My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #918: Phase 1 of the New Tray Complete

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 12-30-2012 12:17 PM 3523 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 917: A New Dimension in Designing Part 918 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 919: Completed Dragonfly Tray »

I had a wonderfully productive day of finishing up phase 1 of my new tray yesterday. As the day before, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the saw and seeing the tray come to life was a fun experience.

I was also pleased with the good response that I received from everyone regarding the design. There were lots of inquiries as to when the pattern would be available, which is a good indicator that it will be popular.

While I will not be able to sell the pattern until after the May issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine runs its course, I will certainly be working on many other similar designs that I will be able to sell immediately.

I sometime wonder if I should even show what I am working on for the magazine because I hate to disappoint people who want the patterns right away. But I think it is both good publicity for Creative Woodworks as well as a great way to preview what is to come. The magazine is a great value to customers still, as for the price of one or two patterns, they receive anywhere from 15 to 20 nice projects from a variety of designers. While one may not like every single design presented, hopefully they will feel that they will at least get their money’s worth and have several things that they plan to make. Not to mention the nice articles that they provide.

I know the print magazines are hurting now, as everything is digital, but for myself, I still enjoy paging through real paper copies of magazines and reading them that way. I know that it will be only a matter of time when paper magazines are obsolete, but until then I still plan to collect issues of my favorites.

Back to the new pattern.

I had cut the design out of a beautiful piece of solid birch. The wood was about 1/2” thick and for the most part, I used a 2/0 blade. While birch is fairly hard, the 2/0 worked fine on it and I was able to cut very accurately. For a moment, I thought that I would use a size 2 blade, but I found it cumbersome when cutting all the sharp corners and edges and quickly reverted to the smaller 2/0. I didn’t speed through the project, but cut at a nice relaxed pace and thoroughly enjoyed myself, letting the blade do the work and barely pushing the wood through. I finished the entire project using one blade, so I think the small size is fine for working on this.

Here is the finished results:

I decided to use a shorter jar candle, which is more squared up on the bottom edge than the tall jars. This made the fit into the 4” center of the tray a bit snug, but it still worked. I suppose that I need to mention that in the instructions so that adjustments can be made if necessary so that this type of candle fits properly. I may still tweak the pattern before sending it off to the magazine.

The pieces are staked in with dowel rods:

While I wasn’t sure how this would look, I don’t think it looks bad at all. The process is easy to do and the pieces are held on securely and not falling all over. I think with all that is going on with the design, the dowels aren’t really even noticed.

I plan to also make a colored version of this project. While many hard core woodworkers don’t like to paint, there are many others who do and enjoy the simple process with these trays. I like to give the option at least and they can always leave theirs natural. I do like the warm look of the piece here though and I must say I am torn right now as to which one I would like better. I suppose i will have to wait and see.

It appears that I finally got my snow. We had our first real hit of it overnight and as the sun is just coming up now, it is quite the blizzard outside with the snow blowing fiercely. But that is OK. It is Sunday and I have a nice pot of turkey vegetable soup to and my kitties to keep me warm and cozy. Even if we lose power, I have painting to do and I plan to start drawing the next design. This one will be able to be sold right away.

I hope you all have a wonderful day today. Stay warm and have fun! :)

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

6 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2856 days

#1 posted 12-30-2012 01:26 PM

This is really nice Sheila. It would sure set the mood on a cold. wintery day for sure. As always, your scrolling is amazing.

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2972 days

#2 posted 12-30-2012 01:27 PM

Thanks Roger! (By the way – I love your new avitar!)

So many nice responses to this pattern! I am drawing one today that I will be able to sell right away. I am glad you like it! :)


-- 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 2908 days

#3 posted 12-30-2012 03:49 PM

Sheila I was expecting something spectacular
This is far better than that
If this is the last for 2012? What a way to go. :)
You are an amazing example to your customers.
It shows that with practice all of your patterns are doable
I’m getting close to doing the Snow Folk pattern that I
got from you. It should be ready for Christmas 2013 lol no
rush there.


-- 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 2972 days

#4 posted 12-30-2012 03:57 PM

Oh, I am so glad you like it Jamie! Sometimes I feel like I get too caught up in things and talking about how I struggle and then when I show the actual pattern, I fear that it is somewhat of a letdown to people. That is again, just my own self-doubts. It will be a lot of fun to see these come to be. They are aimed to be just that – FUN!

To me, my best designs are the ones that look difficult and are really easy to accomplish. I think everyone is capable of doing something like this with a little practice.

Thank you so much for the encouragement! :)


-- 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 3088 days

#5 posted 12-30-2012 04:10 PM

Splendid Sheila. Good use of the third dimension.

Just a thought. Horses on a Merry go Round.

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

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2125 days

#6 posted 12-31-2012 12:25 AM

Hi Sheila,
Love this pattern. I really like the 3D effect. I’ll bet they would look good painted too though I’d been inclined to keep the pure wood. I like Martyn’s idea of a carousel – no pressure!
Enjoy the snow. We had a really nice dry sunny day today.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

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