My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1041: Preview of my New Design

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 05-23-2013 11:35 AM 2096 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1040: A "Divine" Lesson Part 1041 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1042: More New Designs Added on the Website »

I think having a good attitude really makes a difference. It is amazing how having a positive outlook and mindset can turn even a bad situation into something positive. My past couple of days are a good example of that.

Earlier this week I had a spelling error in one of the pieces that I had cut. I have been working toward some important deadlines and designing several different projects at once. While I like to be busy, I will be honest in saying that I have been a bit overwhelmed by trying to get everything done.

Now some of you may say that the reason the error occurred was because I was hurrying. Actually, I don’t think that is the case at all. Truth being told, I really thought that the word “divnine” was spelled d-e-v-i-n-e. I believe that even if I had all the time in the world to do the project, I still would have made the error and not have caught it. If it wasn’t pointed out by someone else, then it would have gotten through the cracks.

I sometimes debate with myself whether or not to put my stuff out here before it is ready to sell or to be published. While I like to show you all what I have been working hard on, I also like to have things be a bit of a surprise when I unveil them on the site. Kind of like a ‘grand opening’ with all of our new designs.

But since we work here pretty much to ourselves (Keith and I) I find that the feedback from you all is really helpful and important. There have been many instances where I have greatly appreciated the input from my readers here. Many of you don’t even scroll saw, but you have knowledge of woodworking and your expertise lies in other areas of woodworking offers many important suggestions and ideas that can be applied to scroll sawing projects.

Many of you are painters and don’t concern yourself with the scroll sawing part at all, but you are also creative individuals who have some wonderful thoughts of your own to offer.

And some of you are friendly observers, who give an entirely different perspective altogether, and let me know just what you “like”.

You are all very important and very welcome friends. And you all help me make better designs by your daily thoughts, encouragement and input.

Yesterday on Facebook, I saw some posts from a couple of my favorite painting designers. While I don’t have a lot of time to paint other people’s designs, I do ‘collect’ patterns and pattern books and have done others’ designs in the past. It is always nice to create others’ patterns because it seems I always learn something new from them. Since I don’t have a painting group to attend, I find that more so than ever it is nice to look into online classes and projects.

One of the designers had posted a ‘teaser’ picture of something that she was working on that wasn’t quite finished yet. I absolutely loved the design and if it were available, I would have ordered it on the spot. I went to her site to see if it was there yet, and it was not, but I made a mental note to be sure to check back and as soon as it is I will be ordering it.

At one point while going through this, I thought to myself “So this is how my own customers feel when I show something on my blog!” It is funny, but the shoe was definitely on the other foot and it was the first time that I realized how my customers felt about me showing my ‘sneak peeks’ of my projects.

I don’t think it was bad at all.

Each time I show a new project, I do get several emails where people ask when the projects will be available. Most of the time it is soon after I show them, but when I am doing things for the magazine, it sometimes runs into several months.

I have debated as to whether I should even preview these items, but after yesterday, I do think that it is a good thing to do. As with the design that I saw yesterday from the painting designer, I hope that my customers will look forward to the release date on these pieces and enjoy the anticipation. Better yet – maybe they will decide to subscribe to the magazine so that they can get the designs even sooner.

While subscribing to magazines may seem like it costs a bit more, at $20 – $30 for a year subscription they are really getting a great value. That goes for the painting magazines, too. Not only does it help the magazines stay in business, but they offer a great venue for designers such as myself to reach people we wouldn’t ordinarily reach with our designs. Most woodworking or painting packets cost anywhere from $5 on the low end to $7.95 or more for the more involved patterns. These are very reasonable costs considering the time and work that go into making a pattern packet, but as you can see, even one issue of the magazines, which usually offer 15 or more projects, could easily justify the cost of the subscription. The prices that I mentioned for patterns didn’t include shipping fees, which the magazine subscription does include, and that alone may be worth the cost of the subscription.

Even if you only like one or two projects in a given issue, over the run of the year, chances are that you able to find enough projects to make it worth your while. Not to mention the great informative articles on techniques and new product reviews and other valuable resources that may be of interest. You also are introduced to many new designers that are just starting out and whose work you otherwise may not be able to enjoy. There are lots of benefits.

I don’t mean to get on a soap box on this subject, and I know that there are many online resources available that are replacing print magazines, but I find that many of them are not permanent, and when I have wanted to go back to them for reference later on, they are no longer available or difficult to locate. To me, there is nothing better than having a print library that I can reference and have as a permanent resource. Besides, I love sitting in bed and going through my old issues of magazines. It is something that I enjoy a great deal.

With that said, I am still going to preview my projects that are going to be published, as well as the ones going directly to my site for sale. I hope you all understand this and if you are really anxious about getting the patterns, consider subscribing to the magazines.

Yesterday I finished cutting the new ornament set for the Creative Woodworks and Crafts holiday issue. Once again, I used keys as a theme. I love the many possibilities that using keys have to offer, and I can see why there are so popular in the painting venues. I find that scrolling them was a great deal of fun, and I will be creating many more key sets in the future for lots of great home decoration projects.

This set depicts the nativity. There are 12 keys in all, and they include the holy family, the kings, a shepherd, an angel and even a sheep and a camel. To round it out, I even added a dove and the Christmas star.

My set is made from a beautiful piece of bird’s eye maple. I used wood that was about 3/8” thick. I usually use wood that is a bit thinner for ornaments, but I wanted these to be a bit more substantial.

I finished them by my usual mineral oil, which I allowed to set overnight, and I plan to use spray lacquer over them. I have a couple of things that I am going to do to finish them off today, so stay tuned and you will see them finished later on. I think they will look really cool, and they were a lot of fun to cut. This is the type of scroll work that I love. It isn’t difficult, but lots of fun.

I plan on cutting the box (again!) today. I have double checked my spelling and I did make a couple of adjustments on the pattern and I think it will look really nice.

I hope you enjoy seeing my little previews here. I always appreciate your comments and suggestions, but most of all, I hope it inspires you to do something wonderfully creative yourself. It is a fun way to spend the day!

Happy Thursday to you all!

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

8 comments so far

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1841 posts in 2025 days

#1 posted 05-23-2013 12:19 PM

Once again, very artistic work Miss Sheila. I have to ask an apology; speaking of “misspellings”, I misspelled your name yesterday to ‘Shelly’ instead of your given name. Sorry. I always disliked it when other people messed up my name, so I am very sorry about that. The small detail work in the keys is incredible

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Rick13403's profile


256 posts in 3560 days

#2 posted 05-23-2013 02:20 PM

Good morning Sheila, I am so glad that I did not give up on scroll sawing! I would miss doing your great patterns. I will be waiting impatiently for the magazine to be delivered later this year. As for previewing the new patterns here, I look forward to see what you (and Keith) are working on and plan my work load on that and now you have seen the “other side”, I’m sure you understand that too. Keep up the excellent work!

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 & Ex21 -

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2129 days

#3 posted 05-23-2013 04:59 PM

Hi Sheila,
Keep previewing! It helps me with my Christmas gift list! I love the key set. They would look great on any Christmas tree. I’ll be back to my scroll saw next week after our carving show this weekend. I enjoy working on Christmas stuff when the sun is shining and I have all doors in the workshop open. My little 7th heaven!
A beautiful sunny wam day today.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2978 days

#4 posted 05-23-2013 10:35 PM

Hi Sheila,
Aside from what Anna visualizes for Christmas, the keys (because of its size) can be all time favorite as a key chain. We can make some initials in it to make it personalized and coded maybe. I like those that have ellipse in the middle figure. The landscape effect is the best I like in doing my designs making because of its stability. If I make portrait design, I find it difficult to fill in the top and bottom part specially the objects’ focus is sidewise. However, seeing the standing Joseph and shepherds, you make it look easy for portrait orientation. These are really good and simple design but it is so minute that makes it so delicate. Have a nice day.

-- Bert

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2976 days

#5 posted 05-24-2013 12:02 AM

Hi, again to you all! I apologize again for being so late in replying, as I was at the saw most of the day today again. I do come and check in from time to time, but I am usually dusty so I don’t type into the computer if I don’t have to.

I am really glad you like the previews. It would be hard for me to work on these things so far ahead and not be able to show anyone. You all would think that I was getting lazy! ;) I am glad that you take the opportunity to plan ahead at what will be available later on. As I said, I like to anticipate others’ patterns too.

Bert – you are correct in saying that these designs are really simple. The curves are fairly thick and even though they look delicate, they are very sturdy (especially since I used maple for them) and will hold up for years and years. I still have some nice embellishments planned for them to dress them up further, but I needed to wait for them to absorb the oil enough to spray and let that harden a bit.

It is going to be a fun weekend!

Thanks, as always for your wonderful support. You really make a difference in my life.

Have a great evening, Sheila

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

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2860 days

#6 posted 05-28-2013 01:43 AM

Your designs are your keys to success. :) Very kool Sheila, very kool

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

View a1Jim's profile


117160 posts in 3633 days

#7 posted 05-28-2013 02:18 AM

These are unique and beautiful designs.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2976 days

#8 posted 05-28-2013 09:57 AM

Thank you so much! I have them finished now and I am happy with them. I have several versions for making key ornaments that I will be making in the near future. :)


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

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