My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #763: Scrollgirl/Videogirl

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 07-15-2012 10:51 AM 5340 reads 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 762: Progress Report on New Design Part 763 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 764: Part 2 of the "Reindeer Games" Ornament Video »

Just when I thought I had enough to do . . .

I was cutting out my recent project the other day and I was thinking (THAT is always dangerous!) I have been getting a lot of questions lately and I have talked to many newcomers to scroll sawing and for some odd reason I had the urge to teach again, so I thought I would do some more videos.

There are so many times when I wish that I could just be with someone to show them how to do things. It would be far easier than trying to explain things on paper or drawing pictures or tell people on the phone. My blog following seems to be growing, and because of it I have friends all over the world. How I would love to have us all sitting in a single room so that we can learn from each other!

But alas, that isn’t going to happen. But there are other ways to teach by using what brought us all together here in the first place – TECHNOLOGY!

Last year when teaching my scroll saw class here at Lumberjocks ( I was able to crank out some videos to accompany the lessons. Even though I am sometimes quite nervous when the camera is running, and it took me quite a bit of time to make the videos good enough to include, the response on them has been for the most part positive and I have received many notes from some who have even gone as far to say they enjoyed them.

It still amazes me how many ‘subscribers’ I receive on my YouTube channel! It shows me that people are looking for some video instruction as a way to improve their skills.

So while I was cutting these new pieces and thinking to myself how just about anyone can do these if they use the right process I made the decision that I would bite the bullet and make some more videos. Call me crazy and call me a fool, because I really don’t like being in front of the camera, but my desire to teach must exceed my desire to be a recluse and hide behind my keyboard.

I decided to adopt the attitude of ‘what they see is what they get’ and stop trying to make the videos “perfect” (or “purr-fect”, if you will) I decided to film the process of making these ornaments from start to finish, which would include set up, drilling, cutting, sanding and finishing. By doing it this way, you will all be able to see how I make things on a regular basis and why I think that it is possible for anyone to do it.

By no means do I think I have all the answers. I suppose that is why I am sometimes camera shy in the first place. But overall, I feel that how I do things works well for me and make cutting on the scroll saw easy, fun and stress-free and I do want to share it with others to encourage them to give it a try. While I believe that there are always several paths to the same destination, it always pains me to see someone struggling unnecessarily because they are misinformed or uninformed.

I chose to do many small segments. When I began shooting I didn’t know how I would present them – in several very short parts or in one long movie. What I ended up with is something in the middle. At the end of the day, I had shot 10 shorter segments with a margin of success. Things went fairly well and only once did I have an ‘out take’ because of something I forgot to do and only once did I go through a process only to find that I didn’t hit the ‘on’ button hard enough and had to cut the piece over again. Not too bad considering.

The worst part of it all was that on my new computer I am running Windows 7 64 bit, and it doesn’t come with Movie Maker, the program I (finally) got the hang of while creating my previous videos. When I sat down to edit and upload the clips from the day, it was already after 9pm and much to my horror I had to download the new Windows Live crapola video editing program (AND learn how to use it!) It is set up with Microsoft’s tedious “ribbon” interface where opening a file practically required a degree in computers. Fortunately too, I had already set up a long-forgotten Windows Live account, which I found was mandatory and needed once I was finished in order for me to upload the video to YouTube and make it public. I forged ahead through the maze of commands and somewhere around midnight I had spliced five of the ten segments together as a “movie.”

I didn’t want to push my luck, and I decided that it was a good place to end “Part 1” and saved it then. It covers all the prep work and goes up until I am actually at the saw. It turned out to be just over 13 minutes long and hopefully it will not be tedious to watch at that length. When I was finished and uploaded it to YouTube (you would think I was uploading ‘Gone With the Wind’!) I was definitely glad I stopped part one when I did. It took quite a while and all the time I was holding my breath wondering if I did it right.

Picture by Susan Herbert

Some time in the wee hours of the morning, I was happy to see that it indeed worked, and the video is available on my YouTube page here – Scrollgirlcanada's Channel

For those of you so inclined, you can subscribe to my channel and get notice when I add new movies.

For those of you who don’t want to leave the site here, below is the movie for you to watch:

I am also going to be adding this on to the class, as well as the subsequent videos that I make.

I’ll let you watch now and hope you like it. I am a bit nervous at first, but I must say that the videos that will follow will be a bit more relaxed. It seems the more I did them, the more I felt good in my element and I actually started to have fun with it.

I am going to prepare and upload the next video today, as well as keep shooting the next steps in the process. I got as far as cutting yesterday and still have to finish and stain the pieces, so there is lots to do.

Thank you in advanced for your feedback. Remember that I am no Steve Ramsey. I think for now Hollywood is safe!

Have a great day!

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

20 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4183 days

#1 posted 07-15-2012 11:15 AM

oh goody… an ongoing class!! :D
Congrats on biting the bullet and the success!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2942 days

#2 posted 07-15-2012 11:19 AM

Yes, Deb – I am glad you guys keep the classes up there. I will be adding more to it as I go along. I have had many new people ask and I have referred them to the class many times recently and I felt that it would be OK for me to add some new lessons onto it. I will be posting the “Lesson” up there later today so all that followed along will also receive notice. :) Thanks to you all for allowing me to do this. Lots of people told me that they really enjoyed it.


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

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4002 days

#3 posted 07-15-2012 11:41 AM

Hi Sheila.

Nice job on the video. I know how difficult it is to do them.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2942 days

#4 posted 07-15-2012 11:45 AM

The next ones got a bit ‘looser’ than this. I know I sounded funny but if I tried to get it ‘right’ and not sound nervous, it would never be done. By the end of the day I thought I did better, and my cat Richard even chimed in on one of the clips. It was funny but it put me at ease too so I left it in. You will see that one tomorrow.

It was fun though at the end and I hope it helped people a bit. So many of these steps are taken for granted and sometimes we forget that others don’t know about them.

Thanks for the nice comment, Lee. :)


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

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2827 days

#5 posted 07-15-2012 12:04 PM

I gotta hand it to you and other scrollers out there. Scrolling is a very intricate, tedious art. I appreciate your tips, step by steps how to’s, and vids. The blue tape tip is a good one for keeping the burn down…. didn’t know that. You keep on scrollin, scrollgirl/Shiela. You are very precise, and simple to understand. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3364 days

#6 posted 07-15-2012 12:10 PM

good for you girl

sharing can be such a rewarding experience for everyone
and words do have a way of being read differently at times

when i see a post with a question i feel i can answer
the different ways to write them get confusing at times

so i find it much easier to go into the shop
and make one of whatever is asked about
i must have about 20 things in pieces
that never got finished made from particle board
or scraps to show how to do them
sometimes i just grab whatever
and ‘stage’ it to take pics to show the process

i can usually make the demo in 1/4 the time of writing it

haven’t gotten to the video part yet
it is still over my head
and i don’t have the programs to do them anyway

have a great day
and thanks again
for the morning wake up mail

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

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2945 days

#7 posted 07-15-2012 02:21 PM

This is great. All the questions and doubts in my mind were gone. Amazing. The “COKE” (softdrink) owes you a lot of airtime.

Once, I had been filmed by the CNN and I thought it was hard. I just act natural and there I am on air for about 40 seconds air time CNN Hong Kong. I think your video will look much better when there is someone to shoot. Your voice is really audible and a good quality for a teacher they call it…. MODULATED VOICE.

God Bless and take care,

-- Bert

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2942 days

#8 posted 07-15-2012 02:22 PM

Roger – tomorrow’s video will show me more in my comfort zone – actual cutting on the scroll saw. I find once I get cutting, it is very easy for me to just talk about what I am doing as I go.

David – I love teaching. As I said, I wish there were a place where we could all instantly be in the same room and show each other techniques and teach each other skills. Maybe in the next lifetime. :) Until now, I found that doing these videos is a good compromise. I have so many new people ask me the same questions and I never mind answering them, but I figure that if they are asking things – even the basics, there must be a need for more information out there. I try not to worry about the silly details and just try to talk to people as if they were right there with me. Once I get to that point things go quite smooth, I find. Even if a ‘mishap’ occurs, that gives me the opportunity to explain how to rectify it. We all know it happens to everyone so I leave the mistakes in for the most part.

Little by little I will get the hang of it. :)

Hi Bert – (you posted while I was answering!) I am glad you liked it. I worry because my voice isn’t very loud most of the time. In the next part the saw is going and I had to talk louder. I think for the most part you are able to hear me OK in it. It is something that I need to keep aware of for future videos.

Ahh . . . Diet Coke . . . my summer addiction! Keith is a Pepsi guy but I am a Diet Coke girl all the way! It is my favorite treat on a hot summer day. You think they will send me a case? Hum . . . . :D


ps – CNN? You are in the big times! Some day you will have to tell me about it. I would love to hear your story!

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

View lew's profile


12100 posts in 3778 days

#9 posted 07-15-2012 02:31 PM

Yesterday I was searching for some scroll saw information with Google images. Your picture popped up! You know you have made it to the top when that happens!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2942 days

#10 posted 07-15-2012 02:33 PM

I hope I didn’t scare you Lew! :)


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

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3108 days

#11 posted 07-15-2012 04:55 PM

Very good tutorial, if I listen close, I can imagine a little nervousness, but it really just sounds like a very nice
person who has some information and skills that she wants to share, and get more people interested in
doing scroll work. Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View MyChipCarving's profile


604 posts in 3147 days

#12 posted 07-15-2012 05:33 PM

You’re off to a good start! Good job showing the preliminary steps before starting to cut.

-- Marty,, 866-444-6996

View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3166 days

#13 posted 07-15-2012 05:57 PM

Sheila, for “just going for it”, there is very good quality in this vid. Let me ask you, though, is there a major difference between brown masking tape and blue as far as burning goes? Have you ever tried the brown? I ask because I always have the brown around and 3M is rather proud of the blue tape $$$

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2942 days

#14 posted 07-15-2012 06:06 PM

Thank you Marty and Gus! I am getting part 2 ready for tomorrow. :)

I really don’t know if there is a difference between the brown and blue tape but I think so NB. I used to use the clear packaging tape and it worked very well too. I think it is something to do with the adhesive. It does truly work though. If you want to test – take a piece of say 1/2” maple and put the tape on part of it. Cut through it with a medium sized blade and you will see where the tape is – no burn marks – as soon as you get off the tape, it begins to burn. It is a very useful and simple idea that solves a big problem quickly. NO ONE like to do sanding – especially burn marks on the edge of a delicate piece. If the wood is particularly dense, you could tape both sides and that helps. Don’t forget to use fresh and sharp blades. Dull blades can burn tape or not. Speed is also an issue with burning. If you are doing everything mentioned and are still burning, try slowing down the saw. This is where PATIENCE takes over and you need to let the blade do the work and cut a bit slower. In most cases, these will help stop burning altogether! Let me know how the brown tape works, if you will. I am sure that others would benefit from the information.

Thanks! Sheila

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

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2879 days

#15 posted 07-15-2012 06:26 PM

Sheila that was great

I look forward to part two

Your timing is great, no rush just a confident

delivery. It is great that you have taken the

time to put this together, I think it will be

viewed many times.


-- 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

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