Ugh, some days…

Ugh, some days…

Nov 05


Yep, some days just don’t turn out as expected.


Still had a couple days off to burn from my day job. Had plans of getting my oil changed Friday, get the deck railing stained, and the outdoor electrical stuff fixed; but the day had other plans for me.


Started off with a dull headache, then our cat Leo made a jig saw puzzle out of one of our Halloween busts we got a few years ago from Home Goods.


Here’s Leo looking innocent.




While being petted, he accidentally knocked the pirate bust off the end table.


The wrought iron railing took the head off and the 4 foot fall to the tiled landing did the rest. It was totally an accident so I can’t blame him or be mad.




I set it all aside and went to Home Depot for electrical parts n pieces. While at Home Depot the headache started getting worse and showing signs of a migraine. Still stuck to the plan and stopped to got my oil changed, but started feeling worse.


When I got home,  I stained the new deck parts real quick.




Then I fixed the broken Halloween bust.


Luckily all the pieces were accounted for and the breaks were somewhat clean. With some patience and a lot of 2 part epoxy, I was able to fix the Halloween pirate bust.




After that, I was done. The headache progressed to a full blown migraine and I was down for the count.


Not at all what I had planned for Friday, but that’s how it goes sometimes.


It’s now Saturday and I’m trying to take it easy and fully recover from the migraine.


It’ll be a few days before I get back to “normal”. Again, that’s just how it goes sometimes.


—– Brandon


The Deck

The Deck

Nov 03


Took a few days off work to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather for November over here in Ohio and get some much needed work done around the house before the bad weather hits.


The deck railing’s bottom board split and a baluster had come out. This made the rest of them loose which left this section of railing very unsafe.


As usual, I got too eager and forgot to get a before shot of it all screwed up and in need of repair.


Here is a shot of it just after I pulled the damaged railing section off. It came off way too easily which means it was really unsafe and way over due for repair.




Here’s a quick picture of it all put back together, fixed right, and most importantly it’s rock solid and safe!




The project looked easy, but I way under estimated it and it ended up taking me all day to finish.


If the weather cooperates, I’ll get it stained to match the rest of the deck soon. If not, it will have to wait for Spring. Regardless, it’s one more item off my list.


 As with any home, there are many more things that need fixed around here. Gonna be tackling them one at a time in hopes of getting most done before the holidays.


—– Brandon

Rolling Eye Anri – Man

Rolling Eye Anri – Man

Apr 20



Here is a rare Rolling Eye Anri that came in for repair from the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum.


As you can see in the pictures below, this piece had a bit of damage around the mouth.

The face was also starting to split on each side of the nose where the wood runs thin.






Here are a few pictures of the piece after the repairs:








This picture shows how the eyes roll when the lever s pulled to open the mouth:




As I mentioned before these are very rare. I’ve been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on a few of these.


—– Brandon



Anri Chef

Anri Chef

Mar 23


Here’s a great example of an Anri Chef nutcracker.

This one came in with a couple chunks missing from the chef’s hat.


Here’s a picture of it in process of being repaired:




Here are some photos after the repairs:





This piece had a very unique patina that was a challenge to replicate. As you can see by the following photo, it came out perfect.




The shop has been really busy so stay tuned for more posts coming soon!


—– Brandon


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Dec 24



 From our home to yours, we want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!








Our cat Leo impatiently waiting for Santa



Our mantle with the Haunted Mansion inspired mirror displaying Christmas loops



Gus from the Haunted Mansion all decked out for Christmas hanging out with the soldier style nutcrackers



COOKIES! Molasses cookies, my favorite! – Recipe here –>



Merry Christmas everyone!


Homemade Gin – Day 3

Homemade Gin – Day 3

Apr 06


Ladies and gentlemen, we have Gin!


With this kit, it only takes about 36 hours to make Gin.


The kit is great! It came complete with everything to make Gin except 750 ml of cheap run-of-the-mill Vodka. It even includes the bottles to put it in!




I was skeptical that the strainer would actually work and keep out all the solids I had added to the Vodka (see Day 2 post).


As you can see, it worked great! No solids whatsoever!




So, how does it taste? Well, I’ve never had Gin, but I can definitely say it’s a sippin’ kind of drink. That’s a good thing, though.


 It’s smooth with what I would call a hint of coconut and pine combined. I know, that sounds awful, but it’s not. Mixed with Sierra Mist, it tastes kind of like Ginger Ale, but smoother. It’s good.


Keep in mind, I’ve never had Gin so my description may be a bit unorthodox because I’m not at all familiar with Gin. Feel free to leave comments if I’ve completely botched describing it.


Honestly, this was drop dead easy to do and I think the results are great. The kit runs about $50 and they sell the seasonings separately so you can keep using the kit over and over.


I give this kit a solid thumbs up so if you like Gin, definitely give the Homemade Gin Kit a try –


—– Brandon