My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #221: Busy as a Bee!

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 01-10-2011 02:56 PM 8722 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 220: Moving Right Along Part 221 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 222: Variations on a Theme »

There are some days when I just absolutely love my job. Yesterday was one of those days. It reminded me why I fight so hard on those not-so-good days to keep this job and keep doing what I am doing.

Funny thing was, it wasn’t that much different from most days I have. I printed out some orders that have to go out in the mail today, answered some questions from customers, laid out and cut out my newest project, made a good dinner, and I even took my walk in the evening. We have taken to walking at night almost all the time now. It is really quite different than the day walks we were used to. We still go about 2km or so and have found many different paths to explore. Some of our new favorites are where the train tracks used to cut through the area. They are cleared and very distinctive, so there is no danger of getting lost in the woods, yet they are quiet and off the road. We always carry our trusty flashlights with us, but last night it was bright enough that we didn’t even need them most of the time. It was cold and quiet and a beautiful way to end a greatly productive day.

I cut my most recent candle tray out yesterday and I had a ball doing it. As I said yesterday, I am going to see if the magazine wants this one, as I was told by my editor he would consider one of my candle trays for publication. They are probably working on the summer issues right about now, and even though they have several of our designs there, I wanted to offer a tray for them.

I came up with the idea of a honeycomb pattern and bees. I don’t know why I like bees so much. They are fun and cute and always remind me of warm weather and sunny days. I drew up the tray on Saturday and it went quite well. It was one of those days where everything just fell into place.

Cutting it was the same. Although cutting the honeycombs looked tedious, it was relaxing and fun. I used a #2 reverse-tooth blade and it was a great opportunity for me to practice up on my corners and short straight cuts. There was no fancy maneuvering involved in this and it really cut very quickly.

I decided to use ash because the design was quite strong and the ash would hold up to it. I also planned on using mineral oil to finish it and I thought the color would be perfect. I wasn’t disappointed. Here is a picture of the tray:

From Honeycomb and Bee Candle tray

And the detail of it:

From Honeycomb and Bee Candle tray

This was the first of the tray designs I decided to do overlay pieces on. I had tried drawing it up with the bees right in the honeycomb, but it looked too busy and they got kind of lost in there. The overlay pieces are cut of 1/8” ash and are just perfect, allowing them to stand out just the right amount. I cut six bees to scatter on top of the honeycomb tray:

From Honeycomb and Bee Candle tray

The bees themselves were simple and fun to cut. They are surprisingly sturdy (I was fearful that they legs wouldn’t hold up to the grainy ash). But I am very happy with them.

From Honeycomb and Bee Candle tray

They did fine until I was playing around with them and I dropped the heavy glass lid of the jar candle on top of them (DOH!) and broke one fellas’ leg off. I was able to glue it back though and you can’t even see it, so if you won’t tell, I won’t tell! ;)

Overall I really love the project. I have a nice bright yellow candle to use in the photographs and I am going to use the gel stain today and give some color to the bees for the final pictures. I am going to only stain one side of the bees and not glue them on so that if they are chosen for the magazine, they can show either (or both) versions of the project. I also toyed with the idea of adding little black wire antenna to them, but the jury is out on that one. I suppose I will see how they look with the stain on them.

This project really revved up my engine! There is a part of me that hates to submit it, because I will have to put it on the sidelines for many months. However, there are other summer themes that I can do that will be (hopefully) equally fun and cute and this has really made me want to get moving and make them.

It is a great way to start the week. I am really motivated and can’t wait to work on more things today. I hope to have finished pictures later on.

Time to get busy!

From Honeycomb and Bee Candle tray

(As a bee, that is!)

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

7 comments so far

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2918 days

#1 posted 01-10-2011 06:15 PM

Lovely little bees!

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3116 days

#2 posted 01-10-2011 06:37 PM

The bees being on top give it that 3-D look! Awesome!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Steven Davis's profile

Steven Davis

118 posts in 2994 days

#3 posted 01-10-2011 08:21 PM


These make me think of some of Esher’s drawings.

-- Steven Davis - see me at

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3002 days

#4 posted 01-11-2011 03:52 AM

Bees looks real. I am inspired again how you do the straight cutting of the hexagon… it is so accurate.

-- Bert

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9237 posts in 3000 days

#5 posted 01-11-2011 03:59 AM

Thank you all! I loved doing this project. I used a #2 blade and it was very stable on the 1/2” ash. Maybe it was just a good cutting day, but I cut the whole base in under 2 hours. I just get lost in cutting and it kind of mesmerizing to me. :)


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

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3098 days

#6 posted 01-11-2011 05:40 AM

This tray and bees are very cute and I think you did a wonderful job with it! Edith likes it too!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6860 posts in 4059 days

#7 posted 01-11-2011 02:21 PM

Hi Sheila;

Really great looking project. I like the design very much, and your scroll saw work is very good.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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