My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #379: Working and More Class Planning

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-23-2011 01:28 PM 3804 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 378: Odds and Ends Part 379 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 380: Progress »

I thought that I would have gotten a bit farther yesterday than I actually did, but I can’t say it was a bad day at all. I suppose that sometimes things just take more time then we anticipate. I used to do that more then I do now, but I have been pretty realistic about mapping out and achieving my goals lately. I think writing things down here in the mornings helps me a lot with sticking to a plan. Even if I want to change things up in the middle of the day, at least I have a framework that I laid out that will be the basis that I can work from. It puts some order into the day.

Ideas never seem to be a problem. I have so many thoughts on stuff that I want to do that hopefully, I will never run dry. I haven’t been as good at writing them down though, and I need to start disciplining myself to do so. Then on the days when I am not particularly creative I can look at the list and pick something that will get me moving again. I get many of my ideas while I am working on other projects. My mind wanders when I do my work and I usually can think up several variations of the designs. Sometimes I think of things that are altogether different. I am happy that people are enthusiastic about the new stuff that I show. I just updated things on the site and I have already received lots of positive feedback. It makes me feel that I am on the right track.

I spent yesterday drawing for just about the entire day. I had originally thought that I would have gotten to the cutting stage after lunch, but it took much longer to be completely satisfied with things and get them right. It isn’t that it is a particularly difficult design – in fact it is quite the opposite, I think, but sometimes when making something that is simpler it is even more important to get things perfect so everything goes smoothly. In any case, I picked on it for quite a while and I finally feel that it is where I want it to be. That means cutting today, which I am looking forward to very much.

I am going to be working with the roasted birch again. I had the idea for this project last week when I was working with it on the running horses tray. Seeing how black it looked once oiled got me thinking to all the other things I could use it on and this project came to mind. It is going to be messy though, and I don’t think I will be wearing white today. Not only do I need to cut it, but this project also calls for some routing and shaping as well as the usual hand sanding. It is a beautiful day out however, and I can do the majority of this outside. I have lived working on the small deck when the weather is nice like this. My cat Pancakes comes out with me and sometimes even my other cat Coco. Richard (my third cat) prefers to watch from the window.

The design I am working on is pretty much a Halloween design. Once again I am in my little time warp. But the catalog that is coming due will be mailed out at the beginning of September and I find that there are many people who like to do Halloween decorating. I must admit that I like doing them too. I love the colors and autumn is my favorite time of year. Not so much here in Canada, but when I was in the States, it seemed that my autumn designs sold just about as much as the Christmas ones. It is quite a big thing there. In any case, it is a good excuse to do something that I like to do anyway.

I am also working on the class stuff too. I noticed in yesterday’s newsletter that it said that I was teaching a candle tray design. I am sorry for the error on that, as me and Debbie just got our signals crossed a little bit. Originally I probably planned to teach a tray, but after thinking about it, I feel that it would somewhat limit us in terms of techniques. It is difficult to find a project that focuses on all techniques at one time. Some focus on curves, some on straight runs, some on sharp corners, etc., etc. In order to find one single project that would encompass all of these techniques, it would have to be a huge one. I think that it would be impractical to try to teach something like that.

By teaching several unrelated separate ornaments, I will be able to cover many different techniques, styles and levels of difficulty so hopefully we can appeal to most of the different levels of people here. Also, that will help when you want to apply these techniques to something that you may be working on in the future.

I have already decided that I want to go at a nice slow and relaxed pace for several reasons. I realize that many of you have other jobs and do woodworking as a hobby. I want everyone to have time to really work on what each project was focusing on and get a good feel for it before moving on to the next. Although I know it would be impossible for everyone to keep up at exactly the same pace, I think it would be nice we all kind of sort of were at the same point. With all the different levels of experience here too, keeping us moving together is something that will help everyone the most. I plan to err on the side of moving too slow rather than too quickly, as I want to be sure that those who are just starting out will be comfortable. I hope the experienced people will understand this and be patient if our pace is a little slower than they would like. Besides, it is summer and everyone is busy with gardening and outdoor activities and families. And the veterans can always chime in and help with advice and ideas as to how they do things too. I have always said that there are many paths to the same destination and I don’t for a second think that my way of doing things is the only way. That is what is so great about forums such as this. You learn so many good ways to do things that many times you have several different choices.

As I said earlier, I will probably start posting the first introduction blog after the Independence Day holiday. I use this as a starting point because I know it is a big weekend for all my American friends (and here in Canada, there is Canada Day) but also because I have some catalog deadlines that are around that time and I need to focus my efforts on finishing up my submissions for that. I want to have that behind me, especially when we are just starting, because there may be lots of questions and stuff and I will be better able to focus my time on the class. Besides, that will give us plenty of time to work on things this summer and be ready for the autumn and holiday crafting season. I hope it sounds like a good plan.

I look forward to interacting with you all and I am happy that I have already received some positive comments regarding this venture. I think it will be fun for us all.

So on to cutting today. I hope to have some pictures to show you tomorrow on the new project. It looks to be a busy, but fun day ahead for me. Have a great day yourselves.

-- 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 MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4186 days

#1 posted 06-23-2011 05:38 PM

my apologies on the Class information in the eMag. I had intended to update it from our original plan and then I just forgot (I’ll blame it on my new grandson distraction) :)

The class sounds great!! Looking forward to it.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2946 days

#2 posted 06-23-2011 05:49 PM

Nothing to apologize for, Debbie! I was going back and forth a bit about what I would be teaching, and I don’t even remember if I gave you a final “project”. You always do a great job and I truly appreciate this opportunity that you have given me! I think the important thing is to have FUN in learning something new. I hope everyone will enjoy the class and it will open a new avenue of woodworking for them. Thank YOU so much for asking me to do this!

Sheila :)

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

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4186 days

#3 posted 06-23-2011 05:58 PM

I’m looking forward to the class. Having seen some of your videos, I know that the class is going to be perfect!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View huntter2022's profile


275 posts in 2641 days

#4 posted 06-24-2011 12:30 AM

Sheila will do fine , I’m sure . At the show in Saratoga she did a great job

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

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