My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1093: Decisions, Decisions

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 08-01-2013 11:42 AM 1948 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1092: Doing What I LOVE to do! Part 1093 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1094: Damask Pattern Finished »

I am going to try to make this post brief, as I have a lot of things I want to accomplish today. I got a bit of a later start because I slept a little later than usual this morning. I was up for a bit last night and I suppose I caught up in the morning. But that’s OK. Apparently I needed the little bit of extra sleep. I wouldn’t want to be crabby. ;)

I pretty much finished up my plaque set yesterday. I had intended to finish up by dinner and spend the evening doing some of my own painting, but I had a cutting order thrown into the mix (that is a good thing!) and by dinner I was ‘just about’ done. I didn’t want to leave things until today, so I worked on ahead and by the time I really was finished, it was nearly 8:30 and I was too tired to start something else.

I don’t like when that happens, because I had fully intended to finish up some painting and relax. But I get up rather early and I understand that burning the candle at both ends isn’t really good. So I gave in and did some emails and played on the computer a bit while a show was going in the background and I went to bed. I slept pretty good, but my mind was racing on all the things that I wanted to accomplish today and in the upcoming weeks. Maybe I wasn’t tired enough after all.

In any case, I rather like the plaques and I hope you do also.

These aren’t the best of pictures, but I took then last night when I was finished. I plan to take much better ones for the site presentation and the pattern. But at least it will give you an idea of how the set looks.

I have been wanted to create some scroll sawing patterns in this Damask style for quite a long time. I think that the flowing patterns of the fabric prints translate beautifully to the scroll saw and give the wood fluidity and movement. I drew up these designs on my own but kept them in the Damask type of style, and I think it makes an interesting background for just about any subject.

Originally, I had cut the birds out of 1/8” walnut, but I found that with the 1/2” depth of the backing piece, the walnut looked a bit subtle and the birds got lost somewhat in the design. These overlay bird pieces are cut from 1/8” birch plywood, and then painted solidly in black to represent true silhouettes. Of course, my customers could do it any way.

I chose 1/2” maple for the frame, as s I feel it needed a bit of thickness to make the piece balanced and to allow not only for the routed edges, but also for the beveled cut which is necessary with the self-framing theme. Although I have used much thinner 3/16” wood for self-framing ornaments in the past and it looked nice (and there are more of that type that I have to come that are on my drawing board) for this particular project, I feel that the 1/2” thickness gave the pieces was necessary to give these plaques balance. (The plaques measure approximately 7” x 9” each)

I added an 1/8” birch back boards behind the central part of each piece, and I decided to paint them in light, yet brighter colors. This I felt set off the cutting nicely and gave some added depth and interest. Of course the wood purists could use contrasting wood to make this project and even use veneer for the backing. I think that would look rather nice. But since I use water-based acrylics to paint the pieces, I find that painting on thin veneer causes it to curl a bit. This can usually be rectified by allowing it to dry completely and then using weight when gluing it on the back board, but I saw no harm in using the 1/8” ply. It still looked very nice.

As I said, I have some other ideas for similar sets of plaques. Since the process to make the three is similar, I feel that it is nice to offer these patterns in a set. While having a single picture hanging on the wall or sitting on an easel, I think that grouping the vignette together makes a nice and elegant display.

I nearly got caught up in making several different ‘versions’ of these plaques, but I decided against it. I think that writing suggestions in the instructions for different materials and embellishments (even using some hot fix rhinestones where the circular holes are in the Damask pattern) would be sufficient to get the point across. I think that my time is better spent drawing more designs than making these several times over.

I plan on making several sets of plaques in this style. The next few designs will be butterflies, hummingbirds and maybe even cats. They will all be the same style, but they will all have original frame shapes and Damask patterns. I want people to be able to mix and match these patterns or even use them without the overlays if they wish and I want to be sure to give a nice variety of original designs. I have some additional ideas as I said about for ornaments as well, but those will come in a bit – as soon as I can make them. I will first see how well these are received and if people like them.

Today I will be photographing these properly and also writing the pattern packet. I do plan to do some painting and I need to just stop and take time for that as well. I received my order for my new paint brushes yesterday that I will be using with the new paint I purchased recently (I like to keep a set of brushes for each type of paint) so I am ready to go in that direction also. So many fun choices as to where I will be spending my time!)

And here it is August already! Before we know it, we will be approaching the holidays.

I hope you all have a wonderful day today. Here in Nova Scotia the morning started out hazy, but the fog is burning off now and it looks to be a nice day. It is warm, but not hot. Just perfect.

Have a wonderful Thursday.

-- 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 MrsN's profile


986 posts in 3525 days

#1 posted 08-01-2013 12:43 PM

I am so glad to see the finished plaques. I was a bit worried about these when you showed them yesterday, I could tell that the pattern was not centered on the plaque. I was thinking “doesn’t sheila know that the damask pattern would look better centered” Thankfully you have better design eyes then me, because these are so awesome!
I can’t wait to be able to get the pattern, I know just where I will hang the finished pieces!

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2919 days

#2 posted 08-01-2013 01:00 PM

Thanks so much Katie! It’s funny – even before I decided on making three of these for a set, I always pictured the Damask part of the pattern off centered. Maybe because I am a little “off” myself! LOL! :)

I am really glad you like them. At first last night I thought the birds may have been lost a bit in the design, but they really aren’t. I do like the painted black silhouettes better than the walnut though. I think the stronger contrast is needed. I am sure there are many good options for this design though. I bet if the plaques themselves were done in walnut, with the overlay pieces being in maple, it would give another stunning effect. I may have to cut one just to see!

But there I go again . . . !!!

I always appreciate your comments and support! I hope you are having a lovely summer with your children. Are you off for the summer, being a teacher? I hope so! ;)

Take care and thanks again! Sheila

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

View CFrye's profile


10192 posts in 1839 days

#3 posted 08-01-2013 01:19 PM

Hahaha! I, too, was wondering about the pattern being cut off! I thought about asking, then decided to wait and see, knowing you would make it clear Sheila. Such a lovely and versatile set! I can see all kinds of silhouettes…roses, Victorian couple, grandchildren’s heads, etc. (The off-center part still bothers me-but that is part of my OCD, so pay it no mind LOL!) Looking forward to a sunny day in the low 90’s here along with 100% humidity and little breeze! Thank God for electricity and BIG fans! Thank you for sharing! God bless.

-- God bless, Candy

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2919 days

#4 posted 08-01-2013 01:34 PM

LOL, Candy! You and Keith would get along just fine! He is like that in the sense that everything has to ‘match’ or come out ‘even’. I am suspecting it bugged him too, but he kept it to himself! ;)

How about I just include the FULL drawings of all three designs so that my OCD people can use them that way?? They are all there on my drawing board and that way everyone will be happy! It is worth the extra sheet of paper to me and will allow even more versatility. :)

I am glad you like them! Keep cool today!


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

View Rick13403's profile


256 posts in 3504 days

#5 posted 08-01-2013 01:45 PM

Good morning Sheila, Once again you came up with a winner of a project. I will be getting the pattern set when you post it. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next! I think that the cat version should be next. I have a lot of cat lovers that buy any thing cat as fast as I can make them. Thank you for creating such wonderful designs for those of us that can’t design their way out of a paper bag. Have a great day and say hi to Keith.

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 & Ex21 -

View CFrye's profile


10192 posts in 1839 days

#6 posted 08-01-2013 07:27 PM

Speaking for the OCD, full patterns would be great!

-- God bless, Candy

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2072 days

#7 posted 08-02-2013 02:22 AM

I love these! It really got my mind ticking over and the fact that the damask pattern is not centred allows for even more versatility. I will definitely be getting this pattern and I look forward to the hummingbird and butterfly variations..

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2803 days

#8 posted 08-03-2013 01:00 PM

1st class all the way. Beautiful!

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2919 days

#9 posted 08-03-2013 01:04 PM

Thank you very much, Roger! :)


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

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