My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #42: Successful Changes

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 07-15-2010 11:51 AM 5341 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 41: The Leaf Candle Tray . . . Almost There Part 42 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 43: Sometimes the Lazy Way is More Work Then Anticipated (But We Learn Something) »

I woke up an hour early this morning from a dream. I am sorry to say that it wasn’t a lovely dream about woodworking or designing or anything so creative. It was one of those startling dreams that shook you a bit so that you couldn’t get back to sleep. I laid there for a while and I finally knew it was futile to try to get back to sleep and I gave up. Besides, just think of what I can do with this extra hour today. I’ll look at it as a gift and we will go from there. :)

The sun is just beginning to come up and it is so foggy outside I can’t see across the road to the river. I did, however just see a hummingbird near the window. I was thinking that I must get a feeder for them by next year. Just think how the cats would enjoy that. At my friend’s cabin, we have witnessed sometimes four at a time feeding. I had never even seen a live hummingbird prior to coming to Nova Scotia. I am sure they exist somewhere in the Chicago area, but not where that I was. They are fascinating to me and I love seeing them.

I bought the candle for the new tray yesterday. The candle I used for the snowflake was white and somehow it wouldn’t do for the autumn ambiance that I want to create in my photograph. I purchased one that was a scent that I used to get when I lived in the states and the kids were growing up. When I opened the jar, I immediately was transported to that time in my life and the memories of those autumn mornings flooded back. Scents are like that sometimes. I believe I read that scent is the strongest trigger of memories of all our senses. I believe that. Although this is a candle I typically burned in the autumn (it is “Harvest” by Yankee Candles) I have the jar next to me on my table with the lid off and although I am not yet burning it, I am enjoying the memories and comforting feeling the faint smell brings. I’ll allow myself this treat today, and then after the photos are taken later this morning, I will put it away until September or so. It will be like a box of fine chocolates that you take out at just the right moment to savor and enjoy. The anticipation brings as much pleasure as the experience.

As for the project – I am very pleased with the result I achieved. After my morning correspondence and work yesterday, I didn’t get back to drawing until after 10 am. I picked at the design for a good two to three hours before I was really happy with it. I know they were only leaves, but I was looking for balance and gracefulness in their make up. I also decided to keep the border round, so I could rout it, but I did minimize it as much as I felt I could. Since you do the routing prior to the scroll work, you are able to come quite close without damaging things. This is something that I only recently discovered while designing and it triggers many other ideas for the future.

So by the time I prepared the board and got things laid out and got to routing and cutting, it was nearly 2pm. Actually it worked out fine though because it literally rained buckets the entire morning. I don’t think I have seen rain so hard since I have moved here and even though I only had to route the inner and outer part of the frame of the tray, I really didn’t want to do it inside the house (although once last winter I do confess to routing in the bathroom during a storm!). But by two, all was clear and everything was a go.

I am very happy with the look of the finished tray. Here is a picture of it after it was cut:

From Leaf Candle Tray

Now there is no sanding done yet, and you will see the finished pictures later on in my gallery, but at least you can see the balance and general make up of the design. Much better than the “spaghetti bowl” that I started with, don’t you think?

I also cut several different leaf charms out of a similar color of 1/8” maple that I had here. I made four different ones this time and I am still mapping out in my mind how to display them nicely. I know there were only two snowflakes on the other jar but two leaves just didn’t seem enough as they are so pretty and fun to do. I have some ideas though as to how to use them without them looking like too much.


From Leaf Candle Tray

The more I think about it, the more I want to show two versions of this design. Of course, the natural maple will be nice. After it is sanded I will decide which finish to use on it. I don’t really want to do oil because I also want to show a version of the leaves with a light wash of autumn colors – perhaps using acrylic paints. I don’t really want to cut another version of this so I may take pictures of it natural and then if they look good, I can just go ahead and stain it and see. I don’t want it circus-like though. I want it very subtle and muted so I need to tread carefully. The maple is somewhat dark to begin with, and I want to preserve the softness of the original color of the wood.

I purposely cut two sets of charm leaves for this reason. (See! This girl is thinking!) I will do my experimentation on the leaves and then be able to implement the technique on the tray. Hopefully all will go well again today and I will be able to wrap this up. I figure it will take much of the day to sand and finish everything. (In between I have a lot of other things to do) I promise to post pictures as soon as I am ready.

Besides . . . . I am already thinking of the next project and I am really excited about it. It is going to be so cool!


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

3 comments so far

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3089 days

#1 posted 07-15-2010 01:36 PM

Lovely tray, Sheila.

The cats will enjoy what your feeder lures to it.

Good luck with the experimentation.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3356 days

#2 posted 07-15-2010 03:59 PM

this is a wonderful project sheila, great job…i think these would be really nice to have about the home..and im looking forward to seeing the finished plate…i think scrollers out there would enjoy doing this…im going to give it a try myself later this fall..have a great day…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3039 days

#3 posted 07-15-2010 04:07 PM

I think this project would really, really lend itself to playing with some exotic wood. Can you imagine those leaves in bloodwood, or even a mahogany?

I think acrylic would paint this and make it look really classy… I’d thin the acrylic out a lot and maybe just buff it on, instead of painting it on. that tends to make wood look really, really subtle and awesome.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

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