I frequently hear from my partner Keith that I create projects and then “make work” for myself. He says this because I am not really satisfied with creating one version of a project. If I envision the projects several different ways, I can’t help myself but to make them all.
I know that isn’t the most efficient way to work, but it is part of me that can’t be helped. I figure if I can picture it several different ways, then others will appreciate having the choices as well.
Such has happened with my little bunny toy replicas.
I love making the dimensional sculptured woodworking projects. They involve a bit more than just cutting them out and finishing them. Usually they involve sanding and fitting and other things that to me are a bit more challenging than just cutting flat pieces. I am actually building something.
Throughout the years I have made several toy replicas. While I love them all, there are certainly some that I favor more than others. With each one that I build, I learn something new to make it a little better or easier to assemble. I find they are a lot of fun to create and a very satisfying project. I am thrilled at the nice response I receive from them as well.
So yesterday I showed you the first completed bunny:
He is made of beautiful oak. While oak isn’t always the best choice for scrolling because of its open grain, for something like this that doesn’t have a lot of delicate fretwork cutouts, it works fine. The wood grain is beautiful and I only needed to give it a light oiling (a quick wiping of mineral oil) and a couple of coats of spray shellac to yield this warm and soft finish. It truly is a great choice for a project such as this when you want to show the beauty of natural wood. I thought the soft yellow organza ribbon and pearl spray accented it nicely.
But I also enjoy color. While natural wood tones can be beautiful, there is no denying that even a slight splash of color can really make a project outstanding. Since this bunny design was slated for the May issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine, I wanted a project that would represent spring and summer by being bright and cheerful.
Enter these beautiful DecoArt Chalky Finish Paints!
When I began drawing this design last week, I knew that I would want to make some in pretty pastels. I had planned on using the regular DecoArt Americana paint line that I use so often. But on Friday, I received a delivery of their new Chalky Finish Paints and I knew that I wanted to try them out on this project.
You can read all about the Chalky Finish Paints at the link above on DecoArt’s site. They are a new line of beautifully soft colors of paint that is intended to be used for home decor. Since there is no preparation necessary, the paints are perfect for both new wood projects and re-purposing old items or flea market finds. They have terrific adhesion to a variety of surfaces and dry to a soft, super-matte chalky finish. To me the finish looks almost suede-like. Until May, they will be sold exclusively through Home Depot stores in the United States, but after that they will be more widely available.
For the painted bunnies, I used solid birch. I liked the light color and since I wanted little or no grain pattern, the wood worked very well. I chose a variety of soft colors and made four additional bunnies in blue, green, peach and pink. I think that they all look wonderful together:
I gave each bunny a matching ribbon and used the creme pearls as well. And for the colored versions of the bunnies, instead of drilling decorative holes in the scrolled neck motif, I applied a few matching crystal hot-fix rhinestones that I purchased from Rhinestone Canada. (This company continues to be one of my favorite suppliers, as I have heard back from many customers from the USA and around the world that have ordered from them and were thrilled with their products and customer service!)
I am very happy with how they turned out.
Now the only problem is that I have to send them on their way to New Jersey to the offices of my magazine so they can be photographed for the article. It is hard to make something that I like so much and see it go out the door right away. But that will just be more inspiration for me to make something new.
I believe that my editor told me that the May issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts will be out in early April. I will not have the pattern available on my site until sometime in May, after the magazine has its run. I have already had many inquiries about the pattern and I suggest that if you want it quickly, you consider subscribing to the magazine. For the cost of a couple of patterns, you can have eight issues full of patterns from me, Keith and many other wonderful designers. It really is a great deal and allows you to have your patterns earlier.
I sometimes feel bad when I post such a fun project and won’t be able to offer the pattern for a while. But I hope that people do realize that the magazines are still a really good value and that they consider supporting them. I know that most like digital files, as they receive ‘instant gratification’ and have their patterns immediately, but for myself, I still like to hold the magazine in my hand and leaf through the beautiful color photos of projects. For me it is the best!
Thank you all for your positive responses on this project so far! I am overwhelmed at the nice comments that I have received. It really makes me want to do more and do even better on the next project. What a wonderful feeling.
Today’s featured project will be Keith’s SLDK197 - Filigree Snowflake Ornaments.
This beautiful (and a little bit challenging!) design is perfect for your post-holiday decorating. Wouldn’t these look great with some beautiful blue or clear crystal rhinestones applied and hung in a window as sun catchers?
I hope you all are keeping warm and that you have a wonderful Wednesday. Stay safe and happy!
-- 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"