Yesterday was a really good day for me. A milestone even. After weeks of wracking my brain and trying to figure out the best way to build my "Scary-Go-Round" Haunted Carousel, I finally decided on trying a method and cut out the pieces and THEY WORKED!
With all the woodworking and small project construction that I do on a daily basis, you would think that this would be 'easy-peasy' for me, but that really wasn't the case. If I were making this a one of a kind project that I was keeping for myself, perhaps that would be true. After all – as I said – I have had some experience in woodworking and construction of small projects like this. While I am not ready to build furniture or large, functional items such as that, I am certainly capable of making a project such as this work.
But I wanted to go beyond that.So much of what I create is with the purpose in mind for others to replicate it themselves. To teach the process.
Whether it be through my painting or my scroll sawing, I want my customers to be able to take my plans and patterns and easily recreate them for themselves. That is pretty much my self-appointed purpose for my life. It is fun and sometimes challenging and very satisfying when I hear from others how much they enjoyed their learning journey when making one of my designs. That, to me (corny as it may sound) is the best payment that I can ever receive for my time and efforts. It is what keeps me going.
My Haunted Carousel project has been a wonderful journey of many challenges. When I first envisioned it in my mind, I had not idea how I was going to make it work. I only knew what I wanted it to look like when it was finished. I can't even begin to explain all the countless hours I have spent trying to figure out the best methods of construction as well as the visual designs. I have changed some things along the way, but overall, the project has evolved into a reality that is not too far from my original vision – and that makes me really, really happy!
Not only have I considered ease of construction for those who may not otherwise created anything such as this (after all – it is somewhat geared for painters), but I also want to have the painting aspect be not only beautiful, but attainable for someone who is newer to painting. So far I think I have achieved that.
Each element in itself is not in the least bit difficult. It is only when you look at the entire creation that it (hopefully) takes your breath away with every small detail. This isn't intended to be completed in an evening. Or even a week or perhaps a month. It is something that will hopefully become a prize piece for both woodworkers and painters alike and be passed down from generation to generation. A family heirloom, if you will. For that reason, I have taken my time and regarded each and every detail very carefully. I want it to be something that will not only be stunning when completed, but also fun and satisfying to create. As with most things, it is not only the destination that is important, but the journey along the way.
My other consideration that played into things is my own ability to create all-inclusive kits that will be able to be made efficiently and also be cost-effective. I want to include everything in the kits from the pre-cut and ready to paint wood pieces to the fabric for the canopy, magnets, and even the rhinestone embellishments. So far there are only two screws holding the entire creation together, along with (what will be) 10 magnets. This will allow quick dis assembly of the structure for storage and add to its appeal. I only have one more element (the two benches) to finish up as far as building, and I have some good ideas with them which I want to try later today. I think that is the best way to market things, as while the kits may seem a bit pricey at first, I hope that everyone will see that it will cost far less to purchase the kit than to hunt down the separate elements. Not to mention the time it will take. Although, for those who choose to do so, I will have the supply lists clear and references for purchasing what is needed for the build. But ultimately, I want my customers to only need paint, a screw driver, and some glue to complete their own masterpiece. I think that is the best approach.
After cutting the central pillar and finally seeing the carousel assembled for the first time yesterday afternoon, I reached a new level of excitement for this project. It IS going to work after all! It IS going to be a reality! I posted some photos on Facebook and the response was amazing! After weeks of worrying because I was so unsure of myself and meeting my own expectations, I was thrilled to see the amazing responses and encouragement from both painters and woodworkers and general admirers as well. I let out a huge sigh of relief and I felt a huge weight lifted off of myself. After weeks of worrying and working and thinking and rethinking, I feel I am 'almost' there.
It would be mean of me not to show the photos here, too, although you need to understand that I am NOT finished yet. Still – you will have an idea of where I am heading . . .
Here is a photo of the carousel finally standing. It is about 16" in diameter:
(Please keep in mind that these are 'snapshots' and not really great photographs. I will certainly share those when I am finished!)
You can see that the center pillar is not painted. I plan on some beautiful, eerie artwork for the four central walls. . .
From the top, you can see the Roc-Lon canopy better. The nail head rivits and metallic stripes really make it look pretty cool!
I don't believe I showed the 'ceiling' of the carousel. I painted it over the weekend. it is a deep Prussian blue/black with a hint of metallic silver 'clouds'. I wanted to replicate a foreboding sky. Of course, too, there are beautiful crystal rhinestone 'stars' in the sky. They shimmer and sparkle so beautifully against the dark blue!
And to top it off, there is a witch silhouette finial, which is wonderfully sparkly! (I think I need to add some rhinestones around the star base, though – it looks too plain for me!)
So that is where I stand right now on things.
Today I am going to work on the two benches, I think. I am still tossing a couple of ideas around in my head as to just how to assemble them. I know what the characters will be though, and I think they will be a nice addition to the spooky cast of characters!
After that, all I have left to do is paint the central pillar and I will be pretty much done. Then on to writing the pattern, which will be no small task. I am expecting probably about 50 pages, filled with beautiful color step-by-step photos. I am thrilled that we have the new printer with the pigment inks. The quality is far superior to our old printer and it will really do this pattern justice.
I plan on offering a small kit as well as the full blown kit for those without the room or ambition to build the full carousel. The small kit will only include the characters so that they can be used as ornaments or stand up on a mantle, etc. I haven't decided on offering the benches separate, but I will do so after I build them if I feel the need. Any feedback on that would be appreciated.
Last night I started a "Pre-Order List" for the large kits. There are already a substantial amount of people who want the full kit, which is wonderful! I expect to be able to start shipping the kits out in about two weeks – give or take. That is the good part about doing things so much in advance – there is plenty of time to get things done. If you are interested in being added to the list, you can certainly email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be happy to answer questions or add you in.
Well – that is all for today. I have to keep moving forward. Thank you all again for your wonderful response and encouragement. It has really been an amazing journey so far, with more yet to come. I just can't wait to see it completed!
Happy Wednesday to you all!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"