My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #94: After the Storm - Good Things on the Horizon

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 09-05-2010 02:20 PM 4466 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 93: Time To Batten Down the Hatches Part 94 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 95: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Stars »

We didn’t do too badly with the storm and all. Although there was a bit of rain and some wind, there was nothing frightening or horrible about it. It has been dry here this summer too, so the rain is probably welcome by most. A little after noon, we figured out that we needed milk and ventured out to the store because nothing is open in our area on Sunday and there is a holiday for Labor Day on Monday so things would be closed also. It wasn’t even raining when we went out, although the ocean was quite churned up. It was good that there was no damage anywhere and it turned into just another day.

I spent the day cutting out a new set of 12 ornaments that I had finished drawing the night before. They really came out cool, I think. I get to spend today finishing them and sanding them and I plan to add some embellishments to them to make them sparkle. I got to use my Pau Amarillo wood from last week’s haul and it was a joy to cut. I will post pictures of them in tomorrow’s blog, as I want to present them properly. They already look cool, but they should be even better when finished.

I had some mixed news about the Skater’s Pond figures the other day that I wanted to share with you. I had mentioned that I had designed them all in January and initially the editor of the sister magazine of Creative Woodworks and Crafts named “Christmas 365” had fallen in love with them and wanted them for several issues. Since there were 25 pieces, we were going to divide them up and offer them in four or five sequential issues as a project series. This was great, because not only did it mean that I got 4-5 paychecks, but it also meant that I was represented in their magazine for an entire year, as the magazine is a quarterly publication. I shipped a finished set to her in late February, but I have yet to write the instructions, as I have needed a final decision on how the figures would be divided up. Each time I asked her, I was told they were still figuring it out. I checked in every couple of months, and when I started repainting them and posting it here on the LJ’s blog I asked again. I was told decisively that they were to be featured in their November issue.

Since I have been working with magazines for almost 15 years, as August came and went, I realized that also the deadline for that November issue did as well. Many people who have seen it are looking for the pattern, and as with my woodworking projects that go to the magazine, I needed to inform them that I am not at liberty to share the pattern until after publication in the magazine. I am a patient girl, but at this point I am starting to get pretty frustrated with the lack of communication and the several delays on using the set. I have been busy as you know, but this set was a tremendous amount of work besides the emotional attachment I had to it and I don’t want it to have to wait on the shelf another year before I can even begin presenting it.

I wrote a letter which I felt was courteous and professional which would pin down the editor to a definite time line so I knew what to expect. I found out when I went on the site that the woman with whom I was dealing was no longer editor of that magazine and now was an assistant editor and there was a new editor in chief in charge. She told me that she was having a meeting with him soon and would let me know the status of the project.

I received an email the next day from her. It stated that they decided to use a couple of pieces of the set, and only in one issue. She said they figures would be spattered around the magazine on the borders of others’ projects and the instructions would be in the back for the figures she used. She also wanted the instructions for all the pieces at once because then they could pick and choose at will what they wanted.

This was a bitter disappointment to me. After sitting on this project for over seven months, it was only going to be used piece meal. When I designed this, it was not my intention to have it as such. I know I am going to sound like a temperamental brat here but it was meant as a set and that is how I intended it to be shown.

I took a bit of time to think about it before I responded to her. I realize that projects with painting is another branch that I am just beginning to develop, but it made me rethink things and try to come to a decision that would not only be best for my company, but also portray the project as I wanted it portrayed – as a set.

A couple of days ago and in the past, people suggested that I should do some kind of book. Bearpie suggested this the other day to me and it got me thinking. After all, I do work for a publishing company. The ‘competition’ has many books that they produce featuring their regular designers. Although All American Crafts (the company that owns my magazine) doesn’t have that many, they have been doing some quilting and painting books of late and perhaps I should approach them with the possibility of me doing a book with them. All they can say is “no” right?

So when I talked to my editor on Friday, I talked about the incident with the pond figures. I told him that the pattern for them would be pretty involved seeing that there were at least 25 pieces and maybe more to come. He asked me if it were feasible to run it in our magazine, even though it involved painting and I told him I didn’t think that would work, as he also would just be able to present part of it in one issue. He asked me to send pictures of it to him and I did so, explaining that I intended to do a small booklet for the pattern, in full color and I also threw in a paragraph telling him that I intend to write a book on basic introduction and instruction to the scroll saw. There hasn’t been a new book out there for years and the older ones, although good, are a bit outdated. With all the questions I receive every day, I see the need for a new one to be written and I figured why not be the one to do it.

To make a long story short, he jumped on both publishing the scroll saw book for me and also marketing and distributing, as well as printing the packet for the Skater Pond set. He loved it and we even talked about offering pieces for sale for the painters that don’t cut wood. I will be looking at the possibility of finding someone perhaps with a CNC router to do the cutting of the pieces and offer a kit to be sold with the pattern book. He wants to put ads not only in Creative Woodworks, but also Paintworks and Quick and Easy Painting which are the two leading decorative painting magazines in the industry and even in the Christmas 365 that they were supposed to be in originally. I am extremely excited about this, as they will get a percentage for distributing the booklets and sets, and I will have everything advertised at no cost for me.

He also spoke of including my scroll saw instruction book as a premium when their customers renew their subscriptions, which will be a great amount of volume.

And throughout this entire process, I will retain the rights to all these books and patterns, allowing me to also market and do what I want with them. What more could I ask?

I wanted to share this with you all because I know many people have suggested that I go to the ‘other’ magazine to expand my horizons – especially when times were lean. I held to my beliefs though that I didn’t want to butter both sides of my bread at the same time and that All American has been good to me from the get go and I felt that it would not be right to go to their competition. I know many others do it but that is them and I am me. I have said this before, but I would rather quit than do that. I feel very strongly about being loyal to others and whether it be the smartest business move or not, it is how I choose to live my life. I would rather fail at business and keep my integrity then be successful without it.

So chalk up one for the “pink cloud” way of thinking! I had better get busy that means! You will see a marked acceleration in the skating pond figures being presented, as I am writing the instructions as I repaint each piece so that they are fresh in my mind. I also want to get that scroll saw book finished by March when I do the show. In between, I will be doing my regular job and creating new patterns all the time. That should keep me out of trouble for a while anyway.

After dinner, we went to a place about ten minutes away to check out the ocean. It is a beautiful cove with cliffs and rocks and everything was still churned up from the storm. We climbed down the cliff until we were about 30-40 feet from the waves and sat on a ledge and took some pictures. We stayed there until the sun set. The ocean smelled so fresh and it was just a beautiful and clear evening. I remembered to take my camera and took some pictures. Although the waves were still crashing against the rocks, the sky was clear and there it was so beautiful and peaceful I wanted to remember the beautiful serenity and calmness that came after such a storm. I have more pictures in my Picasa album, but I wanted to share them here too.

The crashing waves from where we sat on the cliff:

From Smuggler's Cove Sept 3 2010 After the Hurricane

The mouth of the cove. Notice the house on top. There is a cave just below it that is almost covered by the high tide.

From Smuggler's Cove Sept 3 2010 After the Hurricane

A view from inside the cove on the edge. The entire beach is covered with water:

From Smuggler's Cove Sept 3 2010 After the Hurricane

The sun falling into the sea. There are more pictures if you click on the name in my Picasa album. I hope you enjoyed them!

From Smuggler's Cove Sept 3 2010 After the Hurricane

What a beautiful place the world can be, can’t it?

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

14 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


30765 posts in 2833 days

#1 posted 09-05-2010 02:36 PM

Well. Sheila, it sounds like almost everything is going your way. I’m glad and I hope that you do get to write the book and that it all goes very well for you. BTW, where you live is a beautiful place and the pictures are great. I’m happy that the storm didn’t do much damage.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2886 days

#2 posted 09-05-2010 02:43 PM

A very good friend of mine used to have a saying that I loved – “The harder I work, the luckier I get”

I think about that all the time and how much truth it holds.

I love it here too. You all hear me say it almost every day. I know it isn’t for everyone, but for me it is a perfect place. I am glad you enjoyed them!


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

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 2952 days

#3 posted 09-05-2010 02:49 PM

That is AWESOME Sheila! fist pump! Hooray!

I’m really glad you stuck your guns on this one. It definitely paid off. Also—I think loyalty is a good business skill. At least, it’s been working for me as well.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View BertFlores58's profile


1694 posts in 2888 days

#4 posted 09-05-2010 02:52 PM

Your story about the storm and the photos of waves and sea reminished my days when I was onboard ship. My last ship I worked with was 1997. Storm… countless storms we faced. Two specifics that is marked in my mind. One when we were in the Carribean and we were able to rescue three American on a research ship. We watch how the ship sink before we leave. The other one was off Japan. We were late to arrive in rescuing a fishing boat. We found the fishing boat already sinking with only the bow is visible. It is easy to recall those experience.

The only one I can remember about Canada… the great lakes though I just reached Oswego, New York, I was able to join a tour for Niagara Falls. My brother lives in Toronto but have not been there. There was also a time when our ship got plenty of snow when we were in Portland, Main. Passing the northsea from Germany to Porland.. temperature was -36 Celsius… We were not allowed to go further to Great Lakes because the locks were not possible due to snow.

Nice photos…

-- Bert

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3003 days

#5 posted 09-05-2010 03:33 PM

Good news on the Skater Pond set and the book. Glad to hear it too. Your talent and loyalty are about to be rewarded.

I agree with you on the Pau Amarello but it always makes me itch after working it.

We seem to get weather the other way around, here. Back in ‘87 a TV weatherman in the UK re-assured everyone that a hurricane was not on its way. Next day half of the trees in Britain had been blown over by hurricane force winds.

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2886 days

#6 posted 09-05-2010 03:46 PM

You know, Martyn, it did me too – just a little now that you mention it. I thought it was me. I will have to be more careful and wear long sleeves and pants when working with it. Thanks for the heads-up!


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

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3740 days

#7 posted 09-05-2010 05:16 PM

Glad to hear you guys are OK. Thank you for the beautiful pictures.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 2984 days

#8 posted 09-05-2010 07:31 PM

Hi Sheila, Glad to hear you weathered through the storm, nothing like being prepared only to find out you didn’t need to but on the other hand had you not been prepared you’d have gotten hit! Murphy’s law!

Thanks for giving me credit but it is undeserved for me! You are doing all the work and I’m just throwing tidbits your direction.

Pau Amarillo, I thought it was a new species of wood till I looked it up in the internet…just another name for Yellowheart but sounds more romantic! Yes I agree that it cuts beautifully and very nice to work with however I had not noticed the itchiness so will pay attention next time and will ask my wife if she noticed anything while cutting this wood.

The pictures are breath takingly beautiful! You are in beautiful country.

That is GREAT news about your projects and book writing. Sometimes one needs just a li’l tidbit tossed or a gentle nudge to get moving but in your case I believe it is perseverance, persistence and determination with a dash of luck thrown in! I am happy for you and wish you well!

My wife was looking on the internet for more patterns for scrolling and came across a few she thought were perfect and went to the website only to find they were yours and Scroll3r!!! Small world, huh?

Have a blessed and perfect day!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2886 days

#9 posted 09-05-2010 07:41 PM

Erwin: The ‘tidbits’ got me thinking – yes, I should ask. All he could say is ‘no’, right? Sometimes all we need is a good cheering section behind us to move ahead. I do appreciate your suggestions (everyone’s!)

Yes, I was told it was also called Yellowheart, but it was marked Pau Amarillo so I figured both were right. I just oiled it up a bit ago and it really shimmers and looks great. I loved working with it. The itching was minimal for me, but as I said, when Martyn mentioned it I thought maybe there could be a connection. For me it didn’t really last so I figure just to use caution. I should have pictures tomorrow of the finished ornaments.

I am glad you like the pictures. I sometimes feel shy about posting them up here, but being a newcomer to this area and growing up surrounded by concrete I find that I, myself am still in awe of it. It is like living in a vacation spot and I love to share the beauty of it with everyone. I am glad it isn’t annoying to most of you.

Thanks again, Sheila

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

View ellen35's profile


2734 posts in 3399 days

#10 posted 09-05-2010 08:06 PM

What a score, Sheila!
What a wonderful and well deserved response.
I love to read woodworking books and find videos helpful when starting new projects… this will be a great addition to your repertoire! Congratulations and thanks for letting us all know!
I am so happy for you!

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

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2855 days

#11 posted 09-05-2010 10:35 PM

Hi Sheila.

First off, glad to hear you’re still a “Scova Notian” and not a “Spud Islander” with all the wind the news reported.

Second, FANTASTIC news about the publishing! You gonna offer us LJs autographed first edition copies?

Third, have you considered a DVD on scrolling, either as a companion to the book, or as a stand-alone issue? Tommy MacDonald (of the web site) did well with the two videos he did, and one of them is sold out at the moment and there’s a waiting list for a new run.

Hang in there with the personal values. They are one of the few things in life nobody can take away from you.

I’m glad to see a fellow canuck doing well in such a competitive endeavor. Keep it up, and have confidence in yourself.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3081 days

#12 posted 09-06-2010 12:17 AM

hello Sheila
first some niice pictures from the coast :-)

second , maybee it went over my head if you had done it, but I realy think you shuold take your
skaterserie home from the first magazin . 7 month to deside a thing like this….way tooo much
I think I would have exploded long before that
then use them in a chapter on your book ( if you make a book) and let them be able to buy the pattern this year
on your site, that magazin need to learn that they shuold not tread people like that
speciel such a capacity like you

best thoughts

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2886 days

#13 posted 09-06-2010 12:22 AM

That is exactly what I am doing, Dennis. I never retracted a submission before, but enough is enough and they had plenty of time to decide if they wanted it or not. I don’t want them to publish just a piece or two, as I want it to have all the figures. As you see them come together in my other blog, I hope you will agree. The nice thing is that instead of working on them after hours, I will be able to put more into them during the day and should be able to get them done for this year. They will be their own little ‘booklet’ by the time everything is finished.

And to Big Tiny – yes, I have been asked about a video before. I just need to get the equipment to do it and a bit more organized. I don’t want to do too many things at once and do them all poorly. I am trying to keep pacing myself so that I can accomplish everything. Even if it takes a little longer.

Thanks for your kind words everyone.


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

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3081 days

#14 posted 09-06-2010 12:35 AM

when I saw the first one and the original figurs you posted
I have always seen them as one project and not several

I have learn from home that cenarios is always set up as one united ( my mum do that
every year in December :-) )
and in my very young days I builded cenarios both for my own fun but mostly
to help educating the local homegard company ( weekend warriors ) and cenes from ww II
and had help a few freinds with building some of there tables to there bg train track cenario
with over 200 trains and wagons
so somehow I know a little of what you had go thrugh in this :-)

go and knock them down,


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