My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1117: Amazing Grace

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 08-30-2013 10:45 AM 2175 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1116: Another Site Update and Newsletter Will Be Sent Today Part 1117 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1118: Meeting Up With Some Friends »

Working with the scroll saw never ceases to amaze me. While many ‘hard core’ woodworkers tend to look at the scroll saw as a lowly lightweight tool of the woodworking industry, I can think of nothing that comes close to matching its ability to turn a clunky block of wood into something that is filled with such beauty and grace.

In hearing the term “woodworking” the first that comes to mind usually isn’t the word “graceful”. But every time I use the scroll saw I think to myself just how GOOD it is as creating just that – beautiful and graceful pieces of wood.

I had quite a busy day yesterday. As I posted yesterday, we did a site update which introduced some new patterns to our customers. I was completely astounded at the response we received from the mailing. I had intended to cut my new project out in the early part of the day, and didn’t even get to start until mid to late afternoon. I want you to be aware that I am not complaining about this. It is thrilling to both Keith and myself that we have so many wonderful loyal customers and are earning more each day and that our business is going so well. I truly love talking and interacting with my customers, as hearing from them is like a shot of adrenaline when I hear how much they use and enjoy our designs.

Working from home here comes with the inherent danger of isolating ourselves from the rest of the world. It isn’t like a job you travel to each day, where you engage with your customers on a daily basis. When things are slow, it is very easy to feel a bit disconnected and keep up a positive moral. I think that is one of the reasons that I enjoy blogging here so much. I have made so many friends from posting here and because of the nature of this blog, they are all people who also enjoy creating in many different forms. I think that networking is key to keeping these hobbies and skills alive, and one of the most positive things about the internet is the ability to not only meet and network with individuals with similar interests, but also to learn new skills and teach others and share information in ways that were previously impossible. Even though I live in a remote area, I am able to visit with friends from all over the globe daily. It is the best of both worlds.

Sorry for rambling on, but I am just excited. :)

So when I did finally get to my scroll saw, I was eager to see my new design come to life. This project is for the January issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine. Because of the timing, I wanted to make something that would be a nice decoration for that time of the year when the holidays are over and people are feeling rather bleak. I always felt rather sad taking down all the decorations that I had up for Christmas. I found that the house looked so plain and empty and rather depressing. That is one reason why I like my little ‘all season tree’ so much. It brings beauty and joy to me year-round and is fun to decorate and look at.

Since the new Damask style plaques were received so well, I decided to do something in that style for this article. I thought that making a snowflake shaped plaque with some beautiful Damask style cutouts. The flowing shapes reminds me of billowing snow, and I thought it would make an elegant and beautiful base for a winter project.

I then had to think what a good theme would be for the silhouette overlay to go inside. I had several ideas, but I settled on two children building a snowman. Memories of my own children doing the same came to mind and perhaps I am prejudice, but I thought that would be a wonderful subject to warm the heart on a cold winter day.

I chose ash as the base wood for the plaque. It is currently one of my favorite wood types to cut on the scroll saw. It has a hard and tight grain like maple, but much more of a distinct grain pattern that adds to the look in projects such as these.

I am very proud of my cutting and how the project came out. Everything went smoothly and I found myself marveling at how flowing and delicate and graceful the design looked.

(you can’t do that with a table saw or a band saw!)

I oiled the pieces and let them ‘dry’ for the night. The ash looks deep and warm and rich just as it is.

But you all know me better . . . this is only the beginning!

I have a couple of things in store for this piece. Of course, you could leave it as is and it would be really pretty. But I think that a couple of additions to it will really make it stand out and bring it up to another level.

I love projects like this! (I know – I say that ALL the time!) It is very satisfying to be able to use one simple tool, and with a little bit of time and patience, transform a chunk of wood into something that looks so delicate and graceful. I can’t think of any other tool besides the scroll saw that can do that. And it doesn’t take a huge investment or a great deal of strength either. Just a little time to learn the basics and a bit of patience. As I always say – one hole at a time.

I look forward to completing this project today, and I hope you enjoy seeing these in progress pictures. There are so many ways to be creative and have fun in the process. I am grateful that I get to do so every day.

Have a wonderful Friday!

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

5 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20923 posts in 2768 days

#1 posted 08-30-2013 12:07 PM

So crisp. So delicate, So intricate. Scroll on, Sheila, scroll on. :)

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2884 days

#2 posted 08-30-2013 12:15 PM

Thanks, Roger! Can you tell I’m having fun??? LOL It was one of those days when everything went as planned. I had to brag just a little! ;)

Have a great weekend!


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

View CFrye's profile


10124 posts in 1804 days

#3 posted 08-30-2013 02:46 PM

Very pretty Sheila! I like the snowflake frame. Great variation. Keep ‘em coming!

-- God bless, Candy

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3050 days

#4 posted 08-30-2013 05:52 PM

Once again you have stated the obvious. Your work with the scrollsaw does turn wood into beautiful and
graceful works of art, and no I can not come close to that with my Delta cabinet saw, or either one of my
bandsaws. Thank you once again for sharing your ideas and designs with us, and maybe one day, I can come
close to copying your work.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2884 days

#5 posted 08-30-2013 07:16 PM

Thank you both Candy and Gus. Yesterday was the “perfect storm” of woodworking for me. Some days we have hiccups in our work and other days things just seem to fall into place. I was very fortunate yesterday when things went the way they did. It was pure pleasure to spend the time at the saw. I am glad you both like it. :)


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

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