My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #779: Is It Winter Yet???

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 08-04-2012 11:45 AM 2029 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 778: Timing Is Everything Part 779 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 780: Cracking Up »

My goodness it has been a hot summer! While it is slightly warmer than normal here in Nova Scotia, in reading posts from my friends all over the USA, it has been brutal. Summer, as many of you know is not my favorite season. I still maintain that I would rather ‘bundle up’ to get comfortable than to be nearly naked and still hot. Those of you who look at me with disdain when I express my love of winter need to remember these horridly hot days you are going through now before you mock me and my opinion. In many ways, the heat can be just as debilitating as the cold.

So what have I been doing on these hot summer days up here in Canada? Making snowmen, of course!

I came up with this idea on Monday when I was laying on the beach, roasting in the hot sun and dreaming of winter. It has been fun to plan this week and watch my idea evolve into not one, but several different projects for two different mediums – the woodworkers and the painters. And while some projects that appeal to both groups can be packaged in one pattern, I think that this one should be separated into two. Otherwise I am going to be over-cluttering each pattern with too much information and make it much more complicated than necessary. So two it is.

That doesn’t mean however that there aren’t going to be some options for the scrollers to try. While I am not going to put the detailed painting instructions in the scrolled pattern, I am going to offer the staining instructions. I feel that this no-muss-no-fuss method of adding color is something that would be fun and add a nice option for those who “hate to paint” in case they want to give it a try. I have shown this method before, and I have received very positive feedback on it from many woodworkers who have never attempted painting. So I will keep adding the instructions in to the pattern in hopes of encouraging people to give it a try.

But for the woodworker ‘purists’ who choose to leave the pieces natural, I think they look cute too. Hopefully everyone will be happy!

Here is the version of just oiled with mineral oil. (Of course you can just spray them with a clear coat of finish if you like. I haven’t sprayed my pieces yet because I didn’t want the reflection to interfere with the photography. The spray versions will have slightly more sheen:

I love the warm and rich color the mineral oil gives the maple. They really look nice!

The next version is the set I stained using the DecoArt Staining and Antiquing Medium and Acrylic Paint. In doing this, I only used four colors and staining the entire set only took a short time:

Don’t they look happy?

I think that they will make a fine project for the woodworker who doesn’t want to paint, colored or not. if they don’t want to do these as stand up figures, they could easily be cut (or stack cut for those who want several sets) of thin plywood and used as refrigerator magnets. Think of how cute they would be on the refrigerator. I am seriously thinking that I will include the entire alphabet in the set so that people can spell their own phrases (like “chill out!”) or names with them. It would be easy and make the pattern even better.

I am now in the process of doing the second version which will be geared to my painting followers. I decided that I would use a painting medium to make the paint ‘crackle’ and look old. (the product I used is called Weathered Wood and it is by DecoArt) It will give it that old look and add some character to the snowmen.

I am only going to give you a preview of that now, as I am not finished with the set yet. I’ll be working on that today, and I am thinking that showing the process of using the crackle medium correctly will be a great opportunity for me to do a video and try the new camera out. (By the way, the Sony Cybershot DSC-WX50 camera I just got is doing a wonderful job with the still shots. Lots of good features that are improvements of my older Cybershot camera. I will talk about that later on, if you want a review on a good camera under $200.)

So that is all I am going to show today. I have been incredibly busy with doing these and managing the web site. We are in the final two days of our sale we are running on the site. For those of you who have not heard, we are offering 25% off your entire order (excluding pens) until Sunday night at midnight. We don’t do this often at all, but with the heat that everyone has had, I wanted to do something to encourage people to plan ahead and get into their shop when it cools down. I am so happy with the response from everyone, as I think we may have had the busiest day ever on the site. I think it is a great deal, as it also includes the sets, which already gave a substantial savings. One customer purchased all of the forest leaves and little leaves patterns (over 80 patterns) and saved a huge amount over the regular price. You all know I don’t usually advertise here, but it is a great time to stock up on your holiday patterns, as we don’t know when we will be doing anything like this again.

I sure do appreciate all the support from everyone. Friends, customers, and just people stopping by to say ‘hi’ or give a suggestion. I am really proud of our business and our service and I am happy to hear that our customers appreciate how hard we work to make things nice for everyone.

I wish you all a wonderful Saturday, and hope you are thinking ‘cool’ thoughts. Have a great day!

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

12 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2861 days

#1 posted 08-04-2012 12:27 PM

I sure like watchin your projects come to life. These guys are really cool. :)

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

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 2942 days

#2 posted 08-04-2012 01:58 PM

Shelia; having spent the last 35 years in Retail (no more – now retired) SERVICE is the only thing you have to offer. Each time I have asked for something it has been delivered and on time and of quality. That is SERVICE and for that I thank you guys and keep coming back.

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

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3142 days

#3 posted 08-04-2012 02:23 PM

Great snowmen and wonderful idea, I actually prefer the heat, with shorts and wicking t shirt it feels good to
get out and sweat, just so long as it does not rust my tools. It is staying in the low 90’s here, and I should
have my new back deck finished this next week if all goes as planned, if not there is always manana. I also
still have all my winter gear, nothing like going elk hunting or cross country sking at 30 below zero and not having to fight the crowds. The way the weather is going I do not think we will even see 10 below zero this

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

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6860 posts in 4037 days

#4 posted 08-04-2012 02:24 PM

Hi Sheila,

They look great.

I have to ask…I’ve been trying to keep my mouth shut since you started on these, but I just can’t do it.

Do you know the difference between snowmen and and snowwomen?


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2977 days

#5 posted 08-04-2012 02:28 PM

You will have to post pictures of your deck Gus. I would love to see it finished. :) That cold weather is invigorating to me too. I love them!

Lee – (I am almost afraid to ask!)—Go ahead and enlighten me! What is the difference between snowmen and snowwomen?


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

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3093 days

#6 posted 08-04-2012 02:38 PM

With the exception of just over a week in July its been winter (well late autumn) here for a while now. So the snowmen seem very seasonal!

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2913 days

#7 posted 08-04-2012 03:06 PM

Sheila you have cracked it, they are wonderful

The crackled look good at each stage

The set could involve all levels of skills and it would be

a fun project with the grand kids

You are getting me sooooo close, they don’t put me

off as they are all smiling. :)

Are these on the site yet?

I fancy trying some Pyrography on them ??


-- 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)

9231 posts in 2977 days

#8 posted 08-04-2012 03:12 PM

Martyn – I’ll take late fall anyday! It is my favorite time of the year actually. Although this year I seem to be going with the flow more. (Besides – I have no choice!)

Jaime – Pyrography would be great on them. I noticed that pyrography has become more and more popular. I had purchased an iron (is that what you call it?) years ago and I still need to give it a go. Oh! Will I EVER find the time???

The patterns should be on the site in a couple of days. I have to write the packets yet and finish the painting of the other five snowmen today. Then write the instructions. :) (Then what am I doing here on the computer, you may ask????)

I will let you know as soon as they are ready. I am so glad you like them!


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

View ronbuhg's profile


121 posts in 2205 days

#9 posted 08-04-2012 05:32 PM

Thankfully I learn something new everytime I read your blogs..they are soooo helpful..oiling before clearing ? I had always “assumed” it would create an adverse effect…kinda like what lacquer did with enamel in the old days…or is it enamel with lacquer, LOL ! hmmmm….enuff with my wonderful memory, haha,thats why I have post-its all over the place, haha..seriously very nice work, I am going to try this on another project thats still in my mind yet to be put to the scroll-saw…

-- the dumbest question is the one you dont ask !!

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6860 posts in 4037 days

#10 posted 08-04-2012 05:40 PM

View Leldon's profile


67 posts in 2930 days

#11 posted 08-04-2012 07:10 PM

Sheila Sheila Sheila…You know, I think the color added to the plain wood makes them look SO MUCH BETTER. And you know me, I never paint! But, I think I will try it on these.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2977 days

#12 posted 08-04-2012 07:19 PM

Thank you Ron! I am so glad you like them.
LOL Lee! I should have thought of that! ;)

And Leldon – FOUR colors!!!!! Just FOUR!!!! You can do it! I KNOW you can! You could even add clear SPARKLES on them to make they look more Snow-y! (You know how HARD it is for me to not grab my bottle of sparkles and put a layer on them????) I still may do it! LOL

I am working on the other “real painted” ones now and that crackle stuff is a riot! I am going to do a video on it so you all can see how cool it is!

Too much fun is being had today, folks! Just too much fun! . . . .

Sheila :D

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

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