My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #154: Trees and Lighting

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 11-04-2010 01:15 PM 5213 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 153: Just About Finished Part 154 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 155: Time to Take a Stand »

I think that I shall never see, a poem so lovely as a tree. – Joyce Kilmer

Well, my trees may be poetry but they came out nice. I designed four different trees for the pond, in addition to the large tree that will be the center attraction. I am only going to include one in each set, but I will offer additional trees and lamp posts if people want more.

Although the trees are relatively easy to paint, they are probably the most time consuming to cut. As I showed in a previous post, there is a great deal of distance you need to cover with your saw when cutting the trees. Therefore it takes a great deal of time.

One thing that is good about them is that you don’t really have to be very accurate. Not that you would be sloppy with them or anything like that, but they are a great way to practice following a line when cutting where it wouldn’t really matter if you tend to drift off a little bit.

Painting them is also another issue. You can spend a tremendous amount of time making sure that you get into all the edges and corners of the branches. The saving grace in this project is that everything is going to be covered with Sno-Tex so that any little areas that you miss would never be noticed. If you wanted to ‘cheat’ I suppose you could easily get some green spray paint and spray the base coat in. From that point on, you would only need to shade and apply the snow.

I did one bare tree and several sizes of pine trees:

From SLDP103 Skating Pond Figures

I love the bare tree, but as you can imagine, it was the most time consuming of all. While I was able to modify the two pine trees so that they are faster to cut, I found it impossible to change the bare tree without ruining the look I wanted. So I left it as I had originally drawn it and will just price it accordingly when selling the wood pieces. As I stated earlier, it isn’t really that difficult, and I want the set to look as I intended. I don’t mind saving a little time here and there for production sake, but I am not going to cut corners to save a few pennies or minutes at this point after all the time and work that went into this project. It is what it is and I like it. :)

I also designed a couple of lamp posts for the scene. I wanted them to look quite ornate and beautiful. I did find though that even though they are made of birch plywood, they are still a bit delicate. I want these pieces to remain in the family for many, many years and I think that it will be possible to redesign them a bit so that they are sturdier without losing their fine detail and look. For one I will eliminate the cut outs where the lighting goes and add instructions for painting in those areas. This will help tremendously as far as strength goes and I don’t believe it will deter from the overall look.

From SLDP103 Skating Pond Figures

I will include just one of each in the set I think, but again I will offer additional pieces to be sold individually for those who wish to have several more. When I unveil the scene, you will see that it will not really be necessary to have more than a couple, as I don’t want it to be too cluttered.

The final piece that will be the center of the entire scene is the large pine tree. This I made of two pieces which will stand slotted together and be the focal point of the pond.

From SLDP103 Skating Pond Figures

I imagine you could paint ornaments on the tree and have it ‘decorated’ for the holiday season, but I choose to leave it bare, as then the scene can be left up all winter long. I find that when I used to decorate for the holidays, part of the let down after the new year was that the house that was so filled with lovely decorations was now stripped bare and everything seemed so bleak. I like to have things that can be appropriately left out until it was time to decorate for spring and summer. It helps brighten up those long winter days.

Today will be spent working on the stands. I will take pictures as I go along so you can see the process that I use for them. As I said yesterday, I had a difficult time coming up with a method that I felt would be attractive and also serve the purpose. I think for this scene, the clay will work fine and will be something that will last many, many years.

I am getting close to the end of this project. I still need to work on some changes in the instructions that I made along the way and also put together the pattern booklet and decide which photos to use. I am rather excited to see how it is received and if it will appeal to scrollers as well as painters. That will be very interesting to me.

So it is on to the stands today. I also need to cut the base board and paint the pond. Sometimes it is the final things that seem to take the longest. I suppose I am just anxious.

Until tomorrow . . Have a wonderful day.

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

4 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2831 days

#1 posted 11-04-2010 03:05 PM

ah yesss Sheila. I’m an “ugly” tree guy. I really like/luv the big ole knarly, unique, mystical, etc. trees. I like the bare one the best

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 3961 days

#2 posted 11-04-2010 05:25 PM

Sheila, watching your progress as you’ve worked your way through creating all the pieces of this set has really been informative and inspirational. I never would have guessed how much work goes into refining all the patterns the way that you have. I’m sure the end result will be beautiful. Thanks for sharing, as always!

-- Robb

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2947 days

#3 posted 11-05-2010 02:17 AM

I love that tree too, Roger. It is also my favorite. I was thinking of a small bush in the same style as that one. Maybe later on . . .

Robb – I am glad you like the series. It has really been fun to do and I enjoy sharing it a lot. Yes, there is a lot more than people seem to realize about making a decent pattern. There are lots of patterns out there, but I try to make mine some of the best available. I like people to get mine and really understand how to make the project, not just guess. I always try my best and I appreciate you noticing!

Sheila :)

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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18290 posts in 3702 days

#4 posted 11-05-2010 06:34 AM

and “Poems are made by fools like me,
but only God can make a tree.”

Just don’t let this project become “an Albatross around” thy “neck.”

I’m sure it won’t, but I can’t quote much poetry :-))

Have a good one!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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