My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1001: Back to Business

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 04-04-2013 11:22 AM 3776 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1000: Is It Really 1000?? Part 1001 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1002: Multi-tasking »

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!

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

10 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2833 days

#1 posted 04-04-2013 11:56 AM

Bee-u-tee-ful, Sheila. It’s hard to believe just how fast the days/weeks are flying bye.

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2949 days

#2 posted 04-04-2013 12:01 PM

“Merci beaucoup, Roger!” I am glad you like them.

Yes! Before we know it will be CHRISTMAS again! My next issue after this for the magazine is their HOLIDAY ISSUE!! (Do I hear “Jingle Bells” already?!)

Have a great day! :)


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

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 2913 days

#3 posted 04-04-2013 12:18 PM

I look forward to seeing these on your order page. I am sure I will be picking up one or two

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2949 days

#4 posted 04-04-2013 12:22 PM

Thank, Jerrell! You get our Newsletter, don’t you? I will probably have the packets ready some time next week. I need to finish my stuff up for the magazine (deadlines!) and make the packets up, but I will certainly post it here on the blog and also in the newsletter. :) I am glad you like them!


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

View Jay Wells's profile

Jay Wells

58 posts in 1921 days

#5 posted 04-04-2013 10:07 PM

Beautifully done.

How do you handle the challenge of producing Holiday designs in the spring/Summer? The snow should help a little. I think I remember seeing that you are in Nova Scotia. I spent three weeks up there and found it simply amazing!

-- Find your limitations, and ignore them!

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2885 days

#6 posted 04-04-2013 10:28 PM

Sheila I really like this style, it is what I think of when I think fret/scrollsawing
This was my scroll experience prior to reading your blog Sheila

-- 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 2949 days

#7 posted 04-04-2013 10:52 PM

Jay – after doing this type of work for over 15 years, I guess I am used to making “out of season seasonal” things. It used to bother me a little bit, and sometimes I do miss out. This year I wanted my little summer bunnies to be in one catalog and they are already on Christmas things! :( (That was a couple of weeks ago, too!) But I try to look at it from another point of view – It can be Christmas all year long! (Or autumn, or spring, or whatever season) I can always think that I am ahead of things, instead of behind!

Jamie – that is beautiful fretwork. In the States, we called architectural fretwork like this was called “gingerbread” work. I have actually cut some replacement pieces for some older houses here in Nova Scotia. Many of the houses are over 100 years old.

It is beautiful here! I am happy that I live here and I really enjoy the beauty that Nova Scotia has to offer. I am very lucky to be in such a beautiful and inspirational place!

Thank you both for your comments.


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

View scrollsaw's profile


13032 posts in 3883 days

#8 posted 04-05-2013 02:44 AM

Great job Sheila I realy enjoy reading your blogs.

-- Todd

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2102 days

#9 posted 04-05-2013 02:57 AM

Hi Sheila.
I love the trays. I’m thinking they could be used as teapot stands if made a little bigger and some cork attached to the centre piece. Or plant stands! Oh yes, I need to get these patterns! :)
Enjoy your evening – oops, night in your end of the country!

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2949 days

#10 posted 04-05-2013 10:47 AM

Thank you Todd! And Anna – Yes! There are so many ways you can use these basic patterns. They are just the right size for so many things. You could even use them as picture frames if you like. They are a comfortable size for scrolling too.

Have a great day! Sheila

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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics