My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #358: Busy Times, Good Times

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-02-2011 02:27 PM 5054 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 357: Inspiration Part 358 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 359: Patience »

I am a little slow out of the gate today, but it wasn’t without purpose. Yesterday was a very full day and I accomplished a lot. My early start paid off and although I thought that by the middle of the afternoon I would have a bit of a letdown and get tired, that didn’t really happy. I didn’t start cutting until late afternoon and finished up around ten. Even after that I was still excited about the project and got some of the general sanding done on it and the first coat of oil was applied. It was probably around midnight before I went to bed, but I was able to do so with a good sense of accomplishment. It was a really good day.

I spent most of the morning doing errands and paperwork. I still have to finish my end of month stuff from May, but I at least got a good start on it. I also had some emails and thing of that nature to take care of. In the process of doing that, I received an email from my editor that he wanted the polar bear pull toy for the magazine. I am very happy about that because I think it is somewhat of a different type of project than what the magazine usually offers. The only down side of that is that I won’t be able to sell it for several months and I have to send him away. It is funny how I seem to grow attached to certain projects. I have kind of just let him sit around here out in the open since he was finished so that I could kind of admire him. But this will be good. And I am happy that he will be seen by so many people.

Another order of business was to contact the representative from the painting pattern company (The Artist’s Club) that had shown interest in my little skating pond scene. My contact there said that they would be getting back to me in May about it and they were interested in putting all or part of it in their mailings that went out for the holiday season, but they wouldn’t be ready until then. I had corresponded with her several weeks ago and she had said that since it was such a large project, they were leaning on smaller parts of it – at least to start off and see where it went. That was fine with me and I told her that, but I needed to know which pieces in particular they wanted because it would involve me rewriting the pattern to reflect only those pieces. After a couple of back and forth correspondences, communication ceased and I was kind of left wondering.

I was beginning to also wonder if the project was somehow cursed, as it seems that every step of the way there has been one type of obstacle or another. I was thinking about it as I was driving and doing my errands and part of me just wanted to let it die. After all, if it is this much work than something mustn’t be right. It made a nice keepsake for my son, which was my first intention with it and that is what mattered most.

I had almost convinced myself to leave it alone when a thought came to me. If I let it go now, not only would I be losing the opportunity to get it the exposure that I did want it to have, but I would also be dropping the ball with a new company and outlet for my wood pieces and painting patterns. Although I am more focused on the scroll sawing right now, I wanted to keep that avenue open at least enough to possibly develop later on. There are so many of my customers as well as woodworkers that inquire about painting and finishing and are asking me to do more things and videos on the processes and also on how to add color to other scroll work. I am thinking that one of the only ways that I will be able to have that part of the business lucrative for me is to have a distributor such as Artists Club to reach that audience and let them know that I exist. I would be foolish if I didn’t at least give it one more shot.

So when I returned home, I sent one more (and I thought final) email to my contact. In it I was very polite and thanked her very much for her consideration. I also let her know that my own schedule was filling up quite quickly and that I have many deadlines to meet and if she is at all interested in making things work on the skating pond set, that it would be desirable to settle things now so that I will be able to meet whatever criteria she would require of me. I also very politely told her that if they had chosen not to go with the set, that I still appreciated the consideration and asked her to let me know if she would be open to me submitting other projects in the future.

I understand that everyone is busy. With the economy the way it is and the craft industry as well as the woodworking industry struggling, perhaps they didn’t feel that it was a good risk to take on something new like this. I just needed to know because I didn’t want to be hit with things at a time when I was already fully committed. I tried to be as gracious as possible in letting her know that and not sound like I was giving her an ultimatum, but I did need her to understand that I had other commitments too. I realize that I have no name in the painting industry and I am probably a low priority on the list, but life needs to go on and I had to know what was what.

After I wrote the email, I was able to check it off my mental list and move on. If I didn’t hear from her again, at least I knew I did the right thing and gave it my best shot. I was fully prepared to put it all to rest and let go and thought ‘what will be will be’. (This is a very freeing attitude, by the way!)

I went on with my work and within the hour, I saw a response to my email pop up in my mailbox. To make a long story shorter, they are interested in using part of the set at least to start and we are working out the logistics of things later on today. She was very warm and apologetic about taking so long to talk to me and we are going to talk later on today and iron out the remaining details. Hopefully I will have some good news to talk about tomorrow.

With that under my belt, I was able to continue on with my shell candle tray with a clear head. I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t have the appropriate thickness of some cherry, but I did find a nice piece of brown maple that has a good, warm color.

The tray took a bit over four hours to cut, but I truly think it is one of my favorites. It was pure pleasure cutting it out and I was actually sad at ten in the evening when I finished the final hole. Here are some preliminary pictures of it:

From SLD354 Classic Fretwork Sheill Candle Tray

I decided to embed a small pearl bead in each of the scallop shells:

From SLD354 Classic Fretwork Sheill Candle Tray

If the beads are not desired, I am offering an alternative pattern in which a tear drop shaped piercing would go in its place. I like the pearls though and I think they really look good and give the piece some interest.

From SLD354 Classic Fretwork Sheill Candle Tray

I still need to do another couple of coats of oil and some more fine sanding on the piece. I had just set the beads into the depressions for now for the preliminary photographs. I also don’t think that I will use that background color for the tray. I am going to experiment with other colors and see what I feel will bring out the color of the wood best.

Overall, I think that this may be my current favorite design to date. I suppose that must mean that I am not burned out on doing them yet. I think that as long as I can get excited about the new designs, that I will be OK.

There is so much to do and so much to be excited about. I did sleep in late today (until 7) because I just was tired. It was a long day yesterday, but a really, really good one. I hope to continue to accomplish a lot today. I think I am on a roll!

Have a good one!

-- 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 huntter2022's profile


275 posts in 2637 days

#1 posted 06-02-2011 03:08 PM

Morning Shelia ! It is always nice to sleep in once in awhile . did some errand and picked up a used but new to me tool a elect. pole saw . The candle tray looks good with the pearl it sets it off good . Wish you luck with the Art store deal . I hate being held off and wondering is it a go or what . You have a wonderful day and Stop and smell the roses

-- David ; "BE SAFE BE HAPPY" Brockport , NY

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2942 days

#2 posted 06-02-2011 03:12 PM

Can I ask what is an “electric pole saw?” What do you use it for?

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

View beatlefan's profile


56 posts in 3120 days

#3 posted 06-02-2011 03:43 PM

Sheila you do such beautiful work—thanks for sharing !!

-- Tony --

View Pat Cavanaugh's profile

Pat Cavanaugh

163 posts in 3393 days

#4 posted 06-02-2011 04:28 PM

Shelia, I Googled “electric pole saw” and here is a description from one for sale – Great for trimming overhead branches without ladders or stepstools, thanks to the extension boom that gives you an 11ft. reach. Common Usage: Pruning, cutting, and trimming. Hope that helps/

-- Pat - Biloxi, MS

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3058 days

#5 posted 06-02-2011 05:06 PM

Regarding the Artist Club. You are quite right to do this. It may be a cliche but if you don’t respect yourself (and show others that you do) then they won’t respect you. The Skating Pond Scene is a fine piece of work, demanding great time and concentration from you and as such this should be recognised.

Oh and this one ain’t half bad either.

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

View stevebuk's profile


57 posts in 2706 days

#6 posted 06-02-2011 08:26 PM

you never fail to amaze me with your cutting abilities and the fine detail you give yourself to cut out. Another stunning piece of work and it should prove to be a winner.
Do you fill in the initial bore hole in the base?

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2942 days

#7 posted 06-02-2011 08:33 PM

Thanks again for your comments. They really are encouraging to me.

Pat – I had that “AH, Yes!” moment when I read what it was. Thank you for helping me out. ;)

Martyn – I’m learning, I’m learning, I’m learning, I’m learning, (I keep saying this to myself!) I’m learning, I’m learning, I’m learning, I’m learning, I’m learning, I’m learning, I’m learning, I’m learning, I’m learning, . . .

Steve – Yes, I do. I use the little-bit-of-saw-dust-and-glue method and the hole disappears. I also find that by drilling slightly to the inside of the line, the majority of the hole is on the inside piece that drops down and is far less visible. Just a little something I learned along the way.

Everyone really seems to like this one. I guess my drive to clear my head Monday must have really been a good one! :)


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

View huntter2022's profile


275 posts in 2637 days

#8 posted 06-03-2011 01:16 AM

Shelia , Pat explain it good . It has a electric chainsaw ,proablely I won’t use it alot after I get the trimming done I want to do but I picked it up for 30 dollars a new one is over $100.00 here . I have wanted one just could not see paying over 100 dollars for one .

-- David ; "BE SAFE BE HAPPY" Brockport , NY

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