Yesterday was a really productive day. I am happy to say that I did manage to get the video edited and posted up on YouTube. I will be adding it to my video page on my site also over the next couple of days. (The video section is down the page a little bit)
As I stated before, what I am doing here is not rocket science. What I try to focus on in my patterns and teach to others, is that you don’t have to use complicated techniques to get some really cool results. Yes – there are sometimes a couple of different steps you need to take, but braking things down into steps is very easy to do and simplifies the process even further.
I love working with DecoArt products for many reasons. To start with, they have a large variety of products available. While some of you may only be familiar with their Americana line of tole paints, I want you to be aware that they are only the tip of a very large iceberg. The more I looked into them and saw the many, many different types of paints, mediums and specialty products, the more I enjoyed using them and the more ideas I had for other projects. It just never seems to end.
Also, I love the fact that DecoArt products are not expensive. Most of their paints and mediums are under $2 per bottle and the bottles of them go really far. That means you can ‘play’ a lot without breaking the bank. And since they opened up their online store, it means that no matter where you live you are able to order from their full line of products – no more chasing from store to store looking for colors or products! I find them to be a great company to deal with.
I can pretty much say that everyone loved the skeletons as they were just base coated in the bright neon colors. I received many positive comments from those of you who really loved their bright and cheerful look. But I have also had many comments from you since then in which you say that you like the finished project even better. And I think they look better too!
I like to look at my patterns as more than just line work. I am sure that if I wanted to only provide line work to people to cut on the scroll saw, I would probably be able to put out probably five times the number of patterns that I do each year.
But what fun would that be?
It would be much fun for me and I would think that it wouldn’t be as much fun for you all to make. Not as much fun as trying something new and learning a new process.
I am often asked about what people should make to sell at craft fairs and sales. This occurs especially in the autumn, when there are many holiday shows and sales. People want items that will sell to the general public and they want something that will set their work apart from the other vendors at the shows.
While I find scroll work to be simply lovely, I also find that many people want a little bit more. As a woodworker, I truly appreciate items that are done in the wood’s natural colors. But for ornaments and such, I think that people want something with a little color or sparkle to make them stand out on the tree. I find that the best selling pieces at many of the shows and craft fairs are things that are embellished one way or another.
Here is an example of one of my SLD365 - 8 Songbird Ornaments pattern:
It looks nice, and makes a beautiful piece.
But . . .
With the addition of some light washes of color:
It seems to come alive!
You don’t have to have ‘painting skill’ either to be able to do this. Most of the lines are cut in the design all ready, and all you need to do is block in the shades. It makes a big difference, I think.
Another example I can give you is the SLD370 Holiday Ribbon Ornaments:
All I did here was paint the frame red and then sponge on some gold metallic paint. It was so simple and fast and really made a wonderful difference in the presentation of these ornaments.
My candle trays are another example. While some of them look beautiful done in hard wood, I realize that everyone can’t afford to use exotic lumber for their projects and I try to give some options so that they can make their projects look special without a lot of extra expense.
My SLD415 Winter Wonderland Candle Tray uses just a couple of washes and some brush on glitter to really make this project shine:
It doesn’t take much to turn something ‘ordinary’ into something special!
And finally – I love the addition of things like beads and feathers. They add so much to projects like these SLDAOSet1 Southwestern Arrowhead Ornaments -
I can’t imagine these ornaments without the beads and feathers! And people report to me that these are always best sellers at shows and craft fairs!
So with that all said, I will continue to make patterns that stretch your imagination a little bit. I truly enjoy introducing others to these fun products and I love seeing how they use them in their own crafts and come up with their own ideas for them.
Anna – who frequently posts here on Lumberjocks.com sent me a picture last night of a bell ornament she cut from one of Keith’s designs. While the bell was pretty in itself, Anna decided to use the Metallic Lustre on it, and then embellish it with rhinestones. Below is the results:
I think it looks wonderful!
In any case, I will continue to try different finishing techniques and add on’s to my projects and try to show you all what is available. Things like crackle, metallics and rhinestones may not all be to your liking, but they will be there for you if you want to be adventurous and try something different.
I did get my video posted yesterday, as I said, and the link to it is below. It is simple and pretty much straight forward, and if anything, it just shows how EASY it was to bring these little skeletons from ordinary to really cool! I hope you enjoy it and I hope you consider trying some of the techniques that I present to you!
Have a wonderful Friday! :D
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"