In the crazy world of designing, as most of us are waiting for that first snow, my thoughts have been to green leaves, warm weather and singing birds.
These past few days I have been working on my project for the March issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine, in which we are welcoming in the spring season. It is certainly a time warp.
I had been thinking of my project that I would submit long before we left for our trip to Chicago. I wanted something bright and cheerful and I had received many requests from people to do a word art project that would depict the season of “spring.”
But I didn’t want just letters. The designer in me wouldn’t allow that to happen. People have come to expect more from me and it has brought my own expectations of myself higher as well. I wanted to offer something different with this project and I tried to think what would be a nice thing to teach while presenting it.
Then it occurred to me. As I was reading through some of my emails, I had seen the work of well-known designer Laurie Speltz and it caught my eye. I always loved Laurie’s designs and she was a great teacher who loved to use her own line of stencils to make things easy and fun for her students and customers.
I thought about it a bit and it occurred to me that many of the woodworkers who don’t feel that they have the skill to paint would probably LIKE the option of using stencils. So I looked into it further.
Prior to leaving for Chicago, I placed an order at Laurie’s site for several stencils. (http://lauriespeltz.com/store/Default.asp) They were certainly reasonably priced and it really got my creative juices flowing. I began thinking of several different ways to use them that my woodworking audience would enjoy, and by the time I returned home, I pretty much knew what I wanted to do.
I came up with the following project, using some beautiful 3/4” ash. While the phrase looks great just oiled and finished with spray shellac, I decided to take it a step further. I painted the faces of the letters with DecoArt acrylic paints in bright, pastel colors and then I stenciled a ribbon design over the each piece in white. The stenciling added a posh and festive look to the pieces, without requiring any painting skill whatsoever.
I also decided to add some “Spring Chicks” which came out really adorable! Their legs are made of wire “springs” that I made myself, and I even attached their wings on in the same manner (as well as connected the exclamation point in the lettering!) I think it gave it a whimsical and fun look overall.
(OH! And of COURSE I used the DecoArt Glamour Dust Fine Glitter paint over EVERYTHING! It all shimmers beautifully with a subtle sparkle! Part of me wanted to add some lovely crystal rhinestones, but I held back on them. i am going to suggest it in the article though!) :)
Overall, I am THRILLED at the outcome of this project. I think the stenciling adds a great deal. I am not only going to be presenting the project in the magazine, but an accompanying article that will detail the process of stenciling.
I think this is another great option for finishing to offer to our readers.
I love offering choices! I realize that some don’t want to do all the finishing steps, but I also feel that offering them gives people the OPTION to do as many or as few as they wish, and allows people to personalize things how they like. I would rather err on the side of offering TOO MUCH information rather than TO LITTLE.
So there you have it! My SPRING CHICKS! :D
Today we decided to head to Halifax for our end-of-the-year-supply-shopping-and-perhaps-early-Christmas-trip that we try to take in each autumn before the winter hits. It will probably be our last trip to the city until the spring thaw. That means that I won’t be blogging tomorrow, but I will certainly be back on Thursday and let you know how things go. We will be checking our computer in the evening and I will answer any questions or fill orders then.
I hope you all have a great Tuesday! (And Wednesday as well for that matter!) Have fun and remember to do something creative!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"