I had a lot of fun yesterday. While everyone was shoveling out and dealing with the snow, I was able to work on the scroll saw cutting out my new design. I was happy because I was having fun and doing something that I loved to do. What could be better?
I had found a nice piece of poplar to cut my design from. While I may have preferred something a little harder, like maple, since I was planning to ‘decorate’ these pieces I decided that poplar would do fine and it would be a good chance to use it for something where it was better to have little or no grain pattern. Besides, this piece was light in color (with no greenish hue at all) and would look nice either left natural with an oiled finished or painted. So poplar it was.
Since I have been receiving many requests for more “word art” patterns, I thought that making pieces for both the Independence Day holiday in the States and Canada Day here in Canada would be appropriate. Not only would these pieces be appropriate for those particular holidays, but they would also be a great decoration to leave out all year long. They would look nice sitting on a shelf, cut from thin 1/8” stock and placed on a wreath, or even hung on a wall. As with any designs of this type, the possibilities are just about endless.
I started with Canada.
I wanted not only the name of the country, but something that would be immediately recognized as being associated with Canada. Of course the most obvious object was the maple leaf. So I made their word art piece decorated with a simple maple leaf design.
I decided to put the “O” in front of Canada because I wanted something that was fun and festive and patriotic. (Besides . . . I just thought it looked cool!) I did the letter cutouts in the same shape of the maple leaf and also included a couple of maple leaf pieces to scatter about, giving the whole project a happy and casual look. I was quite pleased with the outcome.
For the USA piece, I decided to use the word “America” and the natural accent for that would definitely be stars. I debated whether to use a stars and stripes motif on the letters, but since they are all attached together and the main piece a bit long, I wanted to keep it simpler and around the same amount of difficulty as the Canada piece, so I left it as you see:
Another reason that I kept these simple was because today I am going to “decorate” them and add some wonderful colors and embellishments to the pieces. I didn’t want them too busy. Starting simple is really better. Besides, I think these are nice enough and if different wood was used for them, it would also give a completely different look.
So all in all it was a good day. :)
I did need to adjust the pattern in a couple of places, which is why I like to cut each piece out myself. While it looked great on paper, when actually cutting things out, I found some places that were a bit weak and needed beefing up. While for the most part I was able to compensate right there as I cut, there was one place on the America piece that did need a change that I had already cut through. I had debated on whether it would cause me to re-cut the entire piece, but I don’t think that I will. It does hold together nicely “as is” and the change is strictly for reinforcement purposes. I doubt that anyone will notice the small change from the photograph to the actual pattern they will be receiving. I may wind up cutting another one for myself anyway, and in that case I will just send in the second one when I ship the piece to the magazine.
I found that cutting the Canada piece was a bit more difficult than the America piece. While cutting stars could be seen as tedious, I found them quite easy. The maple leaves, however were a bit more of a challenge – especially on an 16” long piece. But with some time and patience, these got done fine and I really like how they came out.
So today will be another fun day as I see the pieces come to life with a bit of color (and maybe a sparkle or two!) As I said before, I love to offer options on my patterns so that people can make them as they see fit.
I will take photographs of these before I decorate them, and then I will be able to send them off to the magazine for the article. All in all it was a good day.
Today is sunny and beautiful out. There is still about a foot of snow on the ground everywhere, but the roads are clear and it is quite calm. The temperature is hovering near freezing, so it is just the perfect winter day. I’ve only been up a short while and already it is great day. I am sure it will get better, too.
Have a wonderful Tuesday!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"