I am late today! Not because I was sleeping in or anything like that, but I had some things that I wanted to do before the sun came up and I got side tracked. (Besides, who has time to sleep these days!)
The days are certainly full lately. I am taking time to enjoy things though and it isn’t at all bad. I made terrific progress on my second set of bird ornaments yesterday. I finished cutting them out, sanding them and getting a coat of mineral oil on them. They dried overnight and I should be able to stain the one set of them today.
I had some feedback from people who liked the way Bob did the ornaments. (That was the beautiful cardinal ornament that I showed on the blog the other day.) I was even asked by someone if I could adapt the pattern to his way of doing it. While I really do like his way, I think I am going to leave things as is on these two sets. It isn’t that I am trying to not be flexible, but there are some reasons that I will share with you as to why.
First of all, I am under a deadline right now to finish these. Reworking the pattern would take a bit of time that I just don’t have the luxury of right now and it isn’t something that I would consider a quick thing to do. Not if I am to do it right.
Second, logistically it is not simply a matter of joining lines and everything looking good. In order to join the birds to the frames, you would lose a lot of the branch lines, as well as lines from the tails and feet. It would also make the ornament quite a bit weaker and more fragile, as the circular frame that the bird was glued to was intended to strengthen the delicate fretwork of the bird, branches and flowers and allow the fragile design to be supported. If they are all one piece, the overall ornament is less sturdy and more prone to breaking. The veneer on the back does help strengthen this, but it almost makes it mandatory to have a backing rather than an option. I don’t know if everyone would want to do that – especially if they are going to hang them in a window or use them in a way that both sides can be seen.
Third, I really liked the two layered look. To me it looks like the bird is sitting among the branches and I think the added layer gives dimension and interest. It was a nice way to present these birds, yet also allow others to use them on their own (without the frames) and incorporate them into other scrolling projects, either as overlays or right into the designs without the frames interfering. You could, for example, make a self-framing plaque without any scrolling at all in the center and a nice scrolled border. Then simply glue the bird into the frame and it would make a pretty and interesting picture quite easily. They would also look nice on a jewelry box lid or trinket box lid. I think that no framing allows for many possibilities.
Finally, I have already sold many of these patterns in their original format. Changing them now would be an issue with all those who purchased the patterns originally. I don’t like the thought of doing that and it would be difficult to reissue the new patterns and be sure that everyone was covered. I just don’t feel that is a good thing to do.
As I said, I do like the ideas a lot. I will certainly consider making another set with the frames ‘built into’ the ornaments for those who prefer it that way. I just think that for now, the best thing for me to do is leave these as they are. I felt that I wanted something a little different and this was what I came up with. I hope you all understand.
In the evening, I made progress on my Halloween painting project. I am really enjoying doing these little ornaments and all 24 are base coated and the fun and creative part begins. The designs I am painting are created by Peggy Harris, who is a wonderful decorative painter and teacher. I have many of her books and patterns and when I saw these cute “Boo Bunnies” I just had to do them. Her original instructions were to paint these in oils, but I am using DecoArt Americana acrylics and just feeling my way through the colors. There are six different little bunnies, and I am making four sets of them to keep and give away. I can see them now on my little tree. Here is the picture of the one I finished:
He is painted on 1/8” plywood (just to stay on topic!) Now I only have 23 more of them to do! But this is the fun part. Watching them come to life is fun and now that I got my colors down pat, it should go easy.
There is so much fun stuff to do, I don’t know where to begin sometimes. It is hard not to feel good about things when things are this way. All the while I am working on these projects, I am figuring out the next six in my head. I already have the next one lined up as soon as these birds are done. I can’t wait to show you all that!
So I had better get (continue) moving for the day. I hope you all have a wonderful and creative day too!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"