My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #789: Let's Have Some SNOW Already!

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 08-14-2012 11:01 AM 3051 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 788: Do As I Say, Not As I Do Part 789 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 790: Things and Stuff »

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!

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

13 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2854 days

#1 posted 08-14-2012 11:52 AM

Wow Sheila. Lotsa fine cut details. Your camera takes magnificent pics for sure. Those closeups are super clear. Be like the energizer bunny, and keep going and going and going.. :)

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

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 2935 days

#2 posted 08-14-2012 12:03 PM

Very nice looking. I have got to learn “painting”. It makes projects look SO much better over staining.

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

View Rick13403's profile


256 posts in 3555 days

#3 posted 08-14-2012 12:05 PM

Good morning Sheila, Another great pattern! I really like the word art too and I have good luck with it at the craft shows. Your word art patterns kick it up another notch and should be a real big hit at this years shows!! Thanks for sharing your great patterns with us.

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 & Ex21 -

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6860 posts in 4029 days

#4 posted 08-14-2012 12:06 PM

Hi Sheila;

As usual, these look great. I was thinking as I read this…you spent a day working on two projects yesterday…who would believe a person could do that, and consider it working, and make a living at it.

As you say fairly often, your are lucky to have created the lifestyle you have. By that I don’t mean to say you “lucked” into something. No, you worked your a** off to create this way of life for yourself, I’m sure.

I have to laugh at myself too…that I could possibly consider what I do, work. (I know my wife thinks I goof off all the time).

Have a great day.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2970 days

#5 posted 08-14-2012 12:19 PM

Thanks, guys!
Roger – If you knew how dark it was this morning when I took those shots, you would appreciate the camera even more. You are right, it is a HUGE difference – especially in low light like this. My other one took OK pictures in low light, but they were quite grainy. And for under $200 that camera was a steal! I did the video in higher resolution and it was crystal clear. Unfortunately, YouTube ‘adjusts’ it to a lower quality so it loads quickly for viewers so you all don’t get the same quality that I do. But it is a great camera anyway and make things look their best for sure!

Jerrell – The ‘staining’ is so easy. Just brushing some color over the top of the pieces using the Staining Medium Gel. No shading or anything! It is hard to goof it up and really does add a nice pop of color. If it can make the ‘blah’ cedar look that good, think how nice the oak would look! You should give it a try. Here is the link to the video on how to apply it: Let me know if you have any questions. :)

And Rick – I am glad you guys like them. It does seem that so many people are liking the ‘word art’ stuff. Whether it be things hung on the wall or standing blocks, it is all over the place. So much of it is ‘plain Jane’ with things just painted or the edges sanded to make it rustic looking. But we can do so much better! DecoArt has sooooo many products for different kinds of finishes that I am going to work with in the future. I honestly can say that I have had many of these things sitting in my painting cabinet for sometimes YEARS and haven’t tried them. But the more I do try them, the more I like them and see that it can give scrollers the edge on their scrolling projects that they want to sell.

Over the years I have heard of people having trouble at craft malls and craft shows selling their scrolled items. While natural wood is beautiful, sometimes it needs a little something to make it look outstanding. Woodworkers are afraid to try new ‘painting type’ products I think. Many have aversions to painting at all and associate that with doing stuff like tole painting. But these products are geared for the ‘non-painters’ and I think they could make the difference in shows and craft malls. People want COLOR sometimes! I think using these in the right way to accent beautiful scroll work is a winning combination, and I will continue to design that way.

Thank you all for your input and comments! I really appreciate hearing from you and your thoughts on things. :)


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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2970 days

#6 posted 08-14-2012 12:29 PM

Hi, Lee! (Your comment came in while I was writing above!)

Keith and I always say we ‘goof off’ too much! I don’t know though – it is all related to the job. Heck, most nights if I quit what I am working on before 9pm I get antsy. Then I usually ‘socialize’ with my woodworking and painting friends and answer questions and talk about – you guessed it – painting and woodworking! It just happens that I make my living at something I love.

I do feel guilty sometimes – especially when I hear from people with these really crappy jobs/bosses/hours, etc. But you are right – we do “work” hard in the long run. We are dedicated to what we do. We make a lot less than lots of people we know, but we live in a lifestyle that we are comfortable with AND can afford. We have nice stuff. We get our ‘toys’ (like computer stuff and other indulgences) but we do it all within our means.

Last week on Facebook I mentioned that we don’t have ‘regular TV’ at all. The person came back and said he was sorry, that he thought I did. I think he thought he hurt my feelings. But that is a choice with us. We don’t watch TV much and when we do, we get the free stuff that the channels offer or stuff like that. We haven’t seen a commercial in years. The only thing I miss is FOOTBALL and I don’t think it is worth getting cable just to watch a couple of games a year. I used to be a big fan, but I really don’t have the time now anyway to really stay up on it. So all is good.

I like the saying “The harder I work, the luckier I am.” I think that sums it up pretty well!

Take care, 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 2906 days

#7 posted 08-14-2012 02:27 PM

Yes Sheila,

you can always wrap up warm

Shirley is from Durban as is my 1st son

The humidity levels there are crazy

TV? We have one somewhere

We dont have time to wath it, to many fun

things to do. :)

Although a good Comedy on DVD with a

bucket of buttered popcorn. Roll on Winter.

They are great by the way Sheila, you definitely

give folk lots of options. Your an inspiration


I’ll be trying my hand at The Snowmen soon

I’ll keep you posted. Althogh if you see my

scroll saw you may not give me much chance.

Have a great day.


-- 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 Bsmith's profile


330 posts in 2720 days

#8 posted 08-14-2012 05:07 PM

Snow! We just dropped out of the triple digits in the mid west but I’m not ready for snow yet.

-- Bryan

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2970 days

#9 posted 08-14-2012 05:19 PM

I wish you much luck, Jamie! If you have any questions, you know where to find me. :)

Bryan – I know what you are saying, but I still can hope!


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

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3353 days

#10 posted 08-15-2012 02:09 AM

im thinking bing crosby…...WHITE CHRISTMAS, where they sing the song that says ’’SNOW’’ looking for the cooler days too, here in the south , we get that truly stick to your ribs saw dust…lol… lets keep the positive thoughts coming, and lets hope that everyone gets a true winter this year…...when Maine and places like that barley have there lakes freeze and snow is only a dream, something isnt right…....goodnight…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3243 posts in 3762 days

#11 posted 08-15-2012 05:41 AM


Your S N O W looks inviting! I’m with you on the hot weather. So many snowbirds here head to Florida or Arizona for the winter. We’re considering a cabin in the Arctic for summer ;-), especially after this summer which was virtually all over 90 degrees (and plenty over 100)!

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2938 days

#12 posted 08-18-2012 04:53 PM

Hi Sheila.

Regarding snow, on behalf of my brother motorcyclists everywhere, BITE YOUR TONGUE!


-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2970 days

#13 posted 08-18-2012 04:56 PM

OK Paul . . . . I promise to behave better! ;)


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

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