My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1392: Don't You Love When That Happens?

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 08-30-2014 11:42 AM 2881 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1391: Progress Part 1392 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1393: And Then There Were Five »

Sometimes good planning really does pay off. I am not saying that everything went 'without a hitch', but in the end, the build on my new Christmas sleigh worked out pretty well. I am really pleased with it. 

When 'building' three dimensional pieces such as these, to me it seems like there is so much more involved than just cutting fretwork. While the fretwork design is a really important part of the piece, on something like this, it is just that – a part – and getting the pieces to work together can be the biggest challenge. 

Not only do they need to work well together and fit properly, but what I always try to do is to make things work using minimal tools. I want this project to be something that someone with just a scroll saw, drill press and hand sander can accomplish easily. Because of this desire, I need to have a little "wiggle room" for those who may not be able to cut things absolutely perfectly. Lord knows I don't always do so! But I think I hit the nail on the head this time and everything went pretty much according to plan.

That didn't mean that I didn't have to cut two sets of runners. My first set, while cut and fit properly, looked "bad" with the sleigh bed. They weren't long enough and the curls of the runners were hidden by the sides of the sleigh, making the piece look messy and ill-planned.

Back to the computer and drawing board it was. But not before I made some pretty firewood.

I am often asked by others if I want someone to cut my designs for me. While I appreciate the offers, I graciously refuse because I feel that I need to know everything about the builds and implementations of my patterns, and the only way I can learn that is by cutting each one myself. If some lines are a little closer than I am comfortable with, I may leave them on my sample (as I don't want to waste perfectly good pieces) but I will go back on the computer and 'tweak' them so that the 'average' person can accomplish them without difficulty. To me it is part of the process and a huge reason that I can sell my patterns with the confidence that they are excellent quality. I always say that I am still learning and these last several pieces support that statement. I have learned a lot. 

But at the end of the day, everything WORKED!

The sleigh went together beautifully, with no 'teetering' at all. The size was perfect to go with the reindeer and I do believe that the WAY I put it together allowed for some small imperfections in cutting.  I was really, really proud. 

So without further babbling on, here is the finished sleigh:

It is made of MAPLE with WALNUT runners. :)  I love the contrast and I am pretty pleased with it. 

Here is a photo of it with the two reindeer:

As you can see, it is a good size to go with the deer. Today I will be making the additional reindeer to complete the set. 

My sleigh here is three inches wide, but I am also going to include pattern pieces to make it four inches wide for those who want the sleigh alone – perhaps to hold small ornaments or candy. I liked the slender size though for my sample, as I think it would fit better on a mantle or similar shelf at the thinner width. 

I hope you like it. 

The pattern for this and also the reindeer will be available at our next site update, sometime mid-week. I know people will ask me anyway, but I will state it here nonetheless. ;) 

From the many inquiries I received, I think this will be a really popular set for me. I surely appreciate that very much, as a lot of thought went into it. I was so happy that everything pretty much fell into place as I hoped it would. 

Don't you love when that happens?

I wish you all a wonderful weekend. It is sunny and calm and a bit cool here in Nova Scotia. Autumn is definitely approaching very quickly. There is so much yet for me to do! 

I had a beautiful day yesterday of not only making the sleigh, but I cooked up a wonderful batch of red sauce using some awesome fresh produce. I used tomatoes, zucchini, garlic  and a bit of celery and herbs and spices to make a wonderful, healthy sauce. I didn't have the chance to eat it though, as we had other things planned for dinner. Today I think I will make a Chicago style deep dish pizza using the sauce. It will be a masterpiece, I am sure. ;) 

Have a beautiful Saturday! :) 

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

7 comments so far

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3046 days

#1 posted 08-30-2014 06:10 PM

Lovely piece, Sheila, very lovely indeed!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2101 days

#2 posted 08-31-2014 03:10 AM

Love the way the sleigh turned out and it fits perfectly with the reindeer. Will you be offering the sleigh and the reindeer as a set for the patterns or will they be separate?
The sauce sounds very yummy!

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3241 posts in 3741 days

#3 posted 08-31-2014 05:48 AM


You’re making me hungry! The sleigh and reindeer turned out perfect!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2948 days

#4 posted 08-31-2014 11:59 AM

Thank you all so much! I am really pleased with how the sleigh came out and I am happy that you are as well. I hope that when others make it, they also find the construction easy and trouble-free. That is something that I try to consider when designing it.

We are having a beautiful weekend so far. It is Sunday morning as I write this and while it is a bit overcast, for the most part it is a beautiful day. You can definitely feel autumn in the air. :)

Have a great day! Sheila

-- 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 2832 days

#5 posted 08-31-2014 11:49 PM

I’d like to take a ride in that.. Super nice. On Dasher, on Donder n Blitzen, etc…. can’t remember the rest of em…lol

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

View hotncold's profile


783 posts in 1573 days

#6 posted 09-02-2014 12:10 AM

”everything pretty much fell into place as I hoped it would.
Don’t you love when that happens?”

Shelia, that has never happened to me…:(

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2948 days

#7 posted 09-02-2014 01:45 PM

Thank you Roger!

Dennie – that is why I even mention it. It doesn’t happen often! ;)

Thanks for your comment.


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

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