My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1033: One Task Done (Sort of!) On to the Next!

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 05-14-2013 11:29 AM 2776 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1032: Quick Correction on the Contest Part 1033 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1034: The Day Without Internet »

Well I finally finished what I had been working on for the past several days. At least “Phase 1” of the design – creating the first prototypes. I now feel pretty good about things and feel like I am able to move forward with other things.

Designing painting patterns is a great deal different than designing woodworking patterns. When working on scrolling patterns, the bulk of the time is spent in the drawing. Once the computer work is done there are usually only some minor adjustments to the pattern needed before it is ready to go. But painting patterns are much different.

I usually need to make the projects a couple of times before I am satisfied with the final result. I sketch it and rough cut it, and then I add color and paint. This is where many modifications take place and where most of my time is spent. What I had envisioned in my head doesn’t always match what I am painting. I also find that many times I change my mind as to what color I will use for which part and I sometimes wind up re-painting pieces several times before I am happy

When the prototypes are finished, I then am able to finish up the line work, based on what I had finally settled on painting. I then paint the “final” pieces which will be photographed (many times as I re-paint them, to record each step of painting for the pattern packets) and use the final pieces for the pattern pictures and for advertising them. It is a much more involved process.

While some may feel that it is a bit redundant to paint and repaint things again, I actually don’t mind it. I think that it allows me to really understand the pattern, which in turn helps me explain things better in the instructions. I also think it gives a better resulting pattern.

The packet that I have been working on for the last week or so has been the “12 Days of Christmas Key Ornaments.” Lately, keys have been a really popular theme for painters. They make really cute ornaments and it seems that everyone has their own take on making designs for them.

Last year, I created my “Key to My Heart” plaque (SLD405) and I really loved cutting the ornate key for it.

I have several “Key Projects” on the drawing board at this time, and you will see the results of them as I create them. I used to worry that others may jump on this idea if I showed my hand too early, but I am sure that there may be many others out there already and I am confident that what I am thinking will have my own personal look and they will stand on their own. What will be, will be.

In any case, I haven’t seen anyone create a “12 days of Christmas” Key set so I will be the first as far as I know to do so. I am rather excited about the set and like the way it is looking at this point. Below is a picture of the prototype set:

I am pretty happy with them and I think they came out pretty nice. I have a few modifications in mind for them, but you will need to wait to see that until I have the final pieces made.

One thing that I did was make these keys approximately 4” long. After finishing, I noticed that many of the keys and key pieces that are on the market are 7” long. I blew up the line work on the computer and printed copies that equaled 6” in length and I must say that they looked quite large. I honestly wouldn’t want a dozen monster sized keys on my tree (or wreath or garland or package) and I believe that I am going to keep my pieces a bit smaller.

(After all – I don’t have to follow the flock, do I?)

One good thing about being a painter who cuts her own pieces is that I have the freedom to do anything I please in that department. I am fortunate that I am able to change things as I wish without having to depend on someone else to change with me. That is probably one of the reasons that I took up scroll sawing in the first place.

I hope you like these preliminary keys. I really do like them and I hope that they will be well received by my painting customers. They really were a lot of fun to make and will make a wonderful set. I will be working on the final version of them soon.

But for now, I need to switch gears and spend the next week or so working on my projects for Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine. Their holiday issue projects are due soon, and I think I know just the thing to make for them. I will certainly unveil my plans as they become clearer to me.

It is odd to be thinking so much of Christmas in the month of May. But time goes by so quickly and before we know it, the holiday season will be here and we will all be scurrying about making our gifts. Now is the time to be busy.

I wish you all a wonderful day today. It is cool here, but calm. Little by little things are greening up and summer is just around the corner.

Have a wonderful and creative day.

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

7 comments so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6856 posts in 3979 days

#1 posted 05-14-2013 12:40 PM

crazy good.

Where do you get all that talent?


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Rick13403's profile


256 posts in 3504 days

#2 posted 05-14-2013 01:11 PM

Another excellent pattern, Sheila. I have been following the key and spoon explosion that is going on in the Tole world and find it interesting, but not being a painter have not jumped on the band wagon yet. I have teamed up with a great friend of ours to continue on the tole painting side of The Scroller and Tole, so it may happen yet. I also placed an order with Rhinestones Canada and am now waiting for delivery.

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 & Ex21 -

View justoneofme's profile


639 posts in 2480 days

#3 posted 05-14-2013 02:45 PM

Hi Sheila: Beautifully sweet Xmas ornaments!!
I agree with the size factor because I prefer dainty ornaments (myself) such as your ‘adorables’ ... rather than big honk’n ones that threaten to break off limbs!
And … I know all about preparing for that season well in advance, having gone through the craft-fair-scene years back. Lots of fun … and lots struggles to get everything done in time.
Good luck with your designs Sheila, but hope you also find time to smell the roses … when they appear! I have relatives back east (having come from PEI), so realize your slower start into summer. All the more reason to spend creative time in the shop!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2856 days

#4 posted 05-14-2013 04:42 PM

Sheila they are wonderful, very creative and colourful.

Have a great day

-- 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 Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2073 days

#5 posted 05-14-2013 05:01 PM

Sheila, these are beautiful ornaments. I love the detail you put into your painted projects. I agree on the size. One of these days, I will restock my paint pots and get back to some painting! So when is some-one going to invent a 36 hour day please? :)
Enjoy your day.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2804 days

#6 posted 05-15-2013 12:41 AM

Amazing. Santa will be here before we know it

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2920 days

#7 posted 05-15-2013 10:18 AM

Thank you all for the supportive comments. I am sorry that I didn’t answer yesterday, but we were without internet from right after I posted the blog until evening. As a result, I had a huge amount of emails to catch up on so I wasn’t really able to reply until now.

I am glad you like the keys. I wanted something that would show up nicely on the tree. As I said, I have some ideas to finish these off and make them look even better.

The 7” size looked GIANT! I can’t imagine making them that big for a tree, unless you are Marshall Field’s or Macy’s and have a huge tree. I think the smaller size is what I would consider “ornament” size. I can’t believe that all of those keys that are so popular are that large, but I double checked and they are.

Oh well, I never really went along with what everyone else was doing anyway. I haven’t figured out if that is a good thing or a bad thing. :)

Again – thanks for the encouragement. It feels great!


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

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