My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1163: Spring is in the Air!!

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 11-12-2013 10:58 AM 1804 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1162: Honoring all Veterans Part 1163 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1164: I Believe I am Ready »

In the crazy world of designing, as most of us are waiting for that first snow, my thoughts have been to green leaves, warm weather and singing birds.

These past few days I have been working on my project for the March issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine, in which we are welcoming in the spring season. It is certainly a time warp.

I had been thinking of my project that I would submit long before we left for our trip to Chicago. I wanted something bright and cheerful and I had received many requests from people to do a word art project that would depict the season of “spring.”

But I didn’t want just letters. The designer in me wouldn’t allow that to happen. People have come to expect more from me and it has brought my own expectations of myself higher as well. I wanted to offer something different with this project and I tried to think what would be a nice thing to teach while presenting it.

Then it occurred to me. As I was reading through some of my emails, I had seen the work of well-known designer Laurie Speltz and it caught my eye. I always loved Laurie’s designs and she was a great teacher who loved to use her own line of stencils to make things easy and fun for her students and customers.

I thought about it a bit and it occurred to me that many of the woodworkers who don’t feel that they have the skill to paint would probably LIKE the option of using stencils. So I looked into it further.

Prior to leaving for Chicago, I placed an order at Laurie’s site for several stencils. ( They were certainly reasonably priced and it really got my creative juices flowing. I began thinking of several different ways to use them that my woodworking audience would enjoy, and by the time I returned home, I pretty much knew what I wanted to do.

I came up with the following project, using some beautiful 3/4” ash. While the phrase looks great just oiled and finished with spray shellac, I decided to take it a step further. I painted the faces of the letters with DecoArt acrylic paints in bright, pastel colors and then I stenciled a ribbon design over the each piece in white. The stenciling added a posh and festive look to the pieces, without requiring any painting skill whatsoever.

I also decided to add some “Spring Chicks” which came out really adorable! Their legs are made of wire “springs” that I made myself, and I even attached their wings on in the same manner (as well as connected the exclamation point in the lettering!) I think it gave it a whimsical and fun look overall.

(OH! And of COURSE I used the DecoArt Glamour Dust Fine Glitter paint over EVERYTHING! It all shimmers beautifully with a subtle sparkle! Part of me wanted to add some lovely crystal rhinestones, but I held back on them. i am going to suggest it in the article though!) :)

Overall, I am THRILLED at the outcome of this project. I think the stenciling adds a great deal. I am not only going to be presenting the project in the magazine, but an accompanying article that will detail the process of stenciling.

I think this is another great option for finishing to offer to our readers.

I love offering choices! I realize that some don’t want to do all the finishing steps, but I also feel that offering them gives people the OPTION to do as many or as few as they wish, and allows people to personalize things how they like. I would rather err on the side of offering TOO MUCH information rather than TO LITTLE.

So there you have it! My SPRING CHICKS! :D

Today we decided to head to Halifax for our end-of-the-year-supply-shopping-and-perhaps-early-Christmas-trip that we try to take in each autumn before the winter hits. It will probably be our last trip to the city until the spring thaw. That means that I won’t be blogging tomorrow, but I will certainly be back on Thursday and let you know how things go. We will be checking our computer in the evening and I will answer any questions or fill orders then.

I hope you all have a great Tuesday! (And Wednesday as well for that matter!) Have fun and remember to do something creative!

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

6 comments so far

View CFrye's profile


11213 posts in 2892 days

#1 posted 11-12-2013 11:54 AM

Cute little chickies Sheila! What guage wire do you use. Hope you have a safe trip.

-- God bless, Candy

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3856 days

#2 posted 11-12-2013 01:24 PM

Oh, I likes that there chicken-hawk…. I say, I say…...........can u tell I luv Foghorn Leghorn…. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Bluepine38's profile


3390 posts in 4137 days

#3 posted 11-12-2013 03:30 PM

Wonderful spring idea and scrolling, really like your idea of the choices that allows the user to personalize
their work. We have had several snowfalls here, now are just waiting for winter to decide if it is going to
give us enough snow for cross country skiing in the valley, or if we are going to have to head for the
mountains again.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Rick13403's profile


271 posts in 4557 days

#4 posted 11-12-2013 03:50 PM

Good morning Sheila,
Last year the boss and I attended NET in Mass. and Laurie was there. We have met her quite a few times over the years and Kathie really enjoyed painting her patterns. In fact we should have called our business The Laurie and Sheila outlet! Anyways, Laurie was putting on a stencil workshop and I sat in with Kathie as I needed to sit for a spell. What a great class! She told a story about how she stencils- she sets up several long tables and lays out what needs to be stenciled then sits down in a wheeled chair and carries her brushes and paint in one hand and just walks down the line (in the chair) doing layers of stencils. By the time she finished up one layer, she could wheel herself around the table with layer #2 and so forth until she was done. Hearing her tell the story put an image in my head that was funny as all get out! Every time I thought about it, I just lost it again! Sorry for the mini book but you picked a great artist to experiment with. I have got a HUGE binder full of her stencils that my new painter has and I am sure that the stencil you used is in there. I just may try that when I get the magazine next year. Thanks for the memory,

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 & Ex21 -

View Celticscroller's profile


1286 posts in 3125 days

#5 posted 11-12-2013 10:00 PM

How cool are those chicks! The stencilling makes them even cuter. I like that you have just painted the face of the designs and left the edges natural. It adds to the depth of the project. Love the colours.
Enjoy your trip to Halifax.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3972 days

#6 posted 11-14-2013 10:40 AM

Thank you all for your wonderful comments! I am glad to see my woodworking friends see the benefits we can have of painting. I like wood in its natural color for many projects, but I can’t help but think that painting things like this doesn’t do a great deal to enhance them and make them bright and cheerful.

Anna – I like just painting the front edges of the wood for the reasons you mentioned. It looks neat and more dimensional when I do so. It still allows the wood to be seen and I think it looks far better than painting all the side edges. (Besides – who wants to pick around with THAT?!?)

I got the ‘go ahead’ from my editor on this project, so it appears that it will be headed for the magazine. I am very happy you all enjoy it! :)


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

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