I finally feel that I am getting caught up with things. My little crow and cart is all packed up and soon will be on its way to the offices of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine in New Jersey for the final photographs for the project article. I really hate to see him go, but I know that he will be back one day and I will feel just as excited about him as I did the other day when he was completed.
I spent the past two days working on the pieces for another article that I am doing for that same August issue. This one will show how easy it is to take a simple pattern and make small changes in it to create several variations of the same project. I want to show our readers that you don’t always have to follow patterns to the letter, and depending on what supplies you have available, as well as what types of wood you have and what you enjoy doing, you can easily adapt many types of patterns to any of several different things.
Since the issue was coming out in August, I felt that a cute sunflower would be the perfect choice for the pattern. Here is one of the ways that I chose to make it:
I turned it into a pretty garland.
For the article, I came up with eleven variances, and I could have kept right on going. There are so many cool finishing products that are available right now that it was rather hard to figure out where to stop. But I thought that this would at least get people on the right track and hopefully inspire some ideas. With all the ornaments and things that would be in the upcoming holiday issue, I thought it would be a good way to kick off their decorating and gift-giving plans.
I missed writing yesterday because I had an early appointment in Yarmouth to do some maintenance on my car. I haven’t driven it since November, as I don’t drive it in the bad weather at all. It turned nine years old this year and as it still looks pretty much like it did when it was brand new. There are naturally some small signs of aging though and as it gets older, I know it is more important than ever to take good care of it if I want to keep it (which I do!) The mileage is low (about 60,000 miles) for its age and I know if I keep up with things on it I can keep it a good long time.
Keith had given me a full stereo system this past Christmas and he has been in the process of installing it for the past couple of weeks, as the weather permits. It came with a pretty decent system, but as many of you may have seen from my shop pictures here on Lumberjocks, he likes to build sound systems (he built the system we have in our living room, as seen in the background, as well as the system in his own car)
(In looking up this picture to share, I realize that I need to do an update for my shop. We have made several changes to our area since I joined Lumberjocks almost three years ago and I need to change things here too. I now have the Excalibur scroll saw and we added some small storage cabinets over the saw area as well as some other things.)
Since the old system consisted of 10 speakers, it was quite a job to install the new one. Not only did he get me the Alpine player (which is really nice and can read music files off of a jump drive, among other things) but he also got several new speakers and a great amp to power everything. The fact that the car is also a convertible also complicates things, as the amp and subs are located in the trunk and there needs to be clearance for when the top is folded down, which is most of the time when we drive in the summer.
Although it has taken some time, he is doing a heck of a job with it and is nearly finished. All the wires are run (some which are as thick as your finger!) and the only thing that needs to be hooked up is the amp. Everything looks absolutely “normal” and he was able to build internal supports for the new speakers so that they would fit into the existing skins in the doors and no one would even know that anything was changed (except how they sound, of course!) In order to do that, he needed to take both the door skins off, as well as remove the seats, console and carpet to run the necessary wires. It was quite a job and I must say there were days I had my doubts, but it looks great and I can’t wait to hear how it sounds. Not to mention that I will be able to have my entire music library on one small jump drive to have my music with me. It will be awesome.
But first, I needed to get some maintenance done so mechanically it is safe and sound. I should be able to pick it up tomorrow, and it will hopefully be good to go for our summer trips we enjoy so much (and trips to the BEACH!) It will feel really good to have it back after the long winter. :)
So the plan for today and the rest of the week is to write the patterns for the new trays. I am hoping to update the site by the weekend, and have all the new trays available, as well as a couple of new designs from Keith. I am excited about getting that done and feel a great deal of relief that I am getting on top of things.
It’s mid-week already, and today the sun is already shining brightly. The days are warmer as each one passes and we are finally seeing signs that spring is here for good. I hope that is the case with you all too.
I wish you all a good and productive day. Have fun and do something that you love to do.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"