My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1067: You Can't Miss Me If I Don't Go Away From Time to Time

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-27-2013 11:26 AM 1605 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1066: A Short but Necessary Break Part 1067 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1068: 12 Days and Counting . . . »

Last night at about 10pm, I finally finished painting the 12th piece in the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ ornament set that I have been working on. While it may not seem like a big project, it was one that took me a lot more time than anticipated. I know I say that a lot, but this time I really mean it.

I had originally estimated that the set would take me about a week to do, but as it turned out, it has been a week and a half. At first I thought that it was because I was ‘distracted’ or not concentrating or doing stuff in between (like answering emails or cooking or other household chores) but for the past several days, I pretty much isolated myself to the kitchen table and worked straight through on painting. I ate ‘quick meals’ that required little preparation and only answered essential emails and didn’t really ‘visit’ online at all. Yet, the pace of completed work stayed pretty much the same. I even skipped writing here for a couple of days so I could get in earlier start at painting and hopefully see things happen faster.

I had nearly forgotten however that Keith and I spent a couple days filling the wholesale order for 100 painting kits. Between that and our regular orders, we cut nearly 1300 pieces as well as printed patterns and packaged the kits and mailed them out. That only served to lengthen the process of finishing painting these ornaments. At least in my own mind it did.

I have come to the conclusion however that painting just takes a great deal more time. Even if the design is simple. Painting requires several layers and when I am painting this small, it is a but fussy and even though acrylic paint dries very quickly (and I painted two sets at the same time) there is still some delay waiting to move on. It just can’t be avoided.

But all in all, I am very happy with the outcome of these pieces. They are slightly larger than the original designs that I created, which allowed me to show more detail in them.

Besides being done on the pieces that the Artist’s Club will supply, I designed my own ornament shape so that I can also sell wooden pieces with the pattern as kits on my own site. I am finding that this leg of my business is slowly growing, and I enjoy being able to offer both patterns and wood pieces for the painters.

Here is a picture of the 12th piece from the set:

The colors of all the pieces look amazing! The borders are done first in a layer of metallic paint. That is then shaded with a very dark color. I then coat them with a layer of the fine glitter paint, and then the metallic swirls are added on the top. The effect is very deep and beautiful. When they are all together with the jewel toned backgrounds they really look outstanding.

Today I will be doing some final touch-up shadings and painting the backs (I didn’t paint the backs yet!) I will also be taking the formal pictures of the pieces, as well as beginning to assemble the pattern packet. I took scans all along the way when painting these, but I need to do all the Photoshop work on the photos for the pattern. This will take a little bit of time to do.

My goal here is to have everything done by tomorrow (Friday.) We will be doing a site update then and I hope to have the patterns and kits ready to sell by then. Then it is on to the many new designs that I need to work on.

It is funny, but while painting these ornaments, I thought up at least ten new designs to make (both for scroll sawing and for painting!) I don’t think that I will be running out of new things to do anytime soon!

It feels so good to have this under my belt. I feel great today and besides doing the things that I mentioned above, I am going to spend the day getting my house back in order and tidying up a bit. Things have been neglected as you can imagine and I really need to get a handle on things. I also need to catch up on emails again.

Summer has finally come to Nova Scotia, but it is in the form of warm and muggy weather. It has been raining off and on the past couple of days, and the air has been heavy. Not my favorite type of weather at all. At least the nights have cooled off though. If the sun comes out (which eventually it will) I will try to find some time to head to the beach. That will be a nice change for a bit.

It feels great to be over the hump of that project and back to morning writing. I only took a couple of days off, but I did miss the interaction with everyone. I do appreciate all the nice notes and messages that many of my ‘regulars’ have sent me, and it really encouraged me a great deal.

I really love both my woodworking friends as well as my painting friends. Having communication with other creative people is really essential in helping me stay motivated and focused. It was nice to be missed, and I don’t think that I would accomplish half as much as I do if I didn’t have you all cheering me on. :)

Have a great day today. It is Thursday already and we are in for a long weekend. It is overcast and cool and there is a misty rain falling. But overall, it is not too bad.

Enjoy the day!

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

9 comments so far

View Handtooler's profile


1598 posts in 2181 days

#1 posted 06-27-2013 11:49 AM

Thank You for your in-depth coverage of this project. The twelveth is Beautiful. Is your art/painting considered Tole type?

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2969 days

#2 posted 06-27-2013 11:59 AM

Thank you for your nice comments. I will have more pictures tomorrow, as I said. The set was fun to do. Painting in this manner is a bit different from “fine art” type painting. I do paint in a more ‘realistic’ style – like my Cheetah painting here:

(If you want to see my other ‘fine art’ type paintings, you can do so on my Gallery page here on my site:

But painting to teach is somewhat of a different thing all together. I suppose it is called “Tole Painting”, although that term is something that is now quite broad and encompasses many different styles. I like the term “Decorative Painting” myself.

I love painting the fine art types stuff, but time hasn’t allowed me to do much of it lately. I have spent all of my time focusing on making the business work and working on projects that people can reproduce easily. It is one thing to be a good artist/designer, but another to be able to teach the project so that others can recreate it. Apples and oranges as they say! :)

Thank you again for your nice thoughts. They mean a lot to me and I am glad you like the project!


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

View Handtooler's profile


1598 posts in 2181 days

#3 posted 06-27-2013 12:51 PM

The reason I mentioned tole is, my wife and I have a wooden decretative plate, inteneded to be hung on a wall. It was painted of our wedding attire, Mess Dress uniform and her hand embroidered gown and train, with the scroll patterened design border. It was painted by my best man’s Norweign mother 46 years ago, who said it was tole painting. She now does miniture autos, boats etc at age 92. We still cherrish it. Thanks for your info on this matter, as I’m no artist, but appreciate fine things. p.s. Why not eyes, eye brows, crule for nose and smile on the drummer? Not being critical just need knowledge. You are the pro.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2853 days

#4 posted 06-27-2013 02:07 PM

You’re a true artist in many ways. Keep on keepin on Sheila

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2969 days

#5 posted 06-27-2013 02:28 PM

Thank you both.

The issue of the faces were brought up on my Facebook page also. As I said, my intention for these pieces was so others could recreate them. They are really small, and adding in faces would be challenging for many and intimidating for some and I didn’t want to discourage people from making them. Because of this, I opted with the ‘folk art’ look and didn’t add faces in.

But . . . since the question is brought up, I think that I will give it a go and add in simple faces today. I suppose people can always not put them in if they feel that they can’t accomplish them.

I suppose I am not done yet! ;) . . . .


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

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2122 days

#6 posted 06-27-2013 04:53 PM

Good morning Sheila. All your painting are wonderful! I can reach out and feel the fur on that cheetah! Detailed painting like that does take time and you put awesome detail into all your work. My paint order should arrive next week and I’m looking forward to trying out the new products.
Looks like it’s going to be a nice hot sunny Canada Day weekend here.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2906 days

#7 posted 06-27-2013 05:52 PM

Ah but Sheila, if you were painting these like your customers were
then you would be copying the techniques, pattern not having to
create fae scratch.
When you are painting these you know that folk are going to blow
them to see every detail and they will (I think) appreciate your attention
to detail. We can sometimes be to critical over our work, well I used to be LoL
I would love to do these with the Tibetan letters that you made especially for
me. As my family has so many mixed race, religion and nationality my Christmas
tree reflects all of my families bits. :) I’ll show Teacher when finished.
Sun sounds wonderful, makes the beach more interesting. Drizzle her all day after
a week of sunshine so we will have some lovely flowers popping up soon.

Have a Sublime weekend


-- 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 HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2341 days

#8 posted 06-27-2013 11:47 PM

You are a very accomplished artist and your “fine art” Cheetah is most impressive!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2969 days

#9 posted 06-28-2013 10:57 AM

Anna – I hope you are going to find painting to be fun and relaxing as I do. While I love working with wood, there is something that is so ‘liquid’ about being to create with colors. On some levels however, it is difficult to break down into logical steps so one can recreate it. I have tried painting the same thing more than once at the level of the cheetah painting and each time I find it comes out differently. But I don’t think that is something that is bad.

Jamie – we are our own worst critics I find. I find myself picking apart many things I did – even the cheetah painting above – and thinking of how I could have done it better. But there comes a time when we have to ‘let go’ and have confidence that what is there is a reflection of ourselves and our inner soul and understand that everything doesn’t have to be as we see in a photograph. Letting go of the though of having to be perfect is something that art allows us to do. I actually like my pieces ‘faceless’ and even though I tried to add some details to the faces to appease those who are uncomfortable without, I still like my first version better. The best pieces are always those that come from your heart I believe. I can’t wait to see what you do with the lettering. :)

John – thank you so much for your kind comments. I do like picking at the details when I paint things such as my wildlife paintings. Animals are so naturally beautiful and showing every detail of that beauty is both satisfying and fulfilling. I do so wish that I had one day a week at least to paint on this level. One does “forget” how to do so and it takes a bit of practice to get back into the swing of it. When I look back on these paintings, I know there are more within that I want to let out. One day the time will be there (I hope!) Until then, I will focus on making a living doing what I do. It is still one of the best ‘jobs’ I can think of! :)

Have a great day everyone!


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

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