My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #110: Cutting Today!

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 09-21-2010 12:07 PM 4146 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 109: Hitting the Ground Running Part 110 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 111: A Woodworking "Beary Tale" »

I got all of the important things I needed to get done yesterday. That was a good thing. I still have a list of so many things that still need to be done too though, and I am continuing on today. I am however, going to get to the scroll saw and get some cutting done. I have been working on an order for something on the side and I am determined to finish cutting it today.

It’s funny how little time I get to spend ‘in the shop’ or actually physically cutting. When I started this blog, I mentioned that it would be not only about my projects and woodworking, but also about the business of designing and my life in general (which as most of you who read often realize, revolves around my business.) I found that by writing things down and talking to you all about what my daily plans are, it not only organizes my day for me, but it also motivates me to finish things and accomplish things.

Although I don’t sit here as often and scratch my head wondering where the time goes as I used to do, there are still days where I wonder. As the days bleed into weeks and those into months, I realize just how quickly time does go by. In a way it makes me more patient because if I am anxious in waiting for something to happen, the wait never seems so long no matter how far off in the future it is. However, on the other side, some days it just seems like I am living in the fast-forward mode and things happen just too quickly. It is at that time that I find I need to take a breath and stop and try to take it all in.

None of it is bad though. The older I get the more I learn to appreciate every moment for what it is. There is no way for instance, that I can consider my business successful if it wasn’t as busy as it is now. I had years of very little customer correspondence and interaction with both customers and wholesalers and those were my most non-productive times in my life. Everything was stagnant and there was plenty of time to do other things and think about how slow everything was. Now though, a day doesn’t go by without interaction with several customers and one of the several wholesalers I am dealing with or the magazine. There is always the reminder there that “yes, I have a business” and it is working.

I realize that sometimes several of these blogs in a row talk not about the days’ cutting or project, but more of the behind the scenes events that are the business. I hope that doesn’t disappoint you all because I know that this is a woodworking forum and you are all here looking for woodworking and projects and things of that nature. But I do believe – especially after talking to many of you and getting to know you – that you are interested in seeing this part of woodworking. I suppose that is why you keep coming back. :)

My package headed for the magazine was picked up by noon. (Purolator picks up packages for no additional charge – something I discovered after two years of driving in all kinds of goofy weather to send out a package! I do everything on the computer – fill out the request, pay and put in a pick-up order and they come to the door and get it. What a great thing!) I was then free to go and do my other mail and run my errands. I spent the rest of the afternoon doing customer responses and also setting up my cutting for today.

I had a scare from a customer who emailed me that she received one of my patterns and her and her husband felt I was missing an important line which separated the frame of the picture from the inner design. She had purchased the pattern from the wholesaler who recently started printing my patterns and shipping them from there. My heart immediately skipped a couple of beats as I checked my own copies and made sure the line was indeed there. It was. I almost jumped and contacted the wholesaler to see what happened, but I first asked her to email her phone number so I could call her. The pattern she bought was a good seller, so I spent the next half hour or so with my stomach in knots, thinking that everyone who purchased it would think I was an idiot and didn’t know how to make a proper pattern. I felt my adrenaline level rising but tried to focus on other things. She did send me her number and I immediately called her and she was surprised at how quickly I responded. Little did she know of my anxiety over the matter.

In speaking with her, we figured out that she thought a shadow line on the photograph was to be cut and that there was supposed to be an additional line on the pattern that wasn’t there. After I explained to her how the plaque was to be constructed, she did understand and everything was fine. She had misunderstood the number of pieces and everything on the pattern was as it should be. She was very kind and thankful for me calling her and did tell me that she would buy directly from me the next time. I was relieved, and also happy that I didn’t jump the gun and write the wholesalers before gathering all my information. If I would have acted on impulse, I would have looked quite foolish to them.

It did bring to my attention that I am strung a little tight these days. (I say that half-smiling.) I was very happy that I had the control and patience to wait and see before acting. For several minutes there I was ready for a battle. Thank goodness I didn’t react and do or say something stupid. It was a good lesson in patience and hopefully I won’t forget it the next time something like that happens. I was quite proud of myself (and relieved!)

Cutting will be good for me today. I always enjoy it and it gives me time to mellow out and think. It may seem tedious to some of you, but it calms me quite a bit, as it takes my thoughts and concentration into another direction and doesn’t allow room for other thoughts to creep in. It was like that when I would play the piano. I was so busy concentrating on what I was doing that I didn’t have time to think about other things or worry. Perhaps that is why I found it so satisfying, as I do scroll sawing.

Its only Tuesday and already off to a good start. I was up early today, not because I am worried or full of anxiety, but because I am looking forward to what today will bring. I don’t know why, but I feel it will be something positive.

Have a great one. :)

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

6 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2912 days

#1 posted 09-21-2010 12:17 PM

Those heart stopping moments.
I sell some items on eBay and when the “Item not as described” heading comes up my heart starts pounding.
On both occasion’s the customer pressed the wrong button and it was a thank you.
I often look at your work area and the amazing work that you do. You are an inspiration. I then look at my shop and don’t feel so bad about my space.
Thanks for your blog.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View DocSavage45's profile


8642 posts in 2898 days

#2 posted 09-21-2010 03:24 PM

Sounds familiar. I hate paperwork. Have to work with insurance companies. They take our money up front and hold it as long as they can. Some wait the full thirty days and then tell you “oh you made a mistake.” Morgan Freeman while being God in one of the “Almighty” movies said “you wanted patience? I gave you the opportunity to learn patience.” Sticks with me to keep “reframing” my expectations. Back on the path?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3359 days

#3 posted 09-21-2010 04:57 PM

good morning glad the pattern problem worked out, its always nie to know it wasnt a screw up on your part…as i know you enought to know you want things spot on…your doing a great job with your business and im sure that if you just push along and do your best, you will do good…have a great day…more to follow in pm…grizzman

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3171 days

#4 posted 09-21-2010 10:20 PM

huuu there you realy waked my hart for a long moment Sheila…lol
I just know have thats feel and speciel if it was my failier even thow not intended , I just hate them
when its happen becourse I so easely loose my temper

donĀ“t worry about , when you blog behind scenes in a business , I think thats one of the resons
people like to read your blogs

have a great day Sheila

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3074 days

#5 posted 09-22-2010 01:29 AM

Wow Sheila, The way you told the story had me on needles and pins along with you! I was relieved also and it was not my problem but you wrote so well that it also seemed like my problem too.

My wife has come up with lots of ideas for scrolling and wants to design some of her own patterns and asked me to check with you as to what or which software program you use for designing? That is if you don’t mind!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2976 days

#6 posted 09-22-2010 01:38 AM

Hi, Erwin! :) I hope you are having a good evening. I used Adobe Products – Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and Acrobat Professional as well as Microsoft Word to make my patterns. It is quite expensive for someone starting out though and did take me several years to be competent using it.

I don’t know what to tell you regarding where Edith should start. I am not familiar with the other drawing programs on the market except CorelDraw but I stopped using that many years ago when I switched to Adobe. I use the Illustrator program for drawing and I really do draw my own designs with it. I have a tablet and pen instead of a mouse and it is easier to draw with it. Mine is by Wacom (

I know on some of the sites, like Steve Goods’ site there are others who use even free software for drawing. I don’t know if you are familiar with any of the sites, but maybe you are better off asking them. I wish I could be more help to you. But if you need information on the sites, you could let me know and I can help you with that.

I am glad things turned out OK for me too with the pattern. It really was a scary half hour or so! I have a fun surprise for tomorrow’s blog that I am working on so be sure to check in on it! :) I hope everyone likes it!

Have a good evening and write if you need anything else. Best regards to Edith too!


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

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