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!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"