My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #277: Another Milestone

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 03-07-2011 01:27 PM 3914 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 276: Finding a Way Part 277 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 278: Still Crunching »

Yesterday was good. I finished the two sea shell painting patterns for the classes that I am going to be teaching. I am fairly happy with how they came out and I hope they are clear and understandable.

Writing painting instructions is so much different from scroll saw patterns. Scroll saw and wood working patterns seem to be pretty much cut and dry, but painting patterns have many variables in them. I often find myself when doing a painting adding another layer or changing the tone here and there. It is difficult for me sometimes to present how to do this in an organized way.

When I painted my polar bear a couple of weeks ago, I fully intended to make it into an instructional pattern. In thinking about it yesterday, the realization came to me that in order to do so, I will definitely need to paint it over again – perhaps several times – in order to recreate the process. It simply isn’t easy (for me, anyway).

But these shells came out good and I feel as if a huge weight is lifted off of me. Everything is falling nicely into place. The only major piece of the puzzle that i need to find out about is obtaining the brushes for the classes. I have a good lead on it and hopefully I will be able to find out this week about them. The paint is all ordered and my partner has been cutting shells all weekend and it looks like he will finish today.

In other news, I heard that my first scroll saw class for the NWA club (the week after the big show) is indeed filled. It looks like I am going to stay another day so I can add in another class on Saturday. That way we will be able to give the people who work during the week the chance to participate. I was told that the Saturday class should fill up quickly also, which makes me really happy.

Teaching these classes is going to be great. I truly like the thought of spending time with people and walking them through the project. They are allowing a full eight hours for each class which means it will be a fun and relaxing day. I have chosen the following project to teach there:

From Leaf Candle Tray

I have full confidence that each student will be able to complete the project from start to finish in the time frame. I think it will be cool that everyone will be able to go home with a finished project. When I cut mine out, the actual cutting of the leaves only took me about 2-3 hours. I am not a particularly fast cutter so this should leave lots of time for practice and questions and working at a nice, relaxed pace. I am really looking forward to this part of the trip – perhaps even more so than the lecture. Interacting one on one with people is much more enjoyable to me.

I am curious to see how the painting classes will be. I am able to teach up to 20 students in that type of class. I don’t know if they will be full, or even close to full, but in the past I have taught anywhere from two people to 35 and I much prefer the lesser numbers. Smaller groups are so much more pleasant, as I get to really get to know people and give extra attention to them. But either way I will be happy. I realize that this is a stretch for many woodworkers and I hope to at least introduce them to another possibility regarding their work. I am sure it will be fun.

Today I am going to hit the books and get my taxes in order. I started that a bit last night, and I have what I need to get started. I just need to log and categorize everything and make an appointment to see my accountant. With being a dual citizen and having my business based in the United States, I need to file in both countries. Last year I discussed with my accountant the possibility of moving my business here to Canada, but it seemed to be in my best interest to leave it as it was. After everything settles down, I again want explore my options and make sure that I am doing what is best for me. I just want to be able to approach it with a clear head when things aren’t so busy.

I am following Big Tiny’s Basic Financial Planning Blog and it is very interesting and brings up many good points about basic business practices. He is very generous to spend the time blogging this and I think it has some very good general pointers for a broad range of people. I know that this has been a part of my life where I basically was ‘winging it’ and I would like to look at things from a more purposeful perspective and really see what will be good for me in years to come. It seems that I am finally coming to a point in my life where I am settling down and should really start planning for down the road. They say it is never too late to start, so I suppose it is time. :)

Getting these taxes ready will be another big thing to check off the list. I will be returning home with less than a week to file in the US, and I don’t need that hanging over my head while I am gone. It will be great to get it out of the way.

With two more weeks to get ready, I feel I am just doing fine. Hopefully I will get my car back soon and it also will be ready for the road. I should also hear from them in the next day or so.

I hope you all have a great day. It is melting here and warm and Spring is definitely just around the corner. 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 2950 days

#1 posted 03-07-2011 06:01 PM

Good Morning Sheila,
Though I read your post a bit earlier, I again read it… You got a nice choice for the students to do. It is likely that almost all the techniques and skills required can be experienced in doing that. However, I feel that most of them will create mistakes if they will be doing at higher speed. Slow but sure.

Talking about Big Tiny… really amazing on his business adventure… He commented that he even had a veneer saw .1 mm saw kerf with 52 tpi … Without those great connection worldwide, he won’t be able to have that saw. He is really big in this kind of business. If Big Tiny is reading this… I am really jealous of your experience and I like to put it in practice but wait till I am a fultime woodworker.. Dream that can be realized.

-- Bert

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3046 days

#2 posted 03-07-2011 08:00 PM

Yes, I agree that it is better to get tax papers out of the way before the trip cause you never know what might happen on the trip you are on and you could be delayed getting home! I had an engine blowout years ago on my way home for the weekend while I was on a job out of state for a few weeks and it shortened my stay at home! I certainly would not wish this for you but do think about what to do if it happens! Knock on wood! However it seems you have covered all bases. Best wishes and go with God.

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3143 days

#3 posted 03-07-2011 11:40 PM

open the window and toss the taxpapers and hope they never find you … LOL
just kidden have them done before the trip is a good thing , you don´t need to have that
to consern about that under the travel too :-)

can´t you skip some of the written paint instructions and make them simple
together with pictures both on paper and on the projector when you have the class´s
just a thought from one that never have painted anything like this except from some qroixqie

take care

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2948 days

#4 posted 03-08-2011 02:51 AM

Thank you all very much. :)

I made good headway today and feel really good about getting it behind me. I am excited about the classes too. I think it will be nice to get to visit with some fellow woodworkers.

And Dennis – the instructions have lots of pictures with them and they are fairly simple. Sometimes making things simple is more work than leaving them complex. I tried my best to make everything understandable to someone who has never painted before. Hopefully they will all do well and understand everything. I have taught beginners before, and even groups of children and have been successful. My goal is for everyone to have fun and learn something new too. :)


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

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