Sometimes everything just works out how it should. I suppose that some could argue that things always work out how they are supposed to, but sometimes that isn’t how you would like. This time I was fortunate that this project was both.
When I think of a project, I usually have a picture of how I want it to look in my head. Sometimes that picture is fuzzy. Sometimes it is really clear. Most of the time, during the designing process, it evolves into something else and by the time it is finished it only slightly resembles what I had intended to do with it at the beginning. It is all part of the procedure and I have learned to just kind of go with the flow and allow the project to dictate which direction I should head with it. I find things work the best that way.
But other times, I know exactly how I want the piece to look. I find myself thinking all though the process about which steps I need to take to achieve the look that I imagine. This most recent project was just like that.
I had a deadline to meet for the magazine. We are currently working on the January issue, which will be themed with post-holiday projects and ease us into the spring. This is always one of my favorite times to design for because I often felt a bit let down after the holidays and it is a great opportunity to make some cheerful winter-themed items to replace the holiday decorations and give people something to smile about during those cold and long winter days.
I’ll be honest in saying that as my deadline approached, I didn’t really have a clue as to what I would make for this year’s January issue. I have been really busy with other things though, and figured out that by the time I really had to get down to drawing, I would have figured out which direction I would be heading.
I started by drawing different snowflake shaped frames, and chose one that wasn’t over complicated so that I would still be able to route the edge. I like routing pieces, as I feel that it makes them look nice and finished and professional. Once I settled on the frame however, I felt a bit stuck, and didn’t know where to head next.
But then, as I was sitting there thinking, I had several orders come in for my new Damask Inspired Patterns. I really loved these new designs. They are so pretty and elegant, yet they are not difficult to cut at all. They are very forgiving because of the nature of the designs, and they are fun to cut because they are a great size. They have everything going for them. It appears that others think so as well because the response to them has been quite overwhelming. The patterns for them are selling like crazy and thanks to that pattern series, we just finished out our August month on the site as our best month to date (and by a long shot!) I am thrilled!
So as with many of my designs that I do, there are a million variations swimming around in my head and it occurred to me that this snowflake frame that I just drew would be the perfect back drop for a lovely winter-themed Damask style plaque. I got busy and in a pretty short time the fog lifted and I envisioned this plaque, along with the silhouette of children building a snowman. (I have some other ideas for this series that will be coming shortly.)
I love when things fall into place like that. It is as if by magic that a few hours later, the entire pattern was drawn. Now all I needed to do was decide on how to finish it and I would be well on my way.
I had recently told you all about a product from DecoArt called Metallic Lustre. This is a water-based metallic wax that can be applied to any surface. The paste resembles a cross between shoe polish and cake frosting in consistency, but it has an incredible metallic shine to it. It comes in six colors such as “Copper Kettle”, “Champagne Ice” and “Silver Spark” and each color is extremely beautiful. I had recently used the Copper Kettle color on a set of my SLD438 Spooky Scrolled Key Ornaments and I was thrilled with the results. Just a small amount of the product made the keys look as if they were made of metal.
For the snowflake, I chose the Silver Spark color. I probably could have chosen the Champagne Ice, but I wanted to only apply just a small amount and still allow the wood grain to show through. The Silver Spark was a ‘whiter’ color and I thought that would look nicest. I wasn’t disappointed.
I used one of my favorite woods (ash) for the snowflake and cutting went without a hitch. Even unfinished the snowflake looked beautiful. I applied oil and let it soak in overnight – my usual method of base finishing – and just like that it looked just lovely. The oil brought out the subtle grain in the ash beautifully. I then took a damp cosmetic sponge and applied a light coat of the Metallic Lustre to the top only of the snowflake. It shimmered with a beautiful silvery shine. I then needed to set the Metallic Lustre, so I sprayed a light coat of gloss varnish over it to seal it. This insured that it wouldn’t chip off.
The piece looked good, but I thought I would bring it up to another level and I lightly brushed a layer of DecoArt Glamour Dust Glitter Paint over the entire piece. I also loved this paint because it has such finely ground glitter suspended in the base that it is a much more subtle shine. It really made it sparkle like real snow sparkles.
The piece was beautiful. But I wasn’t done yet.
As a final touch, I added some beautiful blue crystal hot fix rhinestones that I purchased from Rhinestone Canada. I am absolutely loving these rhinestones and find that there are so many ways to accent my scroll sawn pieces with them. They really made the piece look finished. So here are the results:
You can see the subtle sparkles a bit better here (I hope!)
And for you woodworking purists who don’t like color over wood – ”Sans bling”
While the plain one looks nice, I truly feel that adding the shimmer really makes this piece stand out. I am very proud of this project and can’t wait to see it in the magazine.
I know many of you will be asking when the pattern is available, and in all probability, many won’t have read this far and will ask anyway, but I will state that this pattern will be in the January issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine that comes out sometime around mid-December. I should be able to put it up on my site after Christmas to sell the pattern myself. In the mean time, I am sure I will be creating some companion pieces to go with this, so you will have to just wait and see what I can come up with.
Today will be a day for painting. I have had many requests to create a pattern packet for the Halloween keys mentioned above, as well as the SLD439 Spooky Halloween Ornaments, and I will be spending the next couple of days working on that. I already have the pieces cut and I plan on spending the next two days painting them. That will be fun!
My final thoughts today go to my beautiful daughter, Danielle. Today is her 23rd birthday and I can’t tell you how proud I am of her. She is the most wonderful, beautiful, kind daughter that anyone could have ever asked for! Not only is she beautiful outside, but she has a gentle and kind nature that makes her truly beautiful on the inside as well. It seemed like in a blink of an eye she went from this:
And turned into a beautiful young woman. Dani – I love you and I am so proud of you. Happy Birthday!
And a very happy Sunday to you all as well! Have a great day!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"