My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #160: Back From the Shop

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 11-10-2010 01:13 PM 4999 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 159: The Skating Pond Scene is Finished Part 160 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 161: Handling Errors »

Yesterday was another day that just seemed to go by too quickly. I was fortunate that the rain seemed to let up for the most part for the day so that driving was not so treacherous. We still needed to be cautious though because many of the roads were flooded. About half a kilometer down our own street (right where the river bends) the river was actually so high that it bled into the street and flowed across it. Fortunately it was only a couple of inches deep, but it was a quick reminder that we needed to be watchful. The drive was otherwise uneventful, although there was much evidence of flooding in the entire area. I was happy that we lived on somewhat higher ground.

When we got to Bernie’s, he had already planed all the boards until they were ready to be re-sawed and planed. I needed to pick up my new contact lenses so I did that and several other errands while they did much of the work. I also had a nice visit with Ellen, who made us a fantastic lunch. We can never go to Bernie’s house without Ellen feeding us. She is a tiny little thing and always proclaims that she dislikes cooking, yet she always has a feast ready for anyone who stops by. The meal itself was good, but the highlight was a wonderful helping of fresh strawberry shortcake which was made with her home made biscuits and strawberries. The biscuits were light as a feather and it was a wonderful end to a great meal.

After lunch, I had an appointment and the guys finished up the wood by the time I returned. We had decided to only work on about half the boards, as we will do the others as they are needed. It is getting quite full here in the little apartment and we now have a good variety that will probably get us through most of the winter.

My favorite piece of wood was the wenge board that I purchased. It was quite expensive, and I only got a two foot length of it for that reason. I was debating on doing one of the candle trays with it, but it has such nice figure in it that I think that by scrolling too detailed of a design in it would interfere with the grain and it will look too busy. I now have a piece which is 1/2” thick and one that is about 1/4” thick and both are 10” wide and 2’ long. I can make a small box or ornaments out of the quarter inch thick piece and either a candle tray or plaque out of the half inch piece. I haven’t decided exactly what to do yet, although I know it will come to me when the time is right. There is plenty of other beautiful wood to choose from.

I was told that the roasted birch was one of the easiest pieces to work with. It was, however almost as expensive as the wenge. The color is dark brown like a dark walnut and the grain is very even. It is quite dry though and that is probably why it was so easy to cut. It also seems quite brittle however and won’t be great for fragile pieces such as baskets and such. I think it will make a good candle tray if the design isn’t too detailed. Something like the celtic design or even perhaps a moose design may be good.

It is good to have stock and all the running around behind me. Each completed task makes me feel as if I am more and more ready for the winter months ahead. It is still warm out where I am not worrying much about snow, but I realize in a few weeks that it will be time to park the mustang and pack it in for the winter. I am ready though and looking forward to a productive season. There is so much I want to do before March and the trip to the states.

Today I will be writing and assembling the packet for the skating pond set. I am slating the entire day for the task, as it will be quite involved. Even though the basic painting instructions are already written and proofread (they needed to be for the magazine) I need to do the final assembly of the packet and do a couple of changes on the lamp posts and a couple of the pieces. It will be a great accomplishment to get it done.

It is supposed to rain off and on today anyway, and it will feel good to have a day where I can be home. It will be good to catch up.

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

2 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3108 days

#1 posted 11-10-2010 04:02 PM

I´m realy glad every time I hear about your trips to Bernie and Ellen
not easy to find such freindships in new places
they realy sounds like the parrents and grandparrents in one person x2
that we all want to have around us :-) what a blast it most bee to you
just knowing they are there
I know you had some apointments and other task you shuold do
but wasn´t it you that shuold have done the wood and learned from Bennie
sitting on his chair with the coffee ready to guide you if needed …lol

have a great day Sheila

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3011 days

#2 posted 11-11-2010 01:15 AM

I agree with Dennis that it is difficult to find good and dear friends in new places and when you do you hold onto them and treat them better than family. If you treat them like family you often take things for granted that they know what you mean which may not be the case. Treat and handle them with kid gloves!

Have you heard of Black Poplar? I found some in a lumber yard that deals exclusively to contractors and business owners. It looks very much like walnut except that it is poplar which has been smoked and is half the price of walnut so if you need a lot of walnut this is the way to go and you could “theoretically” still charge walnut prices. It smells smoky but once you put a finish on it, it is difficult to tell that it is not walnut. I am going to try to include a picture I took of this wood.

Have a great evening,
Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

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