My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #149: Skating Through Saturday on the Paintbrush of Life

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 10-30-2010 02:01 PM 4150 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 148: Only Eight Weeks Until Christmas . . . (YIKES!) Part 149 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 150: Dealing With Change »

After my proclamation the other day of my dedication to working on my holiday gifts in the evening, I still had to pack it in by 11pm and slept until what I consider ‘late’ – 7:30am. I was a bit disappointed in myself but I was tired and in the past few years I have found that I need to go with what my body is telling me and give in or I will perpetuate the cycle. My health has been excellent in these past two years though so even though I sometimes feel that I don’t get done what I had planned, it is better than taking myself out for a day or days by overdoing things. I believe that learning to read what your body requires is a great lesson to learn.

Yesterday was busy, as the entire week was. Again there was plenty of correspondence to tend to. Perhaps one day I will need that secretary that I kidded about when I first started writing this blog. Dealing with my customers and other woodworkers is however, one of the parts of my job that I thoroughly enjoy. Even when there is a problem, I like being able to change someone from being upset to fixing things an making them happy. It almost never fails, as most people are reasonable and just want things right. So do I.

I spent a couple of hours working on a commission I was doing for a customer. As you know, I don’t do many commissions these days as my own schedule is quite full, but he caught me at a good moment and I wanted to help him out. It entailed making a pattern of a simple design and some lettering for a sign that he was making for the hospice area where he worked. The most difficult part of the job was finding the right fonts that would look good and also that he would be able to cut on the scroll saw. I went through over 2000 fonts to try to find the right one and when I couldn’t find the exact font that was on the sample that he gave me, I wrote him again and asked him if he needed the exact font, and he said he didn’t and anything similar would be fine. Well, that made things much easier and it wasn’t long before I was able to come up with a nice and acceptable design that I hope he will be able to cut out with little trouble.

As usual, it took a bit longer than I anticipated. I think that is the problem with me and commissions and special orders. Unless I am doing something that I already did before, which usually isn’t the case, I tend to underestimate the time involved and undercharge for my own time. I don’t mind once in a while, because it is nice for me to do different things and I do like knowing the recipient of the work that I am doing, but if I were to be doing this type of work for the main part of my living, I would have to be much more strict about my pricing and careful as to which jobs I accept.

But that is why I don’t work that way. I think it would kill things for me and I would no longer enjoy doing these types of things and probably wouldn’t like my job as much. Many people say that having to do woodworking for a living would take the joy out of it. I can see where they would feel like this and if working only with commissions in this respect, I wouldn’t last long either.

But I don’t have to and it is my choice and that makes all the difference in the world. He was very nice and easy to work with and I think I made him happy and it was a nice experience for me.

The site has settled in nicely and I seem to be getting a good amount of orders which is good. I have received many messages from customers and comments that they are now finding some of the older items that they didn’t even see before. That is great news. I like that things are easier to find and also that I am able to present them in a much better way with larger and clearer pictures and better descriptions. It makes all the time invested into the new design well worth it.

I am also finding that many of my customers prefer to use Paypal for their purchased. I am quite surprised by this. I have had a Paypal account for years and only used it occasionally when I purchased something on Ebay. It was dormant until last year when a customer approached me and asked me if I would take a Paypal payment. I looked into it and thought ‘why not?’ and accepted the payment without trouble. Over the past several months, a couple of other customers also asked me if I would accept payment that way and of course I did. Again, it was easy and there were no problems and everyone was happy.

Since redesigning the site, I have added Paypal as a method of payment and I am amazed that in the week since the new site has been up and running, about half of my payments have been made through Paypal. I had never realized that there are so many people that rely on it as a form of payment. I suppose that with all the internet fraud that people may feel more secure using that method rather than offering up their credit card numbers to every site they purchase from. It makes sense. It just goes to show that you learn something new every day.

I spent the remainder of the day working on the skating pond figures. This is Christophe:

From SLDP103 Skating Pond Figures

I also have the next figure in progress and then only one more until I do the trees and lamp posts, so I am nearing the finish line on that project. I still haven’t caught up the skating blogs here and I had better do a page a day or so there so that I don’t bombard LJ’s with five or six blog entries at once on the same day as I finish! I suppose that making two blogs was a bit overly ambitious, but I wanted them to have their own so someone can read their stories through without having to sift through all my blogs here. My intentions were good.

So I will be skating through the day here with a paintbrush in my hand again. A great way to spend this beautiful sunny and cool fall day. I noticed this morning when I look across to the river that most of the trees are now bare or brown. The beautiful show is nearly over for this year. I am happy that I was able to enjoy it as much as I have and even happier that I played ‘tourist’ last week and got some incredible pictures. No worry though, I am sure Mother Nature has much more beauty in store!

Have an incredible Saturday!

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

3 comments so far

View Woodwrecker's profile


4154 posts in 3602 days

#1 posted 10-30-2010 04:54 PM

Always nice to see your work & to hopefully gain a little knowledge in scroll sawing from your expertise.
(Wow, up to post #149 already? Time flies.)

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3141 days

#2 posted 10-30-2010 05:45 PM

its great to hear your costummers find older patterns they didn┬┤t know exist
now they realy most think you are a superwoman with the speed you make them

thought you had paypal already
its always a good thing that your costummers
have so many possibillity┬┤s as possiple to pay you
as long you remember to charge them the same
amount of money that the institute/bank does
to you incl. the yearpayment to have it

have a great weekend

View woodchick2's profile


9 posts in 2798 days

#3 posted 10-31-2010 04:10 AM

I enjoy using the scroll saw and your blog brought to mind several projects I do for the christmas holidays. One is a sort of calendar box with 25 little doors each with a different small design on it as well as a number (1-25) There are wreathe, stars small boy or girl faces, candy canes, angels sheep, etc. Each door opens and there is a treat or favor inside. The 25th door is the largest one and I put a party cracker (Pier 1) that has a hat and a toy inside. The designs on each door can be made as tree ornament as well. Would you like some of the patterns?

Pleased to make your acquaintance!

Carol aka Woodchick2

-- woodchick2, Rhode Island,

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