My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #25: Rainy Days and Mondays, but I'm Not Down!

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-28-2010 01:09 PM 4308 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 24: Finished 3 Frames, Wrote Some Instructions, and Made Some Pizza :P Part 25 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 26: Back to Making Some Saw Dust »

It’s not quite light out yet, but I can already tell it is going to be a dreary day. It’s already raining, but not the kind of violent storms I have been hearing about in the states but rather a soft rain, even and gentle. It seems more like autumn here than summer, as it is again quite cool. But that’s OK, because autumn is my favorite time of the year. With all the rain and flooding we have been hearing about, people around here say its been too dry. My partner told me that people are already running out of water.

I said to myself, but he must have heard – “What do you mean by that?” and he repeated that people were ‘running out of water’. Just when you think you can take the girl out of the city, my ignorance regarding country living seems to rear its ugly head. I have seen the water trucks driving around without paying much attention or thought to their purpose. Apparently (and this is for all you other city- folks) some people in the country have to have their water trucked in and their wells filled manually. (!!!!!!) No kidding. Growing up in a big city, we just turned on the tap to a seemingly endless supply of water. I figured when Lake Michigan dried up, then we could start worrying. In my 40+ years of city life, it never even crossed my mind. Maybe that is why as teenagers my kids took 45 minute showers (how does ANYONE ever do that??) They grew up with the same mentality.

It never dawned on me that the water had to come from somewhere. I am not saying that out of total stupidity, but it is like breathing air – most people are unaware of poor air quality unless they live in an area where the air quality needs to be regulated. But with the hundreds and hundreds of lakes and rivers in this area, I wouldn’t think that water would be an issue. But I guess it is. It really gives you a different perspective on things though. I never minded rain before, but now more then ever I look at it in a positive light. You can bet I will think twice before wasting water again (not that I was terrible before, I just never thought of it). Maybe we should all switch places from time to time and live in the others’ shoes and we would have a better perspective of how they live and perhaps even learn something new about people. I guess that is pretty idealistic thinking for a Monday morning. I do know though, my own showers are just a little shorted these days.

The weekend was pretty productive. I finished the painting patterns for my friend to do at the show and got them sent off for approval. My friend is going to do a ‘test run’ with her daughter and they are going to paint the projects. I eagerly await to hear of their success in accomplishing the designs. If she sends me a picture I will post it here. (Shhh, don’t tell her or she won’t!) It is really important to me that it works for them. I don’t think her daughter has too much experience painting, so if it goes well for her, that means I have done my job well in explaining and teaching. I am really anxious to hear.

Along that vein, when I talked to her last night after sending the finished pattern packets, she informed me that her woodworking group wanted me to come to demonstrate at their show that they are having next March. As I said, I do get asked to shows a few times a year, but I have been not able to attend because I am still trying to get things settled financially with getting my permanent residence here and also revving up my business. I am seeing a positive change, but as I said before, it is like stopping a train and moving it in the opposite direction. It just takes time.

So we are talking via typing and she tells me that her woodworking club is going to be willing to finance at least a major part of my trip there to teach a couple of classes at the show. I seriously couldn’t believe it. She said that they haven’t had a “major scroll saw personality’ there in years and they all thought they were due. YIKES! I never in my wildest dreams would consider myself that. It was both touching and unbelievable. I know I have been doing this a while, but I look around at all the talented designers I share those pages with in the magazines and the forums with here and I am truly humbled by their talent and expertise. The thought that a group like that would actually pay me to attend is something that I would have never imagined.

I have taught painting in the past, and when I first came into woodworking I did do some scroll saw demos at some of the shows. But that consisted of me cutting and people watching as they wandered through the show. In the latter years of me doing shows, I almost always held a painting class or two a day and spent the rest of the time at my table selling patterns and answering questions. I never even had time to ATTEND a scroll sawing class let alone conduct one. I guess that is what scares me. It is uncharted territory for me. I guess it is quite frightening.

But in thinking about it, how do we grow unless we leave our comfort zone and try something new? When I took painting classes regularly with my painting group, I would purposely take a watercolor class or two because I really felt uncomfortable using them. Acrylics and oils are like second nature to me. They are easy to control and for an exacting person such as myself (I have been classified more than once as a ‘tight painter’ because of my literal style) they are wild and free and difficult for me to work with. I don’t do good abstract. That corner of my imagination just never did want to kick in, it seems. I look upon the free style of impressionism with a great deal of admiration.

So after the initial shock of the invitation, I am already beginning to lay out in my mind what I will do and say and teach. By March I should have it down. We will just have to see how it all works out. I am sure I will let you all know. :)

On a final note for today, I again feel the need to express my sincere thanks and gratitude for the kind comments and remarks you all send my way for various projects and other reasons, and even your enjoyment of these random thoughts I present to you each day. It truly isn’t an ‘ego’ thing at all, in fact, reading them makes me kind of emotional. It is doing something that I love with a passion and seeing that in a very small way I touch people’s lives in a positive way by doing it. If I were doing this for the money, I would have quit some time ago. I have tried to hold on tooth and nail in this poopie economy to keep on working in a positive direction because I know within myself that I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else. I rent. I don’t have a fancy shop. I don’t get to go back to see my kids as often as I want. But I do wake up every day to so many wonderful people who look for and thoroughly enjoy my creativity and designs and when they tell me how I helped made their day even a little bit better, it is worth more than any amount of money could ever be.

My partner too, has been kind and patient with my ‘job’, and encourages me on the days when I need it. He wants me to continue on this path because I believe he knows that this is part of my soul and without it part of me would be dead. I just wouldn’t be a complete person. In the short time we have been together, I have seen him eagerly learn just about every aspect of my business. There has been a great designer lurking within him that I don’t even think he himself knew was there. His designs attest to that, like the three frames I just completed. I guess I just want to give credit where it is due on those because some people thought they were my own designs. I just cut them and finished them.

I thoroughly enjoyed the thread of ‘What Not to Say to Your Wife’ in the forum. Many of the posts were quite funny. I found it endearing to see how so many, after the initial jokes, gave credit to their significant others as their support system. Their acknowledgment of that role was a true testament to their mutual caring. As John Donne said: “No man is an island”. (Google that phrase if you have the time and read it in its entirety – it is quite profound)

Thanks again for reading. :) Oh, and Happy Monday!

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

4 comments so far

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3117 days

#1 posted 06-28-2010 01:34 PM


Humility is the first casualty when people actually see what you can do. You seem to be holding on to yours very well ( and this is good) but don’t let it deafen you to the praise others give you.

I’m trying desperately to hold onto mine but sometims these days, with all the support and inspiration I’ve had here at LJs, I feel like I’m on fire with ideas.


-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9237 posts in 3001 days

#2 posted 06-28-2010 01:39 PM

Burn baby, BURN! :)


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

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3117 days

#3 posted 06-28-2010 01:41 PM


-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3067 days

#4 posted 06-28-2010 04:02 PM

funny… I just moved last month. I’d been in the old city for about 6 years – it has some of the worst water quality in the US. (The water comes from the river, which is one of the most contaminated you can find, and even through all that processing it just doesn’t get a lot better) I have been gleefully drinking water from the tap later and it tastes NICE. I have also been noticing how much nicer my clothes feel after I wash them. Water just is not one of those things you expect to appreciate all that much.

And congratulations on the honour! :) I think it is well deserved. Martyn is right – enjoy the praise :)

-- Lis - Michigan - -

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