I was kind of proud of myself yesterday. I stayed focused. I was disciplined. I pretty much did nothing but draw all day. I did take an hour out to go for a hike in a new place in the woods near the house and that was nice and refreshing. The air was quite brisk and for the first time this year I had to put on layers of clothing to keep warm. But I was warm enough and the walk was just what I needed for a break from the computer. It reminded me how pretty things are around me.
As we walked by the river we saw this animal on the other side. It looked like a giant rat, but fatter. It was the size of a large cat and could have been a beaver but its tail was long and thin like that of a rat. It was scurrying along the bank and plunged into the cold water, swam up the river a few feet and got out again and went under some leaves.
I thought I was quite well-versed in critters from these parts, but I have never seen the likes of it. It was one of those generic rodent type animals that surely are abundant here in the woods. Kind of creepy but kind of cute too. Nonetheless interesting.
I like going for walks in different places around where I live. There is such a mixture of woods and homes that there seems to be endless choices with each one being more picturesque than the next. We walked from a main road along the river through a logging path into the woods. The path came out a couple of miles away at another main road which we frequently travel, and we looped back to where we parked the car, walking along the river again.
It is amazing to me how different things look when walking compared to driving by. Things look far more vast and you tend to notice so many details that you hadn’t seen before. We walked past an old deserted apple orchard on the way back to the main road. Many of the trees still had apples on them. I find it odd how even an orchard can look unkempt and neglected, but many of the trees were leaning and broken and even though some still had fruit on them, they appeared to be dead. I can’t help but try to picture how the place was in its prime with the house well-kept and the trees and orchard thriving. I wondered how long ago it was abandoned.
I am not sure why old places such as this are so interesting to me. When I see things of this nature, I seem to get lost in thought as to what brought them to their current state. I would love to know the history and stories behind these properties. It really gets me thinking.
I worked on the ornaments until 10pm last night. I wouldn’t have thought it would have taken me so long to finish them up. The frames for all 12 are identical, and I only needed to draw the inside designs. They are the negative type of design with wispy little lines creating the images. They are not for the novice cutter, but they shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish. I am excited about working on them today and I am wondering if I will be able to get them all finished before the day is done. I am not sure, seeing as how long it took to draw them. They may take much longer than expected.
I plan to cut them out of maple or birch. I think that the light colored wood would look best on them and they will show up better on the tree. They are going to be cut in a self-framing style, where the center oval is bevel cut so it will be recessed back a bit from the frame. I plan on staining the frames in dark jewel tones of deep blue, burgundy, purple and green, giving them a somewhat Victorian essence. I then want to apply some gold leafing to the frames, which will give them a slight glimmer. I have both the brush-on leafing and the leafing sheets, and I want to experiment to see which one will give the best look. I want the effect to be subtle, and allow the deep color of the frame to show through. Since I think the sheets will cover more, I am leaning toward the brush-on. I think I will have more control that way.
Finally, I may hang a small bell from the bottom of each ornament. I am not sure on this part yet though. I would think that I would need to find bells that aren’t quite as brightly finished as what I see as new. I picture the leafing to be a bit duller and don’t want the bells to overpower it, but to accent it. I think a trip to the store to see what is available is in order. I want to get just the right ribbon too, for hanging them. I have a picture in my head and want it to be just right.
Details are important.
For some reason, I am really proud of these. They look so good on paper and usually the paper doesn’t do justice to the finished projects, so I am excited. Perhaps it was time that I was really excited about a project. It seems so long since I have done drawing like this and it feels good. It is one of those projects that it doesn’t really matter who likes them, because I do. Sometimes those are the best.
So I have an extra hour this morning and I plan on using it well. I have some writing that I need to do and I will do that until the hour is decent enough for me to get at the saw. The rest of the day I will be happy doing what I love to do – cutting. I am already considering what music I will choose to accompany me in this task. I haven’t quite decided on that yet.
Below is a peek at one of the finished ornaments:
I hope you like it.
Have a wonderful day today. Use that extra hour doing something you love to do!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"