I must admit that I almost didn't post today. I think I am getting 'lazy'.
The first week of the new year was quite the whirlwind for me. If things continue this way, I will probably age more than a year by next December. It has been crazy.
I am not complaining at all when I say that. In fact, I am thrilled beyond words at how things are turning out. It seems that many of the pieces that were set in place over the years regarding our little business are coming together to make things that work. It is actually quite exciting to see it happening.
Yesterday I sent out another 20 or so orders. There are only a couple remaining here to go out today until I am completely "caught up". These were the orders that had larger or special pieces, and those that were made by people that saw how busy we were and said to put them on the end of the list. It feels good to be there.
I didn't start cutting until later in the day, as by the time we packed everything up and got them to the post office, it was well after lunchtime. But at the end of the day there was still a bit of a substantial pile of wood pieces completed:
Somehow it doesn't look like much after the past week, but it is still quite a bit. Six dozen ornaments and five large timepieces. A good day's work.
I learned something important in the past week: I learned that after cutting a 2.25" circle over 700 times in the course of a couple of days, they begin to come out pretty darn close to "perfect":
Those of you who are woodworkers and scrollers will understand this last statement. It seems the only thing harder than cutting a perfectly straight line on a scroll saw is cutting a perfect circle. But after doing so many, I began to 'erase' the pencil line as I cut. Every. Single. Time. It just goes to show that practice can really improve our skills. No way around it.
I remember Priscilla Hauser used to say to "paint a rose every single day" in order to be really good at painting roses. I now fully understand that statement and way of thinking and I see how that works. There is no quick way to learn a skill such as this. It happens over time.
I first noticed a significant improvement in my circle cutting skill on Sunday. That was the third and final day of cutting these ornaments. The previous ones weren't 'bad', but they were not what I would consider 'perfect'. By the end of the day though, things seemed to 'kick in' and it was seemingly without thought that I was able to speed through each one, erasing the line completely with the blade. It was as if I finally got the feel of it and was able to do it without thinking. I went to 'auto-pilot' and relaxed and the pieces looked better than ever. I wondered if it would last though and when I sat down yesterday to do this smaller batch of cutting after a couple of days away from the saw, that feeling came back. I was pleased and still am. I think that it is ingrained in my head now and part of my skill set. It is a happy residual of hard work and will make things even better in the future.
I had also cut some mittens with the same bevel cut centers, although this time they were ovals:
I am also going to be offering these on my site later this week, as soon as I take a breath. Even though they are ovals, they are just about perfect as well. You can actually flip them over and they all still fit. In these days of competing with machines, it is pretty good to be able to say that.
I have other shapes with this style of ornament in mind as well. I just love creating them and the possibilities are just about endless! I think you will see me doing many more of these in days to come. (Just not today! ;) )
I have some ideas that I want to play with today. The only thing bad about being this busy is that while you have time to think of new ideas as you are cutting, you need to find time to implement them. Sometimes that takes playing around. So play today, it is!
I wish you all a wonderful Thursday. I thank all those who ordered this vast quantity of ornaments from me. Not only did it help build my skills, but it gave me pleasure to think that I am creating 'future heirlooms' for you and your families. All in all, it was a wonderful way to start the year.
Let's keep things rolling . . .
Happy Thursday 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"