My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #131: Trying Not to be Overwhelmed

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 10-12-2010 12:18 PM 3873 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 130: Thanksgiving in Canada Part 131 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 132: Three Cheers for Lists! »

One thing I find about holidays is that when we have one, the week just seems to fly by. I know that it shouldn’t matter to me because I work from home, but it just seems as if the week is cut too short and I have to do more just to keep caught up.

Lately it seems that I have been all over the board. I say ‘lately’ but in actuality it has only been a few days. It seems odd that it was a week ago that I drew my last project and since then not only finished it, but also did several other things that are really imperative to my business. However, I still don’t feel like I am doing enough.

Perhaps it is because there are so many ideas swimming around in my head. I have so many ideas for autumn projects, ranging from scroll sawing to segmentation to painting and other things in between. Now it seems that it is time to move past even the Christmas holidays and start designing for spring so I can be on schedule. This will also be a time when I will designs much of the non-holiday stuff that can be around all year and the general things. I think in part that is why I feel like time is moving so quickly – I am always four to six months ahead of things. I just need to take the time to enjoy the present.

We worked on the web site most of the day yesterday. While my partner was programming and setting things up, I was at my computer making the pattern packets for the recent new projects. I am just about done though so everything will be to the wholesaler today or tomorrow. I didn’t get to work on the pond figures at all and I have the day set aside so that I can redraw them to submit for the estimate.

In working with the site again, it reminded me that there is so much more I want to add on there. Many people want more painting patterns from me, along with the step-by-step instructions. I had posted some pictures of a butterfly a while back and that pattern went over very well at the shows. I need to add it in on the site, as well as other patterns that offer painting skills such as that. There are some painting patterns I have had on the site from years ago, and I have neglected that side of my business for quite a while. Once the skating pond is done, I realize that many potential painting customers will be interested in seeing what I have to offer them. It would be a shame to lose their attention by not having anything else ready. I am trying to have a few of the new patterns available so at least there is something there of substance. But I don’t want to lose the momentum I am gaining here on the woodworking side of the business either. It is just now starting to see a profit.

Decisions, decisions . . .

I wish I never had to sleep. :)

I know too that when I go to New York in the spring and see that wood show I am going to be quite charged up. Quite a large part of the show is lathe work and although I have not worked on a lathe before, my friend Jean is quite proficient in it and she wants me to work with her in designing some lathe projects which include scroll sawing. She believes there are many who would like the crossover and it would be a whole new market and unique for the lathe workers. Since I am going to be right next to the magazines, it will be the perfect opportunity for me to get my foot in the door with them. It will be quite an adventure.

I suppose the best thing I can do is to take a breath. I find that there is so much diversity in the woodworking field that it can be quite overwhelming. I have read in the recent past that “scroll sawing is dying” (which by the way, I don’t believe) and that woodworking in general is a dying art. To me that is nonsense. I think that as with anything, it has its highs and lows and people find a great deal of satisfaction and relaxation creating with wood. As with many other hobbies, it goes through cycles of ups and downs but I do believe it will always be here.

So I will keep with my plan. And I will see what the future brings for me and where I will land. I found that when I am in doubt about something or which direction to go, just to back off and not force the issue. It always seems that things have a way of working out for the best. If I have to push myself too hard in one direction or another, perhaps it isn’t the right decision after all. On days like today when I feel overwhelmed, I sit back and do what I know is required (like my line work for the skating pond) and see what the day will bring. More so than not, the fog will lift and I will soon be heading down a path that I am clearly supposed to be on. The key for me in this situation is patience.

In rereading my post, my writings are all over the board today. Perhaps that is indicative of how I feel at the moment. Today’s goal will be to refocus and prioritize and put things in front of myself one thing at a time. It is time for me to slow down and take a breath and evaluate things so they don’t get the best of me. Taking a step back and organizing will not only give me some peace of mind, but will also allow me the clarity to move ahead and accomplish. Sometimes I forget who is the boss.

My thought for the day . . .

”Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
—Albert Einstein, scientist

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

8 comments so far

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2841 days

#1 posted 10-12-2010 12:47 PM

I’ll be looking for your project that involve the lathe and scroll saw. I’m the opposite of the type you describe though. I’m a scroller who wants to move over to the lathe some.
I think we all feel at times we aren’t getting enough accomplished, no matter how much we do. I noticed just last night after posting my latest project that I haven’t done nearly the amount of work this year as last. It bothered me until I realized I’ve done more larger projects this year while last year was more small, quick projects. Don’t feel bad, from this end, I don’t see how you do as much as you do.


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2919 days

#2 posted 10-12-2010 01:07 PM

Thanks, William. It is good to know that I am not the only one who gets like this. I’m not trying to be ‘superwoman’ or anything like that – I just have so much that I want to get done! At least I like what I do and that makes a huge difference. I see all these finished projects in my head and I just want to see them come to life!

Patience, patience, patience . . . . . :)


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

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2841 days

#3 posted 10-12-2010 01:23 PM

I do the same. I have at least ten different projects floating around in my head at any given time. The worst part for me is when I get down with my health and can’t work on any of them. When i am working on one, I have to try hard to keep myself focused though. If not, my mind is already moving on to think about the next project.


View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3035 days

#4 posted 10-12-2010 02:19 PM

Shelia, Your need to do so many things seem to be conveyed in your blog this morning. You’ve touched on many subject. “Haste makes Waste”. In order to enjoy what you do, you have to take a deep breath and reset from time to time. Don’t let it overwhelm you. If you do it becomes “a job”. I have a system where I make a list of things I want to get done and pick one at a time. It helps (at least for me) :-)


-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2887 days

#5 posted 10-12-2010 02:20 PM

I think you’re doing pretty well, Sheila my dear. You’re more organized than nearly anyone else I know, you’re multi-talented and you’re a conscientious worker. Take time to smell the roses every now and then. Remember, even God didn’t get creation done all in one day, and He took a day off too!

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

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2921 days

#6 posted 10-12-2010 03:12 PM

I can call it proactive…a woman who can do months ahead or even years. Positive … everything is possible. There is a fact in what psychics are saying…. Mind is stronger than matter… I learned from yoga that you have to balance the physical body and the mind being … that is the reason why we need sleep.

Sheila, you’ve been working quite fast, beating deadlines, .... But as you said decision, patience… and what you didnt notice… YOU ARE GOOD WITH IT! Keep it up. Dont be bothered and be happy.. Enjoy what you think and do… SMILE and you will feel better while you are realizing those what is in your mind.

About the lathe machine, there are times that I have reverse the process…. the cutting bits (call it flycutter) are in the chuck and while the woodstock is in the carriage… I have done this with metal lathe. I had never seen anyone use the same way… Maybe you will because you are very good in controlling the wood while the scroll bits are always moving. But it is good to have variations and consider it as advance learning..

-- Bert

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3124 days

#7 posted 10-13-2010 01:22 AM

I am the same – wish I didn’t have to sleep OR eat!!! But some days I absolutely crash, like yesterday after the turkey and all of the company and desserts! But today I’m back on!


View William's profile


9949 posts in 2841 days

#8 posted 10-13-2010 03:34 AM

Eat and sleep? The bad thing is that without my wife I do have problems eating and sleeping when I’m in the middle of an interesting project. I have went three days on two hours sleep while doing a Church Clock. On many projects I neglect to eat for periods up to two days. For a diabetic that is bad. A while back I came to in my shop with the wife and kids shoving sweets down my throat trying to get my sugar back up without having to call an ambulance.
The love of woodworking can be a very consuming desire at times.


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