Scroll Saw Goodies Has Moved!

Scroll Saw Goodies has expanded to offer even more goodies! Scroll Saw Goodies continues to post regular blog updates to highlight tips, tricks, tutorials, and free scroll saw patterns found on the web. Please join us at http://www.scrollsawgoodies.com.

Happy Scrolling!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Father's Day Project

Father's day is right around the corner. Do you have a gift for your dad yet? If not, Sue Mey from Scrollsawartist has another great pattern she's offering for free. This plaque will show dad how you really feel. It's a quick project that really turns out nice, and your dad will be thrilled! Check it out.

While you're there, check out Sue's tutorials on how she makes her wonderful patterns. She has 3 different tutorials covering various software (Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, and Corel Photo Paint). If you're looking to start designing your own patterns, this might be a good place to start!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Garden Stakes

Do you have your garden planted yet? We don't. It's been raining much too much to get into the garden. Since we're inside anyway, here's a little project that will keep you organized in the garden. Garden stakes! No more guessing where you planted what. This cute project is provided by AOK Corral Craft and Gift Bazaar. This is an easy rainy-day project. But instead of painting on the letters, be sure to break out your trusty scroll saw and cut the letters instead. And for a little more decoration, h'bout a few cutouts of some veggies? There are lot of opportunity to get creative. What can you come up with?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Elk Puzzle

David from Tuliptree Crafts has another great puzzle pattern. He has made this elk pattern available for free on his blog called (oddly enough) Scroll Saw Blog. This elk puzzle is similar to Jim Sweet's Woodimal puzzles. This is David's second attempt at this style of puzzle, and I must say he's getting pretty good at it. It's a fine balance between making the text readable without sacrificing detail. Give it a try. While you're there, be sure to read some of his blog entries. He's always working on something new and innovative. I know I read it everyday. I'm sure it will become one of your favorites too.

If you like this elk design, be sure to check out Jim Sweet's Woodimal pattern site. He has a ton of designs to choose from!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Making Toys That Teach

My son is getting to the age where he wants to play with more interesting toys. I'm getting to the point where I want to make those toys for him. There is no greater satisfaction than having a child enjoy a toy created by your own two hands.

Last week, I bought Making Toys That Teach, by Les Neufeld. Let me tell you, this book is awesome. It is exactly what I was looking for. Toys that are simple, fun and educational. I liked it so much, I had to make it this week's Book Of The Week.

These toys are designed for children between 7 months to 12 years old. Each toy offers numerous teaching opportunities, but still allows room for creative play. They teach the basics like manipulation, shape recognition, sorting, and pattern making. But they also teach more advanced concepts like fractions, decimals, geometry and even basic structural engineering! These toys will provide countless hours of play, and they'll be learning too. Its a win-win situation!

This book has 9 fantastic projects. I know I'll build each one of these wonderful toys. The coolest toy, in my mind, is the Ultimate Building Block Set. It is the best blocks set I've ever seen. I wish I had this when I was a kid!

OK. Here's the rundown.

Pros:

  • The toys are simple and elegant.
  • The toys offer creative play and learning opportunities.
  • Each toy has a section on how to use it for teaching opportunities.
  • The projects are easy to make.
  • Only basic tools are needed.
  • Easy to read plans and measurements.
  • Clear instructions with plenty of color photographs.
  • Lots of lists; Cut lists, Materials List, Recommended Tools List.
  • Great bibliography for further reading (mostly academic).
  • List of resources and suppliers.

Cons:
  • I wish the book would go into more detail about safe finishing techniques.
  • I also wish the book would include information of toy safety.

If you have kids or grand kids, this book is perfect for you. It is worth it just for the building blocks alone. The toys you create will provide countless hours of fun, and help foster creativity and problem solving. I can't recommend this book enough. Grab yourself a copy!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dialing It Back

Since October, 2007, I have written nearly 160 articles related to scroll sawing. I write everyday, excluding weekends and holidays. There has been a lot of great articles, too many projects to count, and a lot of practical advice. It has been a fun ride, but I decided to pull back on the reins a bit. Am I quitting the website? Heck no! I'm just going to dial it back a bit. Instead of getting your daily dose of Scroll Saw Goodies, I'll only be posting when I stumble across something worth sharing. I'll be posting less frequently, but I think I'll be delivering better quality content.

Why the sudden change in format? The answer is simple. I want to avoid burnout. Blogging as much as I do is still fun, but its starting to turn into work. I spend between 10-15 hours a week, researching and writing articles. Nobody wants one of their favorite past times to become a chore, and I'm no different. So by pulling back a bit, I'll be able to get a little breathing room and continue to pursue this wonderful hobby.

Another reason to pull back a little, is to free up some time to work on some other websites. I have a two websites in the design/planning stages that I'm pretty excited about. I'd like to continue to develop these ideas. Don't worry, I'll keep you posted on the status of the new website. I think you'll enjoy it.

With that said, be sure to check back often for new articles. You can also have the articles delivered to your email account by signing up on the left sidebar. Be sure to spread the word about Scroll Saw Goodies. It is a wonderful resource for beginner and advanced scrollers. I know I wish I had something like this when I first started out!

Happy Scrolling!

---Travis

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cutting Miniature Puzzles

I've talked about our favorite puzzle master, Carter Johnson before (CarterJ Puzzles, Puzzle Tutorial, Puzzle-Cutting Tutorial). One thing about Carter, he's very generous about sharing his knowledge on puzzle cutting. Well, he has another video demonstrating how he cuts out his signature puzzle, the one cent stamp! I'm lucky enough to have one in my collection, and I assure you these miniature puzzles are amazing. Check out his cool video. I'm sure you'll walk away with a lot of great tips for making your own puzzles. If nothing else, he's certainly fun to watch!



Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wood Marvels

Here's a cool site that sells patterns pretty cheap. WoodMarvels.com has a number of projects that are animated! Basically, it shows you the construction of some of their patterns in a cool 3d animated video. It doesn't tell you much on how they're built, but it is fun to watch. Many of their projects are made for the scroll saw. But they also have some larger projects too. I really like some of their unique toy designs. Check them out. They have some really great patterns, and their videos are hypnotic!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pictures In Wood

Here's a great gallery for you intarsia/segmentation artists. This gallery shows the work of Pictures In Wood from Cambridgeshire, UK. They do a lot of custom work and primarily use pine because it's an easily renewable resource. They depend on staining the wood with acrylic so the grain shows through and really bring the project to life. Its amazing the vibrancy they are able to achieve with their color. They do remarkable work. Definitely worth checking out.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Teddy Bear Bookends

Here's a fun project for the little reader in your life. This child's bookend pattern is provided by Reader's Digest. It certainly is a quick project and perfect for beginners. They take you step by step through the process of building this cute teddy bear bookend. I'd suggest taking the pattern grid and enlarging it to the appropriate size with a graphics program or a photocopier. That way you don't have to redraw anything. And since the teddy bears have a retro/folk art feel, try distressing the wood with sandpaper after you are done painting. It will certainly enhance the end product.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Great American Scroll Saw Patterns

Here's a great pattern from the folks at Berry Basket with their sister site, Great American Scroll Saw Patterns. They are offering 7 free patterns. This is a zip download. Inside you'll find 2 PDF's for easy printing. The first PDF is of 5 Victorian shelf designs. The second PDF has 2 deer mini clock designs. Each PDF includes detailed instructions to get you on your way. Now you have several great projects lined up for the weekend! Not enough for ya? They also have a collection of over 1,800 scroll saw patterns in one simple download! The price is a steal! I almost feel guilty for taking them up on their amazing offer. But I'll get over it!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Rustic Black Bear Wall Hanging

Here's a fun project for a cabin, hunting lodge, or a rustic bedroom. The project is provided by AOK Corral Craft & Gift Bazaar. It's pretty simple and can easily be completed in an afternoon. The project calls for leather to be used for the bear and trees, but you can easily substitute wood. I think it would be a clever way to frame cuttings with rustic feel such as wildlife, Native Americans, cowboys, or scenic designs. Check it out. While you're there, take a look at their other craft patterns. There's a few in there for woodworkers too!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Photographing Your Work

Photographing your artwork is important. Most of the time you're not keeping your work for yourself. So its nice to look back on projects of the past. You can remember projects that were a lot of fun to make, gage your skill progression, or share your work with online communities. A good photograph of your work is especially important when you are showing potential clients your work, selling online, or submitting to juried shows. Jim from CameraJim's Guide to eBay Auction Photography has a lot of great tips and advice for photographing your artwork. Jim shows you how to get professional results from very basic equipment. Check it out. Your sales will be better for it!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Summer Dreams

Sometimes you come across a project and all you can say is, "Wow." Robin from WoodWirtz has several pictures of her work that is really remarkable. Including this fireplace screen with 5664 interior cuts. She embellishes the woodcut with an airbrush. She uses watercolors so the wood grain shows through. It is a beautiful technique that makes a very unique finish piece. Take a look!

Poll Results & New Poll For May 2008

Well, it can't be said that scrollers aren't generous! When asked what they do with most of their scrolled projects, 67% say they give their creations away. Isn't that nice? There's nothing like a handmade gift. I'm happy to report that nobody admitted to throwing away their art. 10% sell their items, either online at craft shows. 7% chose "other", which makes me think what "other" is. Hrmmmmmm. We received 64 votes total. The results are below.

What do you do with most of your finished projects?

  • Keep Them - 9% (6 votes)
  • Give Them Away - 67% (43 votes)
  • Throw Them Away - 0% (0 votes)
  • Donate To Charities - 4% (3 votes)
  • Sell Them Online - 1% (1 vote)
  • Sell Them At Craft Fairs - 9% (6 votes)
  • Other - 7% (5 votes)

That was so much fun, lets do it again! Now that its getting nice outside, does that mean you're in the shop doing more scrolling? Or are you more inclined to spend your summer days outside sipping lemonade and watching the life go by? Or maybe it doesn't make a lick of difference. Summer or winter, scrolling is scrolling! The poll is posted in the side panel. Cast your votes now!

Do you scroll more or less during the Summer months?
  • More - Shop is warm, I'm scrolling!
  • Less - I'm outside enjoying the weather.
  • Makes No Difference - I'm still scrolling.

Friday, May 2, 2008

John Nelson Patterns

We can't talk about vintage scroll saw patterns without talking about the master himself. Although John Nelson designs a variety of different patterns, he is most known for his Victorian era patterns. He has written numerous articles for Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts magazine, sharing some of his wonderful designs with the scrolling community. SSW&C has a number of John's patterns available through their webstore. Check it out! I'm sure you'll find a project that will catch your eye.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Vintage Scroll Saw Catalog

The cool thing about vintage scroll saw patterns, is that it can serve for inspiration for more contemporary designs. Browsing old patterns can give you a lot of new ideas. Combining old styles with new styles could really set your design apart from others. You can easily borrow elements like motifs, style, and function to enhance your design. Great American Scroll Saw Patterns has a 10 page PDF scan from a vintage Italian pattern catalog. Hopefully, it will spark an idea or two for your own designs. If nothing else, it's fun to see what was popular back in the day.