My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #93: Time To Batten Down the Hatches

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 09-04-2010 12:48 PM 4030 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 92: A Very Delicate Repair Done Successfully Part 93 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 94: After the Storm - Good Things on the Horizon »

I am going to be typing fast today. I was awaken this morning, not by the distant call of the rooster, but by the persistent pounding of the wind and the rain announcing hurricane Earl at my door.

I had some great news to talk about, but I may save it for tomorrow. I want to keep things short today (If there is such a thing where I am concerned!).

The storm should be with us most of the day, and already the winds are picking up. It seems ironic because it was another night of stagnant heat and now that the air is cooler, it is difficult to keep the windows open without the rain blowing in. In the fifteen minutes or so since I got up I did notice that things were getting more intense. That is the reason that I don’t want to get involved in talking about anything complex. It will be inevitable that we will lose power for a period of time. How long? I don’t know.

Unlike living in town, when we lose power here, we don’t have any water either, as we are on a pump. I found that out the hard way last July 4th when on a beautiful clear Saturday morning for no (apparent) reason whatsoever the power went out for over eight hours. It was a hot and sunny day and we took a hike to a lake in the woods where we knew this little cove was that wasn’t inhabited by a camp or home and spent several hours swimming there (with soap and shampoo in tow). It was actually kind of fun.

The rain slowed down to a trickle now, but I am sure there is more to come. I am prepared this time, with extra water and candles and the whole lot. After all, there is only so much you can do. Usually by the time the storms reach us here, the are nothing dangerous. A few years ago in 2003, hurricane Juan did a lot of damage here. That was before my time here in Nova Scotia. For the most part, they really lose their punch by the time they are up our way. I don’t know if it is the cold Atlantic water that sucks the energy out of it or what the cause is, but more so than not we get nothing more than a lot of rain and wind. Earl is already downgraded so I am not too concerned about much damage. I am as prepared as I can be.

Yesterday was a flurry of activity for me. It just didn’t seem to stop. This show that I am attending and teaching the class at is much more significant than I had originally realized and my Editor from the magazine talked with the director and others from it and it seems that the magazine is going to have a large presence there. Robert gives me full credit for getting him involved. He is very excited about the entire event and will be there promoting three different magazines (their Carving one, their Turning one and of course ours – the Scrollsawing one) He talked with the director about having me work out of their booth and I guess they will have an area where I can demonstrate scroll sawing during the times I am not teaching. Although it would be nice to show that I could stand on my own, there is a great deal of comfort in having the shoulders of a major magazine to lean on. There have been several shows in the past when I lived in Chicago in which I joined in with them to demonstrate and help promote all of their 14 or so magazines and it is a lot of fun to interact with people and get to know that side of the business. At a painting convention in Indianapolis one year, they even left their booth with me and another painting designer that they knew because their main editors all had to get back to the offices and there were flight problems of some sort. She and I managed their entire booth on our own for the last day of the show and it was quite a fun experience. She was a nut and we had a great time together laughing and talking to customers and enjoying the excitement of the show. It was quite an experience.

It is incredible to me how success in one area can snowball into other successes, and this is a fine example of that. I am quickly finding out that this is one of the most significant woodworking shows of the year for the Eastern US and it is far more massive than I realized. I guess they only have four chosen ‘teachers’ and I am one of them. It is funny how that happened. My friend who I helped with the painting class for the show earlier this month is very involved with this organization (The Northeastern Woodworkers Association) who is putting on this show and recommended me to the board. They see that I am involved with the magazine, which gives me credibility (along with my work, I hope) and hire me on. My magazine editor learns about this event through me telling him and talks the director, using ME as a contact. And everyone is hooked up, happy and excited about this win/win/win situation.

If anything, I feel that Jean my friend should be the one I thank most for this. We have been friends since our days on the AOL chat forum on Tuesday nights back in 1997 when I first got involved with the magazine and scrolling. Although there were times when we didn’t communicate for years at a time, we always remained friends, as I do with all from that group, and we recently connected earlier this year on Facebook, along with many of the others. Helping her with that class just seemed natural to me. It was nice to hook her up with the paint company and the brush company and make the patterns for it. It was my way of contributing to that show when I couldn’t be there and even though I was busy, I felt there was time to give back to the people and industry that got me where I am now.

It just goes to show you (Geeze! I sound like Roseann Roseanna Danna from SNL! Remember? “if it isn’t one thing it’s another!) Seriously – it does go to show you that you can’t lost by being kind and sharing with others. (Pink cloud alert!) I know there are those of you out there who are saying to yourselves ‘yes, but I have been burned by giving to people who don’t appreciate it!’ and that may be true. It has happened to me too. But I truly believe in what some people call Karma. I look at the overall picture of how people live their lives every day, not just one day when they do something good OR bad. I think if we give to others of ourselves (not necessarily ‘things’ but even knowledge and advice) it will come back to us in so many ways. We never know from where. Perhaps it will not be from the same person, and that person may even burn you or take advantage of you, but it will come back in ways we can’t even explain or understand. At the very least, giving and sharing as all of you do here will fill you hearts and souls with knowing that you made a positive contribution to someone’s life and in some way made their day better and perhaps easier.

Now how can you not look at that as a huge payoff?

So I had better end it here. I will be lurking around today as much as I can. (Now watch – now that I am all prepared, we probably won’t even lose power!) I have my paints ready to go if I lose all my electronic capabilities, so whatever the day brings I will be prepared. If Earl allows me, I did finish drawing up a new set of ornaments yesterday and I will be able to finally get at my saw and cut them with the beautiful piece of Pau Amarillo that I got last week. (How fun is THAT?!!)

So no matter what it is going to be a good day. And it looks like the air temperature behind the storm is quite a bit cooler, so you know I will be a happy camper. I will talk to you tomorrow when I am on the other side!

Have a great one!

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

10 comments so far

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3059 days

#1 posted 09-04-2010 12:52 PM

Hmmm so its fill the bath with water, in case the power goes.

Find a good book.

Don’t let the size of the upcoming show spook you. Its the attention you deserve.

Hope you have an uneventful day and that Earl soon passes.

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2943 days

#2 posted 09-04-2010 12:55 PM

Thanks, Martyn! I was just looking at your jig you posted and it really is cool! Simple yet effective. The best type of tool!

The book is a great idea! I have the Bob Flexner one that I haven’t read past the introduction that I could make some headway on today. That is the perfect answer!

Take care :)


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

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3455 days

#3 posted 09-04-2010 01:13 PM

Hurricane Earl passed over us last night… it was so weakened, I didn’t even hear the wind!
It was a dud on Cape Cod!
The sad part is that no one will ever take the weather people seriously… until we get a BIG one!
So happy about your new opportunities. Sounds like it is a whole new aspect of your business!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2943 days

#4 posted 09-04-2010 01:23 PM

I know Ellen. I was kind of kidding about it on FB last night and someone on my list got kind of aggravated with me because I think he thought that I was being kind of flippant about it. The weather channels are so dramatic about everything that it reminds me about the ‘Boy Who Cried Wolf’ story. I do watch, but only a limited amount and I try to be sensible. I appreciate when people are concerned. I think the worse we will get is a couple of hours without power, and that is because the squirrel running the wheel on the generator may take a break. I may have to enlist the cats.

Thanks so much!

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

View helluvawreck's profile


31351 posts in 2889 days

#5 posted 09-04-2010 02:11 PM

Sheila, stay inside from the wind and rain. On a day like that you could get a lot done. I hope you do. I’m going to be working in my shop all weekend on improving my dovetailing techniques. Maybe I’ll get something done, too. I hope so.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2945 days

#6 posted 09-04-2010 03:02 PM

Maybe you can add into your budget a UPS.. Uninterrupted Power Supply. You may be able to budget your internet time during power lose and answer e-mail (important ones) using the UPS. Some UPS are high power and can last for some time depending on the how much is plug in to it. Battery operated radio is also a good idea aside from Martyn suggestion of reading.

-- Bert

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2865 days

#7 posted 09-04-2010 05:45 PM

What will come will come. That is always my attitude. Even my wife gets aggrevated with me. Ever since Katrina in my area, every time the wind picks up people get worried. My wife even watches the weather channel like its her religion or something. I check the weather by looking up at the sky.
I do get a lot of flack Sheila, because I am one of those “fools” that don’t worry about the weather. I have to tell you though, if you’re prepared, it just isn’t such a big deal. I do so much camping that I’m always prepared. When the lights go out, I usually light up a couple my lanterns so we can see to get around the house, crank up my generator, and pop in a movie. If it’s near meal time, we pull out the junk food for the kids to eat while watching the movie. They have fun with it.
Katrina was a funny experience for me. We lost lights for close to two weeks. Everyone around us was panicking. We carried on life as usual. I cooked three meals a day out in the back yard. We pulled out the board games for the kids to play. I washed clothes in our bath tub. Half the neighborhood was eating at my house trying to figure out how we were doing it. I happily explained it to some that asked. We had all the gear to survive. As for the food, we just kept the deep freeze closed and the food kept. People around here that didn’t know better threw all their food out the day the lights went out. Everyone was worrying to death what we were going to do if they cut off the water supply like the city was threatening because of low well levels. They didn’t think about the fact that we were living a half mile from the Mississippi River. When I explained this to them, they couldn’t believe I would consider drinking water out of that “nasty river”. That’s laughable considering that 90% of the drinking water in Vicksburg comes from the river. Boiling it purifies it as good as the city does.
I’m sorry. I got off track telling my stories. I do that sometimes. When I do, I don’t bother deleting it though. I figure maybe someone can take something from it sometimes. I hope none minds.
It sounds like you’re prepared. So, with the grace of God, you’ll be ok. We’ll look forward to hearing from you on the other side of the storm. Please take care of yourself.


View Handi75's profile


377 posts in 3497 days

#8 posted 11-17-2010 08:24 PM


I live less then 2 hours North of Indy in a Little town called Hartford City, It’s inbetween Muncie, Marion and Fort Wayne.

Congrats on your teaching Gig. I know I’m late and you’ve already done all of this, but I’m catching up on all of your Blog Post lol.


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

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3059 days

#9 posted 11-17-2010 09:02 PM

You’ve changed you LJ name!!!

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2943 days

#10 posted 11-17-2010 09:08 PM

Thanks, Handi! I thought you were doing so by the comments I see. :)

Yes, Martyn. MsDebbie suggested I use my real name. She said that she wouldn’t have even known my name other than ‘scrollgirl’ had we not PM’d a couple of times and I suppose I never thought of it that way. She had a good point (smart woman that MsDebbie is!) You were the first one to ‘notice’! I am now a ‘real person’ ! LOL

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

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