Tag Archives: scroll saw

Another long absence but I’m back!!

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Remember when on the last day of December, New Year’s Eve, when you’re sitting around with your family and waiting for the new year to come, the discussion always heads towards “I hope next year is better than this year!”

Well, it hasn’t been so far.  Actually, it’s been one step left of brutal.

The first of the year kicked off with a massive snowstorm that hit the New England and then I deployed to the Midwest for four months.  The time within the four months consisted of:

1.     Unyielding snow storms and bone chilling cold that didn’t let up.

2.     Complete homesickness being away from my husband (and my dogs) for so long.

and the worst one…

3.     My precious father passed away before our eyes.

Needless to say, I haven’t been feeling all that creative and crafty lately.  However, as it is said, “when God closes a door, he always opens a window”; a window opened after being consumed in the fog of loss and grief for my Dad.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still hurting but a spark of my former self has returned, thanks to my husband, friends and family.

The first shot in the arm was that I decided to go back to college, thanks to the provocation of my friends.  I’m 6 weeks into my first class and I’m pulling a 98.2%; not too bad for an old lady such as myself.  The second is that it’s come to my realization that I’ll be eligible for retirement in the next 4 – 5 years and that I’d better start laying the foundation for what I’m going to be doing once retirement happens.  Knowing that once retirement occurs, my hubby and I will escape into the wilds of somewhere but a concrete fact remains that we are both technology geeks so wifi will be there…so I’m returning to the world of blogging.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with it but it’s time to give it a go again.

So, for my loyal followers that wondered what happened to me, I’m back and will do everything I can do stay relevant again.  Please forgive me, it’s been a really tough year…

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I really don’t like winter…

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My apologies, I haven’t had the ability to be very creative lately.  Don’t get me wrong, the ambition is there and I’m  still thinking about my newest project on an hourly basis but the stars haven’t alined properly for me to do so.

Shortly after finishing my last project, I started another one (a different style of snowflake ornament) in order to try and expand a color pallet for the inlay.  However…it was really cold!  Unbearably cold actually! It was impossible to be comfortable enough in my workshop to put in any time at my scroll saw.  That lasted for few weeks.

Once the clouds were parting on the arctic blast around here, I felt the pull towards the workshop again.  But alas…we got a blizzard here on Cape Cod last weekend!  I hadn’t been in a blizzard for a really long time so I’d forgotten how frustrating they could be.  The 1 1/2 feet of snow was frustrating enough along with the limited mobility (even though my husband and I both have 4-wheel drives) but losing power for 2 1/2 days was massively annoying!  Granted, we did better than most; we had heat, hot water, radio and light (in a limited capacity) due to the generator.  So many people had to leave their homes because they had nothing.  We even had one evening where we ran an extension cord from the bathroom, into the living room, in order to watch the movie “Army of Darkness” on my laptop with long retired speakers (I’m not even sure where they came from, only that I still had them) while cooking Ramon noodles in an old pan on the woodburning stove.  It wasn’t an ideal evening but we were cozy.

Anyway, the power returned and life went back to normal again so I’m hoping to get some saw time in this weekend.  I’ve been experimenting with different mediums to color resin with and I think I may be onto something.

Hopefully, I’ll have another entry coming soon.

I did it!!! My vision is a reality!!!!

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I did it!!!  My vision is a reality!!!!

So, maybe I’m overreacting a bit but I’m completely ecstatic about what transpired for me today…allow me to explain.

I explained in my last entry that my hubby had given me a scroll saw this past Christmas.  After much frustration (the people that scroll saw the signs at county fairs make it look incredibly easy!), I finally produced a completely jacked-up snow flake Christmas ornament.

my pathetic first attempt at scroll sawing anything

my pathetic first attempt at scroll sawing anything

Yea, it’s horrible…I know it.  It frustrates me that I didn’t do better at scroll sawing on the first attempt (normally, I can pick things up with little effort…not this time) but, I had to start somewhere.  I’m going to have to practice in order to take this further but it’s so worth it after what I was able to accomplish today!

After I took this picture, I put clear packaging tape on the back side (the worst side, actually…) and burnished it down so the resin wouldn’t leak out when I poured it.  Then I placed it on a paper plate with the tape on the bottom leaving the top open.  Then I mixed the clear resin and tinted it with oil pigment and poured it into the openings.

the resin is still wet and incredibly stinky!!!

the resin is still wet and incredibly stinky!!!

So I mixed, and I poured…and I stunk up the house with noxious fumes.  In this picture you can barely see the tape peaking out of the parameter of the ornament but that’s the only thing keeping the resin from pouring our all over the place.   In very simple terms, I’m trying to create a sun catcher (even though my end product is going to be much more elaborate) because I want to be able to back light the resin to make a stained glass effect. Well…it worked!!!!!!!!!

the ornament holding onto the resin without a tape backing!!

the ornament holding onto the resin without a tape backing!!

I put a fairly high ratio of hardener into the resin in order to get a really solid cure so after about 2 hours (it takes about 24 to completely cure) I carefully removed the tape backing to see if the inlay would fall out and it didn’t.  Sometimes the resin shrinks when it cures but so far so good.

I also wanted to be sure that I could maintain an element of transparency  (necessary in order to be able to have the desired effect in the final project…this was only an experiment) and the transparency remained!  I kept two of the sections open as a comparison to the filled sections to see if there would be a notable difference (I was only going to leave one section open but I ran out of the opaque blue and didn’t want to mix any more…the fumes are intense) and there was an obvious difference.

a different lighting, I'm very happy that the colors stayed vibrant after curing

a different lighting, I’m very happy that the colors stayed vibrant after curing

In closing, I’m blissfully happy about the results!  There are still a few bugs to work out (most notably my complete lack of skill in using a scroll saw at this time…) but I think I’m getting closer to being able to create a “stained glass effect” inlay in wood.

More projects to follow….

Another year, a new project

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Happy New Year Everyone!!  Hopefully 2013 will be a wonderful year for everybody!!

I have to admit, 2012 wasn’t an entirely bad year but I’m not shedding any tears for it’s passing.  I have always felt refreshed by the concept of a new year coming along and always resolve to change something about the way I live my life in subtle ways; some last and some don’t.  As in previous years, I’ve made some resolutions for this years also.  Nothing particularly difficult but will take a bit of commitment all the same.  My primary resolution, for the interest of the blog, is to take my “crafting” to a new level.  Hopefully, I may even achieve the level of “art”…but that is yet to be seen.  More detail to follow…

Anyway, on my last post, I had discussed my intention for integrating wood and resin.  In all honesty, the dog paw in the small, wooden box was exhausting to pull off.  The hand carving of the paw about broke my hand as I did it with a Dremel freehand…big mistake.  However, the possibilities of what I can do with the integration of wood and resin has been brewing and building in my mind ever since.

Thanks to a very generous Santa Clause this year (my dear hubby), I now have a brand new Ryobi Scroll Saw and a brand new NICE camera to use to document my progress.  For those of you that don’t know what the capabilities of a scroll saw are…stay tuned; it’s difficult to explain but can easily be shown in pictures and videos.  Both of which I fully intend to have in my blog entries this year.

Just as before, I am a working woman and time to dedicate to my craft is brief so blog posts aren’t going to be very frequent for the foreseeable future; but I’ll do my best.  I’ve very excited about the new direction I’m about to embark on and the cool little workshop I now have in the basement!!!

Thanks for the support through this and hopefully we can have another inspiring year!!