My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #270: Still More Details

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 02-28-2011 02:26 PM 3925 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 269: Plans, Plans and More Plans . . . Part 270 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 271: Who Asked for "Snow"??? »

I hope that everyone isn’t getting sick of reading about my preparation for the Woodworker’s Showcase. As you can imagine, it pretty much has been (and probably will be) the focus of my life for the next couple of weeks. It seems like it has been forever since I have been at the saw. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time, it seems.

I read many posts where people wish that they could do woodworking as a full time job. I can see from what I read that they have visions of spending all day, every day in the shop creating wonderful items. Even though that what they are envisioning is partially true, it seems that lately for the most part I am doing other things. At least in my leg of woodworking (designing).

I am at all not saying that I don’t enjoy what I do. I suppose that it is just that some days (like you) I long for that actual shop time when I can be making saw dust. It seems like it has been a while since I was at the scroll saw and I miss it.

This past week, while I was getting all these things I was preparing for the show done, my partner drew and created another incredible basket. This one he made of jatoba and cherry. It is another beautiful example of his talent. The lines are clean and precise and when he put the oil finish on it I thought – wow! It is a beautiful project.

I also watched him draw up a new pattern yesterday pretty much start to finish. It is for a three dimensional cross with a fretwork overlay. It will stand on a pedestal and have room for a small candle in front of it. I know it will be hit and I can’t wait to see it come to life.

It really helps me so much to have someone to work with like this. Not only is it great to see the incredible projects that he makes, but it is also very helpful to have someone to share the day to day details of the business and get another opinion. I realize that many people can’t or don’t want to work with someone else like this, but I think that if the right combination is found, it can be a great asset.

I suppose the reason that I am thinking along these lines is because it is time for another site update. I try to update it once a month or so and being the last day of February, it is time. However, with all that I have been doing to get things ready for the show and just all the other things, I find that I have no new patterns of my own to add to the mix.

Where the heck did the month go?

I don’t feel like I have been slacking, and I have half a mind to go back and look at the last 28 blogs to see what I was up to. I honestly don’t really look back at them unless I am answering a comment on them about one thing or another. But it seems that the month just kind of slipped away much too quickly.

Now on the positive side of that, I need to look at where I am standing now. There is a reason that I am not feeling sick to my stomach and in a panic about the show, as I would have thought I would have been by now. Things are very nicely falling into place and with three more weeks of preparation left, there is still time to finish up and do what I need to do to make the trip and the presentation and the classes run smoothly. Also, I am happy to say that we just had the best month to date on the site despite it being just after Christmas and a slow economy. I am very proud of that.

I spent the day yesterday again working on the patterns for the painting class. I decided that I didn’t like one of the sea shells, so I reworked and revised it. I also had to get the class descriptions and information, along with a short biography about myself to the gentleman, who is in charge of the publicity for the class. These are all very important pieces of information, as they will be used to sell the class and entice people to partake. He thinks the scroll saw class (which will be an all day class) will sell out quickly, and I told them that if they would like, I can stay an extra day and teach it one more time. After all, with coming so far I would hate to leave if there are people interested in it.

The painting classes should go over well too. There seems to be a lot of interest in painting, if not by the woodworkers themselves, then by their significant others. I think that both of the classes will be fun and successful. The painting class seems as if it takes a bit more preparation than the scroll saw class, but that is only because I haven’t taught a painting class in such a long time and there are so many different variables. Little by little though I am getting a handle on it, and in the next couple of days, the lesson plan will be completed, as well as a pattern that even a beginner can follow and be successful with. I suppose that is one of the biggest challenges in that pattern – making it fully understandable for the beginners. If I can achieve that goal, then I am doing OK.

As for today, much of the day will be shot because I need to take a run to Yarmouth to get a new battery for my car. The little Mustang is almost eight years old and I have never replaced the battery. Since it has been sitting since November (although I periodically give it a start and drive it up and down the driveway once or twice) we noticed the battery is struggling. Eight years is a good run for a battery and it is just time. Last year I had just about everything else overhauled on it – new tires, new breaks, etc. and it is in beautiful shape. I am going to take it in again in the next week or so to get it checked once again before our journey. I want everything to be safe and in tip top shape.

I have a list of things to get for the trip too, so the day will be quite functional. There are lots of odds and ends that I need to pick up before I can call myself ready.

All these things are part of the big picture of a woodworking business. I think it is a good thing that there is so much variety in my day to day life. It keeps me fresh and keeps me longing to do more woodworking. There is no chance to get “bored” with my job, and those of you who know me know that there is no such thing as “routine” in my life.

Although it will be great to get back to producing new designs, I am thoroughly enjoying the opportunities that are in front of me now. These next several weeks, I will be living a life that many here only dream about. I think that I have laid a strong enough foundation in my business that it can withstand me focusing on these other aspects for a little while. After all, I think that it is part of what I was striving for in the first place.

Have a great Monday!

-- 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 BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2951 days

#1 posted 02-28-2011 04:28 PM

Hi Sheila,
Good morning for a lady full of power in her daily life. I like best when you really write at your busiest days as it is full of inspiration. Your conclusive last paragraph had given me to take a good look of those that I almost give up. Then after seconds of thinking… I start laminating by gluing and decided to be back on the course.

I wish you the best on your forthcoming endeavour. Hope that you will have the energy and the right decision in those sudden twist during the workshop. What I mean… the audience (students) will always be trying to divert however you are the one steering them to the right course (direction).

God bless on you trip.

-- Bert

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3144 days

#2 posted 02-28-2011 06:25 PM

good day to you Sheila :-)
people that say they wish they could working wood all day don´t see how much
time management of a busyness takes and don´t understand that 1 shophour is
= 2-3 hours in the office and when imployes want a big raise becourse they have
some of the bills to the custommer they don´t see how many there is used just
to run the busyness before the owner get something to them self for every
100$ imployers make there is only 2-5$ to the owner who takes the risk and having
the money tied to the busyness

don´t worry about not having news one or two month on your site for once
and if you don´t have it next month tell them you have been on the trip and the last
few month has been all about that and say you had so many new impuls and
will have alot of new designs boiling
old costummers that think they know your site and all your projects and nearly
only get to the site to look at news , has good of being guided to the old projects
in there mind and realise that the older things is a s good as the last news

when you are ready to pack and load the car then don´t forget to take a picture
when all the stuff is in the apatment and under the loading ….that is a part of a trip
and shuold be in the scrapbook (was that the right word) with all the memery´s too
I know you shuold proppbly have a third with you just to take pictures but you will
be glad later if you take exstreeme numbers of pictures compare to what we do
dayly and make very short notes in every breake/lunch or …then finish with a longer but still
short , of what have happen during the day
I know its a tedius job and I forget all the time and toay I realy wish I had done it earlyer
in my life today I can´t remember much of it when looking at the pictures :-(
lots of them from jobs I was asked to do becourse of my interessting in photo

take care

View Dandog's profile


250 posts in 2803 days

#3 posted 02-28-2011 09:48 PM

Hey Sheila keep following your hart it’s a good one it brought you this far.Can’t wait and see.How did that 80’s rap song go give give give it all you got give give give it all you got. get’em girl LOL!!!!! getem girl!

-- life an woodworking is one big experiment

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2949 days

#4 posted 03-01-2011 03:38 AM

Thank you for the cheering on! Sometimes it does take a conscious effort to take a breath and enjoy the present day. We just get so caught up in the day to day operation that we forget to do so sometimes.

I am glad you see me as inspiration to you, Bert. As I watch you create your own masterpieces, such as the one you are working on now, I am also inspired by your work. I think that is such a great part of being here and talking among friends. We all encourage and support each other.

Dennis – I will certainly document my travels as much as I can. I want those that can’t come to experience as much of the show that they can. I know that I really enjoy seeing pictures or videos of shows that others have attended. I will try my best to be a good reporter and let you all know how things are going.

And thanks to you Dan, for the cheerful encouragement and reminder of why I love what I do so much. It is truly something that comes from MY heart!

Sheila :)

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

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