My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #394: And Now For Something Completely Different

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 07-08-2011 01:26 PM 4252 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 393: Preparing Patterns Part 394 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 395: What Happened to Friday? I Blinked and it Was Gone! »

Part of the reason that I like my job so much is that there are so many different aspects involved in the day to day activity of it, it never seems mundane or boring. Sure, it would be great if I could just scroll saw all the time and not have to worry about anything else, but I think that after a while, even that would lose its luster and not be much fun.

Having a job that is fun and exciting is something that everyone wants and few people have. We have all heard the saying “It isn’t work when you love your job” and I am one who can honestly say that that is true. There is rarely a day that goes by that doesn’t involve my work in some form or another and more often than not, my work or work related tasks seem to encompass a good part of my day. I suppose you can say that it is probably one of the main focuses of my life.

Is this type of job for everyone? I don’t think so. I believe that things are working out the way they are in part because it is a good time in my life to be so involved in my business. My kids are grown. My own oats are sown. It is a time when I am settling down and able to spend the time I need to on developing my business. It wasn’t always this way, but things have worked out so that I have the time to really pursue things and stay focused.

Many people on the forums say that if they had to do woodworking as a job, it would take the fun out of it. I can easily understand how that can happen, as the day to day work of doing production can be something that can easily lose its charm.

But for myself, I find that designing and running the business fills up my day with so many different things that I rarely get tired of doing one particular task, as there is a variety of other things that await me when I am finished with the current thing that I am working on. Between the drawing, computer work, web site, wholesalers, magazines, shop time, office work and customers there is a wide array of things that keep me busy and happy and out of trouble.

Even when things are a little rough, like negotiation with the wholesalers or working with some other companies and deciding on how to do things, we always seem to come to a working resolution and then I move on to something else that awaits. Although I find these negotiations to be a bit of a challenge, when things are resolved and everyone is satisfied, it brings a good sense of accomplishment.

With the catalog stuff for the most part behind me, I was looking for something different to bridge things over and give me a little break from scroll saw patterns. Yesterday I finished getting all the high resolution pictures to my wholesaler and I wasn’t quite ready to take a full jump back into designing scroll work yet. This happens sometimes, and it doesn’t bother me because it usually lasts only a couple of days and I find that getting away and doing something completely different is a good way to fill in the gap and still allow me to be creative.

I have the scroll saw class coming up, and I am thrilled at the responses that I have received so far from everyone. I am getting to roll ahead with it and should be posting the next blog on it sometime today. I also want to answer the many personal messages that were sent to me regarding the class and what it will involve. That will take a good chunk out of my day.

I am also changing gears in the designing department and I am in the process of designing a new painting pattern that I want to add on my site and possibly offer to The Artists Club for wholesaling. As many of you know, painting is another love of mine and I also thoroughly enjoy creating fun projects for the painting crowd. I find that there is a lot of cross over between the two areas of scroll sawing and painting and there are probably just as many ‘scrollers who love to paint’ as there are ‘painters who love to scroll.’ After all, that is how I got involved in scrolling. I like decorative painting and I learned to cut my own pieces so I wouldn’t have to depend on buying them from others. This allowed me the flexibility of changing the designs to my own liking.

I have the two large snowflake pieces that I am supplying for Monika Brint that are going to be published in the next couple of months. Between that and the little skating pond set, I hope to open a few new doors both in designing and distribution to the painting world. I want to have other things available by the time that those items are in the market so that any new customers I gain from these ventures will recognize me as a new source and hopefully return again later.

So for the next day or so, I am going to be finishing the latest design that I am working on. I was going to give you a teaser of it here, but I am just kind of getting rolling on it and I will hopefully have it done in the next couple days and you will get to see it then. It is kind of silly and fun and of course out of season, but I like how it is coming out so far and I am having a great time planning and seeing it come to be.

Variety is a wonderful thing. Being diverse not only helps your own creativity, but it also helps a business grow and prosper. That way if one aspect of the business is slow, then there are other ways that it can still be prosperous and lucrative. Not to mention it make life really FUN! As a designer, it also keeps me fresh and helps me from getting bored or stale with my designs. So many times I am asked how I keep coming up with so many different and new designs. If you all could only have a peek into my little book that I write ideas in or see into my mind for a moment you will understand that I will in all probability never live long enough to make everything I want to. Usually, as I am working on one thing, I am thinking about ten others. As a designer, I consider that a great gift. And following through with different things and mixing things up a bit always leaves me longing to do more and more.

I am very fortunate to be able to make that work for me.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of one’s dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau

-- 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 MyChipCarving's profile


604 posts in 3149 days

#1 posted 07-08-2011 01:35 PM

I hear you loud and clear on today’s blog, Sheila.
If I were to chip carve all day long, every day, it would be mundane and lose its interest for me.
Making designs/patterns, doing website work, and planning how to help my members become better chip carvers is what really spurs me on.
Together with you!

-- Marty,, 866-444-6996

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2944 days

#2 posted 07-08-2011 01:39 PM

I think that it is one of the great parts of having your own business. While some look at it as overwhelming, others like me thrive on it. It is so much more than drawing and cutting! Every aspect is a joy and exciting it its own way! That is why I work so hard to keep it going. It truly fill my life with happiness. :)


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

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2866 days

#3 posted 07-08-2011 02:58 PM

It is truly a blessing when you are able to do what you love. I noticed years ago that it is people who love their jobs that are truly successful at what they do. Success may not always translate to riches, but in life, money is not always everything. Personal satisfaction means so much more.
I was a mechanic for years before I broke my back. I have met so many mechanics who expressed how much they hated their jobs. I couldn’t figure out why they went into the field if they hated it so much. I loved turning wrenches. Each job was a new challenge and no two engines or vehicles were identical. Each had it’s on personality. The only thing that kept them the same were some rules in mechanics and science (long explanation, detailed explanations of the science behind internal combustion engines is something I could go on for hours about). My favorite things to do was to build engines to get power out of them that was originally not being untilized. I thoroughly enjoyed my work.
I’m sorry. Got off topic there.
I agree though. It is highly possible to love what you do. That isn’t to say you’ll love every day of it. Life throws curve balls. If you truly love what you do though (and it is clear that you do) then you are truly blessed.


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2944 days

#4 posted 07-08-2011 03:02 PM

And I am! :)

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

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2946 days

#5 posted 07-08-2011 04:24 PM

I can add something that time is what the trend will be in our lives. I tend to change and be different when there is a new vision that challenge me. But of course the inspiration plus the stimulus will make you divert to a different angle. This is clearly shown on your previous works. Different works in a different time. We can surely see the next project in our vision but as time goes on… a change may come.

-- Bert

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3060 days

#6 posted 07-08-2011 04:54 PM

Its good to see you back on an even keel, Sheila. Running your own business is a courageous enterprise which I don’t think I would be up to. I think people generally see the independence and satisfaction that it can bring and ignore the hard work and the putting your lively-hood ‘on the line’ aspects.

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

View stevebuk's profile


57 posts in 2708 days

#7 posted 07-08-2011 07:15 PM

i am also blessed with having a job i love, i work in a garden centre and gardening is one of my passions, i also love the scroll saw, lathe and painting and through doing these pastimes and jobs i have met a wide variety of people, most of them really helpful and some of them really go beyond the call of duty (sound familiar sheila), so i am more than happy with my little lot and i’m pleased you are too.

It also helps when you have a supporting partner too, makes life a lot easier.


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2944 days

#8 posted 07-08-2011 07:34 PM

Some days I feel like I am not up to it! LOL All kidding aside, I do think that lots of people underestimate what is involved in the day-to-day activities. It does make life interesting though. And having someone support you is also a plus, if not a necessity. I am certain that is why these past two years have been so productive for me. I have said many times ‘no man (woman) is an island’ and that is a clear example of how true that saying is!


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

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