My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #400: Many Choices and Many Directions

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 07-14-2011 01:21 PM 3204 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 399: Will 'Google+' be a Plus or a Minus? Part 400 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 401: Excuse Me For a Moment While I Do My 'Happy Dance!' »

As usual, the days just seem to be going by too quickly. Perhaps it is because all of the ideas I have that it seems that I am always running behind and trying to catch up. I am not complaining, as it is good to be full of ideas, but it sometimes seems that no matter how much I accomplish in a day, there is still more that I wanted to get done.

I don’t want to fall into that trap of never being happy with my accomplishments, nor do I want to feel as if I am resting on my laurels and no longer required to put effort into things that they need. Both can be incredibly destructive and self-defeating behavior.

The more time that passes, the more I realize that there is no one place that we can reside in our lives that we can view as ‘utopia.’ It seems just when we reach our goals and settle into our comfort zone, something called ‘life’ happens and throws it out of balance and it takes a bit of effort to readjust things again.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just think how boring our lives would be if there were nothing there to interact with.

Several years back I was going through some tough times in my life. Things were not what I wanted them to be and I had little interest in my business or people in general. I was quite successful at buffering myself from the rest of the world and only interacted with people when it was necessary. It was a very sad and unproductive time for me.

The days would run together, one into the other and there was little hope of excitement of any sort. I had minimal interaction with others and I found myself living in a dreadful place. I had quite successfully filtered out much of the rest of the world. Each day seemed endless, and when it finally was complete, it would only bring on another one just like it. It was not a good time for me at all.

I look back at those times, not with sadness or self-pity, but as a reminder of how things could without a bit of chaos in my life. I find the more we interact with each other, the more we open ourselves up to both the highs and lows in life and ultimately the richer our lives become.

So those days I feel a bit overwhelmed and don’t know what to do first, before I get exasperated, I reflect on those times when I lived so differently and my life was so routine. It is good to remind ourselves of things like that sometimes.

It is giving me great pleasure to watch my little army of skating figures grow. I spent another couple of hours cutting them today, and I am nearing the finish line. I had mentioned that it was easier for me to set up 80 sets of them, even though I only needed 72 for this order, and I am going to be able to complete the last of the 72 today, if not continue on and just finish off the entire 80 sets. That way I will have some extras and have a head start on the next order.

I feel very pleased at myself the way this project is working out. Here is a fine example where some planning pays off. I have been cutting several sets a day, limiting my cutting to a couple of hours each session. As soon as I start to get tired, I stop for the day and move on to something else. As a result, there is no stress whatsoever in getting these done and the cutting is clean and accurate. When I begin to get fatigued and lose concentration, I just call it a day as far as cutting and turn to something else. With cutting this volume of pieces, it is a luxury to do things this way and has removed all of the stress you would think would accompany a job such as this. I am actually enjoying it.

I should be ready to have the entire order shipped by next week, and with that I will have a great feeling of accomplishment. It will then be interesting to sit back a bit and see how it is received. After all the time that has passed since I first thought of this idea, it will be nice to actually see it offered in the proper venue.

I had a question from a customer yesterday that sparked an idea for an entirely new set of patterns that I am going to make. They are not as artistic as some of the things that you have seen me do, but they are what I would see as a staple for a scroller’s pattern library and even though the idea is simple, no one has offered it yet. It is one of those few times when I don’t want to say what it is yet because I want to wait until it is done and on the market. You will just have to be patient to see. My head is swimming with ideas.

I also got to work on my son’s logo yesterday. I am almost finished with it and only need to tweak it a bit and add some color into it. It is looking decent and he is happy with it and it makes me feel good that I can do something like that for him.

And finally, I am preparing the next blog entry for the scroll saw class to post tonight or tomorrow. I was still getting messages from people who were getting supplies so I didn’t want to move too quickly where people will fell as if they are getting behind at the beginning.

The next blog will be on applying the pattern to the wood, which can be done in several ways. I will probably be following that up fairly quickly with getting started on cutting, as I am sure that people are anxious to get going. I suppose I am too.

All these things should keep me busy today. I also want to get at my little painting pattern. It seems that by the time I get to it in the evening, I am running out of gas and don’t want to start something so late. I’ll have to see about shifting things around so I can finish up and make better use of my evening time.

Last night the site here was down for several hours. I was going to work on the class blog, but after a bit I just gave up and called it a night. It was odd not being able to answer any emails from here or scout around and see what others were up to. I suppose it shows how much I like it here.

I hope everyone has a great and productive day. Enjoy every busy moment of it!

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

5 comments so far

View William's profile


9906 posts in 2262 days

#1 posted 07-14-2011 01:58 PM

Do you keep a journal Sheila? I know you sort of keep a journal here, but what I’m talking about wouldn’t work stored here because it’d be giving away your ideas. I’m talking about an idea journal. I keep a notebook (which has grown into way more than one) where I jot down ideas that I may think of for future projects. It’s just a place to put things on paper. If I don’t I will forget about some of my best ideas until I see someone else do them instead.
I had the same problem with the site being down last evening. I had a rough day yesterday. After my bath, I wanted to sit down and lurk around Lumberjocks. I tried off and on for over three hours to get on. It kept telling me the server was busy. When that sort of thing happens, I suffer from Lumberjocks withdrawal.


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8985 posts in 2340 days

#2 posted 07-14-2011 02:03 PM

Morning, William:
Yes, I do have a note book where I keep all of my ideas. Most of them anyway! Then when I have a lull in creativity, I just go through there and find a direction. Even if I wind up doing something different than I originally planned, which I usually do, it is a great resource to keep me moving or to jump start me when I am not feeling particularly creative.

And with the LJ’s site having over 25,000 members, I am sure there are hiccups from time to time. I found I don’t panic like I used to when I was newer to the site and it would have its down time. It really doesn’t happen often and I just try to refocus on something or go to bed like last night . :)


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

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4607 posts in 2456 days

#3 posted 07-14-2011 06:54 PM

Apart from breathing and the occasional heartbeat I can’t remember ever doing 400 of anything, Sheila!

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

View huntter2022's profile


275 posts in 2035 days

#4 posted 07-14-2011 10:23 PM

I usally carry a little memo pad and as a ideal pops up I write it down

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8985 posts in 2340 days

#5 posted 07-15-2011 12:01 AM

DONE with 72 sets! Now just to cut the 72 ponds. They are easy though, just rounded rectangles. :P

It doesn’t look like much, does it??

Getting closer . . .

Martyn – I bet some of your awesome boxes have more than 400 pieces in them! When we are following our hearts, it doesn’t seem too bad, does it? :)


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

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