My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #238: Still Drawing

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 01-27-2011 03:27 PM 4669 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 237: Continued Progress Part 238 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 239: On to the Saw! »

I am still in the drawing stages of designing some new trays. If all goes well, I should be able to start cutting by tomorrow. I am in the process of making four new trays and I want to have them all finished by Monday. That is a pretty ambitious goal for even myself, but somehow I feel that proclaiming it in public, it will push me a little bit harder to accomplish it.

I don’t really need a lot of pushing though, because I am rather excited about the new designs. The Easter bunny and egg design is really cute on paper, and I can’t wait to see how it looks cut. I don’t know whether to cut it first or leave it until the end so that I can be excited about it and have something to work for. I do that a lot. I cut the hardest parts first or the part that I am not as excited about so that later on when I am getting tired or pooped out from cutting, I leave the best parts for the end. It motivated me to keep going a bit better. It is also better for me too because it gets the most difficult parts out of the way when I feel fresher and have my best concentration.

Yesterday I drew up a pattern for a tray with roses on it. I thought that would be nice for Spring and Summer, and also perhaps for weddings. Roses are somewhat difficult to make look nice because the petals are so layered. It is not easy to make a nice looking rose when you are really only cutting in two dimensions. I originally drew the flowers as frames with each petal kind of hollowed out, and I was going to fill in the rest of the area of the tray with a kind of trellis pattern. But I didn’t really like how that looked because the trellis itself was so broken up by the flowers, it all looked like spaghetti. So I chucked that whole idea after several hours and started again.

This time I decided to make it much like I did for the honeycomb and bee pattern. I did a base of the holder with the diamond-shaped trellis pattern and the roses and leaves are going to be overlay pieces, which will be more solid and have detail veining lines cut into them. I think this worked out much better, as now I will be able to stain the roses any color I wish and they will look nice on the trellis, which could be left a natural wood color, or even stained white. It opened many more options for the design and I think it will be a good one.

I finished drawing near dinner time and I had a call from a customer who was going to attend the show in New York, along with several of his woodworking friends. He suggested to me that I have a class (or part of a class) which would be geared to staining and finishing the projects I do and using the staining medium that I use on many of my projects. He said that many of his friends already know a bit about scrolling and that this type of information is the kind of thing that they were looking for and they would like that very much.

I got to thinking and I believe he is right. I had been somewhat concerned that I wouldn’t have any new information to offer the people that had come to the show and were already familiar with scroll sawing. I do get so many questions on painting and coloring, however, that I am beginning to think that this will be a useful topic for many people there, no matter which type of woodworking they are involved in. I am really happy that I got the chance to talk to him and hear what he had to say.

I find that most of my customers are very helpful and nice to talk to. It seems that they are sometimes timid about contacting me, or even apologetic sometimes, thinking they are troublesome. Nothing could be further from the truth. I see them as a valuable resource and it helps me see their point of view of things, which makes me a better designer and teacher. I love the day to day communication with them. It reminds me of why I do what I do and I never get over that people actually invest the time and money to make my designs. They also help me when they ask questions or need clarification on a step because then I reconsider how I explain things and possibly make some minor changes in the way I present things. I always consider feedback – both positive and negative – as an asset.

So for today, I will be drawing again. I have two additional designs that I want to try to complete. I can possibly get both of them done today, as they are pretty well thought out in my head.

Here is a small sample of the rose design:

From SLD344 Trellis and Rose Candle Tray

It doesn’t look impressive, I know. I think it is one of those designs where the type of wood used will make it come to life. I will need to be very careful on my choice of wood that I use, and hopefully it will come out nice. I will have to see what I have here, as I have some ideas as to what I want. It will be interesting to see how it comes out in the end.

I will spend the day drawing I believe, as long as my power holds out. We are being hit with a big storm today and as I speak, the snow is falling so hard I can barely see across the road to the river. We were told of the storm yesterday, and it was supposed to arrive around midnight, but I awoke to no new accumulation. As I heated my coffee, I could hear the fine ice pelting against the window and saw a thin layer of it on the road. Since I began typing however, it changed to large flakes and now is blowing and almost purely white out. We have easily accumulated two inches already, and it seems we will have much more by the end of the day.

I am set for just about anything though. I have food, water and if the power goes, I can sit and paint all day. If you write me and don’t hear from me for a while, you will know why. :)

Either way, it will be a good and productive day. Have a great one!

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

4 comments so far

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2837 days

#1 posted 01-27-2011 07:15 PM

You mentioned Easter themed designs and I was a bit confused. I had to look to make sure what the date was. Then I remembered that you have to plan everything several months in advance to get things out at the right time.
I don’t know how you do that. I have hard enough time getting in the mood of things such as holidays at the time of said holiday. I don’t think I could really get into it months ahead of schedule, and my problem is that if I can’t get in the right mood, then I’m not nearly as creative as I should be. Abilities like that impress me. That takes dedication.


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2915 days

#2 posted 01-27-2011 10:35 PM

Yes, William. It is a way of life for me and I am quite used to it. I remember painting Santa and snowmen pins by the pool when it was 97 degrees out when my kids were little. I have learned to think several seasons ahead. It is fun though. :)


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

View stevebuk's profile


57 posts in 2679 days

#3 posted 01-28-2011 01:13 AM

hi sheila
looking good again and i cant wait to see them finished. Are you doing anything for valentines day, i have made some candle hearts and painted them red, and the word ‘love’ also painted red..

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2915 days

#4 posted 01-28-2011 01:20 AM

I do have the heart candle tray for Valentine’s Day and my partner made up some small heart candle holders. We are going to update the site probably sometime next week. I am also doing a set of heart ornaments as soon as these four trays are done. I wanted to have something nice that can be done quickly for Valentine’s. :) You should post pictures of your candle hearts.


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

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