My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #38: Random Thoughts and Stand-Up Nativity Set

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 07-11-2010 01:32 PM 6150 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 37: All The Animals Are Fed and Happy! Part 38 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 39: Quiet Weekend »

It is raining again and finally we are experiencing some cooler temperatures. It is a wonderful relief from the hot and humid weather we have had. It is still a bit humid, but the weather service shows this being the pattern for the week so there is some hope that it will begin to feel more comfortable shortly. I understand that others have it far worse than here. Being from Chicago and spending so many summers there with a 103 heat index, I should be used to the heat and humidity. But I think that this has been one of the warmest stretched since I arrived here in Nova Scotia six years ago. Usually, living so near the ocean we don’t have that ‘thickness’ in the air that we have had recently. There are very few here that are equip with air-conditioning, which mortified me at first but I soon saw the need was not there. Mainly the stores and businesses are the only ones who have it, or those in medical need.

In any case, the heat rather slows me down. You can slap me, but my favorite seasons are still autumn and winter. I love the crisp, cool air of autumn and the serenity of winter. I don’t mind the snow or the cold one bit. You can always put more clothes on if you are cold. If you are naked or near-naked and still hot, there isn’t much you can do (without getting arrested, I guess). Maybe the autumn and winter of my life will be my favorite part of that too. You think? So far it looks to be heading that way. Perhaps I am just a slow learner, but it seems that things are finally in a direction that I am truly happy with. I am having fun and thoroughly enjoying my work, have wonderful family and friends, and am sitting here typing with a great cup of coffee and listening to Mozart (very quietly) while the three cats are all lounging around. It is a good way to spend a Sunday morning, that’s for sure.

I had a nice time yesterday at my friends lake. We only spent a couple of hours there because there turned out to be a lot of activity from the website and sending out the notice and such. I love my customers and I love getting to know them through correspondence and giving them good customer service. It still amazes me how surprised people are to receive good service. I hope I never get too big to do that. I have noticed that recently, as I have grown that it is becoming more and more difficult for me to differentiate between new people. That is quite troubling to me. I want my business to grow, but it seems lately that there are lots and lots of people that ask me questions and such and I am having some trouble remembering each and every one.

I have a Facebook page for my business as well as a more personal one. The business one is for . . . .well business and it is more formal with introducing new products and sales and stuff like that. The personal one is where I keep in contact with many of the people I have actually met over the years in many countries. There is a group of my grade school friends that just got reacquainted over the past couple of months and it is wonderful to see where everyone wound up. One friend is living in Arizona and has wonderful pictures about his life. Another that just added me in yesterday is still in Chicago and working as a free-lance artist. His artwork is amazing. He complimented me on my own artwork and designing and I felt truly humbled by his comments, as he is so talented.

There is also my woodworking ‘family’ that I unfortunately lost touch with when I first moved to Nova Scotia. We used to be a group such as what I see here at Lumberjocks, and although they were from all over the country, we would attend several shows a year and meet up for the weekend and have a wonderful time. It was as if we were family. When I first moved out here, I terribly neglected them and I truly regret that. In the past six months or so, we have reconnected and talk back and forth through Facebook and it feels as if we are all together again. I have several friends who are also designers and I love to see their work and hear what they are up to with their lives. I know Facebook gets a bad rap sometimes, but I feel that if you use it properly and put the correct security settings, it can be a great asset. I also keep in touch with my children and their daily activities and my other friends through it and it is a wonderful way to keep up in this busy life. My longest time friend became a grandmother about two months ago and it has been wonderful to share that experience with her through the computer.

I love reading about people here, too. I feel as if I have made some new friends and have enjoyed sharing their creativity and company on this site. It is a great way to spend part of my day.

I received lots of positive feedback regarding the Nativity ornament set and that felt great. Someone talked about a stand-up set and I wanted to show you all the one I made. I actually made this first and it was the ‘inspiration’ for the ornaments. It is cut out of half inch Maple and I made one set to be finished naturally and the other I used acrylic paints and followed the scroll saw lines to paint them. Many of you know that I paint and love to teach painting and when things are fully under control in the woodworking part of my business, I want to produce painting patterns again too. In any case, here they are:

Wooden Nativity Set

From Nativity Set

Painted Version of the Nativity Set

From Nativity Set

I keep thinking that a set of these would look great on the ‘lawn’ of Lis’s doll house for the holiday season. I don’t know if they are 1/12th scale though. Hummm . . . . .

As with scroll sawing, I believe anyone can paint. I am dying to find a way to teach again, either in person or online. I have to be patient though and settle for little bits at a time. Ultimately I want to do some fine art painting again. I love painting wildlife and I haven’t really painted a serious painting in the last couple of years. There are some examples of my work on my site on the Gallery page if you are interested. Showing them here wouldn’t really be appropriate, but I am extremely proud of them. I am hoping that by the fall I will be able to devote some time to it. We will just have to see.

Well, I’ve rambled on long enough for today. I am finishing up the organization an back up process and should have a clean slate to start with tomorrow. (Oh – it will be Monday – one of my favorite days of the week!) Have a great Sunday everyone!

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

2 comments so far

View fineamerican's profile


150 posts in 3139 days

#1 posted 07-11-2010 03:43 PM

That is a really nice touch on how you painted the Nativity characters. Is that just paint from a art supply store? Do you, or would you ever use milk paint in a small application?
Nice Job!

-- John A. Thomas, South Carolina,

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2944 days

#2 posted 07-11-2010 03:59 PM

I like and use DecoArt Americana acrylics, which are widely available and quite inexpensive. After trying many brands, I feel they are the best paint of this type on the market. I was a Delta Ceramcoat user for over ten years and in the last two years switched to DecoArt. Delta’s quality and availability has really declined I am sorry to say. The DecoArt colors are so much more pigmented and a bit thicker than the others. I used to not like this characteristic, but I found that it is much easier to thin a paint down than cover something when there isn’t enough pigment in it.

I am thinking of trying some applications in using the colors for stain. I have done this by ‘washing’ the colors on, but if you are doing larger pieces, there is the problem of consistency and overlap marks. I use SamaN water-based stains for many of my woodworking projects with color, and they are a wonderful product, but at over $8 for a small bottle they are quite expensive. I like to give alternatives using supplies that are readily available everywhere.

I haven’t had much experience with milk paint, as I paint lots of smaller things and use the above mentioned. I bet they would look nice too, though, as I love how they look.


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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