After a somewhat bumpy road of construction and design, I have finished my Christmas box.
I say the road was ‘bumpy’ because there were a few issues that I had in both the design and the execution of creating this box. I can however say that I have ironed out all of those bumps and recreating this pieces should be very easy for those who wish to do so. I am happy with the results.
Those of you who read saw that my first attempt of cutting the lid design included the misspelling of the word ‘divine.’ After several hours of work, with a satisfactory result, I showed the lid of the box here on my blog, only to have a kind reader point out that the word ‘divine’ was spelled incorrectly. It was a bit aggravating.
After feeling like someone threw a safe on my back while I was climbing up a muddy hill, I decided to switch gears and do some other cutting for the next project just for a change of scenery. (I will be showing that project tomorrow.)
The change did me good, and got me away from the dreaded piece long enough to help take the sting out of having to cut it out all over again. During my day away, I rationalized that I didn’t quite like the darkness of the wood that I used originally (in the above picture) and I wanted a lighter piece of maple anyway. “Things happen for a reason . . . blah, blah, blah . . . ” and all of that.
While I was doing the other project, Keith had gone to the wood store and purchased some additional maple, among other things. We were getting to the bottom of our supply, which was why I had chosen the darker piece originally. He had returned with some beautiful maple that was a bit lighter in color and I felt would look much better for this box.
I had also in the mean time decided that the lid that I had originally cut was a bit too small. I wanted the sides of the box to be slotted, with decorative scrolling on the slot extensions and while this looked proportionally correct on paper, as I had the lid cut out, I realized that there was very little overhang that I allowed and the lid would have appeared too small. Because of the way the design was placed on the lid, with the liner covering just the inner part of the design and the trim around the edges being left open, simply shrinking the sides down was not an option. The lid liner would have come about half way between the holly trim, looking sloppy and unplanned.
By cutting the lid over, I extended the edges by 1/2 inch all around, and I think that it made a vast improvement.
Since I made this box to coordinate with the new set of 12 ornaments that I cut, I needed to figure a way to incorporate the 12 designs into it. The front of the box has the holy family:
The left side shows the shepherd and a sheep:
The back has the three kings and the right side has the camel and an angel:
I lined the lid with 1/8” walnut. This also served to hold it stable on the top of the box when in place:
The joints of the box are slotted, which is a nice way to make a box using only the scroll saw. It is very difficult to cut a perfectly straight line on the scroll saw and the slotted joints are probably the best way to join pieces, as they are somewhat forgiving. With the added decorative edging, even if there are small gaps, they are barely noticeable, as your eye is drawn to the decoration rather than the joints themselves.
Keith had suggested that I line the sides also, but I liked the look of the open scrolled work.
I finished the box in my usual mineral oil/spray lacquer finish. I love the soft look it gives the piece, and how it enhances the wood without making it look shiny or plastic-y.
All in all, I am pretty happy with the project. Not only will it make a beautiful holder for the companion ornaments, but it would be a nice stand alone project too, as you can store your Christmas cards or even candles in it. It measures approximately 7” x 10” x 4” tall and is made of maple.
The pattern will be available in the holiday issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine, as well as on my site after the publication date which is scheduled for late August. I know many of you want it now, but it will still be out in plenty of time for people to make for holiday fairs and gift giving.
I hope you all like it. I liked seeing it finally be finished when I glued things up yesterday. It seemed to be a long time in coming, but that was probably because I had hit a couple of hurdles along the way. I suppose it just goes to show that sometimes it is best to take a breath and get away from something for a day or so when things go awry. When we return to it, we have a better perspective and a little more patience and more so than not, we are able to pull the project out of the fire pile and make it something we can still be proud of.
Have a wonderful Monday today! Happy Memorial Day to my friends in the USA.
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"