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Creatively Speaking - Scroll Saw, Decorative Painting, and Beyond

 I encourage comments from everyone!  Due to software restrictions, all comments need to be approved before showing.  I will check several times a day to approve comments and answer questions.  Enjoy the posts! If you wish to see my older blog posts, they are archived at http://lumberjocks.com/scrollgirl/blog

Scroll Saw, Painting and Designing Blog

Scroll Saw, Painting and Designing Blog

  1. My goodness yesterday just flew by! It was one of those days when I was busy from the moment I awoke and before I knew it, it was getting dark out. I had several things happening at once, and after I returned from my errands, I got my new design ready to cut on the saw. But after I had things all lined up on my wood pieces, I saw that some revisions were needed on the pattern and the old cliche of "back to the drawing board" rang true. After tweaking things a bit, I was able to begin cutting my new design, which I will hopefully finish up today.
  2. Today's post is going to be rather short (well - by my standards anyway!)  Both Keith and I are working very hard to get some more new designs to you for your holiday crafting. 

    Keith just finished a beautiful new set of ornaments that are in his very popular filigree style. I believe he finished up the pattern last night and he should be making them available on the site sometime later today. I think they are just stunning:

  3. You may or may not have noticed that I took a few days off of blogging here. It wasn't because I didn't accomplish anything, but more so because I was rather focused on what I was doing and I wasn't sure if the process that I was working on would be interesting to you all. At least not at this time. 

    I have always loved to create. Be it crayons, wood, paint, sewing, needlework, or any of countless forms of  media - if i could make something out of it, I would. I don't always understand where my need to 'make things' comes from, but I know I have had it for as long as I can remember.
  4. I had a very busy day yesterday. But it was the kind of day that was also a great deal of fun. (I have had a lot of those lately!) I spent the majority of it decorating my new SLD485 Holiday Lights Damask ornaments that I previewed to you yesterday. I had cut several sets of them because I knew I wanted to play with them and experiment with many of the wonderful finishes that I had here from DecoArt and hot fix rhinestones from Rhinestone Canada.
  5. I am the first to admit that I am not a fast worker. Be it painting, scroll sawing, sewing or anything else, I find that it usually takes me quite a bit longer than the average person to accomplish most things.

    I also admit that it used to bother me, but as I get older, it doesn't seem to do so as much anymore. As we accumulate large quantities of what we are making, adding to the pile just seems to . . . well . . . add to the pile and sometimes I feel that things lose their 'special-ness' when they just one of perhaps hundreds of similar objects.
  6. Today's post is going to be short (I promise!) I am busy at the drawing table creating a new pattern of ornaments for the scroll sawyers. My friend Leldon requested it and I always like to do what I can to accommodate him. He helps me so much with going over our patterns and proof reading for me. 

    It is hard to proof read your own patterns. Especially for people like Keith and myself who crate so many of them. We try to keep a similar format to them and be consistent, but sometimes when we use a template of a similar pattern for our instructions, we accidentally leave something in that that shouldn't be.
  7. I know those are not words that all of us like hearing. But long before Game of Thrones was ever thought of, Keith used to tease me because I used that phrase frequently this time of year as I purchased extra essentials and prepared for the long, cold days ahead when we may not be able to get to the store. Being prepared is important and coming from Chicago, I was no stranger to sudden snow squalls which left the area crippled for sometimes several days. Now living in rural Nova Scotia, I feel that it is even more important to prepare myself for the colder months ahead, and that means stocking up on some things and bringing out our cold weather clothing.
  8. It has been a couple of very exciting days for me. While some of you who read every day may have thought that I didn't post because I had nothing interesting to share, I assure you it was quite the opposite. I have so much fun news and many different and new ideas for designing and I was just so engrossed with them that I didn't take the time to post. Besides - I thought it would be better to wait until I had something to show you so you wouldn't think I had gone completely crazy. Some ideas are best kept to ourselves for the time being.
  9. I am going to be quick here today because we have some errands to to in Yarmouth this morning. I want to go there and get back and still have time to get some things done. 

    Yesterday I was working on a new pattern that I will be offering free for my painting followers. It has been a while since I swapped it out and I thought it was time anyway for something new. 

    I chose to make a couple of fun snowmen. But instead of using the traditional colors, I wanted to use a little different color palette.
  10. Once again I got the urge to organize things. 

    Seeing as I was kind of in between projects, it seemed like as good a time as any. Since we are already half way through November, seeing my little 'All Season Tree' adorned it Halloween ornaments began to kind of bother me. While I loved how it looked, it was just time to put them away until next year. So I went to the basement and retrieved the containers that I stored my Halloween items in and packed everything away.

    I still have my autumn wreath at my entry way, and I left the orange lights on the tree, as well as the autumn leaf garland, but it looks a little bare now and I made a note to myself that by next year I will have to create some lovely Thanksgiving and autumn ornaments for it for that time between Halloween and Christmas decorating.
  11. As a designer, one thing that can sometimes be difficult is creating something that is totally "original".  With all the information at our fingertips through sites like Google and Pinterest, the world is at our feet as far as seeing the creative work from others. 

    Many years ago, when I just began my crafting and designing career,I began designing my own original teddy bears. Besides wood, I love working with fabric and sewing and creating the bears was really one of the reasons that I began scroll sawing and painting in the first place.
  12. I took some time this weekend to catch up on my house things and take a step back from most of my work related things as well. It has been a busy couple of weeks and I was feeling like I was getting behind in everything else. I think it is good for me to do this from time to time, as it seems that after I take a step back I am more eager than ever to get back to designing and doing the things that I love so much. For me, it is difficult to walk away from it though, because it doesn't ever really seem like it is a burden.
  13. I intended to write a post yesterday, but I had a Java update that played a little havoc on my computer. Nothing major, but their attempt to install unwanted software really kind of irked me. I hate when companies try to sneak something on to your computer that you don't want. It is deceptive and I think a very poor practice. Unfortunately, Java script is a program that most of us need to function online and because of that, we are forced to have it (and all that it brings with it) on our computer.
  14. To begin with, I want to thank you all for the encouraging comments on the new ornaments. It really feels nice to have so many cheerleaders when I am making a new project. It makes all the hard work so much worth it, knowing that people appreciate what I am doing. 

    I spent the bulk of yesterday working on cutting out the remaining six pieces, and I began the finishing  process. The cutting took probably about three hours and then I carefully sanded the pieces.  I was a little concerned about using my 1/3 sheet Makita orbital sander on the delicate pieces, but I can honestly say that not one piece broke.
  15. Yesterday was a busy, yet positive day. Mondays are always busy because we have the trip to the post office, the bank, shopping and the gym. I like getting these things out of the way though and it puts me on a good track for the rest of the week. 

    I was really anxious to get home though, as I couldn't wait to begin cutting out my new designs. Because of all the errands though, I didn't get started until mid afternoon. 

    I decided to do the sleighs using maple for the sleigh beds and the runners would be done in different hard woods, as well as stack cut using 1/8" plywood for another version.
  16. I  had a wonderful, relaxing and productive day yesterday. Whatever was bothering me last week has certainly passed and I was on a good roll with drawing. While I drew the basic shapes on Saturday, I took the entire day yesterday to refine and detail things out.  I am now ready to get to the scroll saw. 

    I am truly excited about this new set of ornaments. Each one was drawn with the utmost care. I believe each one will be a little 'masterpiece' in itself. 

  17. Well, it appears that I am on the 'other side'. Whatever was causing my creative block has moved on, and things are once again moving in a positive direction. I wish I knew what caused those little hiccups in my creative process. As I said the other day - I think all designers and creative people go through it at one time or another. When we are in the midst of that 'creative block' we simply can't understand why nothing seems to feel right. Is it mood? The weather? The position of the moon?  I think if I were able to figure out the cause and the reason as to why it happens, I would be one of the first.
  18. I am having trouble these past few days writing. I don't know if I am overwhelmed or overworked or a little bit of both. I am not mentioning this to complain - rather to explain. 

    It is funny how a designers' mind works. 

    One minute we are flooded with so many ideas that we don't know what to do first and the next minute we sometimes don't know where to start. We get so muddled up that we find ourselves rather 'stuck'. How can that be?

    I don't think that I am the only one who goes through this type of thing.
  19. Most of you all know that I am a morning person. Any time after 5am is a good time for me to get up and start my day. I love the morning quiet and I feel like I accomplish lots of work during that calm time of the day. Give me a cup of coffee, a cat or two on my lap, my computer and I am good to go! 

    Because of this, I try to stop working some time before 9pm. While that sounds like a long day to some, you all have to remember that I really love what I do and most of the time it doesn't even feel like 'work' to me.
  20. I must admit that I awakened today feeling a bit overwhelmed. As I thought of all the things I need to accomplish today, I sit here this morning at my computer wondering how I will ever get everything done. I even considered not writing here today, but since I haven't written in the past two days I really didn't want to miss again. After all - I think that by putting my thoughts into writing each morning, it really helps keep me organized and grounded and sharpens my focus on what I need to accomplish each day.
  21. I am often asked how I can keep coming up with new and different ideas. When I think about it, I realize that it isn't really a conscious thing that I do. Actually, it seems that when I try the hardest to think of something to design, it tends to be when I have the most difficulty thinking of something that I really can get excited about. It is funny how that works. 

    Lately it seems that I have more ideas then I have time. For a designer, that is a good thing. While we sometimes feel that we are accomplishing very little of the things that we set out to do, it is nice to have the sense of security that we feel when we have some ideas in reserve - just for those days when we aren't feeling very inspired.
  22. Lately we have been trying to keep updating our site about every two weeks. It seems with the holiday season approaching, we have lots of new things and we don't like to overwhelm everyone with too many new choices at a time. I guess it is a good problem to have. 

    Since I do more painting things, they tend to take a little longer to complete than the scrolling patterns that I do. And even when I do scroll pieces, I like to offer different 'versions' so that our customers can choose which one suits their own taste and the market they are selling to.
  23. With the holidays quickly approaching, I can see all of my creative friends kicking things into high gear. Many people are not only doing items for craft shows, but also for thie own holiday gift giving. I find that more people are looking to make gifts rather then buy them from the store. This is great news for designers and crafters alike, as not only does it keep us busy, but it helps perpetuate our hobbies and small businesses as well. 

    Yesterday I didn't get as much as I would have liked to get done (what else is new?!) and I promised myself that I am going to be really focused today.
  24. Sometimes no matter how much you get done in a day, it doesn't seem like enough. I know I am not alone in this way of thinking because I see many of my friends are going through the same thing. One of the best parts about having so many creative friends is that we all can relate to each other in terms of "deadlines" and "getting things done". It seems from August until the end of the year so many people are frantically creating for holiday shows, craft fairs and the upcoming holiday season.
  25. Once again we are here on a Monday.

    I have always loved Monday's, as they represent a fresh start to a new week and the promise of endless possibilities awaiting! I have always viewed Monday with enthusiasm and joy - even when I worked at other jobs outside my home or attended school. I suppose I always felt that every day - no matter what day of the week it was - would only be what we make of it, and I have always chosen to make it the best day I could. I don't see that ever changing.
  26. It seemed like as good a time as any. We have been so busy lately that it is sometimes difficult to pick a good time for us to take a day off. But as I finished my post yesterday and the sun came up, I could see that it was promising to be a nice day and I took advantage of the moment. I jumped in the shower and awoke Keith and asked him if he wanted to take a 'spontaneous day trip' with me. He had mentioned more than once about taking a drive through the countryside to see the beautiful autumn leaves.
  27. The past few weeks, I have really lived up to my name "Scrollgirl". It seems I have spent more time than ever at the scroll saw. But that is a good thing, right? It goes to show me that it may very well be possible to be able to design both woodworking and painting patterns and keep things in balance. 

    It helps tremendously having a partner like Keith. He is so talented and when I meander over to the painting side of things for  a while, he is always busy keeping our scrolling followers happy by creating new designs.
  28. I know that I haven't been blogging as regularly as usual. There have been some things going on that have just sort of gotten in the way. Part of it was because I have been fighting a cold and it has taken its toll on me a little. I don't have my usual energy and I have been working at a slower pace and sometimes I feel like it is best to get to my daily tasks rather then take the time to write about them. 

    I speak often about how busy we have become, and I certainly appreciate that.
  29. Yesterday was a wonderful and relaxing day for me.  Not only did we have the pleasure of Keith's mom's company all day, but she brought with all the remains of our Thanksgiving dinner from Sunday. Talk about a treat! :)

    I truly love turkey dinners and I am not the type of person that gets tired of it easily. Since our families are a much smaller these days, creating an entire meal usually means lots and lots of leftovers. Some may complain about that, but not me! I can think of a variety of different ways to have it over and over again - or even 'straight up'.
  30. Have you ever tried to do several things at once?  I feel that is how my day went yesterday. I was doing some drawing, sanding some orders to go out and I even began painting my new Painting With Friends design (inspired by Terrye French) that promises to be a really fun and cute project. I actually didn't know which direction to head first. 

    Keith was also busy, as he headed to the lumber yard and spent the afternoon and evening at our friend Bernie's shop planing and dressing wood.
  31. After celebrating Thanksgiving the past two days here in Canada, I feel refreshed and ready to get back to some serious designing. Even though it is still the early part of October, I know how quickly this time of year seems to pass as we busy ourselves for the upcoming holiday season. I am always amazed at how the pace seems to pick up this time of year and time passes even quicker than usual. 

    It is sometimes difficult for me because I always seem to have so many different ideas that I want to develop and there is never time to even scrape the surface for most of them.
  32. For the last couple of days I have been fighting a cold, so I think it is time for me to take a little 'breather'. I was happy to get the site update done the other day and yesterday we had a really pronominal response from everyone. I can honestly say that nothing feels as good as working hard to make our projects and seeing how much others enjoy them. The excited responses we received from everyone meant more to both Keith and I than anything. It was - as they say - PRICELESS! 

    I actually slept in this morning until 7:30.
  33. Today's blog will just be a short announcement that all the new patterns are available on our site. I have received lots of emails from those of you asking when they would be ready, and they all are at this time. 

    We added several new patterns to the site and we are very proud of them. There are some holiday patterns, as well as some for general occasions. Keith's SLDK396 Self-Framing Love Always plaque pattern would be great for a wedding gift, anniversary, or any time you just want to say "I love you.
  34. I kept myself pretty busy yesterday finishing up the new projects that I created for the site update. Today I will be writing the instructions for them and hopefully getting a newsletter out either later on tonight or early tomorrow. We have been trying to send out a newsletter every other week or so, as we feel that time frame is comfortable for our customers and is a good goal to complete our next round of designs. Now that we don't have Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine to think about and we feel we can devote more time to our website.
  35. Yesterday I had a little change of plans. While I had intended to finish up the Gothic Bat Pillar Candle holders, I kind of got side tracked and decided to do some more cutting instead.  I had not added to my regular candle trays in quite a while - even though I have many more ideas, and when I created the pillar candle holders, I also thought that a similar design would translate to a candle tray as well. So the other morning when I was up early I decided to draw up a designs, as well as another design for Thanksgiving and here is what I came up with.
  36. After another beautiful autumn weekend here in Nova Scotia, I am ready to start a brand new week. I had a very productive couple of days, as I was able to draw up two new candle tray patterns and work on my new project that I had shown you all on Friday. I also had several sizable wood orders which will be shipped out today so I spent much of the afternoon yesterday at the scroll saw. It's all good. 

    I really enjoy providing wood for people. While it does take me away from designing a bit, I find myself thinking about my designs and planning the next ones while I am cutting and sanding.
  37. As many of you know - I love to support fellow artists. As someone who designs and crafts, I really can appreciate the time and talent that goes into a hand-created piece. For the next several weeks I want to dedicate my Saturday blog to someone I have met in the creative world whom I want to share with you. 

    Today is another clay artist. His name is Ryan MacLeod and he is the founder and owner of his company MacLeod Dragons.
  38. Did I mention that October is my favorite month of the year?

    I love the cool, crisp weather and the warm and rich colors of autumn. Living here in Nova Scotia, we have an abundance of hard wood trees that paint our countryside with a beautiful array of fall colors. Just now, they are really starting to change color. As I look across the river, I can see green, yellow, pink and orange. It is that perfect time of year when the leaves are still on the trees, but displaying a vibrant palette.
  39. It is hard to believe that we are beginning a new month already! September seemed to pass by so quickly, and before we know it, we will be into the holiday season. It has been such a busy month for us here, and I am sure that is why the time flew by so fast. It seems that I have been going non-stop and one day just bleeds into the next. 

    I am not complaining at all though, as I have been very happy that there have been so many opportunities ahead. After the closing of the magazine, I must admit that I was a bit worried as to what the future would have in store for us.
  40. Many of you who read know about my little "all season" tree. It is a tall and slim tree that I keep up all year round and change the decorations to coordinate with the season. Even though we live in a small place, it is nice to have such a wonderful little tree to brighten things up and decorate with different things. Since Keith and I are always designing new ornaments and things, I never run short of things to adorn it with. In fact - I don't think I have ever had it look exactly the same twice.
  41. This weekend was splendid!  I finally was caught up enough to do some things around the house that I have been meaning to do for quite a while. My little 'all season tree' is now beautifully decorated in a cute, Halloween theme (you will have to come back tomorrow to see that - I have too many photos to show today!) and not only did I do some major cleaning, but I cooked a great Sunday dinner and I plowed through a fairly large pile of "UFO's" and got them all pretty much completed.
  42. Many of you know how much I love and respect other designers and hand made items. Be it painted, wood, glass or just about anything in between, I have always been drawn to others who love to create finished projects to sell. One of the (many) wonderful things that I find in my daily travels on the internet and on Facebook is that there certainly is no shortage of talent in our world, and no matter what taste you have or which season you are shopping for, there is a great wealth of styles and designers to choose from.
  43. These past several weeks have been increasingly busy. Part of me feels a bit bad because I have been missing my blog from time to time, but for the most part, I am thrilled that I am so busy. After all - this is what I have worked for all of these years. I would be a fool if I complained. 

    As we enter the last weekend of September, I once again sit in wonder as to how quickly time seems to pass. Wasn't it just the other day that we were welcoming the first day of summer? It all seems to have passed in the blink of an eye.
  44. After a very busy day yesterday, I got a very early start this morning. 

    I can't say that it happened because I am overly ambitious or anything so noble as that, but my dear cat Coco decided at 4:15 that I had enough sleep and it was high time I get up and feed her a decent meal. She chose to quietly but persistently scrape at my closed bedroom door until I finally gave in and decided to get up. After all - it was close to my usual time of waking. Close enough that I knew I wouldn't be able to get back to sleep again.
  45. I suppose I need to reevaluate my definition of the meaning of having 'time off'. While I had a wonderful weekend, I had intended to take a couple of "me" days and just putz around the house here and do some things completely for myself. I also wanted to catch up on a couple of things like bringing out the autumn decorations (we don't have many, but I like them anyway) and changing my all season tree to a cool Halloween theme. After all, we are now into the last week of September.
  46. Yesterday was another full and busy day.  Not only did we finish updating our site, but I finished creating my pattern packet as well for the SLDP225 MUD Witches Boots



    It may sound silly to many, but I am really proud of not only the design, but also the pattern packet itself.
  47. Yesterday turned out to be a crazy/busy day, with a few unexpected twists.  Those of you who read regularly know how much I love my three beautiful cats (Richard, Pancakes and Coco) and how much they are part of my everyday life. Like most pet owners, I consider them my 'fur babies' and they are wonderfully special to me.

    Lately though, Coco (my beautiful black long-haired girl) has been feeling under the weather. She has been vomiting more than usual (long haired cats in the autumn tend to be sick more because of losing their coats) and I was beginning to worry.
  48. I had quite a busy day yesterday. It was one of those days when I had planned to have a quiet day of writing instructions for my two latest designs so that we can do a site update tomorrow (Wednesday).  

    It has been a fabulous week. I truly can't believe how nice things are going. It seems that all the 'feelers' that I put out in the past several months and all the seeds that I have planted are really beginning to pay off. And there are many more things that I have planned as well.
  49. Today's blog post may be a little different than what I normally write. A couple of things occurred this weekend that made me think a little (sometimes a dangerous thing!) and I spent some time pondering things and I feel that my conclusions may be worth sharing. 

    The first incident occurred on Saturday. I received a hateful, nasty, spiteful letter from someone who was angry at me for not leaving the free patterns up on my site for infinity. Apparently she had found some old links that were no longer good from years ago (you all know how cyber-space is - once it is up there, it is floating around "forever") and she was quite cross with me because I had at some point, removed the free patterns that she wanted.
  50. Those of you who know me know that my favorite season is quickly approaching. While I enjoy summer and even winter, I always think that autumn is the best time of year. I love the warm days and cool nights. I love the colors and crispness in the air. I also love seeing the beautiful foliage and colors that the season brings.

    I have many fond memories of this time of year. I always enjoyed school, as it was once again an opportunity to reconnect with friends that I missed seeing over the summer.
  51. I need to start off today by thanking all of you for the wonderful comments and responses on my witch boot project that I posted yesterday. I was really overwhelmed by the many, many kind comments and inquiries as to when the patterns and kits will be available. I plan on spending the weekend working on writing up the patterns and figuring out the cost of the kits so that I can charge a fair price that will make everyone happy. 

    Of course, the biggest cost will be the shipping. My boots were made from 3/4" MDF and while they are not really what I consider large, they will definitely weigh over 200gr and much of the cost will be for shipping.
  52. I had an incredibly busy but rewarding day yesterday. I missed writing here, not because I had nothing to show, but because I had an early dentists appointment and had to be out of the house really early. I never realize the time that it takes to write here every day (between preparing the photos, posting and the actual writing) until I need to get a post done in a hurry. It just doesn't happen. So I thought that I would just skip a day and catch up today.  

    I am happy to say that I emerged from the dentists' office unscathed.
  53. I can't tell you all how many times when people see something new that I have done, they immediately say to me "That was easy for you." 

    While I appreciate that others think that creating nice things is not difficult for me, I can't help but think of all the hours of unseen work and schooling that I have invested in myself to get to this point. I have always maintained that every new project teaches me something, and some of them are really a new adventure. Especially when working with a new product or technique (or both!) and exploring the properties and limitations of it, and the fun, new opportunities that it can offer.
  54. Here in Nova Scotia, we had what turned out to be a fabulous weekend. While Saturday was a bit foggy and rainy, it was the perfect day to stay in and draw. I had fun 'playing' with my new tablet that I showed in the previous entry, and the more I worked it it, the more I fell in love with it. It really makes drawing and being on the computer a pleasure. (As if I NEED anything to entice me to be on the computer longer!) 

    The results of my day of work was pretty impressive. At least to myself.
  55. Technology can always be seen as a two sided sword. 



    On one hand, it brings the world closer by offering instant communication from one side of the globe to another. People are now able to have video calls real time, text information instantly, and have the opportunity to learn, explore and experience more of our wonderful world than ever before.

  56. While yesterday seemed like a LONG day in more ways than one (long stories - never mind!) at the end of the day when things were all said and done, I was able to sit back and look at the accomplishments and feel pretty good about things. 

    There are some times when I really feel as if I move slow with things. I paint slow. I draw slow. I design slow. But as I look at all the projects that I have finished up, I can honestly look back with a sense of pride that what I have done is something that I feel good about.
  57. I will keep things short here today because I have writing to do. I know I promised that the reindeer and sleigh pattern would be ready today, and it may be later on, but I probably won't really have everything done, including the site update, until tomorrow (Thursday). 

    Sometimes things just take longer than expected. 

    I will say though that the pattern will really be a nice one. I spent the day yesterday working on the 26 step-by-step photos that I will include with it.
  58. I took the day to do some catching up on things around the house. After the previous few days of working, I needed to do some things like tidying up things and some cooking. My neighbors had given me some zucchini and Keith's mom some fresh blueberries, so I made some bread with them. I think they came out nice, but they were almost too moist. Although are certainly edible. 

    It seems that summer is going to go out with a bang this year. While it was overcast and windy, it was quite dreary and muggy outside.
  59. I spent the day yesterday finishing up the remaining three poses of reindeer for my reindeer and sleigh vignette. Now all I need to do is assemble the two additional deer pattern packets and also the sleigh packet and I will be good to go. I had estimated that the sanding and assembly of the three deer would take half the day, and I planned to take the other half to kind of coast and do some things around the house, or some of my personal creating, but as usual I grossly underestimated myself and wound up gluing the last antlers into place sometime around 8:30.