My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #123: Ironing Out Details

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 10-04-2010 01:37 PM 11188 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 122: Building a Bridge 2 Part 123 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 124: Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder »

It feels so good to come off such a nice weekend. The weather was decent (it rained Saturday, but with the rain came a cooling relief from the humidity and much too warm temperatures we were having) and it feels like autumn should. Cool. Crisp. Exhilarating. I was quite productive, yet I still feel greatly relaxed and ready to take on the new week. I finished my bridge and also completed painting a couple of more figures for the pond scene. I had to re-cut a couple of pieces because when I initially stack cut them four layers high, on two of the lamp posts the bottom layers slightly shifted and ruined the cuts. I also needed to change the design in one of the characters, as I found it to be a little bit weak and wanted to strengthen. The good thing about repainting the two remaining sets I have here is finding flaws such as this and perfecting the pattern for others to do. When I initially designed the set, I didn’t know which direction I was heading with it so there may have been some things that I didn’t consider.

My friend, Rick from Iowa did a test cut of the entire set to quote me a price on mass production of the pieces to distribute to the painters. When I cut the set the first time, I timed myself and it came to about 5 hours. Rick accomplished cutting all the pieces in a total of 2.5 hours with no breaks. He cut them stacked two levels high, as I had four layers. He is however, not the average cutter. In the scroll sawing world, they call him ‘the animal’ because he can cut so quickly and accurately. He used to work for Better Homes and Garden’s group (Meredith publishing) and cut ornaments for their ornament issues for several years. The ornaments he cut totaled in the tens of thousands, I am sure. He cut pieces for a former designer, JoAnn Lockwood, who had a Noah’s Ark locket that was the ark hallowed out and had a swivel top on it and contained 10 small animals inside. Rick boasts cutting over 3000 of these for JoAnn. If you would like to see all the work he does, his site is He has dozens of pages of tutorials and videos on lathes and scroll saws, as he is also very adept in lathe work. There are tool reviews too, as he was a tester for Delta and several other big companies and helped them design some of their current tools. I think it is an interesting site if you have the time to look. He is amazing.

In any case, Rick helped me decide that it wasn’t prudent for me to hand-cut these sets to offer. I am now in the process of looking into laser cutting. This is the part that I have a lot of trouble with because of the uncertainty of the number of sets that will be needed. My editor is talking about advertising this set in five magazines – the original Christmas 365 magazine, as well as the two painting magazines, a craft one and our own scroll saw magazine. Four of the five magazines are mainly read by others who do not necessarily scroll saw, so offering the finished set will be essential. However, knowing the number of interested people is a guessing game and I need to find someone or some place that is willing to provide the pieces at a decent price whether I need 10 sets or 1000. I found one online place which does this for a flat rate which includes shipping to both Canada and the United States, as the pieces will be distributed by a colleague in the US, and that may be a possibility. I need to speak with them more though and cement things down and get some actual quotes before I can make the decision. The article which first presents the set reaches the readers mid-November and I need to have my ducks in order by then.

Besides working on that today, I need to get the new product pictures to the wholesaler for their next catalog. I have ten new items and my partner has eleven since the last deadline so I have to get all the submission materials and photographs in order. It would be wonderful if all the items are accepted, but alas, many of mine are Christmas themed and I am not sure she will accept holiday things at this point. This catalog is geared for late winter and early spring and although she keeps some holiday stuff in there, she may not want that much. I don’t mind though, because it will get me ahead of the game for next year. I have a couple of candle trays that I am in the process of drawing that will fit the post-winter criteria so I will try to get them in there anyway.

So that will keep me busy most of the day. I am anxiously waiting for my Dremel bits to arrive, and hopefully they will be here today so I can get going on my shoe carving. Even though I have a full plate today, I can’t wait to sneak an hour or so of carving in the mix and learning something new. I want to make some carved jewelry eventually out of the numerous beautiful scraps of exotic hardwoods that I am accumulating, but I want to learn some technique first. Just something for later on.

As I started writing this morning, I noticed a orange glow outside. I looked up and saw a beautiful sunrise and I had to try to capture it with a picture. It looks pretty good and I thought I would share it with you.

From Everday Stuff

How can it not be a great week if it is already starting out with such beauty? I hope you all have a great day!

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

6 comments so far

View BertFlores58's profile


1695 posts in 2915 days

#1 posted 10-04-2010 04:13 PM

Hi Shiela,
Good opportunity for mass production. Well, the only sad part when other hands do is sacrifice the quality with quantity. As long as the production maintains a good reputation it will be a big blow. Rick on the other hand is only one and I do believe that among those who joined Jordan’s tutorial… not only one and maybe Martyn or Shiela would be the same as Jordan and Rick. What I am suggesting, it is also time for you to expand the techniques to others how you do it. Take a video and you can post it here… but I am not forcing you on this… but by all means I really read all your blogs because it enhances my knowledge and power. Thanks and God Bless.

By the way nice photo… good as wall paper…

-- Bert

View jackass's profile


350 posts in 3706 days

#2 posted 10-04-2010 05:26 PM

Hi Scrollgirl,
Have been lagging behind in reading your posts. I see you are at 123 now, it won’t be long before you hear from me on your 200th post Quite an achievement, I’m not quite so prolific that I could do this daily as you have. You should have been an editor at a daily newspaper, but then we wouldn’t have had you here.

-- Jack Keefe Shediac NB Canada

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3029 days

#3 posted 10-04-2010 10:00 PM

Red sky at night
Shepherd’s delight
Red sky in the morning
Barns on fire!

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2913 days

#4 posted 10-05-2010 02:51 AM

I like writing, Jack. I bet you can tell. It helps me to organize my thinking. As far as the every day thing, I kind of got into the habit of it and it starts my day out and has turned into being a good thing for me. I have become friends with many people here because of the writings and you all have helped and supported me far beyond my dreams. I like the group here on LJ’s a lot and it is great to see what everyone is up to and share in such a positive aspect of life. I am glad you like reading!

:) Sheila

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

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3029 days

#5 posted 10-05-2010 02:17 PM

Shelia, you seem to keep VERY busy! Take time to do something for yourself. YOU DESERVE IT!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2913 days

#6 posted 10-05-2010 03:50 PM

I am lucky Cozmo because all these things I do every day is a treat for me. No kidding. What may look like work to others is really FUN for me! My life right now is its own reward. (How cool is that??) I feel very fortunate. :)


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

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