My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #84: The "Magic List" is Working

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 08-26-2010 01:27 PM 5935 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 83: Do We Ever Have "Enough" Wood?? Part 84 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 85: Short and Sweet - I'm Heading to the Wood Store! »

Sometimes things go just right. After writing here yesterday, it seemed to turn out to be one of those days. I actually accomplished all that I set out to do and even though I didn’t have time to paint in the evening, I had to fight the feeling (once again) that I didn’t set my goals high enough or plan enough work for the day because I actually accomplished all of it. Maybe the “Magic List” is just doing what it is supposed to be doing – working! Is it that powerful? I wonder. Or is it that organization is just THAT important to getting a lot accomplished?

Why is it with me that when I finish something, I feel as if I didn’t do enough? I really do wonder sometimes. I guess after so many years of being stuck in high gear constantly it is just going to take some time for me to get used to working at this normal and more healthy pace. I have to keep repeating to my brain over and over that it is OK to actually finish what I set out to do for the day and it does not mean that I am not working hard enough if I do. Like any habit, it is sometimes difficult to change and takes a conscious effort and a little time.

I finished all the patterns I wanted to for the site update. I had received my Holiday issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine in which I had four projects represented in. (One of them was my partner’s) You had all seen the walnut snowflake ornaments last week when I posted them here. I was sorry to say that I wasn’t really impressed with how they looked in the magazine. They were photographed on a red background and they really lost a lot being shown that way. I guess it is my fault for making them in walnut in the first place, but I don’t know why they chose red. Something a bit lighter such as light blue or green would have certainly put a better presentation forth. Now I want to re-cut them. I want to do them in a lighter wood with perhaps colored beads embedded just to see how they will look. I myself love the walnut ones, but I found out long ago that what I like and what the masses like are sometimes quite different. Perhaps I stepped a bit too far out of line this time.

I also had a little reindeer dish that collapses like the earlier lady bug one did. They did a nice presentation of this project, I thought. They added ‘reindeer food’ to fill the dish and a cute little recipe for reindeer food in the article. It is funny that I don’t really get to see what they print before it goes out, but I guess I certainly understand it. They usually have about 25-30 projects per issue and I am sure that they don’t want to have to look to 25-30 egos for approval before each one. This one looked really cute and I like the idea of the reindeer food recipe. I think I will ask them if they mind if I include the recipe when I sell the pattern. :)

Here is a picture of the reindeer dishes:

From New Scroll Saw Work

And here is a picture of the Tree Topper:

From New Scroll Saw Work

I have found in my travels that there are few scroll sawn Christmas tree toppers and I am certainly thinking of other designs that can be done. I like this one because it comes apart and can be stored flat. I cut it out of Birch plywood because it needs the extra strength that the plywood provides. However, when they sent it back to me, they didn’t pack it right and it did get broken. (They should have read my article on packing scroll sawn items for shipping!) I was able to get a copy of the photograph from them that they used for the article. I actually had two choices – one with a black background, and this one with the blue background. I think they did an outstanding job on it and you can certainly tell they are better photographers then I am. This was a very difficult piece to shoot because of the different angles of it and the lighting but I am thrilled with this picture and they were happy to send me a copy of it. It really makes the piece look nice, and it will surely help when marketing the pattern.

After the patterns were completed, I spent the rest of the day finishing drawing the next candle tray. This one was the most challenging one to date. I will explain more about it when I present it to you. It went through several changes and I finally have a version that I like of it. I plan to cut it out today. I don’t think the cutting is going to be very difficult, but it was the layout of the design that was giving me a problem. I had several different versions that were done and scrapped before I settled on something that I liked. Even so, on paper it isn’t really impressive, so I hope when I cut it it will be one of those designs that has a life of its own. In looking back at it this morning, I am happy with it and think it will do OK.

As I said, there was no time for painting yesterday. I finished my final printout of the new project around 9pm and I did a few emails and a round of scrabble and watched a show. It just was too late to start something new, as I am on a new figure to paint for the skating set and didn’t want to start something so late.

One last thing I wanted to mention today was that I saw that one of the LJ’s (bearpie’s) wife cut out my snowflake tray project and he had it posted in the project section. He said that was her FIRST scroll saw project! It was incredible! She did an absolutely beautiful job with it. I can’t tell you all how good it makes me feel when I see that someone actually took the time to cut one of my projects. I guess I should be used to it by now, after doing this for so many years, but when I think of myself sitting here at the computer drawing and creating the pattern and then seeing that someone all the way in another country actually liked it enough to take the time to make it, it still gets to me. The very best part of my job is hearing how people enjoy doing my work and there are many times when I am tired or feel a little worn out when those letters and pictures that people send me really make a difference. They make me feel that in some very small way, I helped bring some happiness to someone else that I don’t even know and that what I am doing here makes a positive difference.

That is the best feeling in the world!

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

5 comments so far

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3074 days

#1 posted 08-27-2010 02:54 AM

Thank you Sheila for your kind words for my wife. She is thrilled to hear so many kind and wonderful compliments and then hearing it from you made her day! Hearing it from others gave her an uplift you wouldn’t believe. She is anxious to get started on the other projects but she is committed to a project through Sat and wont be able to do any scrolling till perhaps Monday. I hope you continue to develop wonderful patterns that will inspire many more people!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2976 days

#2 posted 08-27-2010 03:04 AM

You are very welcome Erwin and I am happy to see how well she is doing! I am sorry I didn’t answer back sooner, but it has been a really busy day and this is the first time I am checking in pretty much all day. I am going WOOD SHOPPING tomorrow so I won’t be around until Saturday. If you or she has any questions at all, you know where to find me and I will be happy to help with anything I can. I am excited that she is getting involved and happy to see her do so well. Thanks to you too for all your support!


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

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 2937 days

#3 posted 08-27-2010 03:43 AM

It’s gonna be one beautifully decorated tree come Christmas….

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View Handi75's profile


377 posts in 3531 days

#4 posted 11-10-2010 05:59 AM

It’s always nice to Set Goals that one can accomplish, but not goals that’s not easily achieveable.

Meaning never overwhelm yourself with too many goals, goals that can be accomplished with ease will give one a greater self accomplishment, then setting way too many goals that they cannot achieve by themselves in one givin day.

Now if many Goals were written down, but ment to achieve over say a few days, then them are goals worth achieving. Then accomplishment kicks in and ones spirit is uplifted knowing they have achieved what they set their mind to do!


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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2976 days

#5 posted 11-10-2010 02:37 PM

Good point Handi! :)


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

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