Growing up in Northeast Georgia, my summers were framed by the smell of honeysuckle. There are few smells that evoke as strong a tie to my childhood and hometown than that of wild honeysuckle. In exploration of my newfound woodworking skills, I find myself surrounded by the smell of sawdust. Honeysuckle & Sawdust, as a name, is the best way I can describe who I am, where I've been, and where I'm headed.

Honeysuckle & Sawdust all began because of some family heirloom china that awoke a dream. My name is Mandi and I am an Accountant -- or, that's what I would have said two years ago. When my husband's grandparents gifted us an antique wedding china set, I just knew it needed to be displayed beautifully in our brand new dining room. I searched high and low for the perfect china cabinet, but all I found was over-priced (albeit gorgeous) furniture or something not quite good enough. So I resorted to Google images - and there it was. Following the links, though, I discovered that I could not buy the china cabinet in the photo. No, if I wanted that one, I would have to build it.

...if I wanted that one, I would have to build it.

The link lead to Ana-White.com, a website dedicated to DIY furniture with free build plans. After careful consideration, and many dubious comments from family and friends, I decided I could build it. Keep in mind that I had zero woodworking experience and had only held a power drill a few times in my life at that point. We certainly had no power tools.

But deep down I knew I could do it. My whole life I've dreamed of building furniture. It wasn't something I said aloud, or something I ever acted on - but it was definitely there. Once as a kid I asked my father to help me build a pallet-wood picnic table for my grandmother and an industrial-style, counter-height work table for my mother. He obliged, but of course did most of the work. I was eager to do it myself, but never pushed hard enough to learn what he was doing.

My whole life I’ve dreamed of building furniture.

Reading the china cabinet plans over and over, I kept saying to myself, "It doesn't look that hard. I can definitely do that." So I got up, put on some shoes, and went to Home Depot to buy a miter saw, circular saw, nail gun, power drill, and sander. I picked up all the materials Ana White said I needed, rented a truck, and was home before dark. The build took several months of an-hour-here, an-hour-there work, punctuated by a few hours of watching YouTube to learn the ins and outs. And when I was done, it was the proudest moment of my recent memory. I built it all by myself.

I built it all by myself.

From there I picked up new skills on various smaller projects. Eventually I decided to build a few tables to sell at a rented booth in the Lakewood 400 Antiques Market in Cumming, Georgia.

I don't claim to be a master woodworker. I don't know everything there is to know about wood, stains, paint, and finishes. I haven't apprenticed under a cabinet maker who was born about the same time as God invented dirt.

I am a simple Southern girl with a dream and some power tools. I take pride in my work, and I look forward to learning as much as possible, all while building that dream table for you.

 

-Mandi