Tuesday, August 30, 2016

My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1770: From Fairy Land to Fantasy

As an independent, freelance designer, I am fortunate that I am able to vary my designs to my heart’s content. While I do have to (somewhat) follow trends, I have the flexibility of creating not only the type of pattern that I would like to see, but also pick the subject, type of media that is used to create it. It is really what makes things fun. 

But with that fun, also comes responsibility. Many know that ‘artists’ tend to march to their own drummer. While this creates new and innovative projects for everyone to share, it isn’t always guaranteed that they will be liked or even accepted. There is sometimes a fine line between making something that is unique and something that is obscure. We have to try to figure things out before investing a great deal of time into something, or it may be a bust. 

We all have successes and failures as designers. I think that someone is being unrealistic if they think that every project from a particular designer will be a grand slam. It isn’t to say that one may not have lots of hits, but going into the game thinking that success will be a 'given’ is just something that is bound to set one up for disappointment. We have to look at things and weigh each project appropriately because like it or not, if we are designing for a living, time is money. It could mean the difference between losing our freedom of creating  and being able to continue on. We need to keep it in balance. 

Sometimes I think about future projects for a long time prior to actually creating them. As I frequently mention, my list of 'to do’ projects is long (and getting longer all the time.)  I have some projects that I have been thinking through in my head for literally years that either miss the season once or twice or aren’t quite ready to be developed yet for one reason or another. It is for this reason that to some of you designing new things may seem to come easy to me. From your point of view, it only takes a mere day or two and I am rolling out a new project. But some of my best efforts are those which have been incubating in my head for a while as I iron out most of the issues and plan. Those unseen parts of a designers’ job are sometimes the most important. They are a very valuable use of my time – even if no one else is aware of them. 

For the past couple of years, I have been a member of the “Toletown Designer Team”.  For those of you who may not know, Toletown is an online community for decorative painters. By becoming a member for a small fee, you have access to hundreds of patterns, instructional videos, classes and even forums. It is a great place to learn and share your love of painting for a very nominal cost. As a member of the design team, I am one of the team of designers that creates the projects and classes for the upcoming year. Every month there are two new full classes (with videos) and a new easier project called a “Quick Paint”. This is a full pattern, but no video lesson. 

I am scheduled to contribute the “Quick Paint” lesson for September. 

This is somewhat of a challenge for me, because I have trouble doing anything “Quick”. I may start doing something simple, but by the time I am done, I have added layers of details over it and labor over it to the point of turning it into something more advanced. Keeping things simple is a challenge in itself for me. But I really tried this time … 

With Halloween approaching, I had wanted to do a series of “Potion Bottles” for my own painting patterns. I love bottles in general, and I could think of some really cool themes for them. This is one of those projects that I had intended on doing for the past several years, and for one reason or another I have been distracted by other things and run out of time and the project was sidelined.  Last month when my notice came that my project for September would be due, I knew it was time to jump in and get this going. It was time for it to become reality. 

I drew up my first 'bottle’ this past weekend and cut my wood pieces. Now the good things about this is that it can be easily adapted to just about any surface. I will (of course) offer the wood pieces on my own site though. I think I will offer an entire set of 'bottles’ for people to use. 

I couldn’t decide if I wanted a plaque, stand-up piece or ornament/magnet. My best solution to that was to offer all three. (Whoops – there I go again!)  I fought with this idea, but in the end, the three sizes won out. I couldn’t NOT offer them when they were screaming to be made. They all have merit as far as I am concerned and it will make the design more versatile. While the larger pieces will be easier to achieve detail and paint, the smaller ones would definitely be “quick” and fit the criteria for the project I was commissioned to do. So three it is. 

I spent the bulk of yesterday working out the first piece. I chose the smaller one because it would FORCE me to be less detailed. (YAY!) and achieve my goal. While I went back and forth a couple of times with the colors (yes – I actually had several “do overs” to improve the look and make it look like what I envisioned in my head!) I finally got to the following point:

It looks pretty cool, doesn’t it??  In person it is even nicer because I used some of the lovely DecoArt iridescent Interference paint from their Media line. I love the little charm that I found as well. I found it at the same place I got my bees and 12 Days charms and I thought it was just perfect for this project. As I said, I will be adding these little charms to several of my new pieces in the future. I had fun with ordering a lot of cool things to play with from the supplier and I can’t wait to reveal them. 

I think this little piece will look splendid on my Halloween tree as an ornament. But it could be used on a wreath or even as a lapel pin. The larger sizes will be done today.

I believe the process will go much easier because I worked out all the colors, etc. I may be able to put a few more details in the larger pieces. We will see … 

I don’t know if I mentioned lately that I LOVE what I do.  While there are no guarantees when you live your life as a designer, you do get a feel for things and more often than not, you are able to work from your heart. There is a bit of risk involved, but I think that is part of the thrill. Sometimes you even hit a home run. 

I hope you all like the new project. I will have more pictures on the other pieces tomorrow. 

Happy Tuesday to you all! 

via Tumblr http://davidpires578.tumblr.com/post/149698522199

Monday, August 29, 2016

A Ming-Inspired Cabinet (71)

I got a couple of good sessions in over the weekend and moved the bonnet for the second cabinet ahead to the same point as shown in the previous post.

Today’s task was to fabricate the stub posts, tsuka, for the two cabinets, and…well, let’s just forget the ‘and’ part because it never happened. I often have a list with several 'ands’ in it, but things don’t always go as quickly as one might hope. There were a lot of steps to making these little posts.

These little posts are only 1.0" square in size, and I have rough milled the parts last week. It’s a bit of a pain to try and joint such little tiny sticks on the jointer, so I squared them up in the mill. It was slower, but safer and super precise.

Then I milled dadoes on two sides of the post to fit around the shedua stand off boards:

After the dadoes were cut, I used the mill again to process a coved cut on the outer arris, then trimmed the parts to length:

There are four pieces here, in case it wasn’t clear:

A few steps later, I had the tenons cut on both ends and the chamfering complete on all 8 pieces:

Another view:

Fitting could then commence:

The end panels slide down between the posts:

Posts fitted to one half of one assembly:

I then repeated the process of fitting the posts to the other half of that frame 'sandwich’. That task complete, I could put the two halves together:


On to frame #2:


The bonnets temporarily situated in position for a look-see:

Another view:

Another view:

Next round I plan to deal with the mechanism to attach the bonnet to the top of the carcase. Hope to see you again then. Thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way.

via Tumblr http://davidpires578.tumblr.com/post/149678959839

My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1769: Continuing the Fairy Tale . . .

As I awoke this morning and came down the stairs, my cat (Richard) was sitting in my studio room, staring at the floor vent. You all know how cats can be. Just – well – looking … (and looking…  and looking.)  It kind of creeped me out. 

The house in which we live is old. My studio is on the first floor, right above the basement. The basement with the stone walls that many of the 150 year old houses in this area have. The basement that had several mouse traps in it prior to Keith power cleaning it and painting the concrete floor.  It made me think … 

With three cats, I am not too worried. I have never had ‘critters’ or mice ever in my life. Maybe that is because I always had cats. I would think a mouse would have to be pretty stupid to venture here with my three kitties. Even if they are 'indoor cats’ and very well-fed. You never know though… 

I looked over on my desk and saw my latest painting project. It was the “Cinderella Mouse” tiara designed by Peggy Harris that I have been working on lately. As I gazed at the cute little mice in fine clothing, I thought about the irony of the cat incident. While I adore the painting piece, it is quite unsettling for me to think that there may be “real”, “NAKED” mice coming into the basement. We humans are strange like that. I suppose it is a little bit of a double-standard. 

Maybe it was just the wind that got Rich’s attention. Now he is sleeping in my nice, comfy leather chair and I am typing while sitting in the small task chair in my studio. 

Perhaps he wanted to distract me for a while so he can settle and get the 'good chair’ and the “mouse hunting” was just a ruse.  I wonder if he is that smart … 

I had another busy weekend, which made it seem to fly by.  I had lots of orders to fill (thank you, everyone!), I drew up my new project for ToleTown’s September Quick Paint project, and I made headway on my Cinderella Mouse project. I was hoping to finish the Cinderella, but yesterday was beautiful and Keith wanted to go for a hike, so I did that. After we returned and I was finishing addressing all the orders to go out today, we had some more unexpected company. So there went my evening. Sometimes living life is more important than writing about it. :)  

We had a nice visit and by the time I settled down, it was after 10 and I was tired and didn’t want to start painting. I am at the crucial end of the painting, where I want to be fresh and not ruin what I worked so hard to achieve up to this point, so I thought it would be best to wait until today to have a go at it. I have learned this through the years and it is an important lesson. 

But I do have some lovely photos of my progress up until now. I hope they will delight you, as they do me … 

I finished up Cindy’s dress.  The shading and highlights were just about where I wanted them (although in this photo, the bow isn’t done.)  I decided to add some DecoArt Glamour Dust in Lemon Yellow to the dress to give it a very subtle shimmer. I think it is beautiful! 

Now we needed shoes!  I found the slippers to be a bit challenging, but I did make them work. I swiped each of them with DecoArt’s Turquoise Interference Media Paint, which is a transparent, iridescent paint. This made them really look like glass – more so than in the photograph. I also used DecoArt White Pearl Metallic paint for Cindy’s tiara and also the dots on the dress and shoes. You can kind of see it in the photo, but in person it is just lovely! 

Here is how the picture looks with the frame in place:

…  and a more detailed shot:

I then needed to finish up her gown, add the tails, add the chandelier, and also the small dots of gold on the greenery around the clock. How beautiful and elegant it looks! The back board is now DONE! 

Now on to the frame … 

I based the leaves and pumpkins. I absolutely loved this loose and free style of painting. For me (who is what one would call a 'tight painter’) it is a stretch, but you really can’t goof it up. :) 

I then began the process of shading and highlighting the elements. The pumpkin is nearly done, but the leaf still needs some work. I will add some Alizarin Crimson highlights to the green leaves, I think. Just a touch! 

So here is where we stand right now. What a beautiful addition this frame will make to an already lovely painting! 

I can’t begin to tell you all how much I have been enjoying this project. I knew I had to  paint it when I first saw it, but as I actually did the process, I saw the many, many details that made it even more wonderful. 

One more 'session’ and I should be able to button things up.  Maybe tonight. But I have to get those orders to the post office today which will take a while to do (there are about 30 of them that they need to process) and then I need to work on my next project.  I may skip back and forth as I do them. 

I think you will like the new piece I am doing, too. I drew it up on Saturday as I mentioned and I am ready to paint it. You will need to come back tomorrow to see what I am up to. 

Rich is still sleeping next to me in my chair. You would swear he has a little smile on his face. Perhaps he is dreaming of the mice he may or may not have heard. Perhaps he is just happy that he is sitting in the good chair and got his way. One never knows what goes on in the mind of a cat…  

I wish you all a lovely day today. It is somewhat overcast and cool. Very 'autumn-like’.  I am glad we enjoyed our weekend and I hope you did as well. May you all have a wonderful week ahead. 

Happy Monday to you! 

via Tumblr http://davidpires578.tumblr.com/post/149651225154

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Ming-Inspired Cabinet (70)

Holy cow! 70 posts. How many months have passed? Ocean-going ships have been built and launched in the same time frame I’m sure, probably entire subdivisions of houses stapled together. Yes, this is a journal of a failed cabinetmaker, someone who took too long.

It’s hardly some sort of contest, but this is a long project, and I’d like to say I’m enjoying every minute of the process even if I sometimes think it is friggin’ endless. Sure, sometimes things go awry and I curse those capricious gods, but overall, it’s all about bringing something together which has been carefully thought out and planned, a matter of taking steps forward in determined fashion. And even with the planning, a certain portion is left to unfold organically. You can stare at a CAD drawing all day, but nothing informs like the object sitting in front of you. Still not totally certain how it will all come out and I’m fine with that. I hope you’re okay with that too.

The overall trajectory is satisfactory as far as I am concerned, and the client has been very supportive and patient too, which cannot be understated as being critical to what has unfolded. Nicest client I’ve ever had, hands down.

Working now on the bonnet, the top portion of the cabinet which gives some sense of visual termination to what would otherwise be a rectangular box on a splayed stand. Can’t have that, now can we?

The bonnet is formed from two bubinga framed assemblies, separated from one another by a shedua stand-off, also mortise and tenoned together, plus some bubinga stub posts, tsuka as they would be termed in Japanese. The lower bubinga frame was done in quartersawn bubinga, while the uppermost frame is done in curly bubinga, aka nightmare wood.

In this way of layering the parts, the pattern already set down at the stand is echoed in reverse, where a curly bubinga framework is surmounted by a quartersawn bubinga cornice. As with the stand, the structural logic of the ‘I’ beam is brought forth in the bonnet. With the stand the i-beam serves to provide a stiff support to the cabinet’s lower board so as to preclude any sagging in that board below all the drawers, while with the bonnet the function of the i-beam is to provide a stiffening element above the top of the carcase, which is a after all a board spanning atop the sliding doors. Making the bonnet framing stiff and anchoring it well to the upper carcase board should mitigate again the upper carcase board sagging downward over time due to gravity, which would cause the sliding action of the doors to bind slightly. Well, it is but a possibility of course, but wherever possible I want to design so that the structure’s aesthetics meshes as well as possible with loads as may be envisioned to manifest over the long term.

Template shaping comprises the first step in the process which I wish to share today- though in truth much cut out has already taken place on these parts:

Helical and carbide, plus an Aigner chip collection hood- what’s not to like?:

Four upper beams are shaped, and then they are ganged together for a bit of clean up:

The large diameter of the shaper cutter, of course, did not allow for the profile to be fully realized by that template shaping step, so additional work was necessary (on the pattern mill) to define the 'jog-ups’:

That was yesterday’s news, and the days’ previous, it might be noted.

Today I spent most of the shop time fabricating the cross members, and then with the joinery cut it was time to fit the parts together:

“Beat it to fit, paint it match”, as they say. Always looking for a bigger hammer and, optimally, a rusty pair of vice grips. How else do you get stuff done?

A closer look at the undersurfaces in union:

The first bonnet assembly is through the phase which could be called rough assembly:

I’ve left the cross members fat on top as they meet curved surfaces on the rails and cannot be readily processed to shape by themselves:

Those excesses are then relieved through more fixturing and milling work:

My dear friend, Fritz Zimmermann has proven to be stalwart. How’s that for a word you don’t hear every day?

Curly bubinga gettin’ a haircut:

Gradually, pass after pass after p…., the upper surface of the cross piece is brought into a match with the stepped and curved form of the rail:

The first cross piece is completed, at least as far as milling is concerned:

A while later, the second of the pair is milled:

While only two of the four cross pieces are shaped, impatient as I am,  I couldn’t resist a look-see of the assembled parts atop the shedua standoff, to see how everything was fitting:

Amazingly, the parts seemed to be going together well. Another lucky day for me. The will be little stub posts to go in those corners, but, hey, one thing at a time.

All for this round. I’ll be back in the shop tomorrow and hope to move these bonnet parts along a bit further yet. Hope the tail end of your summer is coming in smoothly and with a clear-eyed view to the months ahead.

via Tumblr http://davidpires578.tumblr.com/post/149531317679

My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1768: Enjoying the Journey

It is raining today. That is good for us here in Nova Scotia. 

While it has been a beautiful summer by most people’s standards (mine, anyway!) it has been quite dry and the rain is very much appreciated. I supposed that it is appropriate that the piece “Raindrops” by Chopin just came on my headphones. I didn’t plan it that way. I am listening to a six hour playlist of ‘relaxing classical music’ from YouTube. I like that lately in the morning. It is a good way to begin my day. 

My day started 'late’ today. I slept in until just after 8am. For me that is late because I am usually up at six. I have been working the 'night shift’ a bit though and didn’t get to sleep until after midnight. I don’t want to burn the candle at both ends and get ill.  Besides … it felt good to roll over one more time and get a little additional sleep. Hearing the falling rain does that to me. I love hearing the sound of it outside the window. It is so calming. 

I have a lot planned for this weekend, although by some people’s standards it may not be too exciting. Today I am going to finish my “Cinderella Mouse” piece by Peggy Harris. (Those who are interested in doing this piece yourself can get the wood and pattern on Peggy’s Facebook Page.)  It is a delightful project that I am thoroughly enjoying.  Even though I am a slow painter, it is going pretty quickly considering the actual time I have put into it. I have been posting the progress photos in one of my Facebook painting groups and 'visiting’ with my fellow painters each evening while painting it. If my hands were kept busy pushing the brushes rather than typing, I would have probably already finished. But the journey is really the best part. Lots of painters know that. 

Yesterday, we left our Charming Prince half-naked and poor little “Cindy” unclothed. (That sounds a bit risque, doesn’t it??)  

I was  pretty pleased with the fur though, except the underside of the Prince’s head. There was a gap between his neck and arm, making him look … well … “odd”.

I added some extra fur in and shaded and highlighted his clothing.

Adding the gold metallic buttons and trim absolutely delighted me! I think you can see in this photo that I had previously brushed a very subtle wash of gold metallic paint on the railings (after all – this IS a MAGICAL moment!) and I loved that subtle effect. But the shiny gold paint really adds a lot to his outfit, making him look quite regal. I was pleased as could be with him so far! 

At this point, it was nearly midnight and I was starting to get tired. But poor “Cindy” was still without clothing. I thought that perhaps I would just begin the under layers of her fluffy dress before heading off to bed. But it was so relaxing and fun, that I continued on for quite a bit, and worked on it until it was 'almost’ done. 

She still needs detailing and highlights and glazing, but she is well on her way. I was premature when putting the blue bow in, as I still have some things I want to do to the body of the dress itself. I suppose it is good I quit when I did, as I was getting anxious to finish and I find when I push too hard, I muck it up because I rush things. So I had the presence of mind to tidy up things and sleep on it. I am glad I did. 

I think that I want to apply a layer of DecoArt Glamour Dust to just the dress (after the final shading and highlighting, of course!) After all, she is a princess. She should have a dress that shimmers, right?   Then when the dress is complete I only have to paint the crown, chandelier and slippers. for the main piece. Then the final frame and I am DONE! (And YES! I see that they both need TAILS! I will do them last!)

I am really loving painting this fun piece. Part of me feels that I have no business doing this because I have so many of my own pieces that I want to develop. But like my Lynne Andrews  list of pieces that I WILL be painting, I knew I HAD to do this one. I am happy that I have Willow (my grand daughter) so I have an 'excuse’ to take time out to do this. (Let’s be honest – I would have done it anyway! )

Sometimes it is the journey that is just as satisfying as the destination. Keith always says to me “your leisure time looks a lot like your work time.”  I suppose he is right. (Don’t let him know I said that!)  But think how FORTUNATE I am to have that as an observation. 

I truly love what I do every single day. I am hoping that I can continue it as long as I am here on this Earth. Not many can say that. 

This weekend, I plan on developing my own next painting project for Tole Town (for their September Quick Paint!) and working on a new scrolling pattern. I think that will keep me busy – rain or shine.  I also have orders to fill for the darling “Boo Bunnies” that I featured in yesterday’s post. I am happy they were well-received and I plan to paint my own stand up set for myself.  

But that will be for another day … 

Happy Friday to you all! Remember to take time to enjoy your own journey. It really makes your life FUN! 

via Tumblr http://davidpires578.tumblr.com/post/149508778464

Thursday, August 25, 2016

My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1767: Plays Well With Others

Aristotle said “The whole is more than the sum of its parts." 

While most of us know that in the literal sense that statement is incorrect, figuratively I think it has a lot of merit. The way that I interpret it is that we accomplish a great deal more working together with others than we can accomplish individually. I am seeing evidence of that lately in so many aspects of my work. 

Since Keith has come to be a my partner, our business has soared. Not only is it easier to share the day to day tasks with someone (He is the "I.T. Guy” (Internet Technology) and I am the “P.R Girl” (Public Relations)). It is a relationship that doesn’t always work – especially among couples, but because of our mutual respect and admiration for the others’ abilities, and the trust which allows us to ‘let go’ of some things, we are each able to pursue our own interests without having to worry about filling every single need that a small business requires. And that is a GREAT thing. It allows us to spend more time on what each of us love doing most – designing new projects for others to enjoy. It is what I call a “win/win/win” for all involved: Keith, myself and our customers. 

Lately, I am finding that this philosophy works well in other aspects of our business as well. Since the beginning of the year, I have been working with the very talented Lynne Andrews – a decorative painting artist whom I have admired for quite a long time. I have always loved her designs and I had the idea to create a Facebook page as a support group for one of her projects – “The 12 Days of Christmas” ornament series from her book “Christmas Blessings”. Those of you who follow my posts regularly know that this has been fabulously successful for all involved. We now have over 300 people in our group (12 Days of Christmas Ornaments by Lynne Andrews - We Are Making Them!), and whether the members are actually creating the ornaments themselves or just cheering us on, it is an exciting and fun place that is promoting creativity and painting and friendship. It has made me some wonderful friends – Lynne included – and I admit from a business standpoint, it has helped my business grow in a way I could have never imagined. It was one of those 'happy accidents’ that came from a pure desire to do what we love. Along the way, it has taught me a valuable lesson: working together with others who share my passion for creating not only helps the my business grow, but also helps bring positive excitement to the entire industry. I think that is a wonderful thing any way you look at it. 

I remember sitting in one of my university art classes on a day when we were discussing the 'business of being an artist.’ Most of us who were there in class had a true love of creating, so naturally we were exploring the different vocations associated with earning a living in an artistic field. Among the most stable and highest paying jobs available to artists was that of a “graphic designer.” However, it was the general consensus that jobs in graphic design were not only highly stressful, but cut throat and competitive. Our instructor did everything in his power to discourage us from following that path. He cited companies such as Leo Burnett (which was based in Chicago) and mentioned that he had some associated that had worked there and suffered great anxiety and stress because of the fast-paced, competitive nature of the advertising industry. 

Knowing even back then that I had a 'soft heart’, I knew I wouldn’t be happy in a job such as that. It would eat me alive. But it didn’t discourage me from tucking into the back of my mind the thought of someday earning my living through art. I have always loved creating things. My earliest memories are those of me coloring, painting and embroidering. I never lost that desire to do so on a daily basis. I also wanted to share the good feelings I get from creating with others through teaching. Whether it be creating with paint, wood or thread, it is something that drives me every single day and makes me happy. It is a good way to live, and well worth the time it took for me to get to this point. 

Now we are back at the present time, and I am finding that I am thoroughly enjoying working with like-minded artists and collaborating on several different types of projects. I am helping Sandy Warner McTier with the computer graphics for her adorable new stamps. I am producing custom wood surfaces for many artists that I long admired, such as Amy Mogish, Peggy Harris, and additional projects with Lynne Andrews to name a few. There are more in the works, too and I can’t wait to reveal what is in store. I think the hardest part is keeping quiet about things until they are ready to be presented. Working with these artists is a priviledge that I never thought I would experience. I have learned so much from each of them, and it also has brought my work to a new level. I am very grateful for the opportunity and I try to step up to the plate and hit a home run with each project. It has been a win/win/win for everyone, I believe. 

With autumn knocking at our door, I am (as are most designers) thinking ahead to fall projects. While I was going through my Halloween things the other day, I came across my little “Boo Bunny” magnets that I made from Peggy Harris’ pattern several years ago. I was just returning to decorative painting after a long absence when I painted them, and they were one of the projects that kicked me back into that area of artwork and reawakened my desire to paint. Back then, I had a few people ask if I would cut the wood pieces, as Peggy’s original pattern was done on a flat surface, and I did so. I had few painting followers then and the project came and went, although each year I took out my magnets and admired  them. 

With my recent collaboration with Peggy’s Cinderealla Mouse tiara project, I thought I would ask her if it was OK for me to offer these cute little bunny ghosts as wood pieces and stand-ups. She graciously agreed and I helped her rewrite her instructions to make a marketable pattern packet which uses either Folk Art Acrylics or DecoArt Americanas to create this project. 

Not only is the PATTERN Packet available on my website (PH01 -Peggy Harris “Boo Bunnies” Painting Pattern), but I am also offering an Ornament Wood Kit (SLDPK150), a Stand-Up Wood Kit (SLDPK151)

…  and a Pattern and Wood Kit Combo (SLDPS150) which includes the full color pattern for all the bunnies, as well as a set of the 3.5" wood ornaments or magnets.  

It is a fun way to get started on your autumn crafting and make these adorable ornaments or magnets! I hope you stop by the site and check things out. You can now also go directly to the painting section of my site by using the url http://www.tolepaintingdesigns.com. I find that avoids some of the confusion that my painters had when coming to the site. 

As for my own “Cinderella Mouse” project, I had some time to work on it last night. I am thrilled with how it is progressing!  I first sketched in the fur with the undercoats:

… and then began adding the details:

The layering that Peggy teaches really makes this project fast and easy! 

Before long, I finished the fur on the two mice and began basing out the clothing. 

I got tired after that and called it a night. But I can’t help but admire it with the pretty tiara frame laying on top! 

I hope to finish it off today. I am pretty much in the home stretch. I am such a slow painter, but it really didn’t take me long to do. I love seeing it come to life and I think I may have to paint another one for myself. (This one is for my grand daughter, Willow.)  I will keep you posted. 

Keith also revealed a new design on our site. All week I have been watching him draw these exquisite Large Filigree Ornament Frames with Optional Silhouette designs (SLDK685)

The pattern for these lovely ornaments is now up on the site on the main scroll saw page. I think they are absolutely beautiful and I am sure they will be very popular. 

Well, that is about all for today. I was up early and wanted to get to work. 

I am so happy that I found not only a way to make a living being creative, but also some wonderful artists whom I call friends to share things with. It is so much more fun to have a colleague to share ideas with. I think they feel the same about me. In these days of everyone trying to be the 'best’ and hearing of the competitive nature of some artists, it is nice to know there are those who enjoy working together with others and appreciate what fellow artists have to offer. I think that will help the industry grow and that the ones that will benefit most will be the students and customers. Collaborations are a wonderful thing, and the whole truly does exceed the sum of its parts in this instance. It is a wonderful thing for all involved. 

Happy Thursday to you all! 

via Tumblr http://davidpires578.tumblr.com/post/149460858129