My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #590: Getting to the Finish Line

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 941 days ago 2205 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 589: Wood Glue Review Part 590 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 591: One More Day »

Did you ever have one of those projects that seems to go on and on (and on) and you find yourself wondering if you will ever be finished with it? I am afraid that is what I have been going through with the project that I am currently working on (the calendar topper).

Perhaps it is because it has been a three part series and I started working on it in September that it seems like it is never ending. Now you all know that it hasn’t been all I have been working on, or even the main focus of my attention for all that time, but I think that perhaps because it has been lurking in the back of my mind that it just feels like I have been dealing with it in one way or another for far too long.

With that being said, I am glad that I am in the home stretch and if all things go well today, by early tomorrow afternoon, the third and final installment of the calendar will be safely on the Purolator truck and headed for publication in New Jersey. “Barring all disasters.” (Why does that phrase always make me smile?)

I put in a LONG day yesterday. I got a late start because my writing took me a bit longer than usual and there was lots of set up for the many pieces that needed to be cut at the saw.

Again, I am cutting the pieces in three layers – two for the magazine (one to be left natural and one stained) and one for my own calendar topper that I will have here. I must admit, I started using mine last week and it is really nice! It is fun to be able to change the top pieces and I think it is much nicer than the frame that I used to have.

I went through a lot of emotions with this project. Over the course of the months, I think I wound up over thinking some parts of it, and this past week I have felt like I was trying to run through a foot of mud when working on it. I only really started working on this last five months of pieces since Monday though, and when I look at the pile of pieces that I have cut, I realize that a lot of thought went into creating them.

I think the most difficult part of the project was choosing which characters to create for the corresponding months. Some months were easier than others, but some I spent a lot of time making decisions and trying to figure out what will work best and look the best both stained and left natural color. I find that sometimes leaving the wood natural (which is preferable to many scroll sawyers) is sometimes a difficult task, as you only have the thin cutting lines and holes to give the pieces character and dimension. With the stained pieces, you can rely on color changes to do that, but when the wood is all the same color, it can be a bit more difficult to make it look good.

After all the time it took to find the right pieces of wood and set the pieces up, I finally sat down at the saw somewhere around 2pm – much later than I anticipated. I spent the rest of the afternoon cutting until about 8pm when my body just had enough. I find the older I get, I can only sit in one place for so long. I do make a point when I am cutting many pieces such as this to only drill the entry holes for one piece at a time. That forces me to get up and stretch and walk over to the drill press and does help a lot.

I only have about an hour of cutting left today, so that shouldn’t be bad at all. I just knew I had to call it quits because I was losing my concentration and didn’t want to mess things up. I think it is important to know when you have had enough. Below is a picture of my day’s accomplishment:

The good thing that happened was that all the anxiety that I have felt over getting this project done was quickly removed when I saw the pieces being cut. Many times scrolling projects are like that. You look at them on the computer screen and then on paper for so long and you think “meh” and they are quite unimpressive. Then when you actually cut them out, they magically go through a strange metamorphosis and come out much nicer than you expected. What a wonderful phenomena!

At the end of the day, I looked at the pile of pieces and thought to myself “These are CUTE!” And they aren’t even sanded or finished yet. My excitement returned in regards to this project and I am once again proud of it and will be excited to see how everything will look when it is finished. It is quite a different feeling than I had just 24 hours ago.

I don’t really understand it, but I don’t think that I have to. I am just going to enjoy what is in front of me and have fun finishing these pieces up and making them look even better.

I see the finish line in front of me now, and it is a good feeling. I am looking forward to having a fun day of cutting and sanding and staining and even writing out the instructions. It is going to be a good day.

I hope you all have a wonderful day too. Have some fun finishing up something that you may have lost interest in. You may surprise yourself and make something you really do like after all.

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

7 comments so far

View patron's profile


13000 posts in 1966 days

#1 posted 941 days ago

hummm ….

something finished
what a concept

i have the manual for that
somewhere in the shop

but first need to find the manual
about how to look for manuals

great work sheila
these look fantastic !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 1740 days

#2 posted 941 days ago

yep I have to many of them and they seems to acumolate over the year :-(
unfortunaly it comes out of wanting too much at the same time

finely it seems that the winther will arive just 80 kilometers noth of us
they got iceglazzed roads and snow early in the morning

but not here yet

have a great sunday

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7557 posts in 1545 days

#3 posted 941 days ago

You make me laugh David! Sometimes the only way things get finished is because I have deadlines. Perhaps this one felt more pressure because there were two published parts preceding it. (OMG! COMMITMENT!) I don’t know why I am like that, but I think it is a good thing. I even find myself doing some things and pushing a bit harder so that I have something ready for the blog here each day. It is funny what we do to drive ourselves.

I hope you have fun today. :) Sheila

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7557 posts in 1545 days

#4 posted 941 days ago

I bet Silke is waiting at the door with her ice skates, Dennis! :)


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

View jerrells's profile


847 posts in 1509 days

#5 posted 941 days ago

Shelia – very nice looking – can’t wait – please tell me what font you used on the months. I am a font type of guy as noted by some of my scrolling. Thanks

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7557 posts in 1545 days

#6 posted 941 days ago

Jarrell, it is Ballentines Serial Bold, although I had to modify it a bit. It slanted far too much for what I wanted and I converted it into vector and moved things around to make it more scrollable. I am really proud because I FINALLY started leaving the font name in my Adobe Illustrator file. I used to convert the font to vector and then not remember what I used and had to search for it. I feel smart! LOL :)

Hope this helps.


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

View MyChipCarving's profile


467 posts in 1750 days

#7 posted 941 days ago

I too have those projects that seem like they will never get done.
And, like your calendar, I just finished yesterday a perpetual wall calendar!
I think it has been over a year since I first started on it :-)

Very nice scrolling, Sheila!
I just read the other day, “One step, enough for me!”
I have to keep that in mind each day.
Press on, one step at a time.

-- Marty,, 866-444-6996

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