painted with Anchorseal 2 to seal the ends of each board. Sealing the ends prevents splitting, cracking and lows down the drying process.


All of these boards were cut to a thickness of 5/4. It generally takes  about a year to dry 5/4 before it can be used. The moisture content was 100% when these were cut. The moisture content will be monitored during the drying process. As I monitor the moisture I will also make sure that the flitches do not dry too fast which will cause splitting and cracking.

I hope you enjoyed seeing how logs are milled!  These boards are going to make some beautiful pieces!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Walnut Cutting Boards


Photo credit Tricia Buice






Tulip Magnolias are Blooming!


The tulip magnolias are blooming about a week early this year than last year and they are beautiful. We have three large pink tulip magnolia tree, I believe the name is Sharon. We also have one large yellow tulip magnolia tree.


The yellow tulip magnolia tree flowers are spectacular, some are a light yellow and others are darker color!

Do you grow any tulip magnolias?

Enjoy your Monday!


The photo below was taken by Food Photographer Tricia Buice

handcrafted ice cream scoop


Walnut Coasters


Back in December I post Walnut and Pentacryl, the two Walnut rounds I had cut that day from a wet Walnut log and then soaked them in a Pentacryl bath. Pentacryl is a non-toxic liquid compound of modified polymers designed to prevent racking and splitting of green wood for the drying process.  Basically a preservation solution.

The idea in using Pentacryl was to stop the cracking and splitting. After soaking for 72 hours, they have been drying naturally in my shop with cardboard on both sides. Every week or so I would check the moisture content.


Just last week, the moisture content reached 9% which is what I needed before I could start preparing them for finishing. After I ran them them the drum sander to get both sides flat, I started sanding each side with 60 grit paper, then 100 grit, 120, 150, 200, 240, 280, 320, 400 and finished up with 600 grit.

After sanding I placed them into a food grade mineral oil bath. After 30 minutes I removed them from the oil bath for drying. Here is a picture of what they look like now!


The mineral oil makes them shiny but will soon soak into the wood and be a nice finish. The bark is holding on but over time could fall off or not, I am hoping it will stay.


They are looking good!


On February 13th, I posted Rustic Black Walnut Wood Slices, today I checked the moisture content on all of these and they are now at 11 to 14%. Still waiting on them to get to 9% moisture content so I can work these too!


The photo below of my boards Food Photographer Tricia Buice! Check out her website, Saving Room for Dessert.




Creeping Phlox


Early this morning I could count the number of blooms on my creeping phlox. Our temperatures today reached nearly 80 degrees and by 5:00 this evening it is now in full bloom. My Creeping Phlox is very beautiful this year! Do you grow Creeping Phlox?


The bumble bees were hovering all around but I just couldn’t get a good picture!! This is the first of our spring blooms, isn’t it beautiful?!! Spring is  finally here this Friday, I am certainly ready for warmer weather!

I hope you have a beautiful spring! What is blooming in your garden? What is your favorite spring flower?


Click image to find out more about my handcrafter ice cream scoop!



Pi Day

So tomorrow is Pi Day, the Greek letter “π” is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159. Do you remember learning about Pi in school?

On Pi Day, many people celebrate by eating their favorite pie! If I had to pick a favorite pie, it would be the strawberry pie!!

Delicious strawberry pie

Then there is the pizza pie!! I love pizza and there is a new place in town that has an awesome Meatball Pizza Pie!!!


Sidewall Pizza in Travelers Rest, SC   Sidewall Pizza Instagram

Or maybe you like the traditional pizza!!

28 inch pizza

There are so many pies, it would be hard to list all of them, many are sweet but there are others that are comfort food!

Like the chicken pot pie!!!…delicious on a day like today, all rainy and cool!

chicken pot pie

So, what is your favorite pie!     Is it sweet or savory?     Comfort food?

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!!!


Photo credit Tricia Buice

San Diego Magazine

Michaels woodcraft solid-walnut-cutting-board

Above picture taken in my shop: 12 inch Walnut cutting boards just taken out of the food grade mineral oil and beeswax bath for drying.

An Orange County, CA food photographer Carolyn  Himes saw my work on Instagram and purchased the above Walnut board from me several weeks ago. She told me that she was going to use the board in a photo shoot for a popular local Carlsbad, CA restaurant Land & Water Co. with chef Rob Ruiz. The pictures would be used in the popular magazine Dinning Out the Great Restaurants of San Diego. Here is the link to the Land & water Co restaurant. This Is very exciting 🙂 to know that my work had a chance to be published, other than my website! The photo shoot finished a week ago.

Carolyn email me on Friday to say that the pictures were approved and a picture was selected to be printed on the cover of the magazine, March issue slated for the stands on March 24th. Very exciting!!! Doing the Happy dance! In Carolyn’s email she gave me pictures of the magazine cover and the picture that was selected, it looks great!! Sorry but I can not publish any of these pictures until after the March 24th date. The pictures will also be posted on Chef Rob Ruiz website around March 24th.

Carolyn posted two photographs from the shoot on her Instagram, here is the link: Carolyn Himes Instagram

Carolyn’s web site: Carolyn Himes Imagery

Chef Rob Ruiz also post a picture on his Instagram as well, Chef Rob Ruiz Instagram

See more; Dining Out San Diego

Dining Out San Diego Instagram

Look for another blog post from me the week of March 24th with more pictures and the magazine cover picture too! 🙂 

Hike Down the Mountain to the Car

snow o the mountain

Last weeks snow on Wednesday – Thursday brought us 5 inches plus on the mountain. The mountain is beautiful with snow!

Since we know that our road is impossible to drive out when we have snow and ice, I park one car down the mountain that is a little more than a mile hike to and from the house.


The above picture is our drive way, I am hike down to see if we have any trees down.


There are tracks everywhere in the snow, these are coyote tracks.


I hiked all the way to the car and back, no trees down this time. That’s great because the week before with all the sleet we had trees down all across our driveway!

The snow is pretty but I am glad it is gone!! 🙂


I am making cheese boards and serving boards with a recessed edge, check this picture out! This one is Walnut, Walnut Cheese Board with recessed edge!