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Chris Lubkemann is the author of the best-selling books, The Little Book of Whittling and Whittling Twigs and Branches (9781565232365). He is a regular contributor to several carving magazines, including Chip Chats and Woodcarving Illustrated and demonstrates his skill at shows around America.
Our friends at Fox Chapel recently sent us a copy of Tree Craft: 35 Rustic Wood Projects that Bring the Outdoors In, a terrific new book by Chris Lubkemann. The book is a fun collection of wood carving projects that are as approachable as they are easy to make. A master whittler, Lubkeman shows readers how to apply his craft to home projects. With easy-to-follow instructions, he lets us into the basics of woodworking and carving. So, effectively in fact, that soon you'll want to turn your own backyard logs and branches into everyday home furnishings. The whole book is based on only a few different woodworking concepts, but the plethora of ideas that come from those concepts is really wonderful and creative. For Tree Craft, Mr. Lubkemann turned to his own yard. He used a couple of trees that he had cut down to make most of the projects in the book. What we loved about the book is that he doesn't spend much for his materials and recycles materials that he already has very crafty! He has found ways to turn his old tree trunks into useful items from coasters, planters, necklaces and checkerboard tables, to planter, photo frames and lamps he really gives us a run for our money! I was so inspired that after finishing the book, I picked up a stick from our own backyard and carved a letter opener. OK, so I used a box cutter because we didn't have a pocketknife, and Lubkemann has had much more practice at whittling, but . . . I think mine looks really great! This book is AWESOME! Author Chris Lubkemann shows us 35 different crafts using found wood. He has everything from salt & pepper shakers to curtain rods to coffee tables and all sorts of coat/jewelry/hat racks. The projects in Tree Craft are not only a great way to bring the outdoors in, but are also fairly easy to make! Trust me when I say there is something for everyone in this book, and it'll have you out looking for tree stumps and fallen tree limbs. Inspiring, purposeful, and stylish--Tree Craft has ideas for everyone. This book is an inventive spin on eco-living. Hand expert wood carver chris Lubkemann a piece of wood and a knife and before you know it, a pair of candlesticks, a set of wooden spoons, something wonderful to play with or even a place to hang your hat will emerge right before your eyes. With Tree Craft, this bestselling author of The Little Book of Whittling shows you how to transform mere twigs and branches into coasters, salt and pepper shakers, bud vases, a checker board with game pieces, a coat rack and 35 woodworking projects in all that will bring the rustic beauty of the outdoors into your home. Projects range from simple to complex and Chris does such a fantastic job of introducing the tools and explaining the techniques, that even beginners can get in on the fun. Projects range from simple to complex and Chris does such a fantastic job of introducing the tools and explaining the techniques, that even beginners can get in on the fun. This book has 35 projects that can "bring the outdoors in." Tree Craft by Chris Lubkemann tells you how to make rustic wood pieces for your home using found twigs, sticks and logs. Examples of the projects include lamps, a key chain, salt & pepper shakers and clothes hooks and racks. "Going green" is such a hot topic and maybe this book can help in the effort by providing creative ways to decorate your home with found items. It's a little late, but this post is in honor of Earth Day. (I was just too busy on Earth Day to post it!) Recently we got a copy of a new crafting book called Tree Craft: 35 Rustic Wood Projects That Bring the Outdoors In by Chris Lubkemann. When I first heard about it, I admit I wondered if it would be a little hokey. Okay, I was totally wrong. This is such a cool book! Check out some of the beautiful projects Chris shows you how to make using tree branches or stumps that you can find for free. They're totally "green." And several of them would make great Mother's Day gifts. . . My favorite is probably this curtain rod. Have you noticed how expensive curtain rods are? Even at Target? I could go walk around in the woods behind my house and find a curtain rod just laying on the ground! Brilliant! The other thing I like is that these projects are not just for cabins. Yes, most of them are PERFECT for cabin decor, but I could see myself using these in my own home, too. Like how cute is that spoon hanger? That would be darling with kids photos hanging from it for Mother's Day. . .hmmm, I feel a project coming on! If you want to find a copy of Tree Craft, start here. The photography is great, the instructions are clear and simple, and the ideas are genius. Love this book! Easy Projects For Giving Your Home Eco-Chic Style In the past few years the trend toward green living has grown exponentially. More than ever, people are conscious of their impact on the environment and finding opportunities to reunite with nature. Discovering creative ways to recycle and reuse are hot topics, and for the crafty homeowner, living off the land is easier than you might think. With Tree Craft (Fox Chapel Publishing. September 2010), the eco-friendly can give their homes a touch of rustic elegance by bringing the outdoors in. Using found wood, twigs and branches, readers can create a wide range of easy-to-make projects, like taper candlestick holders, knotty wood photo frames, attractive table lamps, and one-of-a-kind decor, like curtain rods, clocks and planters. There's also practical items that add beauty to the dining room and kitchen, such as spoon holders, napkin rings and salt & pepper shakers. With nothing more than a few basic tools, and the step-by-step instructions inside Tree Craft, readers can make 35 fresh projects that will bring the natural warmth of wood indoors. There's even a project for outdoor seating and a game of checkers. Also included is a gallery of contemporary rooms showcasing ideas for decorating a modern home with natural wood accents. Readers will find unfinished pine can provide a soothing, spa-like quality in the home. The many examples of how to reuse and preserve maple, oak and nature's other towering beauties, makes Tree Craft the perfect gift for thrifty and eco-friendly crafters, woodworkers, decorators and home-owners. TREE CRAFT, by Chris Lubkemann, is a how-to book of 35 rustic wood projects that "bring the outdoors in." It's a book about sustainability, using found wood to craft mass-produced items like salt shakers and curtain rods. Lubkemann transforms a small twig into a key chain, slices a branch into coasters, and a downed limb into a coat rack. Not exactly high-end or difficult projects, but an excellent introduction to working wood, especially for the younger generation. Other projects include lamps, clocks and photo frames. The checker and croquet sets are better than anything you're likely to buy in a store. Okay woodworkers, the next time you have finished a project and are waiting for materials for the next one, go out to your woodlot and pick up some dead birch, maple or even viburnum branches and then buy a copy of author Lubkemann's book. He will show you how to make perfect use of those and branches or stumps from other wood species. The author illustrates everything from napkin rings, candelabra and coasters, to the more elaborate lamps or umbrella stands. Lubkemann tells us in detail how to prepare the wood limbs for working and how to preserve them. Convert your ash tree into a gracious jewelry tree or a large tree trunk into a chess board. All of this fun stuff can be found in this beautifully illustrated Fox Chapel book. Two books have recently come on the market that should be included in the libraries of anyone who loves the "art of wood." TREE CRAFT, from Fox Chapel Publishing, provides detailed information on how to construct thirty five "folky rustic" objects of art that will help bring the outdoors, in all its charm and innovation, into your home. What's great about this book is that it provides information and insight into rustic design that has taken decades for many of us in the business to learn. Both books are richly illustrated and will provide hours of entertainment and great information for those interested in wood craft and design. And both books are part of my own library and I refer to them often!" An enduringly popular form of woodworking is the use of natural twigs, branches, and 'found wood' in making items both useful and decorative. In "Tree Craft: 35 Rustic Wood Projects That Bring the Outdoors In," woodworking expert Chris Lubkemann has compiled a series of do-it-yourself, environmentally friendly projects using such materials to create unique and distinctive items ranging from curtain rods to coat racks, and from tables to walking sticks. This superbly illustrated, 144-page instructional manual provides informative and practical information on how and where to find wood, choosing the right tools to work with it, and is further enhanced with the inclusion of a gallery of contemporary rooms presenting ideas for decorating contemporary homes with rustic accents, such as the project 'Thanksgiving Tree'. Thoroughly 'user friendly', "Tree Craft: 35 Rustic Wood Projects That Bring the Outdoors In" will prove a welcome and popular addition to personal, professional and community library woodworking reference collections. Among the 35 stylish, distinctive home decor projects in "Tree Craft" are table lamps, photo frames, curtain rods, planters, vases and a checker set. The following is an excerpt from Tree Craft: 35 Rustic Wood Projects That Bring the Outdoors In by Chris Lubkemann (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2010). Nothing adds more warmth and charm to a home than the simple beauty of natural wood. Thanks to woodworker Lubkemann's creative, practical projects in Tree Craft, bringing the splendor of the outdoors into your home is easier than ever. (Mother Earth News goes on to excerpt the Rustic Coffee Table project and Coat Rack Project) Go Green has become the collective mantra of the times, as people from the four corners of the world try to reconnect with the environment and live a conscious life, cognizant of their impact on the earth's fleeting resources. Accordingly, Chris Lubkemann's Tree Craft (due from Fox-Chapel in August 2010), adds to the ever-growing canon of green literature - a manual dedicated to teaching us how to re-use found wood and transform it into one-of-a-kind furnishings. In Tree Craft, Lubkemann (a seasoned writer and regular contributor to several wood-carving magazines) outlines how readers can use the wood they find strewn about the forest and beach and park to build practical items for both the home and office. For example, Lubkemann demonstrates how a simple branch can be used to build fashionable curtain rods that not only recycle a vital natural resource but also prove significantly more durable than those disposable plastic-based wares that line the shelves of the nation's big-box stores. With incisive step-by-step instructions, Lubkemann educates readers on how to make some 35 projects - as Tree Craft evinces, things like photo frames, table lamps, clocks and planters can be built with ease using a few common household tools. Aside from its cool Green Message, what's best about Tree Craft is in the way it's written: Rather than lecture from the pulpit, Lubkemann proves himself to be a true teacher who shows his audience how it's done by doing it with them. In this age of iPods, fast-food and endless consumption, Chris Lubkemann presents a book that slows us down a bit, urging each of us to open up our eyes and look around at what's in front of us. Ultimately, Tree Craft is not just about building things. It's also about seeing the many faces of the world that surround you. Decorate Your Home the Natural Way! Nothing adds more warmth and charm to a home than the simple, rustic beauty of natural wood. Now, thanks to the inspiring and creative ideas of woodworker Chris Lubkemann, bringing the natural elegance of the outdoors into your home is easier than you think. With little effort that can produce amazing results, twigs, branches and fallen trees can be transformed into artfully designed candle holders, coat racks, and coffee tables that will flavor your home with an eco-chic style. If you're creative, have an appreciation for wood, and can work with a few basic tools, you can create these 35 unique and practical projects using easy-to-follow instructions and some found wood. Among the distinctive projects in Tree Craft, you'll find: *A gallery of knotted-wood photo frames to hold your favorite pictures *Attractive table lamps in a variety of styles *One-of-a-kind dA cor items such as curtain rods, clocks and planters *Beautiful and practical coasters, napkin rings and spoon holders Reusing what nature has provided is a simple way to add rustic elegance to your home. Get outdoors, find some wood and make something beautiful! "Tree Craft" includes 35 earthy-yet-elegant woodworking projects, such as kitchen utensils, photo frames, table lamps and a coffee table. You can tap the splendor of the outdoors easily and practically by crafting these woodworking projects that are at once rugged and artful. Using some found twigs, branches or fallen trees and a few basic tools, you can create Lubkemann's unique, striking pieces for your own space. Eco-living, the artistic way! That's what Tree Craft can show you - how to create a multitude of useful wooden items for your home and personal use. In each of Chris Lebkemann's projects the "rustic" effect is left, which shows the true beauty that nature can offer. The book is broken into 5 main chapters - "Decorating, Dining, Living, Playing, and Working." Each offers a variety of projects, ranging from simple ideas that a youth group could work on, unique additions to your dining table like napkin rings, vases and candle holders, fun games, furniture and more. Chris gathers fallen branches and limbs, eyes stumps with an artistic eye, and is always collecting materials which will find their way into the project they were meant to be at some point! He even uses "scrap" pieces of milled lumber as a base for some of his projects. The beginning of the book discusses types of wood, methods of cleaning bark, and sharpening tools. Next the creativity truly begins. Variations and bonus projects for each idea expand the options. One of my favorite projects is a unique planter or small trash can made from a hollow stump! Another is the "fencepost hole frames" - rustic and beautiful in their simplicity, they would make interesting additions to your home even without photos! The easy writing style, full color photographs, supply lists, and stepped out instructions guide you through the projects and will make you want to start gathering the supplies and start creating projects to, as his book cover states, "bring the outdoors in" yourself!