I recently decided that while I'm happily unemployed, I can occupy my time by making myself some things that I will find useful in the future. The fact that I currently have my father's well-appointed garage workshop available is another incentive, as is the desire to develop my basic woodworking skills in the more challenging realm of furniture-making.
For my first big project, I settled on something that will accommodate a small portion of my absurd private library, as well as display a pursuit of mine that I don't think has come up before, tropical fish. This was also my opportunity to learn how to use Google Sketchup. Here's what I came up with:
The thin lines on the lower portion are dowels which will support the bookshelves. You may notice I neglected to include them on the rear verticals; Sketchup was giving me fits with the cylinders. The shelf above the tank will hold a deep tray for plants, with growlights for them mounted in the topmost frame. I don't know yet what I'm going to do for a finish. I'm leaning toward a dark stain to try to minimize the "clearly-made-from-2x4s" look, but I might just embrace that, put on a clear poly coat and use shiny hardware all over it.