I had a very full day yesterday, but I did manage to achieve my goal of finishing up the other two versions of the Hare Herb Garden Markers pattern that will be featured in the June issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine. I am very happy with the results, although it didn’t happen without hitting a couple of stumbling blocks and figuring out the processes that I used.
But that is part of why I write her and part of the reason I try to offer accompanying articles when I am teaching different processes. I find that for many products that are offered on the market for crafting, few have good and explicit details as to uses and outcomes. Such a large part of the process is learned from actually USING the product, and many people don’t have the time or energy to try things out. That is where my job comes in.
Not all designers take the time to document their experiences with using new products. I find that especially in the woodworking areas of crafting there are few who encourage different finishes or (egads!) painting wood. But I like to give lots of options because perhaps it will encourage people to think in other directions and stimulate their own creativity. From the many letters and emails I receive, I think that I do my job in that department.
My partner Keith always teases me because he says that I can take a simple idea and turn it into two or three full projects. He says I am a good example of one who “makes work” for myself. Some may be offended with that, but I take it as a compliment. There is just no way when I envision a project in several different ways (which I often do!) that I can ‘settle’ for presenting just one of them. I am so thrilled that my editor Debbie is always on board with my crazy ideas, as she also sees the benefit and value of offering our readers choices as to how to finish projects. It instantly broadens the audience, as one may not particularly like one way to finish things but may love the other ways. To me it just makes common sense.
I also like to look at my versions of projects as a spring board for others to implement their own ideas. I think that by showing them different ways to complete the same project, I am training them to think in lots of directions at once, and develop their own ideas as well. There is nothing set in stone and nothing makes me happier than seeing how others take my basic design and put their own spin on it. It is then when I know I am doing my job well.
With that said, I need to get to showing you the photos, as I have to get my little hares packed up and shipped out today so they can make their trip to New Jersey and to the magazine.
Yesterday I showed you the garden hares cut from solid ash.
I loved the beautiful look of the scrolled lettering, but as I said yesterday, it was a bit of a challenge. Cutting lettering that small is something that requires a bit of experience and patience, and I was afraid it would make the project too difficult for a new scroller. So here is what I came up with.
Version #2 is to finish the markers with a fine crackle paint in some warm, earthy tones. I then used the process that I described last week and shared from Steve at Woodworking for Mere Mortals. Steve had a video on How to Transfer an Inkjet Image to Wood, and it opened a whole new world for woodworkers. While I have seen this done before with laser printers, I had not seen it done using inkjets, which is what most people have. The inkjet printers also allow color images to be transferred, which is really exciting to me.
However, I took the process a step further, and I came up with some variations on the process that Steve showed. The results led to these darling little crackle finished bunnies, with the names of the herbs transferred onto them using the inkjet process:
I really LOVE this look and I had some new ideas on how to really make this work well for this project. (You will have to wait for the article to come out though to read about it!)
I think they look really nice as a set. But what if someone had an herb that was different from the 12 that I showed here? Since the drawing of the lettering was a bit tedious, I wanted to add another method of finishing that would adapt to anything they wished – even if they were starting seedlings for their outdoor garden. So my third and final version for this project used DecoArt Chalkboard Paint to allow people to write on their markers themselves:
The chalkboard paint looked wonderful, and worked with this nifty soapstone crayon that I found at Artist’s Club (but I am sure they are available at many art or fabric stores.) You could even use a fine chalk pencil.
Even though I was a “bad girl” and didn’t allow the chalk paint to “cure” the full amount of time recommended, I tried it this morning and it worked perfectly with the pencil! With a little damp cloth, it came perfectly clean and could be used over and over again.
Now isn’t this all FABULOUS??
They came out even cuter than I imagined them! How could I NOT make all the versions that I had floating around in my head? I think that painters will love this as well, as they could either transfer the words or paint them in using regular acrylic paint. I will be offering the wood “blanks” for this projects as soon as it is released to me sometime in June.
I hope you like all the versions of this project, but I would love to hear what your favorite is. Chances are I will get quite a mix of opinions, which will be wonderful to see.
They say that variety is the spice of life. I truly believe that. We are all wonderfully different people and it is what makes our world interesting.
I hope you have an awesome day today. Thanks again to Steve at WWMM for the inspiration.
Happy Tuesday to all of you!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"