Hey! Wait a minute! Isn’t it just starting to get warm out? It is here in Nova Scotia anyway!
While most of you are starting to get the garden ready and dreaming of days at the camp or the pool or the beach, I have been sitting here humming Christmas tunes to myself and getting my projects ready for the holiday issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine.
I was really happy about the responses I received on the bells yesterday. It seems like many of you are intrigued about the texture paste and I am going need to make a short video of the process so you can all see just how easy it is. You really don’t need any ‘artistic ability’ to accomplish those beautiful flowers – that is part of the charm of that stuff. And I know you don’t believe me, but I really think that any and all of you will be able to do it. I may even try to wrangle Keith to give it a try just so you can see. He always tells me he can’t paint worth a lick (which by the way – I DON’T believe!) I think that anyone can do whatever they want if they look at things one step at a time.
Besides – this isn’t “painting.” You just use the brush to smear the paste which is really kind of fun! So stay tuned for that one.
Last week I was feeling as if I wasn’t being very productive. Even though I was drawing up these ornaments and I drew another project, somehow it just didn’t feel like I was accomplishing much. I think in part it was because I was coming off my week or so of working on the 3400 pieces that I was cutting for Artist’s Club and anything compared to that seemed like I was ‘slacking’.
Keith said that I put things through the “Sheila Filter” which is what he calls my warped perception of how I see myself. I think we all have ‘self-filters’ from time to time, and they aren’t always the most productive things. We need to learn to be kind to ourselves and look at ourselves with patience and understanding, how we look at others. While setting high standards for ourselves is a good thing most of the time, we have to watch so that we aren’t defeating ourselves in the process. But I suppose that is another issue . . .
Anyway – on one of the days when I was feeling particularly unproductive, I remembered that only a couple of days before I spent a day or so drawing up this next design. I know that sounds goofy, but I am getting old you know and things tend to slip my mind. I think that I was so preoccupied on figuring out the bells that there wasn’t any room in my brain for anything else. But when the dust settled, I remembered that I had drawn up this cool advent calendar and it was ready to be cut.
So on Monday, after finishing up on the bell ornaments, I began cutting out this project. And you know what? I really like it a lot!
It is an advent calendar that can be either hung on a wall or magnetically held to a refrigerator. I talked to my friend Leldon the other day and showed it to him and he made the suggestion that I make a little stand for it so it can sit up on a mantle or counter too as another option (what a great suggestion!!)
I am used all natural wood for this and even the writing board is of natural walnut color. Last week I received a new product from DecoArt called “Chalkboard Coating” which is a clear varnish that can be applied on any surface to make it a chalkboard. I love it because it allows you to keep the beauty of the wood (Walnut here in the example!) and not have to paint it black and still use it as a chalkboard surface. It can be used over anything – and you can paint things any color and have make them into an erasable surface. This is great because we are no longer bound to making things black or green and the colors are limited only by our own imagination! (This is COOL! I am really excited about this!) I LOVE the way the wood looks here, and YES! The chalk DOES wipe right off! :D
Here is a picture of the finished project:
I think it is one of those “simpler is better” projects that came out really pretty. I used mahogany for the fretwork frame, and cut the lettering right into the frame so there weren’t any little pieces you had to worry about gluing. The back board surface is walnut, as I said, and the angles and star of made of ash.
I even have the option of applying the small felt ‘eraser’ pad to the back of the star, so it will stick on the refrigerator if you choose to do so!
I think that this is one example of a project where you should NOT paint the wood – as it is so beautiful in natural colors. It was really quick to cut (only a couple of hours) and it could easily be stack cut, as the frame was cut from 3/8” mahogany.
While cutting some of the lettering may be a little tricky with the little swirls on the tips, I think that any intermediate scroller would be able to accomplish this designs without difficulty. As always, I will be offering some easy tips to help people through the process so they can be successful in making this.
I am really excited that things are coming out OK. As I said in earlier blogs, I have a lot of good ideas swimming around in my head and seeing them start to come to be is very encouraging for me. After feeling like I am in a slump, it seems that I am slowly coming out of it and getting back on track.
Today I am working on a personal project for a friend, as well as thinking about the stand for this project. I also want to do something else with the bells that I will show you later on in the week. While I know that all these projects can be left ‘as is’, I want to add these extra things to make them really special. It is just how I am.
I hope you are all having a great week so far. I can hardly believe it is Wednesday already! There is so many fun things to do I don’t know where to start! And remember – There is only 236 days until Christmas. So get busy!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"