My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #609: A Bit of a Roller Coaster Ride

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 02-10-2012 11:20 AM 1922 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 608: Please, Please Me Part 609 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 610: Memories of My Dear Friend »

What an odd day yesterday was. It was filled with ups and down so much I felt like I was on a roller coaster. I couldn’t figure out if I was supposed to be crabby or not. For every time something stupid happened, something good seemed to follow to remind me that it isn’t that bad and restore my faith in the day. Even with the day behind me, I can’t quite figure out whether it was a good one or not. I think I will label it ‘good’ and leave it at that. I following my own ‘we follow where we focus’ theory, it would be more productive for me to do so.

I want to begin by thanking you guys for your input yesterday, both on the forum and privately. I always appreciate hearing different points of view and I think I have come to an acceptable answer and solution to the issue regarding the calendar.

I spoke with my editor yesterday at the magazine and it was a very positive conversation. She is new to the position although I have been working with her for many, many years in her role of editorial assistant. My former editor is in the process of retiring after many great years of service to the magazine and she has been easing into the position of editor for several months now. In fact, it was she who first approached me with the idea of making some kind of calendar for the magazine, so I give her a lot of credit for sparking the idea.

When talking to her about the issue that I mentioned yesterday, we both decided that it was best to leave things ‘as is’ and she said she would contact the customer directly who requested the alternate set for the month of July. She told him that there would indeed be other overlay sets available and also explained to him the issues of limited space and contractual obligations by me not to offer the calendar until the allotted time had passed.

I also plan to follow up with a note to him to let him know just when the July pieces will be available. The time will be somewhere around the middle of May, which will give him ample time to cut out the few overlay pieces. I hope this is acceptable to him. It is after all, an American magazine and most subscribers are from the USA. With all the special holidays that other countries celebrate, it is difficult if not impossible for them to cover everything. I will just have to be sure to offer the alternate pieces as soon as I can and make sure that people know about it. I am sure that if I ask, they will even run something in a subsequent issue letting people know that they are available.

With that problem solved, I moved onto my pendants. Cutting them went without a hitch. I have to say again what a pleasure it is to use that Excalibur scroll saw. It is a huge difference from my ‘old yeller’ DeWalt. I don’t think that I could have done the precision cutting as easily as I could with the Ex. I finished the set in about three hours, as I had estimated. (My estimation skills are improving!)

Throughout the day, there were a few hiccups though – some of which I really can’t mention here. One in particular has me wondering, as it has to do with a business decision that I need to make and I am not sure how to proceed. I was going to discuss it here and see what you thought of the whole thing, as I know many of you have had business experience and would be able to offer helpful advice, but when trying to think of a way to talk about it without pointing fingers and sounding like I am whining, it isn’t possible. No matter how hard I try, no degree of generalization would be able to cloak things sufficiently for me to remain tactful. And while I do allude to things from time to time, I always try to refrain from being so specific that I am calling someone out by name. While I value the input of my woodworking colleagues and friends, I really don’t want to ‘bite the proverbial hand that feeds me.’ It was and is troubling me nonetheless, and thinking about it occupied much of my thinking for the day and still does today.

I can say that it involves me doing something that when I agreed to do, was presented to me in a different way than it actually is. I said I would participate in something that would not reward me financially, but would offer me more exposure. However, I may have misinterpreted the whole process of what was required of me, and when finding out what it actually was, I feel a bit uneasy about it. It isn’t evil or deceptive or anything that drastic, but it is just something that I am not accustomed to doing and I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I never claimed to be the smartest one for business decisions after all.

There is part of me that wants to give it a go and see how it will turn out. It is after all, an ongoing thing and I am able to opt out at any time. I actually was quite enthusiastic about it and looking forward to it and the exposure to new people that it would bring. But my misinterpretation of things makes me wonder if it is right for me and I can’t figure out if the feeling I have in my gut is nerves or something telling me to bow out. I suppose that is where the dilemma is. In my life, many of the decisions that I have made while having this feeling turned out to be somewhat disastrous in one way or another. Going against my grain is something that I am learning not to do. More so than not, my own intuition has been correct. I only need to trust it.

What I am leaning to do is to participate, but do so in a way that I am still following my own path. Whether that will be acceptable remains to be seen, but at least I am not throwing away what could be a good opportunity and still keeping my own integrity in tact. I have always been somewhat of a rebel and marched to my own drummer, and while at times it has made the road of my life somewhat more difficult than it had to be, it has also allowed me to live a life where I don’t feel trapped by decisions made by caving into peer pressure. Some call it brave and others call it stupid. I suppose it depends on the way you look at things.

Today I need to hit the ground running. I have an eye appointment (again!) to still adjust my contact so that I can see properly. My eyes are proving to be difficult and this is the third set of lenses we are trying. I have an excellent eye doc though and she is wonderful because she really takes the time to ‘fine tune’ my vision and make sure I am comfortable and happy. With all the computer work I do coupled with the fine work of scrolling and painting, it is not easy to find lenses that accommodate both – especially since I have an astigmatism. But we are close and hopefully this will be the final trip there for this round.

I then have to meet with someone about lecturing at the local high school. I was invited to do so and agreed to it and need to find out more about what it will entail. It has to do in part with my success in my business which is still a work in progress and I am being called upon as somewhat of a role model and to talk of some of the obstacles that I have overcome in my journey. The group that I am addressing is I believe ninth graders. With the way I talk, they could very well be graduate students by the time I am finished so I need to see which direction to go with what I will be saying.

And finally, I need to make a trip to Bear River to honor a dear friend of mine that passed away this past week. If you have read all along, you have seen me write of my painting group in Bear River. We used to attend every Tuesday for years at our friend Fran’s house. It was a lively group of about 7 or 8 women and we talked and laughed and ate and painted together. Our group broke up about two or three years ago when everyone’s lives went in different directions. When I moved here to the French Shore, it was too far for me to to make the trip each week and I haven’t really attended since then. We recently had our Christmas luncheon this past December in Digby and it was wonderful to have us all together again.

Fran, however looked quite frail and we all knew she was not doing well. She had been on oxygen for the past several years and had a portable tank which she brought with her when she left the house. This past weekend she succumbed to her illness and is gone. While she didn’t want a service, she had always requested that we girls get together in her honor. So that is what we will do. It will be very emotional to go to Bear River and see everyone, knowing she is gone. The memories of the laughter and friendship of those many, many Tuesdays with her are a part of my life that I will always cherish. It will be the end of an era for us.

So my day is planned and full. I need to work on the pattern packet for the site update that will hopefully happend this weekend. I plan to do that when I get home later. I went to spray the ornaments with shellac last night and actually grabbed the can of BREAK LUBE. I suppose I wasn’t thinking (or didn’t read the can) or need those lenses checked again! In any case, I was up late wiping the break lube off the ornaments and then needed to let them dry again before proceeding. Here is a pic of them almost done:

Tonight I need to embed the stones in them and take the final pictures for the pattern.

“Barring all disasters.”

We’ll see what the day brings. I wish you all a good one!

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

10 comments so far

View patron's profile


13611 posts in 3395 days

#1 posted 02-10-2012 12:21 PM

sorry for the loss of a dear friend sheila
it always leaves us with regret

remember and honor her
and the others
you will find joy and strength
in the memories

follow your heart in the decisions you need to make
it brought you this far

the can of break lube is an omen of course

so doll up (lube up) and go forth
into the future
all the right resolves will be revealed

in times like these
i always think that God didn’t bring us here
just to dump us
so proceed as best you can
and stay open for the next lesson


-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2890 days

#2 posted 02-10-2012 01:09 PM

I always get a sense of the fullness of life when I read your blog. Thank you for sharing. sorry to hear about your loss.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6860 posts in 4034 days

#3 posted 02-10-2012 01:19 PM

I’m sorry to hear of the loss of a dear friend. That is always a painful thing.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3091 days

#4 posted 02-10-2012 01:33 PM

Sorry about your friend.

Good news on the calendar!

Pendants are looking good.

The un-named business is obviously something you are uncomfortable about. If you’re uncomfortable with it why not just tell them its not what you expected (their responsibility) and pull out. If you’re not sure about it you won’t be fully committed anyway and you’ve always been someone who doesn’t do half a job.

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

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2858 days

#5 posted 02-10-2012 02:17 PM

I really like the 3rd one. looks a bit Celtic

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

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3140 days

#6 posted 02-10-2012 02:45 PM

Sorry to hear about the loss of a friend, good ones are hard to find and I hope your group gives her a
good farewell party. I suggest that you go with your feelings on the business idea, you have enough
experience to know what you like to do, and life is too short spend it unwisely.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2976 days

#7 posted 02-10-2012 02:45 PM

My prayers to your dear friend.

Time is always there for us to be down but it is also the time that will heal our wounds! You had done your best and maybe it will be intended for the better others. So, I still wish you luck as time passes by. And don’t forget to clear those obstacles.

This morning while speaking on a seminar for nearly a hundred seafarers, I learned a lesson in return… When you cannot take out the RISK by yourself… then CALL A FRIEND FOR HELP. That was on the risk management seminar. It may or may not but it is true. Hope you meet your friends though you’ve lost one dear friend.

God bless and take care on the roads,

-- Bert

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3170 days

#8 posted 02-10-2012 11:11 PM

sorry for your loss of a dear freind
go as demanded with all the good memery´s of her
and salute her on the local resturant with a good talk over the dinner

as for the non cach returned thing make the articles as you always have thought they shuold be
send it to them and say take or lieve … this is what I have said yes to ….......I´m pretty sure
they will take it …. since they have asked you in the first place
I know you will do it alot more polite than I say it here :-)

take care

View HamS's profile


1829 posts in 2443 days

#9 posted 02-10-2012 11:34 PM

Allow me to echo the thoughts of everyone else, while we mourn the loss, it is good and right to celebrate the things that someone who has passed on brought to our lives. I hope you and your friends can celebrate in the peace she would want you to.

My thoughts on the business thing, is if you are not sure then it is not a good thing. From what I see, you are busy enough with things you know well and love that you should not take on something that you are not sure of.

-- Haming it up in the 'bash.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2974 days

#10 posted 02-11-2012 11:21 AM

Thank you all for your kind comments. I truly appreciate them very much. On the business thing, I believe that I have come to a good decision that I am going to be comfortable with. I am going to do things as I initially thought they were to be done and they can take it or leave it. It may sound like I am being harsh, but I can’t do something that I don’t feel comfortable doing.

Since I came to this conclusion, I feel much better about it. A sense of peace has come over me to replace the anxiety. That tells me I am heading in the proper direction. The most important person I need to answer to is myself. If I can’t be proud of doing something, it isn’t right for me.


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

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