My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #241: Pictures!!

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 01-30-2011 04:43 PM 5233 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 240: Getting Lots Accomplished Part 241 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 242: A Variety of Designs Nearly Completed »

I really made good headway yesterday. Today I am in the home stretch of things and it is going to be really fun to see all four of these trays come together at once. I have never really done four at a time like this, but since they are all kind of different styles, it is rather exciting.

I will get right down to business and show you where I am at with everything. I took pictures this morning, but nothing here is finished or even sanded for that matter. I do sand things to be pretty smooth before doing the scroll sawing, but I must admit, there are still some planer marks and stuff like that left to take care of. All three of the designs I cut yesterday are pretty ‘hearty’ though and it should be an easy process without the danger of breaking anything.

I started with cutting the most time-consuming tray first. That would be the Rose and Trellis tray. I don’t consider any of these three projects difficult, but if I were to grade them, this one would definitely be the hardest. The reason being that you need to be consistent in cutting, keeping the straight lines straight (which is harder than doing curves, I believe) and keeping all the corners sharp. Also, I don’t find it very exciting cutting squares over and over (and over) again. Getting it done took me over three hours. I wasn’t hurrying or anything, but it certainly wasn’t exciting. I found myself thinking “why the heck did I draw this?” as I cut square after square (after square). I found it exciting when I got to do an end triangular hole – just because it was different.

I had used oak for this piece, because I wanted a medium coloured wood with some interest in it. Oak isn’t generally a good choice for fretwork, as the grain is deep and it is quite fragile when cutting delicate designs. However, this was a great time to use it, as the trellis design is quite sturdy with support on all sides. When I peeled off the pattern after finishing cutting, I once again liked it. I actually looked nice, and will be a fine base for the roses and leaves overlay pieces that will be placed upon it:

From SLD344 Trellis and Rose Candle Tray

You can see in the detail how important it is to be consistent with your lines. In looking back, I think it would be a wonderful piece to practice your skills on. You will certainly feel more comfortable cutting straight lines and corners when you are finished. And besides, if you make a couple of boo-boos, you will be placing several rose and leaf overlay pieces over them anyway!

From SLD344 Trellis and Rose Candle Tray

The next design I cut was the Grapevine Candle Tray. This, is what I will call a ‘Perfect Storm’ design. It is easy to cut, fast and looks good. Although initially I wasn’t sure that I would like it because it appeared rather busy on paper. I was afraid that the grapes and leaves would be lost in each other and it would just look a little bit messy. But seeing it now, I really do like it. It is different from the other types of designs that I tend to do but I like the style and I think it will be popular.

From SLD345 Grapevine Candle Tray

This design calls for some precision drilling. Like the Easter tray, it is very important to drill exactly where indicated, as the drill holes become an important part of the overall design. I used brad tipped drill bits for this design and took my time. The drilling alone took about half an hour.

I was also debating whether I should or should not route the edge. I don’t like leaving hard edges on these trays, as they just don’t seem to look finished. I took a chance and used a slight round-over bit and routed the staggered edge and it really looked pretty cool. The routing overlapped where the end grapes came to the edge, but with the brad bits, they weren’t difficult to deal with at all and they came out fine. I actually like how the edges tapered down, as it gives the tray a carved effect.

From SLD345 Grapevine Candle Tray

I used sepele for the wood, and the color is already rich and deep even before I apply oil. I can’t wait to see it oiled and polished. It is going to be awesome. I am not adding any color to this tray, as it will be wonderful on its own and the wood itself will be the focus on it. I can’t believe how easily this design cut, also. It looks as if it would be difficult to accomplish, but I would really recommend it as a beginner project because of the ease and speed of cutting. I believe that the entire tray was cut in about an hour. Now that doesn’t include the drill time, but it is still a quick project and you could easily make a couple of them in a day if you wanted.

The final tray I cut was the easiest of all – yet also looks cool. It is the Lily Pad and Frog candle tray. I had thought I had chosen a piece of poplar for it, as I like the greenish tinge that poplar has when left natural color, but I was surprised after I peeled off the paper and saw that the grain was quite pretty. Apparently I wasn’t looking very closely when I chose the wood, as I don’t remember the grain being so nice.

From SLD346 Lily Pad and Frog Candle Tray

This pattern was one of the easiest that I have done in a long time. I believe there were only 27 cuts in the tray base, and again it took only a little over an hour to cut. It also would be a great pattern for a beginner, as following the lines exactly would not be critical. In this project, the main focus will be on the overlay pieces of frogs and water lily flowers, which I will be making today. It is off to a good start though, as the grain on this wood (what I believe is hickory) really looks great and will look even better tinted with a greenish stain:

From SLD346 Lily Pad and Frog Candle Tray

So I accomplished quite a bit yesterday. Today, I get to cut out all the charms and overlay pieces for these four trays (these three and also the Easter tray). This is going to be the really fun part – seeing them all come to life. I found that I really do love deadlines, as they push me to accomplish more that I normally would. I don’t think that my designing has suffered much from having a time constraint to work in. I rather think that it helps to kick me into a higher gear of creativity.

I also got really good mail yesterday. First of all, I received a beautiful pen and key chain from Steve Beard, a customer who has become a friend. Steve has started to do some painting and has asked me a couple of questions regarding the process and brushes and so forth. He lives in England and was having trouble getting hold of some of the basic brushes I use and I sent him a couple to get him started. As a thank you, he made me an absolutely beautiful cocobolo pen and key chain and I received it yesterday. I am absolutely thrilled! It is wonderful and I do have a small collection of fine pens and fountain pens that I love. Here is a picture of the set:

From Everday Stuff

(I yoinked the photo from his FB page, as I took a quick one myself and it didn’t look as nice) It really made me happy to know that I helped someone and that they appreciated it so much as to send me this. I will cherish it forever.

I also received another treasure in the mail from our own Jordan Straker. A week or so ago, Jordan showed an incredible clock that he carved on his Facebook pictures. It was a clock that had 32 nursery rhymes characters carved into it. Everyone immediately started listing the ones they saw in it and it turned into a contest to see who could find the most. I had stumbled on it when I was taking my break one day and wound up getting involved, as many others were and it turned into a fun game.

In the end, Jordan being the wonderfully generous man he is awarded all who participated in the game a choice of magnets of his wonderful carvings. I choose the cowboy boot and it came yesterday. It is awesome!

From Everday Stuff

I want to thank both Steve and Jordan for they generosity and friendships. Both men are so talented and I am very happy to have them as friends.

I really love it here on LJ’s. I am happy that it isn’t ‘all business’ and that we have such a great group of people that are willing to share their talents, stories and lives with each other. There is so much good in so many people here. I appreciate each and every one of you!

So I had better get busy with my work today. It is difficult to call it ‘work’ though because it is so much fun. I love my job so much and all that goes with it. I know that I have had not so good days too, but the good ones far outweigh the crummy ones.

I hope you all enjoyed these little previews of the projects. I can’t wait to show the finished ones.

Have a wonderful, happy and productive (or not!) Sunday!

-- 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 tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 2955 days

#1 posted 01-30-2011 04:49 PM

I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE that lilypad design! Especially it being slightly off centre. That adds a lot to it, I think.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2889 days

#2 posted 01-30-2011 04:51 PM

Thanks, Lis! It is funny how sometimes you don’t have to do difficult to be cool looking. I like when that happens! :D Wait until you see the little frogs and flowers! I hope they come out OK!


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

View Steelmum's profile


355 posts in 3932 days

#3 posted 01-30-2011 05:32 PM

I love your designs. I was ‘introduced’ to you through Steve Good and the Scroll saw workshop. I am glad for the opportunity to say thanks. Can’t wait to try these.

-- Berta in NC

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6851 posts in 3949 days

#4 posted 01-30-2011 06:24 PM

Hi Sheila,

Great job cutting the straight lines. You’re right, a great project for improving scroll saw skills.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2889 days

#5 posted 01-30-2011 06:26 PM

Thanks, Lee! The repetition of doing it over and over really helps get you on track. :)

Thank you too, Berta! Steve also introduced me here to Lumberjocks. He has a great site there himself and I am glad I found both of them. :)


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

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3084 days

#6 posted 01-30-2011 09:25 PM

I like the tray in the first picture :-)
its werd a simple pattern like this can talk so much to you :-)
even thow simple doesn´t meen its easy to make

some beautyfull Gifts you recieved Sheila , what a nice gesture of Jordan and Steve , ..thank´s guy´s
and thank´s for sharing the story behind them Sheila :-)

so nice to see and hear other´s go thrugh the same feeling of recieving a package from another
L J freind , I think beside inspire others and be inspired , find answer´s to questions and share knowledge ,
to give and recieve , meeting other L J´s nomatter what level and interress you have in woodworking
is what make´s Lumber Jock one of the best site ever on the net
so stricly pointed against woodworking and yet so social and freindly beyon imagination if you ain´t a part of it

thank´s for making my day !

take care

View stevebuk's profile


57 posts in 2653 days

#7 posted 01-31-2011 12:22 AM

not a problem Dennis, tis i who have the luck of a very talented lady..

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 2850 days

#8 posted 01-31-2011 01:45 AM

I’m croaking over the quality! Can’t wait for the ribbits and honeybees….

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

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