My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1494: Immersed in Creating

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 02-10-2015 01:31 PM 1818 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1493: Working Weekend Part 1494 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1495: Micro-Cutting »

It is snowing out.


I must say that this has been one of the snowiest winters we have had here in Nova Scotia since I came here to live eleven years ago. We already have an average of 2-3 feet on the ground and they are predicting more snow by the weekend. I laugh at the predictions because I think that they are merely guessing. As I checked today's forecast before I began writing this post, it said "Precipitation not expected in the next three hours." Yet as I look out my window, there are large flakes falling and our deck is once again coated with a thickening white carpet of snow. Such is winter in Canada.

Coming from Chicago, I am no stranger to snow and cold. Even when I was young and had to leave the house for work each day it never bothered me. I just got up earlier to get my car cleaned off and I allowed additional time to get to where I was going. I always found it pretty and I still do. I keep thinking of taking a walk down to the mill to get some photos, and I may just do that today. Time and busy-ness has gotten in the way so far, but I really want to make time to enjoy it while it is here. We went out yesterday to go to the gym and do errands and I found the cold air wonderfully refreshing. A nice walk will do me good, I think and I need to remember to bring my camera. So much beauty awaits. 

I do sympathize with those who don't do well in the snow. I know there are many who have health issues and other reasons to hate the stuff. I also know it can cause hardship for many and because of that, I tone down my childlike glee when I see the white stuff falling. I don't want to wish hardship on anyone. 

But to me, there is nothing we can do about it anyway, so we may as well make the best of things and try to appreciate the good side of winter. For myself, the heat and humidity is far more bothersome and there are days when they just suck the life out of me. But I try to keep quiet on that subject because so many enjoy the hot sun and summer heat and as with the snow and cold – nothing can really be done about it anyway. Complaining about things is a waste of energy and time. I would rather spend my time thinking of positive things. 

We arrived home from our errands and had some lunch. Keith wound up leaving for the rest of the day, as he went to his mom's to work on the speakers he was building for our re-organization project. That left me here alone with the cats and the pile of wood that I showed you all yesterday to cut out on the scroll saw. 

By the time I tidied things up and got to cutting, it was just after 3pm. It is amazing to me how long it sometimes takes to get things going. But once they do get moving, I find that I often get lost in the job of cutting. I had found a great little pork roast on sale at the store and I put it in the crock pot with onions and green peppers and some bar-b-que sauce and seasonings and let it cook while I worked. I picked my favorite music of the moment and sat down at the saw to cut the many pieces and ornaments for these three new patterns. Even though I cut for several hours, there was still a great deal to do. 

I decided not to stack cut the ornaments, as I wind up with too many pieces that I don't know what to do with. Over Christmas I sent out several ornaments with my Christmas cards and I would say about 90 percent of them arrived damaged or broken. This upset me a great deal, because it was both disappointing for the recipients, but also meant that in order to send things out, I would have to package them differently and they would cost much more to mail. And there would still be no guarentee that they would arrive in tact. So I opted to only make one set for now.

I cut them out of 3/16" maple. I began the first one using a #2 reverse blade, but it went through the maple like butter and I felt that using a smaller 2/0 blade would give me better control. I was right and from that point on it was fun and relaxing to sit at the saw and make the cuts as perfect as I could. I was completely lost and as usual, I thoroughly enjoyed the process. As each ornament came to life, I pictured it all finished and polished and I knew that my project would be a good one. I really love cutting my patterns out, as I love seeing them go from the flat  paper to beautifully dimensional pieces. I also find that while I am cutting, I am thinking of my next project. And the one after that. And it is a time for me to relax, enjoy and get lost in both the creative process and my music. It makes for a good life and I always feel very fortunate to be able to do what I do. 

When I finished the last ornament, it was just after 9pm. I had in front of me quite a pile of wood:

Nothing here is even sanded yet, but I am pleased with the pretty, clean lines and cuts. I can't wait to get to work today. 

I can't wait to get started on the finishing process for these three projects. Already they are looking good, but it will be even more satisfying to see them come to life. I see not only some lacquer in the future, but also some pretty green rhinestones. 

The boxes are going to be pretty as well. I did different designs for the weave on the sides of them and the hand-drawn alphabet that I made came out really nice. I will certainly have more pictures tomorrow. 

I am going to try to fit a walk into my day as well. Even though it is snowing lightly now, there is little or no wind. It will be a beautiful day to just take a walk and perhaps take some photos. 

I could be crabby about the additional snow. But what good would that do me? It would only make those around me crabby as well and that day would not be as nice for anyone. Instead, I prefer to focus on the good parts of the day – my warm little home here, my cuddly cats, and my new creations. I am also thinking of new things to make as soon as these are finished. I can't wait to show you all!

I wish you all a wonderful Tuesday. Whether you have snow or rain or sunshine and warmth, I hope you make the best of your day. You would be amazed at how many good things are around you if you just choose to focus on them. 

Happy Tuesday! 

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

4 comments so far

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 4286 days

#1 posted 02-10-2015 06:01 PM

Hi Sheila, I must agree with your comment on the weather forecasters “merely guessing”. It brought to mind a Forecast issued for Creston, where I live, at 4:00 PM MST Friday 17 January 2014. Part of the text was . . .
Saturday – Cloudy except mainly sunny above the valley cloud.
This made me wonder about a couple of things . . .
Question 1 – Where in the world can you go where it is not sunny above the clouds during daytime?
Question 2 – What do they mean by “mainly sunny” above the valley cloud? What else is up there?

Back to wood. Your Celtic patterns are beautiful, and should become a very popular pattern. Great work.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Celticscroller's profile


1286 posts in 3563 days

#2 posted 02-10-2015 06:18 PM

The Celtic patterns have got my brain taking off on different ways of using them. Can’t wait for the patterns to be posted! I know for sure I would stack cut with some beautiful hardwood and birch plywood and some card stock sandwiched between. A perfect way to start off my year back in the workshop!

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4294 days

#3 posted 02-11-2015 12:25 PM

Luv that tree you’re holding

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 4410 days

#4 posted 02-11-2015 01:26 PM

Thank you all for your nice comments. These are really fun to cut and not too difficult. Although in the next blog I show how I made smaller versions to give the ornaments more uses. :)

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"

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