My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #176: Time to Focus

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 11-26-2010 02:56 PM 5371 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 175: Rambling Thoughts on Thanksgiving Part 176 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 177: Finished Gingerbread Candle Tray »

OK. It is time to set some serious goals. I should be the poster child as to why goals need to be set. I find it amazing how I can be busy every second of the day, yet unless I have some specific goals in mind, I come through the day without seeming to accomplish much. Anyone out there have the same experience? I thought so. (Come on! If I can admit it – you can too!)

I feel as if I have accomplished little of substance since the last catalog deadline a couple of weeks ago. Oh, I know I have played around with the videos and done some stuff on the skating pond and such, but woven in between those few accomplishments are some very vague things.

I know I have been ‘busy’. And I do know that I need to allow myself time for living in general, but in assessing the work of the past three weeks or so I have come to the realization that if I worked like this all the time, I wouldn’t be in good shape at all.

So while all my American friends and family are fighting the crowds and getting their holiday shopping done on Black Friday (I have seen some hilarious stories and I am sure there are more to come!) I am going to spend my day making my own lists of things to do both for the holidays and also for work and get back on track.

I have reserved ONE day for shopping with a few friends – either Monday or Tuesday, whenever everyone can make it – and that is IT. The rest of the time needs to be spend on either work or finishing up my own presents. As I stated in earlier blogs, I need to ship some things off early to insure that they make it in time, as many of my gifts are going to the United States.

I have a good list already of new ideas that I want to do, as well as continue on with some more candle trays and other things that I have been working on. I need to strike before the ideas get ‘borrowed’ from other designers. Yes, it does happen and No, no one who really buys the pattern is that aware that it was someone else that had the idea first. I saw a good example of this yesterday.

My young friend Leldon, who has been a long time scroll sawyer had come up with a wonderful idea for some great designs this fall using word art. He made some really nice patterns and one of them was even accepted by the ‘other’ scroll saw magazine (not the one I work with) and he will have it published in a couple of months. I am very excited and happy for him because he makes excellent quality patterns because he knows what he is doing and his designs and ideas are fresh and new. He is the one who helps me by proofreading all of my patterns and I trust him because he finds stuff that only a seasoned scroll sawyer would find. He had some designs published in the past, but there was a couple of years when life got in the way and he wasn’t doing much woodworking. Now he is back in the swing of things and this was his first new design to be accepted.

He had generously donated a design to Steve Good’s site a week or so ago. It was a great sign that said “Merry Christmas” where the word Merry was in larger block letters in the background and the word Christmas was done in smaller cursive lettering and glued in front of the Merry lettering. It was quite cool looking and simple but pretty. Here is a picture of it -

Leldon made several different phrases in this style and I really liked them. I think a lot of other people did too. It was a great idea and I am very happy for him. I can see lots of people wanting to make these for gifts and other things. Well, then yesterday, another well-known scroll saw designer came up with a slew of her own versions on that type of design. It was exactly the same concept as Leldon’s. I realize that he doesn’t have a copyright on that type of design, but I couldn’t help but being rather annoyed at her for doing so. She also subscribes to Steve’s list, as she has had stuff on there before to promote her own patterns.

Right or wrong, I felt that it was wrong of her to take advantage of his concept and run with it. Here he is kind of just getting going and she jumped on his idea and used all her seasoned resources to do as many as possible in a short time. I realize that legally she had the right to do so, but ethically I feel that it was just wrong. You can’t enforce people’s morals though. So it is an unfortunate thing, I think.

Leldon does have some other great patterns though, and if you scroll sawyers want to go visit his site, it is at You can see the nice work he does there and maybe find some patterns for your next project.

I think it is important to look out for our friends and each other. I have many wonderful woodworking and scroll sawing friends that keep an eye out for me when others are perhaps distributing my patterns improperly or doing other things of that nature. Even though we are all in the same business, I have always admired the mutual respect we have had among our ‘regular group’ of designers. We are like a family and if one of us doesn’t have a certain type of design that someone is looking for, we are happy to refer our friends. We all have our own unique styles and aren’t necessarily threatened by each other and feel good helping each other out. It is a good part of the business.

But I know that it is only a matter of time before someone else jumps on the candle tray train and starts making their own designs. I still need to get all of these ideas that are in my head down on paper and into the reality of wood and the longer I take in doing so, the more chance there is that someone else will.

So list it is for me. And focus and work. It is amazing how much better I feel when I have a set plan anyway. And I am always amazed at how many of the things I actually do check off. It is definitely the way to go for me.

Have a great Friday everyone!

-- 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 Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3041 days

#1 posted 11-27-2010 01:42 AM

I know the feeling, it usually is a hollow feeling in your stomach when you find that someone else either stole or borrowed your idea or happened to hit on the same thing which at times you have to give the benefit of doubt but don’t want to! I hope for the best for Leldon.

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3138 days

#2 posted 11-27-2010 01:59 AM

have a great day your self Sheila :-)
and good to hear you have great use of the list idea you got a while back
in the older times when I was on the busy side I have to remember myself to do it the night before sleep
or ells I always forgot all about it I gess I wasn´t so diciplned as you…LOL

take care

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18285 posts in 3699 days

#3 posted 11-27-2010 05:49 AM

I have had pictures published in a national magazine that were more or less stolen without acknowledgement. No big deal, but one was the only picture in the magazine with a photo credit. It took me about ½ an hour to get the shot of 3 participants in a competition. No one else was there taking photos; therefore, there is no possible way I didn’t take the one published. If they were going to bother putting a photo credit on only one photo in the entire volume, why lie?

The late great Paul Harvey said only 13 percent of us live by what we claim to believe in on Sunday mornings. I think he was a bit optimistic, but he said the info was from some kind of survey or study.

I just went to Steve’s site, the patterns section is not working. He may know it as there was a note about the site being worked on. I just thought this is an odd time of year for it to be out of commission and Black Friday to boot!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2943 days

#4 posted 11-27-2010 03:13 PM

Yes, it is sad when you see how people really can be. I know there are good people in the world too and I try to focus on that, but it saddens me to see the disregard that many people have for the fellow man.

It is times like these when I try to focus on my own work and myself and do the best that I know how without allowing the negative things in life to poison that.

Sometimes it is easier than others though.

Thank you all for being positive forces in my life. :)


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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18285 posts in 3699 days

#5 posted 11-27-2010 10:31 PM

It really isn’t a big deal to me. Certainly no real financial impacts as you are potentially talking about. I do have to wonder why? Especially, after I went out of my way to make it available if they wanted to use it. I had forgotten all about it until I read your blog. Life is to short to be concerned about such trivial pettiness.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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