My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1303: Paper Roses

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 04-28-2014 12:08 PM 2391 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1302: Back on Track Part 1303 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1304: Really? You made THAT with a Scroll Saw!?! »

The weekend turned out to be incredibly productive. I love when that happens. What started out as a bottleneck of cluttered ideas that had me in a muddle soon began to flow in a good direction. By taking some time and sorting through them and considering them one at a time, I was able to move things forward in an orderly manner. And I am very happy with the results.

Sometimes, I have to stop looking at the entire forest at once. It is utterly confusing to me and tends to stop me in my tracks. What worked this time was just picking one thought of the many that were involved in this project and use it as a starting point and go from there. I have found a great deal of success when using this approach. (Once I think of it, that is!) and usually once the ideas are once again flowing, I know which step to take next. As long as I don’t look too far in the distance, that is.

I started with a flower. A rose.

Even thought I had ideas for at least ten flowers in my head, it seemed like as good as any place to begin so I chose that. I had already shown you the odd shape that I had drawn of it in yesterdays’ post. While the idea was there, I still wasn’t sure that it would work out like I wanted it to. I was anxious to get it cut on the saw and try.

This project and related article that I am writing for the magazine involves cutting paper on the scroll saw.

I can almost see your eyebrows raising as you read that.

“Why” you may ask “would one want to do such a thing?” “What purpose would it serve?”

(Well – it may not have been YOU that asked that question. More likely it was Keith. It delights me that he still doubts my ideas and writes me off as ‘crazy’ after all of these years. I have long since given up trying to explain an idea to him before I implement it, as he just doesn’t understand it sometimes and it is during that time when things are developing in my mind that I find my ideas quite fragile. Any negative thoughts or questioning at that point could very well cause me to abandon them completely. Usually, I have learned not to risk it. And also through these years I believe that he has learned not to ask, as my usual response to him is a quietly detached “you’ll see.” That is just the way it is.)

Long story short(er), I find this is a direct result from my recent discovery of beautiful paper. Whether digital or pre-purchased, I look at paper as an exciting ‘new’ material to work with on the scroll saw. I realize that the paper craze has been around a long time, and I may even be catching a ride on this train a bit late. But I do feel that there is still some life to this area yet and frankly, I am a bit surprised that no one has really taken time to explore this relationship of paper and scroll saw in depth previously. It seems like such a natural thing.

This past Christmas, I received a wonderful card from my friend Anna who comments here on my posts often. Keith and I met Anna and her husband last summer as they came to visit Nova Scotia and I thoroughly enjoy her friendship. One of the things that I enjoy most about her is her willingness to try new things and stretch out of her comfort zone in pursuit of creativity. She is willing to give just about any idea a try and as a result, her work is beautifully diverse and exciting to see.

When I received the card from her, I fell in love with it – not only because it was from her, but because she had taken one of Keith’s Filigree Bells and had scrolled it out of paper and used it to embellish the card.

Back when I was just starting out in scroll sawing, I worked with Scott who used to own Scroller, Ltd. and we co-authored a book about scroll sawing different types of materials, including paper. While I thought this was interesting at the time, I suppose I was caught up in so many other things in my life that I never really gave it another though. But receiving Anna’s card, along with my recent exposure to all the beautiful paper available made me think that there could be a need for some interesting new ideas in scrolling paper and wood veneer (most of what I am doing could easily be done with veneer as well for those who are wood purists.) I thought I would give it a go.

My editor was up for it as well, as she commissioned me to do an article as well as some projects using this technique. So for the past month or so my head has been filled with thoughts as to which direction to head with this, as the possibilities are many. I finally decided to just choose one and go from there. That helped get things flowing and I am once again in a good place.

So now the mystery is revealed. That odd shaped drawing that I showed you yesterday was what I used to create these pretty (and EASY) paper roses:

But I didn’t stop there! I wound up cutting all day yesterday and didn’t crawl out from under the saw until after 9pm last night. Here is the results of my efforts:

When I see that picture of things, knowing that is only the tip of the iceberg as to what I am thinking, it is clear to me how my ideas were blocked. There is just so many things to do!

Today, I am going to have the fun of making sense of these pieces. Of course there are multiples of everything. That’s what makes cutting paper really cool! You can cut 5, 10 or even 20 layers at a time and have wonderful results. It really helps you use your time efficiently.

I hope you come back tomorrow to see the results of my efforts. I also hope that it helps you look at your scroll saw in a new light. One of the reasons it is and always will be one of my favorite tools is the vast diversity of materials you can cut with it. It is all so much fun!

I want to thank my friend Anna as well, for her wonderful inspiration!

What a great way to start the week! It is still overcast here, but at least it is mild and not snowing. I am getting to the point where I am grateful for that.

Have a beautiful and creative Monday!

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

8 comments so far

View MrsN's profile


986 posts in 3578 days

#1 posted 04-28-2014 12:58 PM

what a wonderful pile of stuff!! I can’t wait to see what you do with it all.

View justoneofme's profile


639 posts in 2532 days

#2 posted 04-28-2014 02:24 PM


-- Elaine in Duncan

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2972 days

#3 posted 04-28-2014 02:48 PM


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

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2126 days

#4 posted 04-28-2014 04:59 PM

You have taken this even further than I could have imagined! The roses are beautiful. I’m looking forward to seeing what you will do with all those wonderful cutouts. I use this method often especially if I’m cutting a detailed filigree ornament. If I’m going to spend that much time cutting out, why not expand the horizons! I see many times on LJs beautiful scroll projects produced as a gift for a special person. For the wood purists, cutting the pattern in veneer as well would b a great way of adding a gift card. Just a thought! :)

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18311 posts in 3728 days

#5 posted 04-29-2014 04:45 AM

Yeah, I raised my eyebrows, but they are back down now ;-) Nice roses.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2972 days

#6 posted 04-29-2014 10:02 AM

Yes – it is great to think ahead and add some layers to your cutting. There are so many uses for this type of cutout that I don’t know where to begin. :)

I had a great time with these – Read on to see what I did with them!


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

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2857 days

#7 posted 05-18-2014 12:12 PM

That’s a pile of mighty fine scrollin. :)

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2972 days

#8 posted 05-18-2014 12:55 PM

You can do so many layers at a time, they pile up FAST! Such a lot of fun! :D


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

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