My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #380: Progress

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-24-2011 12:55 PM 4545 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 379: Working and More Class Planning Part 380 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 381: Taking My Time and Enjoying the Creation Process »

Yesterday seemed to fly by and before I knew it, it was ten o’clock. It was one of those days where you get so caught up in a project that you look up and it is already dark. I am not done with the project yet. I thought I would be by now but it was one of those times when I underestimated what I was doing and things took a bit longer than expected.

Now I am not saying that is bad. I have actually enjoyed making this project quite a bit. That is after all what it is all about, isn’t it? For most people who don’t do this for a living and make things as a hobby, the joy of creating and seeing something come together as a project is quite nice. I am no different. I find for myself that I have quite an arsenal of items that I offer so there really is no hurry to get a set number of new things done.

I also compiled a list to submit to my biggest wholesaler for their next catalog (this is the one where the deadline is coming up) and seeing how many new items that we have made in the past few months makes me realize how busy we have been. It is a good feeling, and the well is far from running dry.

My partner has been quite busy, too. In between creating new projects, he has been turning away and making some incredibly beautiful pens. Last night he tried to show me a flaw in one of his creations and even upon scrutinizing it closely, I couldn’t see what he meant. I am quite picky myself on details and for the life of me I can’t see anything wrong with it. He said it isn’t a huge thing, but it bothered him. I do respect that because I find myself doing the same thing with my work – always seeing absolute perfection. But I can’t believe how incredibly good he has gotten in a short two months (all the while he is making some awesome scrolling designs) Here is a picture of his latest:

This is a burl and acrylic mix and is absolutely beautiful.

For those of you who are wondering, I haven’t touched the lathe yet at all. I think with all that I have on my plate right now, it wouldn’t be a good thing for me to spread myself thinner and start another entirely new aspect of woodworking. At least not now. I still need to do some chip carving and I want to go back and take a look at the quilt square class that was offered here on Lumberjocks when the time is right. There has just been too much to think about with the new scrolling things I am doing and also the painting supplier. I will know when the time is right for me to try these new things and I am looking forward to it very much.

I look back and I am thinking that this year is half over already (and where did it go?) I know the trip took up a chunk of it and I really enjoyed it a lot, but I don’t know if I will be going next year or not. I suppose I will have to see what the days bring before deciding for sure.

Life seems to fast-forward sometimes. The days fall into months far too easily and before we know it, another year is under our belts. I have been trying to appreciate each day for what it is and live them to the fullest. I can honestly say that I don’t feel that many days are ‘wasted’. Whether it be spent working on projects or catching up on emails and friends, I think that I am satisfied with things. As I lay my head on my pillow each day, I try to think of all the good things that each day brings and I rarely come up empty. There are always people, projects, family, friends and colleagues that seem to add to the good side of my life. I certainly can’t complain.

So I will be working on and possibly finishing up the Halloween project today. It is really taking shape and all of the elements are cut. I still need to do some shaping and sanding and then the assembly begins. It will be fun to see this one come to life. Right now all the pieces are in a box and I am in the process of sanding and shaping them. Here is a little sample of one of the trim pieces for it:

Everything on it has worked out OK so far. There are a couple of things I need to work out, but up to this point it has come together nicely. It will be fun to see it finished and interesting to see how close it will be to what I had originally pictured in my head.

I hope you all have a good day, too. It’s Friday and people are usually a bit more chipper on Friday. Have a great day and have some fun!

-- 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 William's profile


9950 posts in 2898 days

#1 posted 06-24-2011 01:27 PM

The pen is beautiful.
I think we all can see the flaws in our own work that baffle others as to why we worry so much. I try not to worry too much about it. Just try to improve constantly. My wife tells me that nothing I ever build will be good enough to me anyway.
Tell Keith though that I check from time to time to see if he has posted more pens. Now I see one on your blog. He has to stop every now and then and let us see what he’s making. He can find time to post it sometime. How is he at multi-tasking? I was going to suggest he has to go to the restroom sometimes. Tell him to get a laptop he can balance on his lap. Problem solved. _
I had to scroll back up to see what the bat theme was about. I see it’s a halloween themed piece. I thought you were going to paint it black, add a yellow backer and call Batman.
(I’m sorry. I’m going to mosy along now before I get into trouble. I’m joking around too much this morning)_
Can’t help myself today. I have to share the laughter.
Look at the very bottom of the photo of the pen. There is a word towards the middle of the photo, “Vestibulum”. When I noticed it, “vestibule” came to mind, which I’m sure is an english translation of the word. Anyway, I’m weird. Sometimes something as simple as that brings things to my mind. Well, this word did just that. The “vestibule” brought to mind Sunday mornings from when I was a child in church. Any of you don’t know what a vestibule is in church, I’m sorry, you may not get this because I don’t have the space or the inclination to explain.
Anyway, here’s a link to the song that the word made me think of for some odd reason. Only go listen if you’re in the mood for some off beat humor.
Here’s Pinkard & Bowden’s “Shake A Snake”.


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2976 days

#2 posted 06-24-2011 01:45 PM

Hi, William:
I do tell him to post more, but he says that I am the “PR” person! He is coming out of his shell a bit and posting more. I see it as he gains confidence in his own abilities. He actually posted this picture on a pen forum last night and I yoinked it from there to show you here. He isn’t here now and I figured he wouldn’t mind because he already posted it online. There are lots of his things that I want to show, but I kind of leave that up to him. Even though we work together, it seems like we need to do our own thing with some stuff for the better of all. I am sure you understand that.

He amazes me at how he can do so many things so well and so quickly. I can’t wait until he decides to show the new ornaments he created. They really kick butt! I am very proud and fortunate to be able to work with someone who is so talented and has similar visions about woodworking and business in general. We all know how rare it is to find someone like that. We kind of have a friendly little competition between us and I think we inspire each other to do better. It makes the work and job a lot more fun than it already is. I am not saying we don’t bump heads once in a while, but when we do, we usually come to a compromise pretty quickly where we both are happy. I couldn’t ask for better. :)

As far as the bat goes, some of the project is in the roasted birch. This is just an accent piece done in paw amarilo. The piece grew to be a mixture of several different woods and is quite fun. You will just have to wait and see . . .

I never mind your humor – although I know how sometimes it can be misconstrued in writing. I enjoy looking at things with a light heart as you know and appreciate your input. I will have to check out the song in a minute.

Thanks for the comments. :)


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

View William's profile


9950 posts in 2898 days

#3 posted 06-24-2011 01:58 PM

You made me think I missed something. I check what anyone on my buddy list is doing daily and hadn’t seen a post by Keith. So I just went directly to his profile to find the pen so I could compliment him directly. It isn’t there. So I came back and re-read your response, and realized that you didn’t say anything about it being posted here. You said in a pen forum.
Yep, I think we know what kind of day I’m going to have today.
Yes, I understand you each having to do your own thing. I forget sometimes that everyone isn’t a Lumberjock junky like me. I do think he does great work though on those pens. It surprised me when I realized how short a time he’s been doing them. It seems like ya’ll just got the lathe a few days ago.


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2976 days

#4 posted 06-24-2011 02:05 PM

Yep, just a couple of weeks ago! He is quite an industrious guy! I think you guys will see more and more posts by him in the future. It is just a matter of him finding time. Me – I have made it part of my morning routine to be here. I wish I had more time to pick around, but if I did, I would never get anything done and not have anything to write about! LOL I have to work sometimes. :D


-- 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 2671 days

#5 posted 06-24-2011 05:12 PM

Great looking pen ! Keith I noticed at the show was quiet , untill you asked him a question ( then he would answer you and explained it very well) or got to know him a little then he would talk more . I have to agree with Shelia I also would like to spend more time looking at the projects and reading the blogs but then I would get nothing done.

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

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2860 days

#6 posted 06-24-2011 08:04 PM

a beautiful writing utensil…. very nice shot of it on that very nicely written letter. also like the bat in that trim piece…........... spooooooookie trick or treat. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View stevebuk's profile


57 posts in 2740 days

#7 posted 06-24-2011 11:14 PM

great pen keith, i think they call the acrylic/wood mix amalgam mutt and it sure is pretty when done, i have a few bits of offcuts over here, i have a few 4000 year old bog oak blanks, i think when the post is back on i will ship em over to you.

View Keith Fenton's profile

Keith Fenton

328 posts in 2976 days

#8 posted 06-25-2011 12:19 AM

Thank you for the compliments guys!

I have been trying very hard to maintain the highest standard in the pens I am making. Some blanks get thrown out when I make a mistake… Some pens get made with some of the smaller flaws. I don’t know what to do with those as I really want the ones that I sell to be nearly flawless. The flaws in this pen I made last night are the most minor things that even I won’t lose any sleep over. Even after I saw them I still put the blank onto my most expensive gold titanium kit. As Sheila said, she couldn’t see them even when I tried to point one out.

I do have to get to marketing these things though.

Thank you for the offer Steve, those should make some nice looking pens! The guy I bough these blanks from called them burls-and-swirls. I do want to cast my own as I have a massive gnarly maple trunk with lots of what they call “worthless wood” for making into these blanks… But that’s another several hundred or more $$$ and my bank account is feeling the pain!

Hunter, I am a pretty shy person, my parents couldn’t believe that I even went to the show to run the booth. I do try to be more outgoing.

-- Scroll saw patterns @

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