My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #113: Random Thoughts on Groups and Stuff

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 09-24-2010 12:42 PM 3948 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 112: Back to Reality (In a good way!) Part 113 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 114: Looking Ahead »

And so ends another week. . .

Is it me, or did this one really go by fast? It must mean that I was too busy to notice. I think back to Monday when I sent out that package with the projects for the magazine and it seems like weeks ago. I did accomplish a lot this week though and I am happy that for the most part things got done.

I had lunch with a couple of friends of mine that I used to see every week at the painting group I belonged to in Bear River. It was hard to believe that I haven’t seen them for over a year and a half. We had a group of about 8 of us who used to meet every Tuesday and just paint. One girl did ceramic painting, a couple did country style, others painted from the popular tole painting magazines and books. Each one had their own specialty and we all helped each other and chimed in with help (sometimes it was solicited and other times not!)

I miss that time in my life. It seems like it was another lifetime and another person that lived it. We met like that for over five years, taking just a couple of months off in the summer when the kids were out of school and it was too hot to go on the second floor painting room at Fran’s house where we met.

Sometimes it is sad that things have to change. But people’s lives change every day and circumstances seem to force change. The group is pretty much dissolved now, although the friendships never will be. I remember when I first started attending, it amazed me that so many women could get along so well all the time. In reading that over, I know it sounds pretty bad, but I had just come from the Chicago area and some painting groups and I had swore off joining groups for good.

When I lived there, I joined an organization geared for decorative painting. It was tied in with the national organization and I thought it would be a good idea since I was just then beginning to be published in a couple of the painting magazines. I would learn a lot. At the time I was teaching some casual classes in painting at the Hobby Lobby nearby. I thought it was a great opportunity to get involved with others with similar interests.

I was involved with the club for about three years, until I moved here to Canada. If I hadn’t moved, I probably wouldn’t have lasted much longer anyway. What started out to be fun and a great opportunity to learn turned into too much of what I will call ‘politics’ for my taste. Believe it or not, I am pretty much a quiet person in a crowd. I am also a fairly easy going person and I don’t like conflicts and try to avoid them at any cost. This was getting more and more difficult with this club I was in. It got to the point where they talked about each other (well- whoever wasn’t there at the time) more than painting and it wasn’t a positive or happy atmosphere for me. It just killed it.

I found the group here in Nova Scotia to be so different. It is a rare thing to have a group of such diversity get along so well. In all the time I was with them, not once was anything remotely hurtful or negative said about another member. We all were from different age groups and backgrounds and I did get teased about my “accent’ from time to time, but there was never at all anything but kindness and caring among these women. We would bring ‘snacks’ for the day and soon we had to set another table out in the other room for the food because there was so much food on the table there was no room for paint! We would talk in our little sub groups and tell the latest jokes and laugh and sometimes it got so loud you couldn’t hear yourself think. You would think there was a crowd of 30!

And when someone experienced sadness or was in need of comfort, there couldn’t be any family that was closer than our group. We were, and are all true friends.

I am glad that I belonged to them. It renewed my faith in groups after my past experiences with them. I think perhaps that it is why I like it here so much. People are here to teach and support and help each other. Everyone has something to bring to the table here.

Lately I have been lurking around here in the evening reading the forum posts. That is something that I don’t have a lot of time to do. I read about what the ‘hard core’ woodworkers are up to (I still feel like fluff here sometimes) and look at their blogs and see how they make their projects. I also see some bantering on some of the boards. It reminds me of those Chicago groups that I belonged to. I have some opinions about what they are talking about on most of them, but I choose to keep my mouth shut (or my fingers still, if you will) and move on to the many other positive posts that are here. There are so many good things to focus on here that it is easy to avoid the other things. When the choice of watching people argue or painting my skaters is presented to me in the evenings, it isn’t difficult to choose.

So what is on the agenda today?

I have to get my “publicity materials” to the gentleman regarding the woodworking show in March. There’s a scary thought. I need to write a “brief” bio and a description of the classes I will be offering, along with a picture. I got the pic done earlier this week, as you see (actually it has my trusty DeWalt saw with me – the full one is now on my site) which was a chore in itself, as I don’t like pictures of me like most people. The bio will be OK I suppose, but it will be a little difficult for me to figure out what will be pertinent to this event. That will also be the case with the class description. I still don’t have a clear idea of what they are looking for. I believe that they are looking for mainly beginner to intermediate skills to get people involved. It is important to bring new people into this venue to keep it growing. I will have to keep reminding myself that even though they are woodworkers, they may have never worked on a scroll saw before and it is my job to show them how. In any case, it will assist me in making a lesson plan and getting the ball rolling there.

That should fill up a good part of the day I suspect. I also have been looking into getting my skating pond set cut with a CNC so I can sell kits to the painters who don’t have access to cutting. I want to be ready to market it as soon as I am cleared to do so in November. I also need to work on getting the other figures into my blog for it, which I have woefully neglected. I need to catch up big time there.

It is light outside now and it is a much longer post than I had anticipated. Sorry I rambled today, but some days are just like that. Talking here helps me to organize things in my mind and make a plan for the day. I hope you all have a good day also. I look forward to seeing all the new projects you are making too. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

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

1 comment so far

View HerbC's profile (online now)


1764 posts in 2887 days

#1 posted 09-24-2010 05:14 PM


You ARE one of the “hard core” woodworkers in my book.

After all, you actually earn a living creating wonderful wooden artifacts. There are not many on LJ who can put that in their profile. And you manage to blog daily as well, and that takes a good bit of time and effort to do as well as you do it.

‘Nuff said.

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

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