Sometimes it seems that no matter how long I have been designing, there is still so much that I learn with each project that I create. Perhaps it is because I am always striving to create new and different things. Or maybe it is because my exposure to different methods and circumstances and interaction with others help me figure out better ways to do things myself. In any case, it seems that I am constantly changing the ways I do things and hopefully improving the way I ‘teach’ others too.
I spent the bulk of yesterday finishing drawing and cutting some of the ornaments for the new pattern set that I created, as well as a new dimensional ornament that I plan to offer for free on my site. While I didn’t quite finish cutting them out as I had planned to do, I tackled a couple of issues that I had with them and now I am well on my way to completing them.
The new set of ornaments are what I call ‘embellished’. By that, I mean that they are meant to have beads or stones embedded into them to add some interest. If one chooses not to use beads, they can simply drill holes where the beads were to go and they will still have a nice effect. I have created a couple other sets of ornaments of this nature and they are among my most popular. Below is a picture of some of the Embellished Christmas Tree Ornaments from last year:
I have also had many requests to create more sets with embellishments so this is what I came up with.
In order to successfully apply the beads, it is necessary to partially drill recess holes so that the beads can be seated in them as you glue them in. This involves drilling partially through the ornament without going through the entire piece.
While this is not a difficult process, I find that when drawing on the computer, I get a little ‘enthusiastic’ regarding the detail that I put into the pieces at times. This is one reason why I like to test cut everything that I do to make sure it works out well.
All seemed to go fine on Thursday, and I was able to draw up all twelve ornaments that I had planned for the set. But when I looked in my box of supplies, I realized that I only had 4mm beads, which were larger than what I had envisioned.
I thought I would give it a try anyway, and after finding the proper sized bit to make the depression that would hold the 4mm bead correctly, I attempted to drill the first piece. You can see below, that it just wasn’t going to work out.
In order to make a depression large enough, there would not be enough room between the beads, and the piece would be weak and sloppy. While I could have just enlarged the ornaments, I didn’t want them any bigger than they were. I wanted them to be delicate looking and elegant. I had some 3mm beads, but not nearly enough to do the entire set. So it was back to the store for me.
I was fortunate that there were several types of 3mm beads available. This would mean that they would be easy for my customers to locate too. I chose a soft gold color and purchased them and came home to try them out.
I chose a bit that the 3mm beads would comfortably sit in and it made a world of difference.
You could see when drilling the piece that there was plenty of room available and that the ornaments would still be strong.
I placed a couple of beads in this piece just to show how they would look when they were finished:
I am very happy with the results.
Today I will finish up cutting. These ornaments are actually very easy to cut, although they look as if they may be a bit difficult. I am thinking that I may do a short video which will show the process and some tips on cutting this type of pattern in order to show how simple it can be to get nice results.
While I had hoped to be finishing with the project and on to writing instructions today, I don’t feel bad about the delay at all. My first priority is that the project works out like it is meant to and that everyone is easily able to accomplish it when following my instructions. I often have others offer to cut my prototypes for me, but this is one of the reasons I like to do it for myself. Besides knowing in my own heart that things will work out well with the designs, having these little setbacks helps me learn the limitations that I have when drawing and designing. I also love the cutting process and get a great deal of enjoyment out of seeing these pieces come to life.
So one more day until these are done it seems. But hopefully it will be worth the wait and these ornaments will be another design that people will enjoy and be able to create with little trouble. And I will know I have done a good job.
I wish you all a wonderful Saturday.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"