My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #194: Project Progress and Thinking Back

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 12-14-2010 02:06 PM 3917 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 193: Getting "Unstuck" by Changing Gears Part 194 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 195: Following Up »

So much for a winter wonderland. Yesterday it rained and rained and RAINED! Needless to say, all the snow is long gone and what is left is a wet and muddy mess. Last night it was quite windy, but it seems that the wind has died down quite a bit and it is much calmer today. But looking in the forecast (which I don’t really hang my hat on) it is supposed to be above freezing at least for the next several days. So it will be quite messy.


I know there are many people who don’t enjoy snow. Some downright hate it. I have always been one of those odd people who actually like the stuff. Some of my fondest memories involved snow. When I was in grammar school and lived in the city of Chicago, they used to flood the asphalt baseball field at our school ground every winter for ice skating. There was a small field house right there by the ball fields and one side was for girl’s activities and the other side for boys activities. It was a great place to hang out after school.

We would run the two city blocks home and quickly change our clothes (girls weren’t allowed to wear pants to school when I was young) and grab our ice skates and be back at the school yard within minutes of leaving. We spent the short fall and winter afternoons hanging with our friends and ice skating to music that played from a large (2 ft) old speaker sitting on the ground with a wire going to the inside of the field house. Every once in a while, the music was interrupted by the monitor scolding someone through the PA system which was somehow connected to the music, as she watched carefully through the main window to make sure that everyone was behaving. It was the ultimate humiliation to be called out by name (as she knew the names of all the naughty kids) or worse yet, be side lined for ten or more minutes in front of your peers. Although, there were the ‘regulars’ who were always in trouble and wore the punishments like a badge, most of the kids complied. Those were back in the days before everyone threatened lawsuits and we had a great deal of respect for authority.

I must admit, I found myself penalized more than once, although it didn’t become a common practice. I would usually receive a time out for things like reckless skating, as we loved to play ‘tag’ and on the crowded days, the tolerance for skating too fast or weaving too much among the younger children was not well-tolerated. It seemed I was one of the ones who occasionally got ‘caught’ goofing off a bit too much. I suppose I wasn’t slick enough.

I remember sitting on the sidelines for those 5-10 minute stretches in the ‘penalty box’ as both humbling and humiliating. After all, I was a girl. But the group I hung out with were all quite tom-boyish and no one really held it against you. We all had our turn and among our own group there was really little shame in it. Especially if it resulted from successfully tagging one of the boys. (The teams were always boys vs. girls) In that case, the offender would become somewhat of a hero.

We go every day we could and stay there until about 5 or 5:30pm when it seemed everyone left for dinner.

If we were lucky and had little homework, we were able to come back after supper and stay until 8pm when the park closed. There was something wonderful about being there at night. There were mostly “older” kids like myself and some times you would even see a few high school kids. If we got cold, we could always go warm up in the field house where they had cocoa and a couple of bumper pool tables if you wanted to wait in line. You could also go there and thaw your frozen hands and feet, and chatter about what the boys were up to, as the rules of segregation were strictly enforced by the monitors – boys were only allowed on the boys side and girls were only allowed on the girls side.

I even enjoyed walking home in the snow. Especially at Christmas time. The neighborhood I lived looked very much like the city streets in the move “The Christmas Story” with block after block of bungalow styled homes. The houses were so close, you could almost stretch your arms and touch two adjacent buildings. We had little front lawns and small landings that were porches and everyone knew everyone in the neighborhood. When walking at night during this time, almost everyone had some sort of decoration such as wreaths or lights and just about everyone had a sparkling lit Christmas tree in the front window. It was truly a magical time of year for me and somehow it didn’t matter how cold it was outside.

Well, I don’t quite know what sparked that tangent I went on down memory lane. Perhaps it is just the season. In any case, I do hope that it gets colder in the next week or so and winter returns. It looks as if it is going to hover just around freezing the next couple of days so it could go either way.

I had a lot of varied stuff to do yesterday and I didn’t get as much time as I wanted to paint on my sewing box. I did spend the evening doing so though and I finished the sewing machine. At least to the point that I want it to be at. I did most of the shading and details, but I still need to decide what color thread to use in it. I think that will come when everything else if finished and I am adding the details in. Here is a picture of where I am at:

From Diana's Sewing Box

The box is about 8” in diameter and about 6” tall before the finale on the lid. Today I will have most of the day to work on it and should make some good progress. I am going to be painting the two bears, which is a really fun part and should make it really look like something nice. I will take some pictures as I progress and some for tomorrows blog.

On the business side of things, it seems that it is more waiting on stuff. I haven’t heard back on my own skating pond set and it seems that everyone is gearing up for the holiday lull. That is normal this time of year though and it is a good time to get ahead and get revved up for the new year and season. I have some more things that I am organizing in my head that I want to work on immediately after the holidays and get a jump start on for the magazine and also my site. And I can’t forget the show in March. That will come much quicker than I think and I am preparing for it now.

I enjoyed thinking back to my childhood and those days in the snow. It has been many years since I have thought of those times. I think that it is good to take time and reflect on our past and relive some of the memories that have made us what we are today. Thank you all for allowing me to share them with you. I hope you all have a wonderful day.

“Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.”

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

4 comments so far

View William's profile


9950 posts in 2899 days

#1 posted 12-14-2010 03:07 PM

Hey! I was looking at your box and had an idea. You mentioned a finale on the lid. Well, sometimes when I’m building something like this, I can’t help but put that little scroller’s touch on it. Since the sewing machine seems to be the main item on the box, how about a tiny scolled sewing machine for the handle on the lid? Or the bear or cat would work well too. I just thought that with you being a scroller that something besides a simple finale could be used for a handle.
As for me, I love snow. What I hate is what we get in Mississippi.
Let me explain. I have, as I do every year, had this snow discussion several times with various local people. The conversation always starts with them asking if I think we’ll see snow this year. We don’t get anything white every year like you northerners do. Well my response always revolves around the fact that I have never seen snow in Mississippi. You see, I love snow. I’m talking about light fluffy snow that your kids can play in without getting pneumonia. What we get around here is SLUSH. It has enough snow in it to make it look white. That is where the similarities with real snow ends. It is a wet, slippery, messy, nasty, cold, SLUSH!
To make matters worse, people around here cannot drive in it. That slush they call snow hit’s the ground. If it’s cold enough it immediately turns to almost a solid sheet of ice. Then a lot of these idiots drive like it’s a dry hot day in July. If they notice it’s slippery, they just ride their brake, which makes it more slippery for them. It’s crazy.
Then there’s the panic factor. Most people around here panic. First thing they do if snow is predicted is go to the store to empty the shelves of all the milk and bread, because you know that if snow hits and they can’t get to the store for two days that all the cows will dry up and they’ll quit making bread. We could start a whole internet comedy site about what happens if the lights go out.
Yes, the best thing around here about snow days is I get to sit back and laugh at people here. If the lights go out, my family and myself throw a few more pieces of wood on the fire. I break out the dutch ovens so I can cook dinner in the fireplace. We light up the lanterns, pull out the board games and put on hot chocolate for the kids. Every now and then we’ll hear a crash. We’ll bundle up, go outside, and see who has wrecked their car trying to drive up the very steep hill on the road that leads past our house. It’s also funny to see how many idiots that’ll pass the wrecked car to try to come up the same hill for the fourth or fifth time. “More marshmellows for your drink son?” “Sure Dad, why not?”
If you get some more real snow Sheila, see if you can send some this way. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!


View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3093 days

#2 posted 12-14-2010 03:12 PM

Shelia, While reading your “that tangent down memory lane” (LOL), I couldn’t help but take a mental trip down the same road. Thank you! It made me smile…

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

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3248 days

#3 posted 12-14-2010 05:24 PM

Yup, I rember the sixties….Long time ago….

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18316 posts in 3733 days

#4 posted 12-15-2010 06:58 AM

So that is what you did in town, eh? I remember snow and ice too. Not skating, but breaking it off the stock tanks and throwing it out so the cows and horses could drink. Trudging around in the snow to get my other chores done. I used to think it was funny when the horses and mules got fuzzy for the winter ;-)) If I was lucky, I would have a lot of homework and get out of helping with milking early to do it ;-)

One thing I remember abut this time of year was the song about Its Christmas-time In the City. I always wondered why it was Christmas in the city and we had to wait? ;-((

-- 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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