My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #524: The Challenge

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 11-16-2011 01:05 PM 1462 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 523: Another Opportunity Part 524 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 525: Customer Service is Still Alive and Well »

I am trying not to feel overwhelmed at this point. Even though it is only Wednesday, it seems like the week was already six days long. To say I have been busy is an understatement, and even though that is a very good thing, I just need to not let it all get to me.

I find myself with my head in many different directions again. Magazine, wholesalers, website, painting, etc. It makes me think of the stereotype of a three ringed circus with action going on everywhere. None of this is bad, mind you. I just wish I were twins some days (or triplets!)

Then yesterday in the midst of things I had my wonderful friends Bernie and Ellen stop in unexpectedly. They phoned when they were five minutes from my house to see if I was home and of course I told them to come on over. With them they brought a painting project that Ellen wanted me to do for her outside Christmas decorations “in my spare time.”

You see, she has this little section of picket fence that sits in her front yard, and sticking up from the fence are four different painted seasonal characters. They are about 10-12 inches in diameter and for some reason or another, she lost her Christmas ones. She had some old cardboard cutouts from the 1950’s (you know- the kind from school bulletin boards and that you put in windows) and Bernie had tried to glue them to the 1” pine pieces to make the decorations. Needless to say they looked – well – crummy. Not to mention they wouldn’t last through a Nova Scotia winter.

So they asked me if I could paint the pieces instead, and I agreed to do it. In all the years I have known them, I have always liked doing stuff like this for them. They are what I call my “Canadian Family” and there is nothing that I wouldn’t do for them (last year I gave them one of my skating pond sets for their Christmas present, which was one of my coolest projects, I thought.) But with things being so busy right now for me, I wonder how I am ever going to fit these into my day(s) in time for the season.

When my kids were young and in grammar school, my friend Cari I used to volunteer for many school events like hot lunches and special carnivals and fund raisers. Cari and I noticed that the ones who regularly helped out were usually the ones that were busiest in general, or had the most kids there. It seemed that no matter how busy they were, they always had a little more time to give.

I like the saying “the more I have to do, the more I get done.” I think a lot of us live that way. We are pushed and motivated by the long list of tasks we need to accomplish.

So with that said, I will shift things a little bit and find time to do this. Sometimes raising the bar is a good thing and some of my best work comes of it.

I have set a goal inside my head as to when I want to finish these by (along with the other goals that were there before) and it will be a nice little self-challenge to see if I am able to do so. I am almost afraid to state it here, because it may not be possible, but I think I can at least keep it in mind and see how close I can be.

Is that the chickens’ way out? Maybe. But I don’t really feel like putting myself out here that much when in all likelihood I don’t know if I can do it. Besides, this is more of a self-challenge than anything else. You can all cheer me on without actually knowing what my ridiculous expectations are. I promise to be honest as to whether I make it or not. In the mean time, it may be just the challenge I need to kick me into high gear for a while. That could be fun.

So here are the “before” pictures . . . .

A Santa head -

A poinsettia:

And some candy canes:

And the fourth piece will be a bell. They didn’t have a picture of that, but I am sure I can come up with something in the same ‘flavor’ as these nostalgic cut outs. The bell one is especially important though because their last name is “Bell” and they really, really like bell stuff – especially at the holidays.

So I have my work cut out for me. But you know, just writing about this little challenge is making me feel good. I am kind of gearing up for it and already I am starting to get more excited about it just by talking about it. I think it is going to be fun!

With all that said, I had better get a move on. The sun is just coming up and time is a’wasting! I hope you all have a great middle of the week day today and maybe find some challenges yourself for some extra motivation! Most of all – have FUN! :)

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

6 comments so far

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 2797 days

#1 posted 11-16-2011 05:05 PM

Some of us are happiest when we have twice as much to do as we can get done. At least that’s what my wife tells me. I believe that it’s easier to have direction and focus when we’re really busy. It’s easier to put off those things we don’t enjoy doing when we have a large list of other things that need to be done.

We spend most of our time doing the things we have to do, and the rest on the things we need to do, on a rare occasion we get to do the things we want to do. If we are really lucky the things we have to do and need to do are also things we enjoy doing.

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2949 days

#2 posted 11-16-2011 07:31 PM

Hi, Dan:
I also tend to do best under deadlines. Whether they are self-imposed or set from the outside, they are good for me. When people ask me to ‘do it when you get the chance’ I somehow put it on the back burner and it takes me forever. I much more prefer ‘I need it by . . . .’ and I can deal with that absolute better than some vague time in the future.

I really do love what I do though, so mostly it is fun and not bad. :)


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

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4008 days

#3 posted 11-16-2011 08:09 PM

I was just thinking, Sheila just dosen’t have enough to do. LOL

Good luck!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2949 days

#4 posted 11-16-2011 08:26 PM

Bring it on!!! :D

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

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10123 posts in 4081 days

#5 posted 11-17-2011 02:04 AM

Just like a Timex…

... Keeps on ticking…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3144 days

#6 posted 11-17-2011 03:29 PM

that will be some challenge for you to hit the same antik look Sheila
but if any can do it ,it most be you :-) if they just had come to you
2 weeks before even to be finished with one in a week wuold be hard enoff
fingers crossed here :-)

take care

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