My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #416: The Next Scroll Saw Lesson is Posted

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 07-30-2011 01:00 PM 1413 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 415: Difficult Decisions Part 416 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 417: All is Quiet »

Yesterday I spent much of my working day getting things ready for the next lesson on the scroll saw class. So far, it seems that I start out with a broader subject for the lesson and then by the time I am done explaining details and posting pictures, it seems like it is getting too long and I pare it down a bit, saving the rest of what I had intended for the next lesson. I don’t necessarily think that this is a bad thing, and the result are very focused segments. I think that later on as people go through the series that it will be helpful too, as they will be able to pinpoint exactly which technique or step that they are looking for additional information.

I enjoy doing these lessons, and as usual, once I get going on them, I get quite involved. It seems that there are so many little details that I remember while actually sawing that I want to mention. Sometimes I feel that I may be getting a bit too technical, but for the most part I try to keep things light and explain things in a way which even the newest sawyer will understand. I wonder if this is boring to those who have some experience, but I have heard back so far from newbies and veterans alike that they are learning. So that is good.

I felt a bit more comfortable doing the video this time. Although I felt that it was a bit dark, you could really see what was going on at the blade, which was the point. I had someone ask me to have the camera focused closer so everyone could really see what I was doing and when I did that, I found that the saw light was a bit bright and I was afraid that things would be washed out for the camera, so I didn’t use it. You could see the focused area much better, I felt and the important thing was you could see the blade on the line quite clearly. The only trouble that I had with that was that my old eyes aren’t what they used to be and I couldn’t see the line to follow. I went off a little bit and I didn’t even notice until it was too late. I don’t think it was bad enough to warrant a reshoot though. After all, I never said my own cutting was perfect every time. If I aimed for perfection on all of these videos, you would probably never see one finished.

I am trying to relax and not think about the camera or that I am filming as I cut. I think the worse part of shooting them for me is the beginning when I have to talk. It honestly took about four tries to get to the point of cutting, with me stumbling over my words and forgetting what I would say. That is so unlike me and I thought to myself that I must be going crazy. After the fourth flub, I took a breath and just pretended like I was talking to a friend and things went better. Once I am cutting, things are fine. You would think that would be the difficult part to do in front of the camera.

I believe the more I do these videos, the better I will feel about them. This entire teaching experience is good for me and stretches me into areas that I haven’t tried before. I also need to finish the video series of painting my little snowman that I began last fall. I have had a couple of people ask me if I was going to continue with that series and I think I should.

The other day I submitted the little hat ornaments to the painting company for the possibility of them distributing them as they are the skating pond. I knew that I was late for this year, but I wanted them to see them anyway just to get some feedback and see if I was on the right track. I received word that they indeed liked them and will keep them in mind for next years’ autumn items. It may sound like it is a long way off, but they begin to present their autumn things in May and they being to compile the projects for that in February. So I am not that far off and actually ahead of the game. I have other fall designs too that I am in the process of making that would be a good fit for their company, so that is a great opportunity.

The best thing about working with them too is that they are very in tune with designers. There are no restrictions on these projects that I submit to them. I can put them on my own site to sell, or even sell to other wholesalers if I wish (I don’t have any at this point) and they don’t mind. I can keep all of my information on the pattern packets too, which will mean that customers who like these items will be able to go to my site and see more. They also order a quantity and I get paid 30 days after the items are delivered. No waiting and no wondering if they are selling what they say they do. When they run out, they will reorder or not. No guessing games. I like that and so far it has been a wonderful experience to work with them. It gives me hope that if I work on this branch of my business then I will be OK.

I like the thought of offering the kits too, as it is a nice change of me to do some woodworking and not really have to think too much. As I said earlier, if things get too busy, I have other options of having others cut for me or even having things laser cut. There is a lot of hope here that all will work out.

Finally today, I wanted to show you all the pen that my partner Keith made for me. I have been somewhat of a pen collector for over 20 years now. I have always loved nice writing instruments and when I lived in the US I used to order from a company called Levenger. I never had a large quantity of pens, and in reality have only about seven or eight, but I used to make calligraphy hang tags when I designed and created the mohair collectible teddy bears that I sold. One year I even did my Christmas cards all in calligraphy. It took forever, but it was fun.

In any case, I always loved fountain pens. There is just something about writing with them that is an art form in itself. Keith has really excelled quickly in making his pens and he made me this incredible one and gave it to me yesterday. Here are some pictures of it:

First the nib:

From My Beautiful Fountain Pen from Keith

The body is made from a blank called ‘burls and swirls’. It feels and looks like marble and is absolutely stunning.

From My Beautiful Fountain Pen from Keith

The other side:

From My Beautiful Fountain Pen from Keith

I am ashamed to say that I don’t know what the materials are yet. I will add the descriptions to the pictures in my Picasa album as soon as I talk to him and ask him. I know that he only uses the high quality kits now and that it will last a life time.

It is by far the most beautiful pen I have ever owned. I had a couple of Waterman pens that were not the most expensive, but they weren’t what I could call ‘cheap’ either (around $100.) The Watermans’ have mostly plastic parts and even the body of the pen feels like plastic. It is OK, but no where nearly as nicely made as this one. The polish that Keith put on this puts the other one to shame and it feels balanced and weighted just perfectly. It is also a joy to write with, as the nib is made of iridium and writes like silk. I know I will cherish it forever.

So all is well and good today. It is still dark as I write, as it is raining quite persistently. I plan to draw for most of the day on the new plans that I am working on. I am not trying to be secretive about them, but I am waiting until I have several done to announce what they are. I want to be sure to be the first one to present them, as they are a simple idea that I can’t believe hasn’t been developed yet and once it is out, I am sure others will follow. I want to have them first.

I hope you all have a good Saturday planned. Summer is in full swing and there is so much for everyone to do. If it were nice, I would be contemplating a road trip, but it is supposed to rain all weekend. That’s OK though, it will keep me working. I still plan to take a day or two in the next couple of weeks to get away, but I want the sun to be shining so we can have a good time. I am patient.

Have a great day and I hope you get a chance to look in on the class. :)

-- 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 huntter2022's profile


275 posts in 2644 days

#1 posted 07-30-2011 02:59 PM

The lessons are doing great and I really believe the video’s really help explain what you have written and make it easier .

The paint company deal sounds like a great deal , and sure the 30 day turn around makes the offer even better

Keith made you a lovely pen . tip : DO NOT ! lay a nice pen down in front of Mary or let her use it . She has a locked like cash box with like 173 pens in it .

have a good day

-- David ; "BE SAFE BE HAPPY" Brockport , NY

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2948 days

#2 posted 07-30-2011 03:05 PM

LOL David!!! That is sweet! She would have to fight me for this one though! I wouldn’t let it go without putting up a good battle! (I am a lot tougher than I look!)

Sheila :D

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

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3065 days

#3 posted 07-30-2011 06:48 PM

Keith’s pens are a beauty to behold. Lucky you, Sheila. You deserve it.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3144 days

#4 posted 07-31-2011 09:32 AM

congrat´s with your new pen Sheila :-)
but don´t start to use it for the dayly update to us
the postman is toooooo slow with with 30k+ letters …. :-)

have a great day

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