My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #169: Back Up and Moving

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 11-19-2010 02:46 PM 4026 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 168: The Pink Cloud is a Little Green Today :( Part 169 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 170: Lights . . . camera . . . action!! »

Although I took it quite slow yesterday, I did accomplish a few things. I planned on taking a nap in the afternoon, but I was involved in other things and I forgot. That was a good sign.

I finished working on the drawings for the gingerbread candle try. The first tray I did was all gingerbread men. But then I looked at it and thought that he looked lonely so I altered the patterns to make him a girlfriend. I decided to include both designs in the pattern as some people have daughters and some sons. Then I wound up making a third version with alternating boys and girls. It didn’t take very long to modify things, as I kept the border the same on all three. I thought that the variety would appeal to many people and they would feel as if they are getting the most for their money. I always try to do some extra stuff like that.

I received an email early in the day from a customer who made my Christmas tree embellished ornaments and also my snowflake embellished ornaments. He said he loved the pattern, but he had some trouble with some of the spots blowing out when he drilled close to the edges. I looked at the patterns and they were indeed close in some areas. I could see where areas were a little close to the edge. However, I remember when I made them that I could go right to the edge and there wasn’t really a problem.

He said that the circles which indicated where to drill the depressions for the beads were under the 1/8” size that the pattern called for. When I brought the pattern up in my Illustrator software, they were indeed a bit smaller. I don’t really know how that happened, but sometimes it does. Now in the instructions, I indicate that you only touch the drill bit to the wood, making a depression for the crystal to sit in and I am thinking that he must have drilled deep or all the way through as some who didn’t want to put crystals in had told me they had done. If this were the case, the side would definitely be a bit too close.

In any case, I went back and adjusted everything so that even if someone were to drill all the way through the ornaments, they would do fine. There were 12 Christmas trees and 10 snowflakes to check and redraw, so this took most of the day for me to fix.

I suppose that what was there wasn’t actually wrong. I cut all the ornaments out myself and tested them and they did fine. I think I am at a point where what is second nature to me isn’t always what comes naturally to everyone else. It is sometimes difficult to think in terms of a beginner or someone who is newer to the craft. I think that is why I like it when people point things out for me. These two patterns were done prior to my friend Leldon doing the proofreading for me. Although it wasn’t actually a mistake, Leldon in all probability would have questioned the spacing. Leldon is an excellent cutter and also designs his own patterns. I would consider him advanced to expert. But sometimes when someone else sees your work they are able to see it in a different light and point out things that you take for granted or miss. I am glad that he helps me.

After the patterns were revised, I sent the updated copies to the customer along with an additional pattern for his troubles. Once in our correspondence, when he was making his point, he said that he hoped I wasn’t angry with him for telling me. I was surprised that he would think I would be angry, and told him that I did appreciate the feedback. I would certainly rather have someone telling me that they are having trouble with something that I designed rather than just throw it on the shelf and not notify me. How would I ever know if people didn’t communicate back to me? It does help to keep me grounded and aware of things and I think it also makes me a better writer and designer.

The sun was out yesterday, which was rare of late so I laid out and prepped the gingerbread tray. I found a nice piece of aspen that I thought would do wonderfully for the project, as I want to tint the gingerbread people as I did the leaves in the trays before and needed light wood to do so on. I had forgotten about the aspen that I just purchased at the last outing and I am excited to use it. When cutting the perimeter and inner circle of the tray, I remembered what a joy it was to work with. It is semi-soft – almost like pine, but the structure is much more stable and there is very little obvious grain and no sap to deal with. Although it would not be great for something that is intricate to scroll, with the half inch thickness I am using in combination with the relatively simple pattern it will make a fine base for this design.

I cut and routed the edges of the tray and will cut out the design today. I am looking forward to it, as it seems it has been a while since I have been at the scroll saw. Hopefully, I will have some pictures for you tomorrow.

I am also in the midst of doing some major organization. With living in a small place here, it seems that things really pile up quickly. I need to go through things and sort things out and get everything in order again. I like knowing exactly where everything is when I need it and taking an hour here and there to keep things in order pays off quite a bit down the line when I am in the middle of a project and need to find something. It feels good when everything is sorted and where it should be. I always feel I work better when it is that way.

Thank you for all the nice thoughts yesterday, both on the list and in PM’s. I only have a couple more days on the medication I have to take and then I am sure that I will be back to normal. I made some creme of chicken and rice soup and that went down very well. At least I will be done with this all by next Thursday when I am going to celebrate Thanksgiving. I have to be able to eat for that! :)

Have a great Friday everyone.

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

3 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3260 days

#1 posted 11-19-2010 06:46 PM

well its queit commen that the body does behave like that after a periode of being on
an allert high tension like you have the last 3 to 5 month with the skatepond and new server
and now when everything is more or less over with those things your body/brain make a big breake
and relax and then those little bastards called virus and bacteria say yyaaahuu now its our turn
to roll forward with all the troops
just let it flow you will get on the horse again as sun as you start the real work with the next
big things like the show in march

take care

View tdv's profile


1188 posts in 3214 days

#2 posted 11-19-2010 08:35 PM

Can’t wait to see the pics Shiela I’ve never seen or worked with Aspen

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3128 days

#3 posted 11-20-2010 11:52 PM

Quite an interesting read. You seem to write clearly to me, although I do understand that some, while reading may have a problem of comprehending what they are reading and have to re read something to completely understand what they’ve read. Which happens to be my problem sometimes when reading long articles.

I’ve been told that when writing something for general public reading, that it should be kept at about a 5th to 6th grade reading level for easy reading and clear understanding of what is read. Don’t ask how I know this as its one of those trivial pieces of information I’ve picked up along the way of life. Keep that in mind when writing instructions. I think that will go a long way in helping beginners and novices to better understand your instructions. Just food for thought.

Glad to hear you have someone to bounce things off of and give you and honest opinion, while being sensitive of how you might feel about your work. I’m just now learning to listen to others opinions without being sensitive of my feelings about my work. Those kind of people can teach you a lot if your willing to listen. Like you said others may see things in a different light.

I know what you mean about having everything in its place. I just wish my wife did when it comes to my kitchen. LOL My shop on the other hand is another story. I like things organized in the shop although it sometimes gets messy if I don’t put things back right away when I’m done. Which requires me to spend 2 or 3 hours cleaning up instead of doing it right away. It does make working in the shop much smoother though when its organized.

Sorry I didn’t know you were under the weather. Its that time of year again time to stock up on meds for those down times. Hope your feeling better soon. Nothing like homemade chicken soup when your sick.

Look forward to seeing your pics, I enjoy the work you do.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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