My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #188: Three New Videos!

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 12-08-2010 02:54 PM 5552 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 187: Endorsements Part 188 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 189: Some Packaging and Shipping Tips »

I accomplished quite a bit yesterday. Sometimes, when I am working on the office part of the business (correspondence, paperwork, etc.) it seems that I am treading water. I know my blogs aren’t as exciting to you all when I talk of the mundane parts of the operation of my business, but it is essential and necessary part of my job that helps me to expand and grow. I had some promising payoff yesterday that may be a very positive things for me. I almost don’t want to even mention yet because I don’t want to ‘jinx’ it, but I realize that is silly and I have guarded optimism that things will work out. (Pink cloud alert!)

Many of you who read regularly have seen the ups and downs that I have had with my skating pond set. After waiting the better part of this year for it to be published, I was then disappointed because the publication left out the vital information as to how to contact me (which still hasn’t been resolved yet) I then was offered ads in several different magazines in order to sell the patterns and kits myself, only to hear that the top brass didn’t approve of offering it on that scope. I will be given a (much appreciated) half page ad in my own magazine as compensation.

Although I am grateful for the ad I will receive, I still felt that the set won’t be seen by the proper audience – the painters. I really believe in this project however, and it is because of believing in it that I continued to pursue different avenues to market it. Something inside me just won’t settle and let it go.

Late last week, I sent a proposal to one of the biggest tole painting suppliers in the US. I have known of them since I began tole painting in 1996. I ordered from them many times, and they not only have a great web presence, but they also send out several wonderful catalogs a year. They also offer wood pieces to go along with the pattern packets and books they sell and seem to support many ‘cottage industry’ designers such as myself. I got my nerve up and donned my “what have I got to lose” hat and called their office. I received the name of the woman who was in charge of acquiring new items for distribution, and it turned out I have been a fan of her work for them for many years. I was given the option of talking to her directly on the phone or emailing her and I chose to email her with the details. I felt that I would make a better impression if she could see what I was offering instead of hearing about it without even knowing who I was.

I prepared the email for her and sent it off on Friday. In it I sent the finished pattern packet of the Skating Pond Vignette as well as a link to my site so she could see my other work. I hit the “send” button not knowing if I would even hear from her again.

On Monday, I received a note in the email from her that she was interested in the set and that they were having a meeting on Tuesday to decide on things for the March catalog. She said she would present it to the group and get back to me. I was happy that she liked it enough to present it and tried not to get my hopes up too much.

Yesterday, I received another email from her. In it she stated that they all liked the set and idea, and she was wondering if I would be able to split it into several sets because the only concern they had was the size of it. That was also something that I was considering doing, as the idea was not only mentioned to me here as feedback from this blog, but in other places too. Originally, I was going to have it run in 4-5 issues of the magazine as smaller sets. When I designed it, it was with that in mind. It wasn’t until later on when they pushed it into one issue, making it a much larger endeavor.

I responded that I would be wiling to split it up and I am trying to not get my hopes up too much until something is more definite, but I am happy that I took the chance and didn’t give up. Whether it works out for me or not, it is a good lesson in promoting myself and now they know that I exist and I will hopefully be able to develop a relationship with them and obtain another (large) outlet for my work. Stay tuned for further developments . . .

In the mean time, I also shot three short videos yesterday. I received lots of positive feedback on the other short videos and I like the idea of keeping them short and to the point. I was going to use my Windows Movie Maker and string them all together with some cool fading and stuff, but when they were done, I liked them as short, simple videos and I have decided to keep them all separate. I feel that it will be easier to find just what you need without wasting time on watching what you already know. I can still include all of them as a series and offer them on DVD in it’s entirety, but they will all be separate chapters and easy to index and find.

So without further babbling – my new videos!

The first one is how to apply the pattern to your wood using temporary spray adhesive:

Next I show how to prepare the wood for stack cutting three layers of plywood at a time:

And finally I show the actual cutting of the stacked pieces:

I choose to use the snowman piece from the pond set because I am going to continue adding videos of the painting process I used for him. He is small and simple and I will be able to highlight several different techniques in creating him. By the time he is finished, he should encompass all the techniques needed to get you started on both cutting and basic painting.

As always, your feedback and comments are very welcome. I realize that the sound can be an issue on the cutting video, and I did limit my speaking on that one because of the saw noise. Eventually I will work on over-dubbing the voice, but at this point I am quite overwhelmed with learning everything and for now I believe that this is adequate and gets the point across. I need to use the equipment that I have in order to make these right now and it is the best I can do.

I hope you enjoy them and learn something from them. It is a great new way for me to teach. I know there is a great deal of room for improvement, but at least it is a start!

Thanks for looking! :D

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

16 comments so far

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4183 days

#1 posted 12-08-2010 03:36 PM

FWIW: Tole painters and craft painters in my guild buy house paint in gallon buckets, then split it into smaller containers. Used baby food jars are always welcome. :)

-- 温故知新

View Rustic's profile


3253 posts in 3651 days

#2 posted 12-08-2010 04:28 PM

very informative keep up the good work

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View beatlefan's profile


56 posts in 3154 days

#3 posted 12-08-2010 04:35 PM

How neat is that !! I had never seen a scroll saw at work-thanks Sheila

-- Tony --

View Will Stokes's profile

Will Stokes

267 posts in 3410 days

#4 posted 12-08-2010 07:31 PM

That was really fun to watch!

View woody57's profile


650 posts in 3482 days

#5 posted 12-09-2010 01:33 AM

you are very good
thanks for the video

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View Dandog's profile


250 posts in 2829 days

#6 posted 12-09-2010 03:32 AM

Thanks for your time and info.going to get spray adhesive.nice trick.

-- life an woodworking is one big experiment

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2895 days

#7 posted 12-09-2010 04:37 AM

thank you makes me want to try with mine before Christmas. You make the cuts look so fluid.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2975 days

#8 posted 12-09-2010 01:58 PM

Thanks so much everyone! I do think it is easy – especially when you break it down into small steps. With a little practice things become second nature to you. Even when building larger furniture, having a scroll saw in your arsenal of tools can be a good thing. Everything doesn’t have to be delicate fretwork. I am glad you all enjoyed the videos.


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

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3132 days

#9 posted 12-09-2010 07:35 PM

Sheila, thanks for sharing the videos. You make is look so easy. After my last experience with my scroll saw (my first real go at it) I can see how much fun they are to use. Well, I say fun…. I think I described my experience in my last blog as “An hour and a half of eye crossing, headache inducing, scroll saw work”

My youngest daughter whom is 8 is expressing a lot of interest in wanting to learn to use a scroll saw. I will be honest in saying it makes me a little nervous, but I have heard the scroll saw is a good tool to start kids out on. Anyways, I am going to have to show her these videos. I am sure she will enjoy these and the fact it was done by a female will push her desire even more.

BTW… Do you have any recommendations for simple “How To’s” for younger folks wanting to give it a try?

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2975 days

#10 posted 12-09-2010 07:53 PM

Hi, Dan:
I am pleased that she is interested in working with the scroll saw. I think it is a fine tool to start someone on. Although accidents can happen with any tool, due to the size of the blade and speed that it is going, injuries on it are somewhat minimal in comparison to other tools such as a router or a table saw.

I think the most important thing is to have a clear, uncluttered work area so that she can be focused on her work, not the surroundings. I would start someone on pieces that are a bit larger (over 3-4” in diameter) and on outside cuts that aren’t really very intricate. Simple animal shapes or letters may be a good start, or shapes such as stars or hearts. Start out at a medium speed. Too fast will cut quite aggressively and too slow may cause the blade to catch on the wood and make the piece “chatter” or jump up and down a bit. Somewhere in between would be best.

Always supervise youngsters with any power tools. I am serious about this and you shouldn’t leave them on their own without watching them. You know your own kids and will need to trust your own judgment as to when you feel that they are capable of working on their own. Younger children seem to have a shorter attention span anyway, so it isn’t as if you will be looking over their shoulder for hours. I found that after a piece or two, they are ready for the next challenge and the sessions with them are rather short. As they mature, you will notice longer session as their interest increases.

I am sure that others will have input for you too. Please let me know how she does. When basic safety practices are followed, I feel that the scroll saw is no more dangerous to operate than a sewing machine and can be a fun way to introduce kids to woodworking.

Keep in touch and let me know. Good Luck and thanks again! Sheila

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

View tdv's profile


1188 posts in 3125 days

#11 posted 12-10-2010 02:51 AM

Really good Sheila your fingers look very close to that blade you have great skill, I’d probably lose a finger. I have a Delta 2 speed scrollsaw that doesn’t get much use basically because I don’t have enough knowledge of blade choice & technique you are helping with the technique any chance you could impart some of your knowledge on blade types relevance of the numbering & uses. Unfortunately most of the makes you have in the States & Canada may not be available in the UK but maybe the types & numbering may be standard. I’m definitely going to make the effort when the weather warms up abit
Thanks again
Best regards

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2975 days

#12 posted 12-10-2010 03:27 AM

Hi, Trevor:
I believe that Olson Blades (the brand that I use) are available in the UK. I will find out for you tomorrow. I have a blade chart from them that I can send you via email if you email me your address at
The chart will give you a rough idea of what to use for which type of wood and cutting.

Of course, I am always here to answer questions, no matter how trivial you think they may be. I like helping and I like to see others get involved in scroll sawing. You can email me any time with questions and I will do my best to help of send you to someone who can.

It is lots of fun when you get used to it! :)


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

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 4225 days

#13 posted 12-10-2010 03:49 AM

I like your videos of course, I like the “cool” at the end of the last one. Maybe that could be your trademark ending.

Both my granddaughters love using the scroll saw. I started them out by having them draw their own basic shapes like squares and circles and then cutting them out. I used 1/8” plywood. They are now using simple patterns.

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View grosa's profile


1004 posts in 2884 days

#14 posted 12-11-2010 07:09 PM

You put allot of time and effort into this post. Great job. Thank you for posting.

-- Have a great day.

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2751 posts in 3647 days

#15 posted 12-12-2010 01:34 AM

Great Job, Sheila. Very professional.

-- Dennis Zongker

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