These past couple of weeks have been by far the warmest of the year. While I understand that most people have it worse, I can’t help but think if it is this warm in Nova Scotia, it really has to feel hot everywhere else.
It is no secret that I don’t like the really hot weather. Unless I can be lounging on a beach somewhere enjoying the sun, it just doesn’t do it for me. My philosophy is that you can always put more clothes on if you are cold, but when you are hot and uncomfortable and nearly naked already, you are rather ‘stuck.’
High humidity is even worse than heat I think. I really don’t like when you step out of the shower and you are already sweating before your hair is even dry. We are only a couple of kilometers from the ocean, but far enough to have a bit of a difference in temperature and humidity. It is usually a few degrees warmer here (Celsius) and the difference can truly be felt. The other day when I was at the saw, I could feel the sawdust sticking to my damp body as I cut and I longed for the days of sweaters and snow.
I can feel a difference in the air in the mornings, and it gives me hope that cooler weather is right around the corner. The difference is subtle, but definitely present. Or is that just my wishful thinking?
I spent the day yesterday working on the two projects that I had on the go. The “Snow” letters and the mystery project that I will be working on today. While I probably spent more time on the mystery project, I will talk about that in a later post, as I am excited about how the “Snow” lettering came out and I am happy with the results.
As is seems to becoming the norm, I made two sets of letters for submission. One set would leave the wood in natural tones (for the wood purists) and the other would add some color for those who like to play around with color and finishes. I honestly thought I would like the colored one hands-down better than the natural one, but the natural set, cut from oak, has a nice, rich quality to it and looks equally attractive in my eyes. I can’t really choose which one I like the best though, and I am happy that I made two versions.
First of off here is the stained version of the project:
I really only used four colors for this. I did use crackle medium on the snowflakes to give it a bit of ‘oomph’ and I like how they look. The overlay snowflakes are made of 1/8” Baltic birch plywood and are really a nice accent I think. They distribute the lightness of the color over the entire piece and really make it look more balanced.
Applying the crackle to the small snowflake areas was a bit of a different process than on the snowman. I want to say it was even easier, but there is a technique to it that is quite helpful. When Keith was watching me getting ready to apply the crackle, he questioned how I was going to be able to do it without making a mess. I could tell he doubted that it would be done to his satisfaction, and I was happy when after he saw the final results, he was impressed. I think it would be a great opportunity for me to make another video (a bit shorter) that showed how I accomplished this. I love the stuff and I was happy to use it on another project and hope to use it more.
You can see how the crackle really worked well even on the small pieces and gave a cool effect. I decided to use corresponding brush on glitter paint called DecoArt Glamour Dust Ultra Fine Glitter Paint to add a bit of shimmer. I love this product, as I am like a crow in that I love sparkly things. This is a fairly new product by DecoArt and it has finely ground glitter in a clear base so you can add just a little shimmer to stuff without it looking chunky or gaudy. I find myself using it more and more to add some pizzazz to projects and make them look great. Even though you can’t see it much with the photos, it does make a difference.
The natural wood pieces also came out nice:
I decided to use the 1/8” birch plywood for the snowflakes for this piece too. The plywood that I have doesn’t have dark lines on the sides where the plys meet and I liked the lighter color that contrasted a bit against the oak. For the pieces (including the ply) I did my usual mineral oil bath and let it soak in for the day. It really turned the oak to a warm and rich color and the veining lines in the snowman showed up a lot better once it was applied:
I don’t know if you could tell, but I did sneak just a tad of clear Glamour Dust paint into this piece. I lightly brushed the face of all the snowflakes and the snowman too. The results is very subtle, but all the ‘snow’ areas shimmer. It looks cool!
I love doing these word pieces and I plan on doing several more before the season is up. I like thinking of ways to make the letters different than the run of the mill alphabet/block ones that we see around here. It is sometimes challenging to make them in both versions – a natural one and a tinted one – and have them both look good, but I think on this project I did OK.
This design is going to be headed for the magazine if it is accepted, so it won’t be available on my own site for a while, but I have so many other new ideas for myself I don’t think that people will even notice.
Today I am moving on to the next design that I started the other day. This is something that is more geared to cutting and fretwork and I am still trying to decide exactly how I am going to do it. I have so many versions of it in my head that I could probably make three or four different variations using the same line work and each one of them will be different. I am trying to picture in my head how to do them and I may just have a ‘suggestion’ sheet added to the pattern to show people all the possibilities. It seems though that my patterns are all turning into books, as I like to share all the different ideas I have with my customers. Where do I draw the line? I want to show all the ideas that I have.
I suppose it is a good problem to have. (Too many ideas!) So for now I will just keep going and see where things wind up. So far it has been doing pretty well.
I wish you all a great day today. Here I thought it was Wednesday and it is only Tuesday! That is like getting an extra day for me! :)
Make it a good one!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"