My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #441: Go While the Going is Good!

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 08-25-2011 01:27 PM 1475 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 440: And On to Designing . . . Part 441 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 442: Challenge of the Day - Self-Discipline »

Sometimes the unexpected things in life are the best. The other day we were taking our morning walk. It was one of the first times we walked in the wood behind us in a couple of months because it has been quite muddy and rainy here. However, on Tuesday the sun was bright and warm and it was really a nice hike.

Like most days when we walk, we talk about our upcoming projects and deadlines. With all the directions that my partner and I are on, there always seems to be something due. It keeps us quite busy. But the other day, we both had reached a kind of plateau in our work and my partner made a comment on how it would be nice to take a road trip for a couple of days.

With the sun shining brightly in a cloudless sky and the warm summer breeze blowing, it didn’t take much persuasion for me to agree. By the time we returned home from our walk, we had everything all worked out. We gave the weather a quick check and indeed it was predicted to be nice for a couple of days and the decision was made. Lee, our friend would surely care for the cats over night so we finished up a couple of things and packed our bags and within an hour or so we were on our way. We didn’t even have a set plan of where we were going to go, we just wanted to get out and enjoy the day.

Overall, our plan was to drive to Yarmouth and follow the scenic roads along the South Shore of Nova Scotia. There are so many beautiful places to see along the way. They call this Lighthouse trail because of the many lighthouses that are along this Atlantic coast and we had never taken the little side roads that ride along the shore before. It was a perfect opportunity for us to relax a bit and see some more of the beautiful area we live in.

Along the coast, there are hundreds and hundreds of small inlets filled with islands:

From August 23 and 24th Day Trip 2011

(I will show several pictures here, but if you want to see more you can click on them and go to my Picasa album to see more. If you click on the picture, it will enlarge it but if you click on the title of the picture, you will go to the entire album)

We went through beautiful Shelburn and Mahone Bay and picturesque Lunenberg:

From August 23 and 24th Day Trip 2011

By the time we got to Lunenberg, most of the stores and galleries were closed though. We did get to go into a few, but we think we will go back there and spend the entire day in the area, as it is filled with galleries and local artwork.

We continued on until we reached Halifax, and we stayed at our favorite place in Dartmouth for the evening. There is a nice Ramada hotel there and they are right in the heart of everything. They offer a hot breakfast buffet that is really nice and gets us started with a hot meal the next day.

The next morning, we stayed around the Dartmouth area for a couple of hours. We went to a large Kent store, which is like a Home Depot, because was the only thing open before 10am. I finally found the elusive Gorilla Glue Wood Glue and was happy to be able to pick up a bottle of that.

We stopped in our favorite wood store, East Coast Hardwood, but I am proud to say that we didn’t really buy anything. You all are not going to believe this, but we walked out of there with only my partner buying a single piece of Thaya Burl for turning pens which cost a mere $15. It isn’t that we didn’t want to get anything else, but you have to admire our restraint. The last time we brought a load home and took inventory at Bernie’s we made a promise to each other not to add to the our piles until they went down substantially. We really did stick to our promise to ourselves and walked away without even going through the warehouse, except to look at the smaller specialty pieces.

We then headed out of the city and continued along the South Shore until we came to a place called Sheet Harbor. Much of the way through this area was not as picturesque, but there were certain places that were right on the ocean that were quite pretty. We stopped at a nice pub for a late lunch around 2pm. The restaurant was charming and the food was really good. The restaurant overlooked another inlet and the scenery was peaceful and very pretty.

From August 23 and 24th Day Trip 2011

In looking at how late it was however, we knew it was time to start heading back in the direction of home. We headed north up toward Truro, as we planned to drive along the north shore of the province along the New Minus Bay. We have never been that way before, and followed the Glooscap Trail along the scenic route there. Along the way there were hundreds of farms of all kinds. Not only were there farms with fruit trees and corn, but also many animal farms such as cows and pigs and chicken and even sheep:

From August 23 and 24th Day Trip 2011

It always looks so pretty to see the flowing fields of animals or crops right on the ocean. You don’t really think of farming areas next to the ocean – at least I don’t being from the Midwestern United States – but it is very common here and very pleasant to drive through.

We did stop at a couple of shops and studios along the way and looked at some nice local crafts. In speaking with the owners, more than one said that even though there were less people coming through the shops, they tended to buy the more expensive items and business was either the same or a bit higher than in previous years. I thought that was interesting.

We stopped in a studio where a man did wood turning, but he wasn’t there. His dad showed us through his studio and shop and told us that he was away taking his son to university this weekend. We would have loved to meet him and talk to him because his work was really nice and he had hundreds and hundreds of large wood burls and rough turnings in addition to his beautiful finished pieces. We were sorry we missed him but think it will be a good excuse to go back one day (as if we needed one!)

By the time we were back on the familiar highway 101, the sun was setting. We were able to see yet another spectacular light show that I enjoy so much:

From August 23 and 24th Day Trip 2011

We arrived home just after 10pm to three very happy cats.

Having your own business can be very busy and trying at times. There are times that it seems that the work never ends and you are sometimes stuck into thinking that even if it does slow down, you begin to worry that you are not doing enough to make it work. It can be a lot of pressure and certainly isn’t for everyone.

But one of the good things about owning your own business and being your own boss is that on rare occasions, everything is taken care of and you are able at a drop of a hat to take a few days to relax and enjoy life. This was one of those times for us. I have learned over the years that taking small breaks like this are healthy for not only your body, but also for your mind and soul.

I feel great today and ready to get to work. I have drawing that I want to do and I have many new ideas from some of the things I saw in the last couple of days too. All in all I think it was a great trip and almost a necessity to keep us happy and sane.

Now it is back to work today to catch up on emails and such and get that drawing that I wanted to get done started. I feel very refreshed and certainly up to the task of designing new things. Remembering to enjoy the beautiful things around you is a very necessary part of the creative process.

I hope you all enjoyed the pictures and I wish you all a good day!

-- 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 KnotCurser's profile


2026 posts in 3123 days

#1 posted 08-25-2011 02:48 PM

I’m envious! You most certainly deserved the trip – it is good to clear the mind and re-focus with a trip such as this.

Now get back to work! ;-)


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2974 days

#2 posted 08-25-2011 03:08 PM

Sir, Yes SIR!!!

LOL – yep – now I pay the price! I am getting refocused on things today. Next deadline in about three weeks! :)


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

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 2823 days

#3 posted 08-25-2011 03:25 PM

That sounds like a wonderful trip! My wife and I took a similar trip four or five years ago. We just headed south with no real destination or time line. No pressure or deadline, we had a wonderful time visiting little shops and just spending time together.

It’s important to make time to get a away and spend some real quality time with the one you love! Thanks for the reminder!

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3169 days

#4 posted 08-26-2011 12:43 AM

niiice descriped trip :-) with beautyfull pictures ….. ups that makes you beautyfull too… well you are
no doubt about that :-)
with all those studios , gallery´s and small shops it almost sounds like Nova Scotia is a tourist atraction/trap :-)
I do know how you feel having a skooner in the ocean and a tractor on the feild in the same picture
isn´t easy to imaging and even harder to paint …. its just two worlds that can´t give meening in the same
picture if you havn´t seen it before … and even then its impossiple …though I see it every day from
the early spring to autumn here on Ærø
glad to see you both had a wonderfull trip along the coast :-)

take care

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2974 days

#5 posted 08-26-2011 03:12 AM

Glad you enjoyed the pictures. We did have a great time and it was so nice to see everything and have such beautiful weather. It is a good thing to be aware of all the good things in life and I am really happy that we took the time to do so.

Dennis – it is so odd for me to see the mixture of farms and ocean. It is unusual to see such a diversity of elements. Hopefully, one day we will get up to Cape Breton. I always wanted to see it in the Autumn when the leaves are turning. I hear it is beautiful.

Always something nice to look forward to in the future . . .


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

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