Well, now that the fanfare of yesterdays’ big milestone is over, it is back to business here for me. I am looking forward to the next thousand or so entries and enjoying all the wonderful things we can learn together and share.
Here at my place, I am in the midst of putting together no less than eight projects. It is truly a woodworkers’/painters’ dream come true, as each one is just a bit different and will require some different techniques to bring it to the finish line.
The next several days will be a mixture of showing the different projects in their respective different stages of development. You can imagine what my kitchen looks like with these pieces all adorning the table! The funny thing is that while I am getting through finishing these, my mind is already on what I will be making next, when these eight pieces are completed. (And who said blondes can’t multi-task??)
I spoke to my editor yesterday from Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine and told her of the project that I proposed doing for the August issue. She seemed to really like it and now that I know it is a ‘go’, I can get started on that one today. It is not a candle tray, but something fun and cute and I think that you all will like it. I will wait until I have something to show you on it though (probably in the next day or so) rather than explain it right now. Besides, I have plenty of pictures to show you, as I have been busy.
I also committed to doing an additional article for that issue. The article is going to be on the many different ways you can complete the same basic pattern. I had told Debbie about my little bunnies, (and masks for that matter) and how I was able to take the same pattern and produce several completely different versions of a design. We both thought that showing this in the magazine would be a nice way to spark people’s creativity and it would appeal to the adventure in our readers and hopefully get them to try something new. So I will do a nice article on it and hopefully everyone will like that. (I think I am turning into a ‘writer!’)
All the while when we were talking, Keith was sitting across the room teasing me because he says that I take on too much. (Has he no faith? LOL) After over four years together, he should know that I am able to kick things into a higher gear when challenged. In fact, I thrive on it. ;) Everything should be done in the next week, and by then I should be sitting here with my feet up, sipping tea out of my kitty cups with a plate of cookies and a cat on my lap. “Easy-peasy!”
But for today, I have lots to show you so let’s get to it . . .
The first candle tray (which I call the SLD422 Filigree Candle Tray) is finished. If you remember, I couldn’t figure out if the wood was brown maple or cherry. I was leaning toward cherry because of the way it wanted to burn and the tone and grain, and I think that I was correct. After oiling it and giving it a coat of spray lacquer, I am pretty sure that it is cherry. It looks absolutely amazing! It was the perfect choice for this project, as I never intended to put any type of color on it whatsoever. I think it looks great as is and the warm color of the cherry gives this tray a classic look which is just what I intended.
And here it is with a candle:
I am really happy with the results.
The next two trays that I am going to show you are what I cut out yesterday. These are both not even sanded yet and no finish has been applied.
The first one is going to get some overlay pieces on it. The designs is somewhat simple, but looks nice. It is cut of a light colored maple:
Since the overlay pieces will be floral, I wanted the design to resemble butterflies, without coming right out and drawing them. While this will look good with the overlays, I think it looks nice on its own, too.
It is one of the few trays that I didn’t route the edges on. I thought that the decorative edge looked better than putting a circle around it and while I was tempted to try to route it anyway, I didn’t think it would look good because the bit wouldn’t fit in the deep cuts and while in some instances that would give the piece a unique look that would be cool, I think it would have detracted from the design too much. So I am leaving it as it is.
The next piece I cut came out surprisingly beautiful. I say that because on paper it was nice, but not as impressive as I would have liked. For this tray, I will have stand-up pieces attached, thus the small holes you see drilled partially through. This is made of ash, and I will be staining it with the DecoArt Staining and Antiquing medium and acrylic paint. This was certainly the most difficult of the new designs to cut, as there are many areas that are a bit more delicate and where you really need to be spot-on with cutting.
Because of the way the design is, with more material gone than left and a definite flow to the pattern, if you do miss a cut or a lose a piece, it will be a bit more obvious than say the strawberry tray that I showed the other day. I also left pieces unattached to the edges when I could have clearly moved them over to touch the outer rim:
I did this intentionally, as I thought that it made the design look more delicate and flowing, as it is. This is certainly the piece of this group with the highest level of difficulty. But everything can’t be “easy-peasy”, right? I think we all like a challenge every once in a while. It was still a pleasure to cut and I thoroughly enjoyed the process. Once cut, it is not as fragile as one would think. I am proud of that, as I think that one of the tricks of a good design is to look much more delicate than it actually is. Even with the open-grained ash it is strong and I never felt any danger of losing pieces. I certainly wouldn’t recommend making it in pine or any soft wood, and perhaps I would shy away from oak too.
So that is where I am for today. I have two more of the trays to cut out, as well as the design for the magazine. After a snowy day yesterday (YES! SNOWY!) it is calm and the sun is out today. Nothing is left of the snow, so spring is trying really hard to finally arrive. We just need to be patient.
I plan to cut today, as well as perhaps finish up the strawberry tray and paint the star tray (I forgot if I showed you the star one, but you will see it soon anyway). It will be a full day again and I look forward to every minute of it.
I know it may be confusing to show all these projects, but I will have a final post on them and a summery later on so you can see them all finished. For now though, it is fun to go from one to the next, depending on which stage we are in.
I wish you all a great day today. It is Thursday already and another week is quickly passing. Make the best of your day!
-- 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"