As I awoke this morning I couldn’t help but think that I made a good tactical move yesterday. Even though that above all things I wanted to stain in my bird ornaments, I made the choice to cut out the little skating ponds and get them ready to ship.
Now I am the kind of girl that sometimes doesn’t look at the entire project. For example on the skating pond sets, I only seem to consider cutting the five characters on the scroll saw as the ‘work’ part of it. I tend to forget that I still have to cut and sand the little ponds. I suppose since they are only rounded rectangles, I figure they are easy and don’t figure in the time for me to make them. (I did figure it in when I calculated my total time on making the project, so that is good!) But when making 36 of anything, plus a few extra to have around, even if it takes five minutes to do it adds to the time.
My plywood pieces were cut to 30” x 30” initially for storage and so they could fit in my car easily. The ponds are 8.5” x 11” so that means I get six ponds per sheet (I keep the extra wood for later projects or to cut the skaters themselves out of.) I found it is easier to cut these on the table saw and that involved going to my partner’s parents house to use it. That took at least an hour, if not two with the subsequent visiting.
I then needed to round the corners on the scroll saw. I have this neat plastic corner gadget that makes it easy to trace nice rounded corners so with tracing and then scrolling them, it went pretty fast. After that was done, I wanted to sand everything smooth, and used my 1/3 sheet orbital sander to do that. I did that on the front porch (which is where the good decision making came into play) and finished everything up within about an hour or so. Now I can really say ‘all done’ except for packing everything up in the zip bags that I am expecting to arrive today.
By the time I finished that and all the housework and laundry and stuff that I needed to get done it was just about 5PM and time to make dinner. I was kind of bummed out because it seemed another day had gotten away from me without me working on my bird ornaments.
I was getting a little tired, but I wanted to have them stained by the end of the evening so I decided to keep on working on them until they were finished. By around 10:30 I was done, and I felt that at least I accomplished something on them.
I still am working on what to do about hanging them. I think that I am going to offer an overlay of vine work that can be done of the scroll saw in a circle that I can attach a hanger to. I even thought that I may do not only the vine work, but as a second option also offer the circle of holly leaves to that they can be used as Christmas ornaments. Since the ‘frames’ will be cut separately, it will be easy to offer both versions and then let my customers decide which would be best for their intended use.
Below are the pictures of the finished set:
I think they look quite nice. I used the DecoArt Staining and Antiquing gel along with the Americana Acrylic paints to make tints and just brushed them over the top. Since I followed the scroll saw lines, it was quite easy to block in the colors of the tints without having to worry about transferring lines and shading and all of that. The gel makes the colors sheer, so the natural color of the maple shows through and the grain of the wood gives a nice variation of color and adds depth and interest.
It is a simple process and I think a very effective way to add some color to your work (and it is also very inexpensive!) I am thinking of doing a video which will show me using the stains and coloring in one of the birds.
Of course, if you wish you could leave the pieces natural color:
I think that both are attractive and each one can have many applications – either as stand alone projects or as added elements into other larger projects such as boxes and plaques, either as overlay pieces or scrolled right into the piece.
I really like doing patterns like this and seeing what people come up with. It is one of the things that makes my work so much fun.
Today it is raining out. I am really happy that I decided to do the sanding on the porch yesterday and got that checked off of my list. I am also happy this morning that I stuck to my guns last night and finished up these ornaments. It is good to have them done to this point.
Today I will work on the framing of them. I haven’t really pictured in my mind what I am going to do yet, and that I believe is part of why I have taken so long on them. But I have been thinking about it and have a pretty good idea of what I want to do now so I think it is time to get to drawing.
I have to go to Digby for part of the day, but hopefully I will get some of this done this morning. Since we ‘lost’ the day yesterday with the holiday, this week is sure to go by fast.
I hope you all enjoy the bird ornaments. I still have a list of another eight that I want to draw and make into another set. Then there are the many other projects that I am thinking about. I suppose I just have to check off one thing at a time and go from there. It is a good place for a designer to be.
Have a good one everyone!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"