About Me

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I am the owner and operator of Cabeen Originals, a custom woodworking company offering fine furniture and cabinets from sustainable materials.

I have a lovely wife and two wonderful twin girls!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Make Work: Eleventh Installment 'Paradise Gardens'

I had to go get some walnut today at a lumber yard in Summerville Georgia today. Summerville is home to a very unique place known as Paradise Gardens, or the home and compound of Howard Finster. If you have not been there, I suggest you go....

Why? Well, you probably have never been to a place like Paradise Gardens before. It is this mish-mash of stuff that looks like it was thrown together in a systematic organized hap-hazard way. Make sense? Didn't think so.

It is worth seeing, it is known world wide. There are some odd things there, some inspiring things, as well as things that sparked a little design for me. If you want to see what someone will do without a care of what others really think, visit Paradise Gardens. It is bound to have some sort of effect on you.

I have a couple of low res pics from my camera phone....

Also, here is a pic of a curved door we made in the shop. Pretty cool ehh?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Make Work: Tenth Installment 'Tornados'

"I went to sleep with gum in my mouth now there's gum in my hair and by mistake I tripped on the skateboard when I got out of bed and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day." *

Thats what is was.

April 27th will live on in my mind for a long long time. It was the day that over 200 tornados tore across the South. Including my area of dwelling and my hometown, Ringgold Georgia.

You see, I love the weather. I look at it all the time, it fascinates me, how it changes without regard for us. Somehow we think we can alter it. I had not looked at the weather in a while though, but I found out quick what was coming.

I work in a Business Development Center, essentially, a lot of different business that do different things, getting their ideas off the ground. When the first wave came through, I could feel it. I could see that the clouds were not really the same as a storm cloud, anyone knows that. It had that erie look and feel, oddly cool. Lots of wind, that would not stop, then would die off to nothing. Thats when I get afraid.

When the first wave was coming through, we depended on the geeks with the smart-phones to show us what was happening. I tried and tried to call my wife but the calls would not go out. Then I finally got her, it was spotty but I got the message across 'be careful!'.

I later found out that the first round that morning had a couple tornados in it, one hit the legendary Lookout Mountain. It took out a couple houses that were complete losses. You see, we have been taught a bit of a urban myth. 'Chattanooga will never get a tornado because the mountains around us make a 'bowl' that makes a tornado impossible.....'

Wrong. Wrong.

I told my lead carpenter that we need to call it early, at this point the meteorologists knew what was coming. Another wave at 2 p.m. and another at 8 p.m.. It felt like the impending doom that we all fear, it's coming and you cannot run or drive or fly fast enough.

I got home after 1 P.M., found that a branch came close to hitting the house and was glad it did not, my wife and girls were right there beside it in the sun room. I came inside, settled down (as best I could) and proceeded to look at the neighbors tree that dropped like a bad habit. I am still gathering wood from that.

Once I could get a good idea that things were coming close as promised, we went to the basement. You could have been dragging me to a gas chamber, I was as nervous as though I was going to my grave. I prayed while my knee jumped like a jitterbug. As the storm approached, my Brother was texting me updates due to the internet being down from the first storm. You could hear the wind, then the Quarter size hail, then more wind. I went upstairs to check but came back downstairs after seeing the trees bend like plastic straws in the wind. Once it was quiet for a while, we came back upstairs. We looked around, no damage, and we thanked God we were OK.

Then we had dinner, after that, a friend called. She told us about the tornado that hit Tuscaloosa earlier that day. 'It was a mile wide' she said 'that storm system is headed our way'. My heart rate went up again, then after getting some more weather info, we planned for it to hit around 8 PM. My Brother was my eyes and ears again, he would tell us to get in the basement when a cell was coming over. We turned on a video for our twin girls and we waited it out. The wind and rain and hails again.

Then it happened.

I got several text messages from my Brother about how we would have a couple minutes left or how we were in the clear. Then he texted me 'we are in the basement'. 'Why?' I said. 'Tornado is touching down' he says. 'How do you know?' 'The house is shaking....'

He was right, it was just a quarter of a mile away. After it went through, his next text to me was 'every major building in Ringgold is destroyed'. Now, my brother is a bit of a joker, I did not believe his last text, until the next day.

Once the storms moved out and we were up the next day (without power) it started to dawn on us what had happened. In the system that came through the South, there were 288 Tornados, 344 (approx..) deaths and many structures damaged or demolished by this storm. I have seen this on the news before, some town in OK that is blown away and my thought is 'another one?'. Once you see your hometown like this, the burger joints you go to, the pizza hut that you have your soccer party at, where you took 8th grade classes. Gone.

There are a LOT of crazy stories coming out of these storms, too many to post about. Many people were in it and survived, while their neighbors did not.

April 27th 2011, will live on in my mind for a long time, as it will with many others. I must say, I am glad to be alive, glad to have my family.

I have noticed that I hug my children a little tighter, as well as my wife. Things could have turned out so differently, but I was fortunate.

As I try to move forward with business, life and other things, my mind returns to that day. My heart still beats a little faster....

*Oh, by the way, the quote above is from a book I read my girls. It is about this kid having a bad day, thought it was fitting.
"Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good very bad day"
By: Judith Viorst

Monday, April 11, 2011

Make Work: Ninth Installment "How I learned more in 8 days in High Point than I have in 2 years"

High Point has come and gone. The town is deserted and the show is just a memory. The mad dash to get out and get home is over and we are in a flurry of phone calls to get back to the norm and follow up on leads and possible new ventures. Sigh.....

I learned so much in one week at market that I had to decompress for 3 days just to remain sane. You would think that I would feel as though I have 'arrived' after being featured on the cover of a major B2B magazine, but I don't, I only feel like there is more work to do on my part. Better designs, better looking booth next market, scale of the pieces, placement of my booth, what to make, who to have make it (not China!), what to focus on...... So, these are just a few of the things that I need to consider as I propel this business onto the national and even international scene.

I have attached a couple pictures of the booth as well as a picture of the cover of the Home Accents Today post.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Make Work: Eigth Installment "Countdown to High Point"

I got a letter in the mail the other day. If you never get a chance to do this, you really ought to try it. It was a letter from myself. It had some goals that I had written down from a while back (6 months to be exact) that I said that I wanted to have completed. I had two written down, one of them was scribbled out. But one was interesting, it said "get to high point". ???????? What? Well, I am going, and showing. This is a MASSIVE step for me, but seems oddly attainable. I will be showing my debut line called 'Northshore Hills' and will have occasional tables and occasional seating. That way, designers and retailers can just invest a little and not the farm in my work.

But the one thing about that letter that struck me was the fact that I just wrote it down and the goal was attained. That simple. I have heard people tell me that you should write all your goals down, put them in a drawer and don't look at them for a year, then pull them out and see what you have done, 90% of the time you do them.

So, what are my other goals?

What are yours?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Make Work: Seventh Installment 'Snow (again) and red cedar'

Today, it snowed again. But this is the snow that I am used to in Chattanooga. It snows in the night, you wake up to about 1/2 inch and it is melted by the morning. Kids still get off from school...... I know.

Today we worked with red cedar, that stuff is outright smelly, in a good way. It smells like a gerbal cage in the shop. The fine dust it makes is hard on the nose too though. We were making some front gates for one of those 'Extreme Home Makeovers', we did s 4 day job in a day and a half. So, I am glad to see those go out the door.

All of this would not be possible if not for three major factors:
1.) My lead carpenter donating his time (thanks Brian)
2.) Having the right tools (thanks MakeWork)
3.) Having the wood (thanks Cline Lumber)

This project was not fun, though I kind of thrive on tight deadlines. The gates look great and hopefully will be a good addition to the project.

I don't have a TV so I will have to catch the reveal online.....

Monday, January 10, 2011

Makework: Sixth installment, 'Snowy South'

Today, it snowed in Chattanooga. We have a spotty past here in Chattanooga with snow. Schools have been known to shut down before forecasted snow arrives, then the snow never comes. Today though, we received about 8" of snow, or what I would like to now dub a 'Soueastern'. Schools are definitely shut down, roads are impassible and business is halted. My own shop is shut down until we can resume travel.

This time off for me is good, getting away from the hustle and bustle of starting my own business, say creative business, is good for new designs to pop into my head. Everything from seeing how things function poorly, to experiencing the beauty of the snow. I have to have these times, new fresh design has to have time to proof in my mind.

Concerning my latest projects, we are currently making some new designs for the High Point market this spring. This is a major step for Cabeen Originals. Even though we have some finished pieces that are photo ready, we have to keep these designs under wraps until market. Market dates are April 2-7 and will be a debut for this company. Once market is over, I will be posting some exciting news as well as these new designs.


Aaron Cabeen