I was gone much of yesterday, but I did manage to finish up my ornaments when I got home. I suppose that I was just too excited to leave them until the next day and couldn’t wait to see how they came out. I am really pleased with them and I hope that everyone else likes them too.
After doing a final sanding on them, I dipped them in my usual mineral oil. I am finding this as my favorite method for finishing up fretwork and small pieces like this. It is quick and easy and doesn’t have any nasty smell to deal with. Most important – it really brings out the beautiful grain in the wood without making it look drippy or fake.
Again, I used a small shallow dish and I only used a small amount of oil (about 1/8-1/4”) I quickly dipped each piece into the oil and used a 3/4” nylon paint brush to make sure the oil covered all the fretwork edges. I then transferred the piece to a small pile of folded paper towels to blot off all the excess oil that I could and placed them on a metal cookie cooling rack to sit.
I let them be for about an hour or so and the oil quickly absorbed into each ornament. Before long they were quite dry. I usually leave them overnight, but since they were dry to the touch and no longer shiny, I felt that they were ready for the next step. Just in case, I took a Q-tip and swiped each depression where the beads were to be seated, just in case there was any residual oil left on the surface. I suppose I could have dipped the q-tip in alcohol to be sure to remove all traces of oil on the surface of the depressions, but it wasn’t necessary. I then sprayed the ornaments with light coats of spray shellac on the front and back, allowing about an hour in between coats for things to dry.
When things were no longer sticky and pretty dry to the touch, I took some very fine sanding film and gently sanded the fronts of the ornaments. Due to the fact that I used woods that were quite dense, some of them were a bit more shiny then I wanted. While I wouldn’t mind them being slightly shiny in general, I have found that when photographing the pieces for the patterns, if there is too much of a shine on them it makes it difficult to take nice pictures, so knocking down this extra shine was necessary for my own ornaments here.
Then came the really fun part – gluing in all the little pearl beads. I had found these beautiful little pearl beads by Swarovski (the famous crystal people) It may sound silly, but these beads are really much prettier than the run of the mill plastic pearls that you see. They have an almost silvery sheen to them and look really beautiful in person. They cost me $2.75 for a package of 20 and (believe it or not!) this project needed I think 97 pearls. It sure doesn’t look like that many! So I got five packages and I was set. I also liked them because the holes in them were teeny tiny and you couldn’t really see them at all. It really made a difference.
I proceeded to glue the beads in using regular clear drying wood glue and here is the results:
This of course is just a snap shot of the finished ornaments. I will be spending today writing the pattern packets and also taking nice pictures. I don’t know if I will be able to scan these in or not because of the depth of the pearls. I am not sure if it will distort the focus of the scanner or if it will still be sharp. I will certainly let you know by tomorrow.
I am so excited and thrilled with these hearts! Each one looks prettier than the last one. I took lots of pictures along the way and I am going to make this pattern extremely detailed in the instructions and gear it for a beginner scroll sawyer. But I really think that anyone who scrolls will like these ornaments.
What is also nice about them is that each heart is simple enough so that it can be made smaller and possibly used as a pendant. I can see it on a nice cord or chain and when I was shopping for the pearls, I noticed that they had even smaller ones that were just as beautiful and would be suitable accents for smaller sized hearts. I think I will go back and get some today and try one out just to see.
All in all, I really am having a great time with these hearts. They really came out cool looking and I hope that they will be a fun and easy project and inviting enough so that people will give them a try.
What a wonderful little keepsake this will be for someone to give or receive. I hope you all enjoy them.
I wish you all a wonderfully creative day!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"