It is great to feel as if I really accomplished something. Although I didn’t finish everything on my laundry list of things to do yesterday, I got to most everything I wanted to done and at the end of the day I made the choice to call it an evening and just chill. I felt satisfied that I did enough for the day and wanted to sit back and enjoy the moment. I played some scrabble, watched a show or two and went to bed kind of early because I wanted to be refreshed and well-rested when I got up this morning to start a new project.
I spent the morning getting the house in order. It was just time to get on top of things in that department. As I said before, I had cut until almost 10pm on Saturday night and even though I swept the area near my saw, I didn’t want to run the vacuum that late. Even though I was going to be adding to the pile, I really wanted to tidy things up and have a clean start when I finished cutting the charms for this latest candle tray. The pieces would be cut out of ebony and I wanted to give them the respect they deserved. I have watched a discussion the past day or two on one of the boards here about clean shops and see that many of you are following that also. You must all think I am crazy for cleaning and vacuuming before I cut every day but there is something about having a neat and clean area to work in that makes me feel better when I work and I think it also makes me work better. I have always been one to have my surroundings as pleasant as possible, no matter where I am. My place here is small and a little clutter goes a long way in making things look junky and chaotic. For the most part, I put things in their proper place when I am done with them because through the years I figured out that it takes less time to do that initially than to be searching in frustration for something when I am in the middle of something and I need it. It is just a matter of habit.
So I went ahead and finished the cutting of the charms. I stack cut the 1/8” ebony with some plain old Baltic birch because I think I may paint the birch pieces at a later date. They just went along for the ride. When I was finished with all the cutting, I went on to do the sanding. Once again I had some burn marks from the routing process. This time I made the candle tray of oak and even though I took small passes with the router, it really burned a bit around the entire edge. I found that using my Dremel and a sanding disk made quick work of the burn marks though and within about 10 minutes or so I had that under control. I didn’t think to take before and after pictures, but I will do so on the next project, as I am sure it will occur again.
I really like the look of oak. I love the way when it is finished, it almost has a metallic sheen in places. The grain just seems so deep. You can tell when cutting it though how different the density is in the grain. That is one thing when scroll sawing. You really get to know the wood very closely. Unlike with a table saw or miter saw, where you make a quick cut with one swoop, you kind of travel through the grain with the scroll saw and you can really feel the difference of the density from place to place. It is unfortunate that oak doesn’t really stand up to very delicate cutting, but this piece was 1/2” thick and the cutting was not too bad and I was happy I made it my choice.
Although it is only July, the next catalog deadlines will include both fall and winter items, so what you will see coming from me in the near future are going to be geared toward those seasons. You won’t see Spring and Summer items until the snow hits probably. It’s just my way of life. I have decided to call this a “Gothic Bat Candle Tray” however because you can really have it out all year. With all the popularity of the Vampire movement it should go over very well.
So here it is . . . my Gothic Bat Candle tray!
|From Bat Candle Tray|
Here is a close up of the charms. The ebony is naturally black which still fascinates me. I am always afraid to cut it as I realize how expensive it is and don’t want to mess it up. I think of Martyn and the others who make such beautiful boards with it and I am just in awe of their talents! I hate to even throw out the little tiny scraps! I am thinking that I have some small red crystals which I will embed to make red eyes and I will try that later on. :)
|From Bat Candle Tray|
The overview of the try. It looks kind of Gothic and cool I think. I really like the beading that I added in. It made a huge difference. (This was the precision drilling I was talking about the other day) I wasn’t sure if the oak would tear out in the back from so much drilling, but I had to do it and try anyway! I used a support piece underneath and a nice sharp brad point drill bit and pushed in slowly and everything went fine! (I guess some days I know what I am doing after all!) :)
|From Bat Candle Tray|
And finally some detail of the cutting. It is amazing how a simple design can look so intricate when repeated.
|From Bat Candle Tray|
I know you non-scrollers may think that this is a really fancy piece, but it is truly very simple. As with anything, it does take a little time, but it is very easily accomplished and only took a couple of hours to cut. I still want to see how the red crystals will work for the bat’s eyes. I like a little ‘bling’ in things to liven them up. I do like how the eyes look on the oak though and hate to cover them up. I am really torn as to what to do!
I was even excited about the fabric I found for the background. About 2pm yesterday, I wasn’t quite finished with everything but we decided to take a break because the day was lovely and it seemed like the thing to do. I took a drive to the ocean, had an ice cream and walked down to the beach and actually sat with my feet in the water for a while. I hadn’t done that all year and it was sunny, breezy, warm and incredibly satisfying to do so. I had so wished I brought my camera. I have to get into that habit.
On the way back, I stopped at a little store that specialized in quilting fabrics that happened to be open (most things are closed here on Sunday) I hadn’t been to the store in several years when I had made a little wall quilt but I remembered array of wonderful fabrics they carried. Many times I use tissue paper as a background for my photos, but I wanted something different for this one. I was only in the store probably two minutes when I saw the fabric with the stars and thought how perfectly it would go with this project. Photography is another aspect of my business that I need to give the attention it deserves and since I have been taking more time with it, I have had many positive feedback and comments from my customers. (I guess that is another hat to wear!) I have been doing all of my own photography for the magazine (the step-by-steps) but they do the final presentation picture. For my own site, it is up to me. So I just try to learn as I go and do what looks best. It is fun to try new things and set up new ways to present my items. I guess that is why I will never be bored with my work.
The only thing I didn’t finish on my ‘to do’ list was write up the instructions. That shouldn’t be too difficult because they are quite similar to the other trays of this sort. I don’t think I am going to put them on sale anyway until I get a few more pieces under my belt. I will have another site update then and present them all at once and perhaps even offer them on sale. It is hard to hold back though. :)
So onward we go! After experimenting with the crystals for the eyes, I want to get moving on the next design. I put one picture on my Facebook of the project last night and as of this morning had a load of messages about it. People are asking for more already! My friend who does scrolling and bowls wants me to design these as bowl rims so they can cut the rim similar to this and have the center as the bowl. She said it would open up a whole new audience for me, as many of her friends who do turning also scroll. I am intrigued by this idea and will definitely look into it further.
I hope everyone has an incredible Monday! I know I will look at the day as a fresh start and attack it with enthusiasm! :)
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"