The light has just started to appear to the east but for the most part it is still dark out. My neighbor, who leaves for work every day at this time has started his truck up and it is warming up in the driveway. Over the sound of the engine, I hear a faint intermittent scraping noise. I looked out the window in the semi-darkness to see if I could distinguish the source. It was the windshield wipers on the truck, which was covered in a thin layer of frost. Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that everyone was complaining from the heat? To me, it is one of the first signs of what is to come. It is time to get ready.
Yesterday turned out to be a splendid day. I feels like I am back in a good rhythm and extremely productive state of being. I like these times, as it seems that everything seems to just fall quickly into place. It is said that success breeds success and I believe that to be true. It is wonderful to ride on the momentum of a successful project and jump right into the next, still feeling that positive sense of accomplishment and pride. Those of you who have done so in the past know it too.
I look back at just a couple of days ago when I was all over the place and I can’t help but be in awe of the power of that little piece of paper – the list. I had quite underestimated its impact, and even though I had used lists in the past I have nevert noticed the profound effect that having one meant until now. It is almost like magic.
I accomplished a tremendous amount of work yesterday. I got my next candle tray completely cut out. This one took about four hours and had 80 inside cuts, for those of you who like statistics. Everything went quite smoothly. I was initially concerned about the sharpness of the angles of the scalloped edges, fearing that they would be too tight for the router to fit. I did spend about an hour with my Adobe Illustrator help files and also on Google trying to see how to reshape all 16 points simultaneously. I used to use CorelDraw several years ago and I remember it having this feature. If you had say a circle with say 12 points, you could move and shape one and all the rest of the selected points would also be reshaped exactly the same. But I was unable to find a definitive answer to this. I wanted to lessen the angles slightly but they all needed to be done exactly the same amount for obvious reasons.
After much unsuccessful searching, I just gave up and thought I would see how it came out. After all, the routing was one of the first steps in making this so if it didn’t look good, I could easily start over. Much to my surprise, I had misjudged and everything came out fine. I believe I used a 1/8” round over bit to just slightly round and soften the edges, as I do with all of these trays. Once that was done, I was ready to proceed.
I found a great piece of bird’s eye maple for the tray. I think that the light wood was very appropriate for this project. I am still debating as to whether I will tint the hearts red or pink (or both) as a variation like I did with the autumn leaves. I think it will look nice that way and I am leaning toward doing so. I have yet to cut the charms out today, but that will be a fairly quick process. I was more interested in finishing up the main tray, as I got quite excited when I saw how it came out and I couldn’t wait to sand and oil it.
|From SLD334 Sweetheart Candle Tray and Charms|
And here is a detail of the design:
|From SLD334 Sweetheart Candle Tray and Charms|
Overall I like the design. When I was drawing it, I had planned to add drill holes along the scalloped edge so it would resemble lace, but I decided that the delicacy of the design was enough and that the additional piercings would just be too much. I am glad I was conservative in my thinking because it looks fine just the way it is. Any more would have been overkill.
Today I will finish the charms and the photography for the pattern packet. I also plan on drawing up the next design. I heard from my contact at the wholesaler that she would like me to get her pictures of any more I can do by Monday. I can possibly create two additional trays by then. I want to do something with shamrocks for St. Pat’s day and also a Celtic type of design. We will see what the day brings.
I spent over an hour on the phone with the US Internal Revenue Service again yesterday regarding the tax adjustment that I needed to pay last month. It seems that even though I mailed the payment almost a month ago, it has not been received yet. That was very troubling to me, as you could imagine. The representative was very helpful and nice though and we went over things again and he informed me that they had removed the interest and penalties that were initially imposed on me, which meant that I owed less. Today I have to stop payment on the original check and reissue another one. This time I will spend the extra money and have it sent registered. It will cost me extra, but I want it cleared up. According to the representative, everything I did with them was documented and I am in no danger of being in a delinquent status, so that is good too. Damn that Canada Post anyway. People in the United States complain about the post office all the time, but I have never experienced such incompetency as Canada Post. More things have been lost in my six years here than in my entire life in the US. I am grateful that the IRS is understanding and easy to work with. Both times I spoke with them, their representatives couldn’t be nicer or more helpful. I didn’t even request a waiver for the penalties and interest, as the initial problem was an error that my accountant made and I accepted responsibility. Apparently she felt it was not intentional and filed the request for me and those charges were removed. That was very kind of her. I bet you don’t hear often about things like that about the IRS!
I think I am on a roll . . .
I wish you all a wonderful day and hope you take some time to enjoy the beautiful season!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"