My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #163: Trying to Find Focus

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 11-13-2010 01:52 PM 3881 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 162: Reaching a Milestone Part 163 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 164: Do You Want the Good News First, or the Bad News? »

Many times when coming off finishing a long term or large project, I find myself feeling lost for a couple of days. I am going through that unsettled feeling right now. It is as if you are still wanting to work at that feverish pace that you were at and can’t find the right thing to focus on. It seemed to me yesterday that I was all over the board.

I re-read the pattern for the skating pond and my friend who proof reads for me found 3 little typos in it. That wasn’t a big thing and took just a minute to fix. I liked Big Tiny’s suggestion regarding the stories of the skaters. I was not sure that I wanted to include my own stories which I wrote for each character in the pattern. There were two reasons for this. First of all, the pattern was already 24 pages long. That is long as far as scroll sawing patterns go. I had to consider shipping cost and printing costs and even if the customer were printing their own pattern out, I questioned whether they really wanted to take the extra ink and paper to print out my interpretations of the characters. After all, they would be purchasing a pattern, not a story book.

The second reason that I didn’t want to include the stories was that I am hoping that they will perhaps have their own interpretations of the figures and assimilate them to people in their own lives. I didn’t want my own visions to interfere with that.

Paul’s idea of letting them download the stories from my site would be the perfect answer. The stories would be there for those who wanted and for those who didn’t there was nothing wasted. It would also interest others who visit my site and perhaps help sell the set. After all – I did make it as something to sell. I think it would be the best answer.

I spent the morning figuring out the best way to set things up to cut another set out. I am trying to think about the production aspect of the cut outs. I will be doing the cutting for the sets here, at least until it gets to a point where I have many ordered and are unable to make them.

With the fall of the two painting magazines that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago (well, one fell and the other merged) it did show me that I am perhaps not going to see the success that I envisioned initially with selling the plans and kits for this set. I am concerned that with only one major painting magazine left, it will be very difficult to market the set properly.

I find when I am in the stores, I actively look for the painting magazines and have a difficult time finding them most of the time. There seem to be a variety of cooking and fashion magazines and even several car magazines, but the art and craft magazines (including woodworking) are dwindling. I find myself again questioning the stability of the field that I am in and wonder about my future. It is a very volatile time.

I am certain that I will have more answers after March when I attend the show. I will be able to talk with people from many aspects of the industry and also see first hand what my other options may be. I think it will be best to wait until then to make any big decisions.

But until then I will keep on working. I do have a few more holiday patterns that I want t do in mind. I think that if I have them done by the first of December it will give time for people to make them. Then I need to begin thinking about either general designs or move on to spring and summer themes.

And the clocks keep ticking . . .

So the plan for today will be to make a plan. I started looking at what to draw next and I have a good idea of what it will be so I can get started on it perhaps today. I also needed to start on some Christmas gifts and got going on that last evening.

Right now I am at a creative lull and don’t feel focused at all. I know others who design experience it too and I know it will in all probability be temporary, but it isn’t very comfortable for me at the moment. I am happiest when my head is exploding with ideas and I and yearning for more time to finish them. Relaxing is not something I do well.

I hope you have a good weekend and you are productive and having fun creating. I would love to hear of what you are working on. It may help inspire me to get back on track.

Have a great Saturday!

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

5 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4126 days

#1 posted 11-13-2010 06:15 PM

sounds like a little “grieving” process meshed with a need for rejuvenation.. nothing wrong with taking a break. Let your creative mind re-charge :)

It is interesting times we are in, as we shift from the ways of the last few decades to – whatever it is going to be in the future.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3081 days

#2 posted 11-13-2010 11:33 PM

hey it sounds like you had a major electric failier and the lights went out

go over to the cabinet where you have your candles and torchlight
get it out and cravl in to the dark labyrinth of coridors where you will find
some puzzles and exercises to be solved (like the shoe , chrismas gifts ,etc )
and donĀ“t forget the prepairing to the march show has to be started too before you reach the end of the tunnel
where the latter is to the pink creative cloud

take care

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2808 days

#3 posted 11-14-2010 01:20 AM

It’s called a wood block. That’s what I call it. It’s sort of like writer’s block. I get it often after finishing a large project. You want to badly to work hard at something, but you just don’t have that drive to do anything much because you have no pressing details to iron out on an existing project.
I trudge along and start another project. I find that my wood block quickly goes away as soon as a new project has a good start.
Oh, and sometimes a trip to the hardware store helps light a fire under my butt.


View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 2984 days

#4 posted 11-14-2010 06:59 AM

I think we all get those every now and then. I often go browse in an old hardware store and just walk and search every aisle and catalog interesting items in my mind for future “purposes” whatever they may be. Sometimes I get lost in thought and time and go back in time as well and often I am surprised as to how much time has passed when I am in this “state”. When I finally “had enough” I feel rejuvenated and calmed in thought and emotions and most of the time I have a renewed passion for work and projects. Once it took 2 hardware stores to get it out of my system. It works for me and seems for William too. I am not sure it will work for you as it might not be your bag to forage through a hardware store, maybe try another kind of store that you really enjoy browsing through? Take a break, take a walk, do something different and a spark may follow.

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2854 days

#5 posted 11-15-2010 02:40 PM

Hi Sheila.

Glad you liked my idea about the stories.

Have you thought of approaching the larger circulation mags like Martha Stewart’s? Any of the decorating mags could be one shot or ever here and there sales of things like the skating pond. The pond set is in print, so it won’t be wanted by any of the “biggies” as they want exclusivity or at least first serial rights, but similar sets could be of interest to them.

Another idea would be to design some clocks for the clock kit makers like Klockit. They may not pay very well, but you can do a reciprocity deal with them to put a link to your site if you do the same gor them. It’s called networking… :)


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

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