Fish Out of Water – Intarsia Woodworking

Fish Full

Fish with Lure 2

Most everything that I do, I do with someone in mind and/or for some reason. I very rarely make something just to make it. I found a picture a while back that I really liked of a fish jumping up out of the water to catch a dragon-fly. What drew me to this design was the way the water seemed to splash right out of the frame over a log. I had it printed and held on to it until now.

My brother-in-law had a band saw that he never used and it seemed like it was going to waste. I had a feeling he would just be getting rid of it soon, so I called him up and asked him what his plans were for this saw. His response was “I’m taking it to your house!” Perfect I thought! I get a new toy and now I have an excuse to make him something as a way of saying “Thank You!”

It didn’t take me long to remember the fish design that I had stored away for such an occasion as this. I pulled it out and got to work immediately. Once I started this piece, I began to make small changes here and there. The design called for some weeds and cat tails sticking up out of the water. I didn’t like this as much, so I removed them from my plan. I also decided to remove the dragon-fly that the fish was jumping up to grab and I inserted a fishing lure.

Since my brother-in-law is a fisherman, I knew this change would personalize this piece and make all the difference in the world. I wanted it to look like the fish had just been hooked and was being pulled up out of the water. His delight when I gave it to him makes all of this worthwhile and I would consider this a mission accomplished!

We currently have a contest going on. If you like our Facebook page, you will be entered into the drawing for the Rose intarsia piece. As soon as we hit 200 Likes, we will hold the drawing. Each time you share our page with your friends, it will gain you additional entries into the drawing! Currently we are at 126 Likes on Facebook, so we are not far off from our goal. Continue sharing our page so that your name is in the drawing multiple times and we hit our goal faster! Good Luck!

A New Adventure at The Lace Bandana



I was flipping through our local newspaper this weekend when I came upon an article about a new local business that has just recently opened in Azle, TX. called The Lace Bandana. What caught my eye were photographs of homemade crafts and art from local artisans from around the area. I read the article to find out that a mother daughter duo has opened this unique store to give local vendors an opportunity to share in their passion of creating and selling one of a kind products.

I just had to check this out. I have lived in this area for quite some time and I have never seen such a great concept come to life. I drove out to their shop right before they closed to see what it was all about. I immediately loved the environment. I was greeted warmly as I walked in the door. I wanted to do a walk through before asking any questions about becoming a vendor. As I walked around I found some beautiful works of art, crafts, vintage items, etc. I really enjoyed looking at all of the great stuff. I was convinced, that this seemed like a great place to display my works as well.




I made my way back to the front of the store and was able to meet the mother daughter team that owns the shop. Both were extremely nice and welcoming. They provided me all of the information on becoming a vendor in their store, and before I left, I had my deposit paid and everything set to move in this coming weekend.

I am very excited to embark on this new adventure. I have never had any of my work displayed in a shop of this sort before, and I am anxious to join The Lace Bandana team. We are set to move in on 03/30/2013, so if you are in the area, please stop by and take a look at what we have in store and what this new shop has to offer. I will continue to keep you updated on the move in as well as the progress of the shop. If you would like more information on The Lace Bandana you can visit their website at They will begin online sales as well very soon, so keep watch for that. They also have a Facebook page at

Longhorn Stampede – Intarsia Woodworking

Longhorn Finished

I have just finished a new project that I am very excited about titled Longhorn Stampede. One of my favorite artist is Roberta Wesley. I often draw inspiration from her works. She has done a painting called “Day of the Horns” that I am very fond of, and this work inspired me to do a piece that I call Longhorn Stampede. In Roberta’s painting, the thing that draws me to it the most is the fact that the longhorn cattle seem to be running right towards you. To view Roberta Wesley’s work you can visit

I too wanted to create this illusion in my piece by layering the longhorns so that the very front longhorn is raised out of the picture the farthest and then each longhorn in the back ground is further and further back to created a 3D effect. I did this by starting with the center longhorn and working my way backwards.

I chose to do different types of wood for each longhorn in the piece to give it depth and to make it easier to differentiate each animal. Once all of the longhorns were completed, I then did the background. Like in Roberta Wesley’s painting, I also added a windmill in the background that I feel gives the project more character.

I framed the piece and added some old rusted barbed wire to the frame to give it the western rustic look.

I have been asked to take part in a local charity event that I am very excited about. The Azle Community Caring Center in Azle, TX. is putting on a Taste Tour Event on April 27th, 2013. Tickets are $25.00 each at local businesses or $30.00 on the day of the event. The taste tour is a sneak peek into 5 or 6 of Azle’s most beautiful and luxurious homes.

In each of these homes, guests will enter through the front door and walk into the kitchen/dining area. There, they will find a chef from an area restaurant or catering company who will be serving up a taste of one of their special culinary creations. Guests will walk from home to home sampling taste from around the world.

All proceeds from this taste tour will benefit the Azle Community Caring Center who does so much for our community including providing a weekend backpack of food that is sent home with about 350 children each week during the school year to ensure that the children have enough food to make it through the weekend.

I have been asked to participate in this event and to help raise money for this cause. I will be donating this piece to the Azle Community Caring Center to auction off prior to the Taste Tour. A private VIP party will be held prior to the tour where sponsors and donors will be able to bid on my piece and all the proceeds will go to the center.

For additional information on the Taste Tour and about Azle Community Caring Center visit

I will keep you all updated on the event as well.

For more pictures of this project, visit my website

Butterfly Done

My newest project is of a ribbon butterfly for blood cancer research. I was contacted the other day by a wonderful lady named Jeanne who let me know that she was working with an organization called Team in Training that raises money for cancer research. She contacted me to ask if I would be willing to donate a piece to help raise funds for this cause. I was very honored that I was asked and I am excited that I could do something to help. I went online and looked into this great organization and learned that they have been working to help find a cure for 25 years and has made significant strides in cancer research. To learn more about this organization, visit Team in Training

My daughter who helps me run Chris Mobley Designs was just as excited about this project as I was. She wanted to come up with the design and help in any way that she could. I felt this was a perfect opportunity to teach her a few things about woodworking in the process.

She drew up a cancer ribbon with butterfly wings design and we started on the project that evening. We began by cutting out all of the pieces and assembling them to create the image.

Butterfly Cut out

Then it was time to sand and shape the pieces to give it that rounded look. We also decided to raise the ribbon up from the wings to help it stand out.

Butterfly Pieces

It was then time to assemble the project onto a backer. We chose to use pine on this project so that the walnut wings and the cedar ribbon would really pop against the light background.

originally, we were not going to add a frame to the design, but once everything was assembled, we decided that it would enhance the project, so we created a small frame to give it a more finished look.

Butterfly Frame

Once the frame was in place, we could seal the wood and put the finish on.

Butterfly Sprayed

I really enjoyed this project for multiple reasons. I got to spend some quality time with my daughter as we created this together and I believe that she learned a few things. In fact, when we were finished she looked at me and said “I have to get busy finding a new project to do”. This makes me feel great to know that she is enthusiastic about doing woodworking like I am. I am also very happy that I could do this piece for a good cause. I am inspired by Jeanne and the personal mission she has embarked on with Team in Training

To help Jeanne in her mission and to donate to Team in Training, visit Jeanne’s page at

We still have our Facebook competition going on right now. Like our Facebook page and share our page with your friends to be entered to win this rose intarsia piece. As soon as we hit 200 “Likes” on our page we will hold the drawing! Don’t miss out!

Visit my website at

Turning Photographs into Wood Art

Some of my favorite projects to do is turning photographs into wood art. Each piece is unique and has special characteristics that mean something special to the customer. Taking something that a customer loves and turning it into artwork preserves that thing along with the memories that surround it. Some of the most common request that I get for these types of custom projects are vehicles, pets, homes, etc.

Boss Before and After

I enjoy creating these because each one is custom and there is not another like it. I get to create a plan and pattern that develops into something that no one else has done before.

Chevy Before and After

Of course there is something to be said about using set patterns created by accomplished pattern makers such as Judy Gale Roberts and Kathy Wise, but it is a lot of fun making up your own as you go.

Harley Ultra Classic

Sometimes making these wood art projects from photographs do not go quite as planned and there is often redesigning and additional planning needed, but this is where it gets interesting and fun.

Pictures to Art

If you are interested in ordering a custom piece from a photograph, simply use the “Contact Us” tab on our homepage to send us a message. All that is needed is a photograph and approximate dimensions and we will do the rest.

We are proud to announce that our Etsy shop is up and running. This allows us to accept major credit cards and etsy gift certificates. Please visit our newly updated “Intarsia Shop” tab on our homepage to view our updated inventory and purchase items.

We also have a contest drawing going on through Facebook. To enter into the drawing for this Rose intarsia piece you can

The Rose

1) Subscribe to our Blog at

2) Like our Facebook page at

3) Share our Facebook page with your friends

Your name can be in the drawing multiple times. We will hold the drawing as soon as we hit 200 Likes on our Facebook page.

Good Luck!

The Daughter of a Woodworker – My First Woodworking Experience

Written By: Bonnie Bartay

Some of my favorite memories as a young kid are spending time with my dad in his workshop. From a very young age, I remember playing in his shop while he worked. As an adult, I have helped my father with his construction business and now with Chris Mobley Designs. I do all of the paperwork part and even draw out plans but he does the real magic. I have never actually done any sort of woodworking myself though. After Chris wrote the article about Intarsia and Segmentation Woodworking for Beginners, I decided that I would like to give it a try. I could never hope to be half as good as my father is at this art, but it looks fun.

I took my time and did my research, but I went against my father’s advice, and made my own pattern for my first project. Of course, he was there to help me out, so I felt confident that if I got in over my head he would be there.

There are a few things that I learned from this project.

1) Woodworking is not as easy as my father makes it look. He makes cuts with the saw so effortlessly. This is not the case for me.

2) The scroll saw is not scary. Once I realized the mechanics of it and realized that it was unlikely that I would get hurt, I was much more at ease.

3) I must relax a bit more. The whole time I was cutting out the design, I was so tense that my shoulders are sore. Guiding the wood with your fingertips instead of your whole hand on the scroll saw helps with relaxing.

4) I absolutely love the smell of cedar wood when it is being cut. I have always been a big fan of cedar. In fact, I think it is my favorite wood. I like the look and the smell, but when it is being cut, it is just that much better.

5) Even though the design I picked out is fairly simplistic, a beginner’s pattern should be used for your first project.

It is not completely finished yet, but I have really enjoyed working on this project. I have learned a lot and I have spent some great time with my father. I do not think this will be my last woodworking project, but I think that I need to stick with the business aspect of Chris Mobley Designs and leave the real work up to my father.

We are proud to announce that our Etsy shop is up and running. This allows us to accept major credit cards and etsy gift certificates. Please visit our newly updated “Intarsia Shop” tab on our homepage to view our updated inventory and purchase items.

We also have a contest drawing going on through Facebook. To enter into the drawing for this Rose intarsia piece you can

The Rose

1) Subscribe to our Blog at

2) Like our Facebook page at

3) Share our Facebook page with your friends

Your name can be in the drawing multiple times. We will hold the drawing as soon as we hit 200 Likes on our Facebook page.

Good Luck!

An Unexpected Break from Woodworking

I had an unusual experience yesterday that is leading me to take an unexpected break from woodworking. Now, I only expect this break to last a few days, so no need to worry. The strangest things seem to happen to me, and my immediate family for that matter, that I could not resist telling the story.

Yesterday, I took my manual transmission work truck to get its state inspection done. Since I don’t drive it very often, I had been neglecting to get it done for quite some time. I took it to a local all-in-one shop that does tires, oil changes, inspections, etc. The gentleman doing my inspection was very nice. I pulled my truck into the parking lot and let him know what I was there for. He quickly jumped in my truck and had it in a bay to begin before I knew it. He immediately began doing an examination of the vehicle. I really liked the fact that I did not have to wait for service and I would be on my way shortly.

I stood in the doorway between the office and the bay that my truck was in watching the mechanic do his work. A lady with two young children were also they’re getting the tire fixed on her car. The woman was in the small office’s waiting area while her two children were playing in the parking lot right outside the doors. The mechanic went around to the driver’s side of the truck and checked that the parking brake worked and then released the parking brake and walked away.

A few seconds later, my truck began to roll since it was on an incline. It was headed in the direct path of where those two children were playing. My heart dropped and my father instincts kicked in. I yelled for the kids to move as I ran to the truck that was moving at a good speed. Either the children did not hear me or they didn’t understand what was going on because they didn’t budge from the spot they were occupying. I got to my door and flung it open. I managed to get one foot inside the vehicle and get to the brake just as the truck door slammed into the railing frame of the roll up bay doors on the shop.

My hand was crushed! I had been holding onto the truck door for stability while trying to get my foot inside. When the door of the truck collided with the door frame of the shop it pinned my hand there between them. I was in an awkward position. If I let my foot off the brake, it would increase the pressure on my hand, but I could not get my other foot inside the vehicle to push in the clutch so that the truck could be put into gear. This is when I became aware of my surroundings. The mechanic was in shock of what was going on and he was unsure of how to help me. He ran around the truck several times looking for ways to free my hand. I finally worked my other foot inside the vehicle. At this time, I have both feet inside and I was able to push the clutch in and get the vehicle into gear so that I could get free.

As soon as I was loose, another mechanic jumped in the truck and got it out-of-the-way as I assessed the damage of my hand. I have little feeling in the top of this hand from a prior injury that left me with the nickname “Slash”. I don’t know if this is a good thing or not. I knew my hand was bad, but because I don’t have complete feeling in it, I could not tell how badly I was injured.

The mechanic that was doing the inspection on my vehicle could not have apologized more. He ran across the street to a local pharmacy and got bandages and peroxide to clean the wound it left. He finished the inspection at no charge and even gave me a soda while I waited. Everyone kept urging me to call for an ambulance and go to the hospital, but I did not want to cause a fuss over just a few broken bones and a cut.

Then I had to tell the wife what happened! This was almost as scary as the event itself. She of course was extremely concerned and urged me to take a hospital visit. I calmed her and let her know that I was fine. As the evening went on, the swelling in my hand increased. This morning, now that all of the shock has worn off, I am swore and almost positive that my hand is fractured at the very least, but I cannot let that slow me down! I plan on taking a few days off to let the soreness where off and then I plan on being back in action! I am not quite sure why these odd incidents keep occurring to me, but at least it has left me with a good story!

We are proud to announce that our Etsy shop is up and running. This allows us to accept major credit cards and etsy gift certificates. Please visit our newly updated “Intarsia Shop” tab on our homepage to view our updated inventory and purchase items.

We also have a contest drawing going on through Facebook. To enter into the drawing for this Rose intarsia piece you can

Facebook Rose Drawing

1) Subscribe to our Blog at

2) Like our Facebook page at

3) Share our Facebook page with your friends

Your name can be in the drawing multiple times. We will hold the drawing as soon as we hit 200 Likes on our Facebook page.

Good Luck!