My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #182: Nativity Candle Tray is Finished

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 12-02-2010 02:50 PM 6651 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 181: Poinsettia Candle Tray Part 182 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 183: Accepting Disappointments and Learning From Them »

It is amazing to me how things work out sometimes. In contrast to the previous tray where the poinsettia candle tray took twice as long as I anticipated, the following tray that I cut yesterday (the nativity scene one) took only half the time I though it would. Hooray!!!

The kicker is that I think it is every bit as attractive as the previous tray. I really kind of li like it. I used a simply scrumptious piece of maple that to make it that has a wonderful figure to it. It has some nice variation in the grain and also has a quilted ripple pattern that really came out when I applied the oil to it. It is quite beautiful. It kind of reminds me of the rippling sand in the desert.

When everything was finished, I did take pictures of the tray, but it wasn’t until after dark and I am not thrilled with the outcome. I will be retaking them again today when the sun is up and hopefully the color will be more true. I do plan on getting a photo tent like the ones that were recommended to me before, but I just haven’t had enough extra money to do so. Hopefully, I will find on when I go to the States in March if I don’t get one before that. So until then, I am going to have to work with what I have.

In any case, here is a picture of the nativity tray pieces:

From SLD338 Nativity Candle Tray and Charms

You can see the ripple in the wood a bit, although it looks much better of course in person. It is quite different for me to do a design that isn’t repeated in some form throughout. Although it is quite simple, it actually took me probably three times longer to figure out and draw than the poinsettia candle tray. I wanted to have a balance in it without over-cluttering it. I liked the wavy edging that I used, as it reminded me of sand dunes. I also liked the silhouette of the city of Bethlehem that I put on the back, because it was a bit different than just adding in more animals or sheep. And having the angles hanging above the scene as the charms were just a natural.

It only took me about 2 hours to cut this one out, which will make it a wonderful ‘last minute’ gift for a scroller to make and also make a nice one for reproducing to sell at craft fairs and such. I think it will be a winner.

Here is a picture of the back:

From SLD338 Nativity Candle Tray and Charms

And finally a picture of the complete set:

From SLD338 Nativity Candle Tray and Charms

I am also going to suggest in the instructions the option of using a veneer backing underneath the tray. Some of my customers have done that before on my other designs with great results and I do think for a design like this that is so open that it would be appropriate to do so. For the pictures though, I liked the blue cloth so I chose not to do so on mine. It is always good to have options though.

Today I am going to be busy writing the instructions the three new candle trays and then getting the new stuff up on the site. I hope to have the site updated by tomorrow evening for the last push before Christmas. I also have some more of the wonderful baskets that my partner designed to add to the mix. I will be doing the final photography of them also today and getting them ready for the site.

I can then move on to working on my own stuff for the holidays. The things that I have made that need to be shipped are just about finished and I will hopefully get everything shipped out by next week. I can then work on the items that I have to do for people here that live near me. All in all, I can see everything getting done in time.

I went to my storage yesterday and pulled out the boxes of extra wrap and stuff and brought them here to evaluate how much I have and how much I need. With my newly acquired supply of nice boxes, I think I am set and can start getting things checked off my list. With the new items up on the site and finished, I honestly haven’t felt so organized in quite a while. It is a really, really good place to be.

I hope you enjoy the tray pictures. Even though they are kind of crummy, I will post better ones when I put them on my gallery page. I just realized that I am way behind in putting stuff there and I need to get it caught up. I don’t want to post all the new projects at once though, so I will do so one at a time. Eventually it will be caught up.

Here also is the final picture of the poinsettia candle holder.

From SLD339 Poinsettia Candle Tray and Charms

I am very happy with it also. I appreciate your kind comments yesterday regarding it and I am glad it has been so far very well received. I can’t wait to post them all to the site.

So I am going to enjoy my day up here on the pink cloud, wallowing in my little successes. I hope you all have “pink cloud” days too!

Thanks for reading!

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

8 comments so far

View woodbutcher's profile


592 posts in 4192 days

#1 posted 12-02-2010 04:52 PM

Sheila Landry
(scroll girl),

Very nice designs both! The Nativity candle tray and charms are my favorites to date of all the candle trays you’ve designed. I think it may have something to do with the offset symmetry in the border. The wood is most stunning also. Enjoy your pink cloud day, this project may have earned you an entire week up on that cloud! Congratulations on a real winner! Keep on keeping on.

Ken McGinnis

-- woodbutcher north carolina

View CampD's profile


1675 posts in 3512 days

#2 posted 12-02-2010 05:35 PM

Wow Sheila, another beauty!!
I’ll admit I wait to read your blog of the finished product and you always amaze me with the creativity.
again! nicely done.
Happy Holidays

-- Doug...

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3329 days

#3 posted 12-02-2010 06:43 PM

yes sheila you have done another beautiful piece…i love this time of year when such is done…the spirit of christmas is around the world and its wood work like this that shows that spirit coming from you and each of us who endeavor to do this type of project…great job…i wish i could sit long enough to scroll like this…and i think you need another saw in the house…maybe keith should pick out a new one for himself , as a christmas present…and as a new part of the team…well you have a great day….grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3044 days

#4 posted 12-02-2010 06:49 PM

Wow, Sheila, the Nativity tray is awesome, We both like it very much!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Steven Davis's profile

Steven Davis

118 posts in 2940 days

#5 posted 12-02-2010 07:48 PM

Sheila -

I really like the asymmetric design! I would think this could open up a whole range of new design options for you. I’ve not seen anything like it (not that I’ve looked;) ).

-- Steven Davis - see me at

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2882 days

#6 posted 12-02-2010 07:57 PM

Sheila, that is one nice tray. The design just flows, I can imagine how it must look up close.
The candle with the Angels just sets it off as a nice gift for this season.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2946 days

#7 posted 12-02-2010 07:57 PM

Thanks to all of you! This is the first one that I am doing with the asymmetric design but I assure you it isn’t the last. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how to fit the scene in the holder with only under 2” of space to work with and after a couple of failed attempts, it dawned on me that I didn’t have to have the candle centered on the tray. Offsetting it seemed like the perfect solution. I think the little silhouette in the back did a fine complement to the design on the front. The offset is not so much as to make the tray heavy in the front, but I do feel that in subsequent designs if it is necessary, it will be easy enough to work in a small spacer underneath the front of the tray in order to give additional support if necessary.

I appreciate your comments and suggestions very much! It is nice when I am (UGH) writing instructions to check back and see the positive feedback. Thanks again! :D


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

View MrsN's profile


986 posts in 3552 days

#8 posted 12-02-2010 11:24 PM

I can’t wait til you have the nativity one on your website! I love it!!!

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