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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #762: Progress Report on New Design

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 07-14-2012 11:54 AM 1627 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 761: New Deadlines Part 762 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 763: Scrollgirl/Videogirl »

I finished up the drawings for the new set of ornaments yesterday. Then I went to work getting them laid out and started cutting them.

So far they look pretty good and even though once again the cutting isn’t what I would call ‘beginner’, I think that with a little time and concentration that most people will be able to do them.

I am finding that the most difficult thing that I have had to encounter with designing is that my designs are getting more detailed and more intricate. While I don’t feel that these designs are very hard to cut, they do take a bit of concentration and technique so that they can be done easily and successfully.

There are times when I wonder if I am making things ‘too hard’ for most people, but then I look around and see how many of the free patterns are very easy and I think that my own customers come to me because they want to do something a bit more challenging.

I find that I enjoy this type of cutting very much. I think it is relaxing and while it isn’t something that you would want to speed cut, it is very satisfying to see the results.

After the first piece was cut, I knew that the rest would be workable and I look forward to seeing them all finished. I finished my drawings about 3:30, and by the time I picked out the wood, applied the patterns and got everything all prepared for the saw, it was nearly 5pm.

Here is a picture of the rough ornament for you to see:

Now remember – these aren’t sanded or polished or finished at all. It is just a rough picture so you all can see what I am talking about.

I decided to make the ornaments in two layers. I like the dimensional effect and it allowed me to be able to use contrasting wood. While you would think the background would be the darker sky, I thought that the silhouette of the reindeer would be the darkest point and then the sky would need to be lighter. I chose to use maple for the back plate and walnut for the silhouette. Both of these woods are very tight grained and hold up to details well.

I also decided to have the grain for the back plate and the silhouette in opposite directions, with the back plate having the grain horizontal and the silhouettes with it vertical. The reasoning behind this is not only because the sky would have the shadows of wispy clouds in a horizontal direction, but also because of the direction of the breaks in much of the lettering would be stronger with things that way. The same principle applied to the deer, as the antlers would be much stronger overall with the grain in a vertical direction.

I added a layer of 1/8” plywood underneath each of the pieces and am in the process of cutting two sets. There were two reasons that I chose to do this – I wanted the additional strength that the plywood would offer while I was cutting and I wanted another set in plywood so that I could try some staining on it and offer the pattern with two versions. With this type of pattern, you would probably be able to stack cut it up to four layers comfortably.

I got through about half of the pieces last night, and I decided that I am going to make another video and add it onto the end of the scroll saw online class. This chapter will be a lesson on cutting the letters, and show some of the things that I do to make the cutting easy, stress free and successful. While many of these things seem obvious to me, I do realize that some newer people could benefit from sharing some ideas as to how I do things.

It was a bit late when I decided to do this (almost 9) so I thought I would quit at that point and finish up today and try to get a video done on them. It has been a while since I made a video, so I feel a bit rusty with it, but I suppose I will just jump back in and try and see how it goes.

So that’s the plan for today. Hopefully I will have some good stuff for you tomorrow. (Now that I said it here, I suppose that is a commitment for me and I won’t back out!)

I hope you have a wonderful Saturday. Enjoy your summer weekend and have fun doing something you love to do.

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



16 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4157 posts in 1581 days


#1 posted 07-14-2012 12:05 PM

Sheila, I like the dark on light

That contrast really stands out

This would make a great family

project with the kids painting the

background.

I still have your Bear Magnetic not on

the fridge

On the bandsaw. :)

jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View BertFlores58's profile

BertFlores58

1646 posts in 1647 days


#2 posted 07-14-2012 12:05 PM

Hi Sheila,
Is the reindeer (brown) a solid wood or a plywood? I can see the grain orientation and it might split easily. The good thing, the back part reinforce it if glued together but I am still worried when it drops as there are some protrusion like legs and horn that may break.
Yes, I like the design as it create movements. I like the star.
Have a nice weekend. My Saturday has just ended but I was productive today.
God bless.

-- Bert

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4422 posts in 1761 days


#3 posted 07-14-2012 12:05 PM

If you set your sights high you improve. If you set them at what you normally do you will at best become mediocre or diminish. Keep setting people’s sights high, Sheila.

Oh, nice design.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4157 posts in 1581 days


#4 posted 07-14-2012 12:09 PM

Martyn

Wise Words :)

jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7836 posts in 1644 days


#5 posted 07-14-2012 12:16 PM

Thanks all!

Jamie – the second set is going to be stained. I have some nice plans for it that I will probably show tomorrow or Monday. Yes – I thought that the kids could even get involved in this one. :)

Bert – the reindeer is 1/8” thick walnut. Yes, it is a bit fragile, but with most of it glued to the backer, it should do OK. Most scroll saw things are not the strongest items and really are not handled very much. If you drop it, it probably will break. There is no ‘perfect’ orientation that would make it all around strong. But this gives it its best chance. It wouldn’t be good for a porous wood I wouldn’t think. The plywood set is quite strong however.

Martyn – I find it more and more difficult to simplify things. As I progress, my thoughts on things become more complex and stepping backward leaves me feeling like I wimped out on the designs. I think the best way to address this is to teach others to come along on the journey with me. That way we all can grow and progress. The last thing I want is to become bored and stagnant with my designs. This is one way to be able to push myself as well as teach others. I have many advanced level customers who are always looking for a new challenge.

Have a great day.

Sheila

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

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4157 posts in 1581 days


#6 posted 07-14-2012 12:40 PM

Sheila

I think that this design gives the novice

a chance as well, they could just do the

background and paint the detail

Then again I’ve only got a donated $20 one

that I’ve not yet tried. I have one project in

my mind Sheila,

The longer I follow your blog the more my

confidence is building. :)

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7836 posts in 1644 days


#7 posted 07-14-2012 12:47 PM

That would also really be possible Jaime. Really, the only ‘difficult’ part is the lettering. The antlers are not really that tough. I have the edges of them slightly rounded which makes it easier to cut and a little bit stronger. I hope that people give it a try. Besides – what have you got to lose besides a little piece of wood? (We scrollers like to call our mishaps “Designer Firewood”. We have all made that from one time or another, haven’t we??) :)

Sheila

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

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1259 posts in 1350 days


#8 posted 07-14-2012 01:17 PM

Sheila, I read this every day. I don’t normally comment but I do enjoy hearing about your accomplishments. I have a question for you that I thought of at the beginning of this episode. It doesn’t go so much with this project but I thought about it with the birdcages.

I was wondering what method you use to make your drawing symmetrical. Do you freehand, computer, or some other method?

Thanks for your daily dedication.

Joey

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7836 posts in 1644 days


#9 posted 07-14-2012 01:33 PM

I do all my (final) drawings in Adobe Illustrator. That way I can line everything up how I want. Lots of times, I just do things by eye because they look more natural though. But sometime using the align and distribution commands are better. Not always though. It is just by a case by case basis.

For most of my hand drawn pictures, I scan them in and then bring them into Illustrator, make a layer over them and trace them. Lots of times I just draw right onto the computer directly. I use a Wacom Intous3 pen for a mouse and it makes the job a lot more fun.

I did a blog on this tool a while ago. The link is here:

http://lumberjocks.com/scrollgirl/blog/23653

It all works well together to make great quality vector drawings. After over 15 years of doing this, it is amazing how much I still learn to make the process a bit easier and better. :)

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

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4422 posts in 1761 days


#10 posted 07-14-2012 01:35 PM

This helped me decide

http://youtu.be/PECmjB9df0w

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1259 posts in 1350 days


#11 posted 07-14-2012 01:46 PM

Thanks Sheila. I am heading to the shop now, but I will come back and research it more. I have looked into the pens and stuff, but not ever have used one, I had no idea what to get. The reviews became confusing, so I just put it on the back burner. I am currently teaching myself AutoCAD, once that is done, I will have to look at the differences in Adobe and Autodesk programs.

Martyn, I couldn’t get that link to work. It may just be because I am downloading a bunch of stuff through itunes and itunes is a beast on the old processor. I’ll give it a try later. If it still doesn’t work, I will let you know,

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7836 posts in 1644 days


#12 posted 07-14-2012 01:55 PM

It worked for me! :) Nice song for a nice day!

Joey – I like Adobe stuff. The magazines I work with all use it and even though there is a learning curve, there is lots of good information and free tutorials on it online.

Sheila

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

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4422 posts in 1761 days


#13 posted 07-14-2012 03:12 PM

Joey it may be one of those UK/US we won’t let you use our URL’s type things. Search for Garden Party by Ricky Nelson. Sheila is in Canada we have, at least theoretically, the same CinC.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View JoeyG's profile

JoeyG

1259 posts in 1350 days


#14 posted 07-14-2012 05:03 PM

I will check it out while I have some lunch Martyn.

I went with AutoCAD for my drafting purposes, It does seem the Adobe may be better for the artistic side of things. Thanks for the info, now I am off to hunt down that video.

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

View rayn's profile

rayn

141 posts in 1943 days


#15 posted 07-14-2012 05:13 PM

Sheila
Are you working on any new designs for tree toppers? I really enjoyed the one from last year

Ray

-- Ray,Iowa

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