My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #200: Diversifying and Exploring All Options

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 12-20-2010 02:35 PM 3974 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 199: Exchanges and Things Part 200 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 201: Procrastination Can Be Rewarding »

Well, we are all getting into the final countdown. It seems like I haven’t been at the scroll saw in years! I think it is good to get away though for a couple of weeks and shift gears to something else. I have a list of things I want to do soon after the holidays and I am very anxious to get at it. And of course there is preparation for the show.

I think there is much to be said for diversification. It is good for us on so many levels. Perhaps that is why woodworking is such a great hobby. There is so much to do and so many overlapping aspects of woodworking that it seems that we will never have all the tools we need or try all the technique we want to try. There always seems to be something fresh and exciting to try.

I watch everyone else from my own little corner of the woodworking world in awe. There are times I long for a full shop to be able to attempt some of the techniques and processes that I see done here. I am sure that we are all like that to some extent. it seems that no matter how many tools one has or how large the shop is there is always room for expansion and new techniques to explore. Places like Lumberjocks here exposes us to so many different types of styles and aspects of woodworking that it is like a candy store to a child.

I am sure that diversifying will also help my business too. I am starting to get excited because I know when I go to the show in March, that I will be exposed to so many other wonderful types of woodworking and I will learn so much. I also think that it will inspire me to incorporate new techniques into my designing patterns that can be accomplished mainly on the scroll saw. Hopefully I will add some more dimension to my designing.

Yesterday we worked on a couple of ads for the Skating Pond Vignette pattern that are due to my editor today. After initially being told that it would appear in several of the magazine publications, I am now down to one ad in my own magazine. For those of you who followed the story, you may remember the roller coaster that I have been on with it. When I sum it up it looks pretty depressing.

It went from being spread over several issues, to being put on the shelf for months, to being in one issue without any contact information printed with it. Then as compensation for the error, it was to be in 4 craft and painting magazines to now only in a scroll sawing magazine half page ad. As nice as it is to get a half page ad at no charge, I can’t help but feeling very disappointed because the targeted audience for that magazine is very unlikely to attempt that pattern. Scroll sawyers in general don’t like to or want to paint. It is just a plain and simple observation that i have made over the years. In fact, woodworkers don’t like painting very much either. I can’t help but feel as if selling this ad would be like selling ice cream to Eskimos. However at this point I suppose it is better than nothing and I need to take what bone is thrown to me.

Even the ad is a bit controversial. At first, I could have sworn that I was told that I could put anything in the ad I wanted. Anything. I was thinking that I would have the focus of the ad for the skating set but also put a couple of little pictures of other things (scroll saw patterns) that were offered on my site to generate some interest among the people that wouldn’t do the set. After all, isn’t that what an ‘ad’ is?

But in talking to my editor the other day, he made it pretty clear that by ‘anything’ he meant “anything to do with the skating set.”


So we actually came up with two versions to present him with today. One being totally about the pond and the other having a small side bar highlighting some general patterns that I offer. I am going to pitch both versions to him today and see what will happen. I will certainly let you know.

If I hadn’t taken the matter into my own hands a week or so ago and approached the painting pattern company with this project I would probably be a little depressed right now about it (or a lot!) Situations like this one in business are what I separate the girls from the women if you will. I have said many times before that I believe in this project and I think that being exposed to the proper audience it will be a very successful one. That is not a ‘never say die’ attitude which could very well cripple a business by spending too much time on something that just wasn’t meant to be. I feel it is more of a ‘I am not going to let it go until all my options are exhausted’ attitude. Most others would have given up by now. There is something inside me that just isn’t ready. When the time is right, I will let it go but I put too much work into it to not give it a fair shake with the audience it needs to be shown to.

Besides, the majority of the work is done and this part of the process – the knocking on doors – requires little time and more waiting than anything. In the mean time I am working in several other directions and it is on the back shelf of my mind. I forget if I mentioned here that I did hear back from the painting pattern company and they do want to run it in their catalogs next summer when they will be starting to present their new holiday stuff. So my patience and tenacity may pay off yet. We just need to see. In the mean time, it is selling well on my site (with its limited audience) and I do believe the ad will come out sometime in February or March. All I can do is wait and see.

On a final note regarding the mishap of no contact information, it has been almost another two weeks since my last attempt to contact the editor of the magazine that made the mistake and I have not heard back from him yet. My initial (and only) conversation with him was in early November and I was told he would get to the bottom of things and get back to me “in a day or so”. Since then, I have written several times and left a voice message with no response. My final recourse is to go to the publisher directly and mention it and see what can be done. I have been with that company for over 14 years and have contributed over 100 projects to their publications and have never been treated like this before or had this problem. I don’t know if it is the thing to do but I want to do something to make someone accountable. I suppose at this point in the game, I am not expecting anything and that is one cause I am about ready to abandon. I do feel though that this final effort is warranted and then I will put it to rest. If only for my own peace of mind. I suppose it will be a kind of test to see what the company is made of.

So on to better and more positive things:

The latest pictures of the sewing box. I painted the quilt yesterday:

From Diana's Sewing Box

And then added the sleeping cat:

From Diana's Sewing Box

I was amazed at how quickly painting the kitty went. I think I am finally getting into the groove of things. I used a larger brush than I used with the bears for the fur, and I believe that gave it an overall softer effect.

From Diana's Sewing Box

There is part of me that wants to go back and re-do the bears, but seeing that I have much more on my plate right now than I can handle, I don’t dare. For this project they look fine and I need to leave them alone.

I now only need to fill in the bare areas with sewing paraphernalia and it will be finished. I think that it will be a nice gift for my friend and I do think that she will like it. We were over at her house the other day and she had other things that I had made her on display and it felt good to see.

Well, this post got quite lengthy. Sorry about that. It always seems that the days when I am not sure what to talk about turn out to be the longest posts. I guess I get on a roll. :)

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday! Have a fun day!

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

8 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3109 days

#1 posted 12-20-2010 02:54 PM

goodmorning Sheila :-)
sorry for all your truoble with that skating pond after all the work you have put into it
and glad to hear you ain´t stop thinking of how can it be saved so it wasn´t vasted work time
I don´t know if you are going to have a stand at the show mbut if so thats an other oppetunety to
show it , I know its a spring show but still consider it if you have a working stand
beside you are going to make the teaching classes and will use a lot of time going around
to be inspired :-)

have a great day

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2850 days

#2 posted 12-20-2010 03:04 PM

Congrats on number #200 Sheila.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3030 days

#3 posted 12-20-2010 04:18 PM

Surely there will be some good news on the Skating Pond Scene front in the new year. Lets hope so.

Today I’m diversifying. We are snowed in, I can’t get to work so now I’m planning projects on the PC as the shop is also too cold to work in. How pathetic that the country I live in is paralysed by a few (3) inches of snow. Considering we have so much weather here we don’t know what to do with it when we get it.

Keep looking forward to the show, next year, you deserve it.

Oh and congratulations on your 200th blog post.

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

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3297 days

#4 posted 12-20-2010 04:19 PM

i love your painting..the kitty looks so happy , could you paint me a quilt like that with me sound asleep with a kitty by my side…i had my kitty in my bedroom the other night…she had a drool feast on me..she is a drooling machine…...i know your taking this publisher thing much calmer then i would..i think you should call the owner…the years you have with them , the number of times they have published you gives you certain rights i think…..your being treated like your some new kid on the block..totally unprofessional on there part..if he said he would get back to you in a few days…that’s exactly what should have happened….....they wronged you…ok…im off my soap box… you have snow….....???........i cant wait to see this present in it finality …your work inspires me to try to do better …you are a true craftsman sheila…....with a capitol women on that…:)..........quite inspiring …have a great day…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2914 days

#5 posted 12-20-2010 05:01 PM

Thanks all for your replies.

Dennis – that is a good idea. There is going to be a large mixture of people at the show and it may just be a good place to showcase it. I just need to see what size place they give me.

Thanks Jaime – Yep! I hit the 200 mark here. Hard to believe that I can talk that much! In high school, my biology teacher used to call me “the quiet one”. I know you are all laughing! I do find writing much easier than speaking in person though. I just hope that through all the muddle I have contributed some positive things here. :)

Martyn – Here is something to make you smile on your snowed-in day.


A friend of mine had this video up on their facebook and I laughed my butt off. It is so close to the truth it hurts. Reminds me of my days in Chicago and driving! I personally love snowed-in days. I have plenty of supplies and could probably hibernate until spring here. (Just so I have my computer or a paintbrush!) It is a good excuse for you to take time and plan. That is always fun. Thanks so much for your continued encouragement. I do feel as if there is a lot to look forward to!

Grizz – These are the times when I have let some things go. Sure . . I want to throw something and call the guy up and read him out and whine and stomp my feet but what good would that do? It would ruin my own day, not his and I would be the one to be acting like an ass. (“Oh, if I weren’t a lady!)

I am choosing to be positive and look at the GOOD things that will come of this. It made me look to look for other places to distribute it and possibly open another valuable source for me. Wouldn’t have happened probably if all went hunky dory in the first place. I need to look at it as one of those things that happen for a reason. “We follow where we focus” I want to focus on the positive.

:D Sheila

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

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3297 days

#6 posted 12-20-2010 06:20 PM

thanks sheila…your right…i just think your such a great gal and a great artist, and you deserve the best and to be treated the best….i think of you like a sister and i want to go to bat for you and see you be treated the way you should…so i get a little wound up…but your right…you will be the one who is professional and through all of this it has lead you to seek other avenues… and you are looking out for your best interest….lets hope for the best today ….grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3030 days

#7 posted 12-20-2010 07:13 PM

Yes, reminds me of home too, lol

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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18266 posts in 3670 days

#8 posted 12-21-2010 06:43 AM

Shelia, When you get to the point there isn’t much to loose, do what you have to do. You have been strung out and out by these people. It is time for them to shape up or move out. You have lost a whole year’s exposure on this project, now they want to limit your input on your ad. Seems to me like they are subtlety trying to under expose your contact info to make you more dependent on them and to control all sales of your patterns through the magazine, IMO. I would not go there.

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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics