My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #137: Almost There

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 10-18-2010 01:30 PM 6012 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 136: Full Day at the Saw Part 137 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 138: Getting the Picture »

I am quite proud of how things worked out yesterday. It feels wonderful when things actually work out how they are supposed to. I spent the day cutting for the most part and by 4pm I had not one but two new trays cut out. When I was writing about it yesterday morning, I was wondering if I would be able to accomplish it. After the Wright tray taking so long, my confidence in myself was a bit shaken. Not in the sense if I was able to do it or not but in the time line.

Both patterns went like clock work. The Celtic Trinity design was slightly more difficult because of its many sharp corners, but still fairly easy to accomplish:

From SLD335 Celtic Trinity Candle Tray and Charm Set

The Shamrock design was very easy and fun and I could see it being quite forgiving for even a novice scroll sawyer. There is lots of room for error there without ruining the design at all. It actually took me under two hours to cut, and I don’t consider myself a fast cutter. I believe that there are only about 50 cuts in it, which I am sure had something to do with the short time frame. Most of the trays have 80-140 in them:

From SLD336 Shamrock Candle Tray and Charm Set

It just goes to show that a design doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult to be attractive. I like them both very much.

I had just finished sweeping and tidying up the place and some unexpected company stopped in. I only mention this because it is not the normal thing for me and although they only stayed about an hour or so, it really stopped my momentum and after they had gone and I finished with dinner and the clean up after that, it was after 7:30 and I was done for the night.

However, during their visit, they were very interested in the work and the new stuff we were making. I took them to see things here on LJ’s like Martyn’s boxes and Jordan’s shirts and shoes and I even got to show them the progress – little as it be – on my own shoe caving. It was very much fun and it was nice to see how much they liked things.

We got to talking about the show in March and I flipped to the site to show them what it was all about. There is a nice video there which shows the judges and set up from last year and gives a sample of what will come in March. I hadn’t checked there for a couple of weeks, but when I want to show them the demonstrators from last year, I clicked on the page and here is what I found:


It truly startled me to see that they had updated it and I was listed among them. Now I know it is not a surprise, but it reminded me when I saw my first project in print so many years ago. It is beginning to scare the heck out of me to see the company I will be in. I am already thinking that I need to come up with some really special projects to take to this show so I can feel like I belong there with that amount of talent. If you watch the video about the set up from last year’s show, it looks like a Lumberjock’s showcase live and in person. It took me courage to post my first project here among such beautiful work let alone stand up there and be there in person. YIKES! I have to get my head together and come to terms with this so I am not a mess.

I realize that you all must think I am immune to this type of insecure thinking because I have been doing the magazine stuff for so long, but there is a certain amount of comfort being able to do something in print rather than face to face in person. The magazine stuff comes out months after I submit it and even if I am worried as to how a project is received, by then it has already been accepted by the editors and gone through some filtering and it is at least “OK” for the most part. I also have so much more going on by that time that even if I am not really happy with it, there are better things in front of me to rely on.

Even with writing here on the computer, there is somewhat of a buffer between me and you all. I remember being nervous when I wrote my first blog 137 days ago, as I had never written one before and thought “who is going to read it anyway?”. Since then, I have made so many friends and have had so much support from you all that I feel as if I talk to friends every morning. It has become very easy.

But talking live and to strangers is something quite different – and talented strangers to boot! My only hope is that I don’t disappoint people and I can offer them something that will encourage them and help them to further their woodworking. When I look at who else is going to teach and lecture, I can’t help but think “What were they thinking when they asked me?” I truly hope I can live up to the expectations.

But that is in March, and as Scarlett O’Hara frequently said “I’ll think about that tomorrow!” For today I have the task at hand of sanding, finishing and photographing these three trays. I think that I will tint the shamrock tray, as well as the sweetheart tray from last week. (By the way, among the shamrocks I put one 4-leaf clover. Did you notice?) I am going to leave the Celtic trinity tray its natural color. I like the sapele and I think it will look nicest that way.

It will be a fun day and I am excited to see how they will all come out when finished. So far so good.

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday too!

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

11 comments so far

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2864 days

#1 posted 10-18-2010 01:57 PM

On the rare occasion I set up a booth at a craft show or the like, I get very insecure.
Will they like my work?
Is it up to par with other seller?
When compared to other’s work, will I simply get laughed at all the way back to my shop?
You see how my insecurities get out of hand pretty quick.
Like you though, I am not bothered showing my work online though.
Just thought I’d let you know that you’re not alone.


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2942 days

#2 posted 10-18-2010 02:00 PM

Every one of those questions is going through my head William. There is part of me that likes what I do and is confident, and then there is the demon that plagues me with all of those thoughts. Thanks for letting me know I am not alone. At least I am in good company! :)


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

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3058 days

#3 posted 10-18-2010 02:05 PM

Sheila, the company you will be keeping in the show reflects your skill and ability.

They will probably be feeling nervous as well. If they’re not they are either abnormal or bored by what they are doing.

Thankyou for showing your visitors my stuff. I hope they enjoyed it.

The trays are looking spot on. I prefer the relative simplicity of the Celtic Trinity but they are both good.

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

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3058 days

#4 posted 10-18-2010 02:33 PM

Shela, You should be mentioned! You are a sucessful professional that is well known and does exceptional work! I really like these two designs. I could tell that you are a true scroll by your comment that the Shamrock design was “very easy and fun” although “there are only about 50 cuts in it”. I couldn’t help but to snicker a little. There are many people who would never even consider a project with that many cuts. Great job on both of them!

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

View woodcraftertom's profile


38 posts in 2875 days

#5 posted 10-18-2010 03:21 PM

Sheila, Love the new trays !!!! Can’t wait to try them myself. Don’t underestimate yourself—you are a creative person and obviously do great work. Remember if what you do was simple and easy then everyone would be doing it. You were selected because you are good at your trade and many of us LJ’s support you. Those of us who cut your patterns respect your talent. Have a great day and keep on creating.

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3147 days

#6 posted 10-18-2010 10:39 PM

I think the shamrock one is my most favorite of all of your trays! Such intricacy? Did you design that on your own?


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2942 days

#7 posted 10-18-2010 11:07 PM

Thanks everyone. I had a brutal day today taking pictures. I just couldn’t seem to get them right. I will have the final ones on the blog tomorrow and hopefully they will look good. I suppose not every day goes as well as I want it to!

Part of me wants to do something really special for the show in March, just to show that I can do a good quality of work. I don’t know. I sometimes feel as if “real woodworkers” don’t look upon scroll sawing as “real woodworking.” It is probably just me. I want so much to show that I am not just fluff and have some skill too. I should get a T-shirt that says “Scrollers are Woodworkers too!” or something like that! LOL. It’s probably because it has been so long since I have done a show and been in public. Most of the shows I attended were scrolling shows, too. This will be the first one of this kind that I will be involved with. I do feel truly honored to be asked to teach and judge and I need to show them what I am made of and that I can hold my own with the big guys.

I’ll be OK though. I just have to talk to myself about things and get myself pumped up for it. I bet even Jordan gets a little nervous before shows (tell me you do, Jordan!)

And yes, Jordan. Those are all my own drawings and designs. I am glad you like the shamrock one too. It was meant to be fun! It IS one that is quite easy to accomplish (really, Cozmo!) After your Fleur de Leis cross, it should be a breeze! I like all the designs I guess. The FLW one is still my favorite though. It will be hard to top that I think.

Again, thank you all for your support and comments! :)

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

View SallySpiral's profile


5 posts in 2834 days

#8 posted 10-19-2010 04:16 AM

Stop fretting! You will be perfect! NWA is one of the few clubs that recognizes scrolling as being as important to woodworking as the carvers, turners and flatboarders. I am not saying it has always been like that and definitely was not easy at first. Not only did I scroll (that sewing machine with the blade) but I was also a (gasp) girl. With the help of some great men in our club (particularly Herm Finkbeiner and Ken Evans) I persevered and now we not only have a sizeable scrolling group amongst the 3 areas composing NWA, but we also have what I like to call cross-contamination where scrolling and carving are showing up on turned things or scrolled things have round spots or carved spots. I know you are going to fit right in. And I am so proud to have my Creative Woodworks Family there!


-- Jeannie, Adirondack Mts.

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4108 days

#9 posted 10-19-2010 04:31 AM

Sheila, You Are Going To Have The Time Of Your Life! I’ve dealt with (not met in person) Chris Schwarz for years at Popular Woodworking. He’s a very down to earth and humble fellow, very friendly. And Ernie Conover has the same reputation. I don’t know the others, but I’ll bet it’s a ‘theme’ in that group, and the NWA will be most welcoming. After it’s over you’ll laugh at yourself for fearing it. I’ve been to these shows on the west coast, and was swept off my feet by woodworkers’ hospitality. Just be yourself, and do Your thing. They’ll probably be jealous of your talent. You have absolutely nothing to be nervous about. You’ll have a great time, and look forward to more shows. And we expect a full report!


View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3040 days

#10 posted 10-19-2010 04:59 AM

Yes, I agree that both patterns are fantastic. When I first got my scroll saw in the early 90s I had fun doing cuttings but I hated to keep removing the blades and reinserting in new holes to continue. Now that I have retired and for some reason doing that now doesn’t seem so tedious like it used to. Did I learn patience or is it something else? I think I am a fair scroller but I must say that I think Edith found her niche and is doing far better than me although only doing it a few weeks. She does have a natural talent for different crafts. She paints with acrylics, water color and dabbles in oils, she carves(not often), does macrame, makes jewelery, dabbles with fimo clay. She used to do woodworking till she did something stupid and the table saw kicked wood back and hit her in the solar plexus and knocked her wind out and gave her a nasty gash that needed stitches and she was sore for a month. Never touched the table saw since. On top of all that she is a gourmet cook and pretty too! Don’t I know I’m truly blessed!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2942 days

#11 posted 10-19-2010 01:17 PM

Jeannie and Barb – Thank you both too. I promise I won’t whine (too much!) about things. I am really happy and honoured to be asked and involved in this – and excited! I just look at the video there of all the stuff and also see the credentials of everyone involved and it is hard to wrap my head around that I belong there. I don’t like to mention the ‘girl thing’ but it does stick in the back of my mind sometimes. I know it shouldn’t matter because I know other women like you girls and Erwin’s wife Edith and Maryann, Theresa, Ellen and all the rest from here and I know it isn’t really an issue (or shouldn’t be anyway). I went through years when I worked for Scott and Roy at Scroller and just started out when people would need help and come to our table and ask “Where are the guys?” because they didn’t trust my answers. I finally got to a point when I said “I am ‘the guys” and many of them were amazed that I knew what I was talking about. It took a lot of years to break through that stereotype and earn some credibility (and I am blond to boot!)

I know you are all right about me coming back from this happy I went. I just may feel a bit of panic from time to time between now and March and need to vent a little bit here and look to my friends for comfort and support. (I am such a child, aren’t I?) That’s what families are for though!

Jeannie, I can’t wait to spend some good quality time with you and Billy. We are going to have a ball! I am so excited about everything! Thanks so much!


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

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