My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #5: What's so bad about Monday, anyway?

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-07-2010 01:55 PM 7145 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: The best laid plans . . . Part 5 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 6: Self-Framing Picture Frame Finished »

Well, here we are. Another weekend under our collective tool belts and starting off a new one. I sit here knowing when I check my Facebook account the usual barrage of grumblings and comments about Monday will be waiting there to greet me. It seems everyone has something negative to say about Monday. I fell like asking people “What did Monday ever do to you anyway?”

My friends on Facebook are by now used to my bright and chipper attitude on Monday. I purposely turn it up a notch on Monday and try to find some wise and witty quote or something that will make them smile. I realized early in my Facebook life that being happy or cheerful on Monday is definitely not socially acceptible behavior. It is like putting yourself in front of the firing line. After all, why spread sunshine on a good rain storm? If people want to find comfort in their collective misery, who am I to ruin it for them by being happy?

Oh, well, I guess they are used to me by now. If they really didn’t like my bright and cheerful peepings every Monday, they know where the ‘block’ button is and how to use it. Actually, it forces me to look harder to think of something clever to post on my status. The more response the better. I think it is good to shake things up a little bit and I think that they have come to expect it of me. I like to get their brains thinking and moving and think that maybe – just maybe – I provoke a little fun.

I have received responses which range anywhere from asking me if I was on drugs to downright angry at me for because I dare to like Monday and am happy (“What are YOU so happy about anyway!”) I usually respond with – “Whats NOT to be happy about?”

I have always looked at Mondays as a fresh start. A new week. A new beginning. When I worked in the corporate world, Monday would be the first day back after two days of rest and fun and time to refresh ourselves and remember what we are working for. It made the job make more sense to me.

When my kids were young and I had assigned certain chores to them, or they would have to do something to earn their allowance or extra spending money, they would sometimes grumble and moan and ask me “Why do I have to do that, Mom?”. My favorite response to them was “That’s why they call it ‘work’ – because no one would do it for free”. I wanted them to grow up with the attitude that we ALL have to work for the things we want. Very few are privileged to have everything handed to them just because they exist. I think that working for something tends to make us appreciate it more also, but what’s new with that way of thinking?

I actually feel a bit guilty because I like my job so much. It is hard to see my friends and people I care about have to go and do something they don’t like to do five days a week. But everything in life is a bit of a compromise, isn’t it? Lately the financial pay off hasn’t been that great. Anyone who owns their own business can probably relate to that. It takes a lot of true love and dedication for what you are doing to work your own business. I see people who have been in the furniture and various woodworking businesses for 20 years or more and all I can think to myself is ‘There is someone who is happy and doesn’t hate Mondays!’.

My partner sometime tells me that if I got paid by the hour, I would probably be making about twelve cents. Although I know he is exaggerating, he is probably not too far off some weeks. But you know what? I don’t care. I learned to live with less because it is more important for me to get up every morning and like my life than be surround by ‘things’ and hate my job and life five days out of seven. I am serious. As a designer, I have had my good years and my lean years. I really have little security when I get older, and I guess to be responsible I need to start thinking about that soon, but I honestly can’t see another way of life for me.

Fortunately there are several different directions that this job can take me. I love to teach, and in the past have taught both woodworking and decorative painting. (Now finding people who want to learn and pay to learn, that is another story, but hey, there are some if you look hard enough.) I could also move back to the city and hopefully, my field experience will help me find a job of doing graphics or writing somewhere. My computer skills are pretty good and even though I don’t have the diploma to show it, I have been doing what I do for almost fifteen years so that may count for something. In any case, I hope I don’t have to think in that direction. I am hopeful that things will get better and the economy will recover and skilled trade people like many of the people will once again be in great demand when people get tired of the cheaply made furniture and stuff that is out there now. But for now, I will just keep doing what I am doing and be happy. :)

I got a lot done yesterday – much further down my list than I anticipated. I finished two of my See Creatures eyeglass holders ‘au natural’ that I left a natural finish instead of painted. I did a Mahogany moose with Walnut antlers and an Oak white tail deer (although you can’t see his tail) also with Walnut antlers. They are just variations on patterns that I had available that have painted versions of now 12 different animal eyeglass holders. Especially after looking around here, I realized more than ever that many woodworkers disliked painting. By not showing both versions of these designs, I feel it may have hurt the sales of the patterns because many people need to be shown the variations of a pattern in order to think in another direction. I noticed this with my painting group that I used to belong to. Some of the girls we so frightened to deviate from the pattern even a little bit that they would never think of it. I also receive letters and emails from customers asking my permission to do something differently on my pattern. I really have trouble understanding this. Of course you can change it! It’s YOUR pattern you bought! I think people are so copyright-paranoid they think I will hire a lawyer if they paint the eyes blue instead of green on something! You know I am exaggerating, but not by much I am afraid. I had one of these calls last week from someone who changed the top of a box I designed and wanted to sell it at a fair. He called and wrote me an email asking my permission to do so. I appreciate the respect he gave me in doing so, but I can’t help but feel how all these lawsuits have robbed people of their creativity in instances like this. It’s scary.

I also finished drawing the center design for the frame that matches the dresser tray that I showed here earlier last week. I have the frame cut out, and I can’t wait to cut the inside today and do the sanding and finishing on it. I also want to make an easel for the frame to stand on so it can be displayed next to the matching tray. It will look cool like that, I think.

I didn’t get to the stuff for the magazine yet (Shhhh! Don’t tell!), but I will be finishing up that as I go along. It should still get out this week and they are probably knee-deep working on the Holiday issue. That is their big issue and our stuff was due to them a couple of weeks ago. I am waiting to hear from my editor on if they want the tray or not, so I guess it gives me an excuse to do other things in the mean time. I have to get the new stuff up on my site, too. I have about ten new patterns that need to be posted there. And I am donating a pattern to SAW (Scrollsaw Association of the World) for their next newsletter. I had asked the editor in February when the stuff was due and the first email I received from him in replay was this past FRIDAY saying it was due this week! (SHEESH! Nothing like giving a girl some time!) Oh well, I am driven by deadlines and it makes me push a bit harder. :)

So with that said, I had better get to it. I will be posting the new See Creatures on my project page soon. I really think they came out cool. I finished them (again) in mineral oil. I think I am becoming a mineral oil junkie! I love how it looks and the ease of application and lack of smell. I will again put paste wax over them in a couple of days after a couple more coats.

There’s a lot of fun to be had today! Aren’t Monday’s great?

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

3 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117083 posts in 3570 days

#1 posted 06-07-2010 05:24 PM

Look forward to you Sea creatures thanks for the blog

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View whit's profile


246 posts in 3970 days

#2 posted 06-07-2010 06:41 PM


For those acquaintances of mine who are Monday-averse, my response is “If it weren’t for Mondays, Tuesday would get the bum rap”. I appreciate your positive attitude and thanks for your input.


-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View Handi75's profile


377 posts in 3467 days

#3 posted 10-27-2010 12:20 AM

I agree with everything you said in your post about growing up and working for what you want and appreciating it much more with a sence of accomplishment.

I have a 10 year old, well soon to be next month in bout a week or so. And I’m teaching him that doing chores are important cause it’s like work, it builds character and it helps you earn what you need to buy what you like or save for much bigger.

Great Values to teach a child.. A penny earned is a Penny saved!


-- Jimmy "Handi" Warner,,, Twitter: @Handisworkshop, @HandisCreations

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