I really want to thank everyone for all the nice comments on the Christmas box project that I posted yesterday. It meant a great deal to me – especially after the issues that I had with making it. There were times when I thought that I may abandon the idea of doing it altogether, and I am really happy that I stuck with it. In figuring some things out, I feel that it will open the door for future box designs using that construction method. As I said – it is a challenge to make any type of joinery on the scroll saw, but doing things this way leaves a little room for some play in the design where little gaps won’t be such an eyesore. There is some hope after all.
I spent the day yesterday planning the next and final project that I will be submitting for that issue. It is still in the works in my mind, but coming together nicely. I will post more on that as I progress, as I am certain that it will not be a complex project and my goal is to get it done by the end of the week.
I also finished up the complimentary project that I showed earlier last week (the Nativity Key Ornaments.) My idea was that the box would hold the ornaments, and they would be presented as a set, but each project could be made or given independently. The nativity silhouettes are the same on both, tying them together nicely.
I had the keys cut earlier in the week, and showed them on the blog. I used a very pretty bird’s eye maple, and the marbleized grain really looked nice with the relative simplicity of the design.
They came out nice, but since they are intended to be ornaments, I wanted something more for them.
I pictured them somehow having some nice tassels hanging from them. I wasn’t sure how to do this without obstructing the view of each individual design. I had purchased some beautiful ivory tasseled trim from the craft store near me and I thought that I would cut it apart and use the tassels from it. I had originally thought about using some gold metallic yarn or thread, but frankly I wasn’t in the mood for making the dozen tassels that I would need to finish the set. Maybe on a future project.
Leaving the tassels lose looked rather clumsy though, and I wanted something that looked more intentional. I decided to tie the tassels around the central indentation on the shaft of the key, and leave the tassel hang to the side. This looked really nice.
I found I needed to add a dot of clear-drying glue to the knot, as the shiny rayon wanted to slide apart, untying the knot. I wanted it trimmed as close as possible without leaving any unsightly ends that would distract from the scroll work and design.
This looked pretty, but it still needed something else, I felt. I decided to embellish the ornaments with clear crystal rhinestones so they would pick up light from the tree and look a bit ‘richer.’
While I have a rainbow of colors on hand, I felt that keeping the crystals clear would look the best. While my customers could certainly color coordinate their own ornaments to suit their tastes, the clear stones with the ivory tassels looked just perfect I though. The neutral colors allowed the beautiful grain of the bird’s eye maple to still show through, and didn’t overpower it. I loved the final effect:
(Me and my sparkles!)
I am quite pleased with how these came out. Not only are they nice ornaments independently, but they do tell a story:
They will look lovely on a Victorian style tree, or even strung on a garland or a beautiful natural wreath. As a set, they really will make a wonderful keepsake:
And of course, they have the coordinating box to store them in!
I think that many people will want to make both of these projects and that they will make a wonderful set.
While it seemed slow in coming, I am surprised at how close the actual pieces came to what I had originally envisioned in my head. Although the box itself changed several times from what I first pictured, the end product was something that coordinated much better than I thought it would with the ornaments.
And the best part of this project is that neither the box nor the ornaments are extremely difficult to make. I think that the ‘average’ scroll sawyer could very easily pull this off and make it without much trouble. I would grade it an “intermediate” project.
The hardest thing for me now is telling people that I won’t be able to sell them the pattern for several months. My advice to them is to subscribe to Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine, and then you will have access to both of these patterns the soonest. At $3.75 per issue (the subscription rate for USA customers) it is certainly worth the money for the many, many wonderful patterns that it offers throughout the year. For those of you who love ornaments, my partner Keith has been providing the magazine with a ‘bonus set’ of wonderful ornaments for each issue and they plan to continue that for quite a while. Those alone are worth well over the $3.75 price. :)
But I will have these on my site in September, after the holiday issue is released, which will give you all plenty of time to make them for the autumn craft season or for your own gifts. By that time, I will hopefully have several other neat projects that you can make too, and make your decision a difficult one, as I love to do.
Have a great day today. We are finally seeing the sun after over a week of clouds and rain. It is going to be a beautiful day!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"