So many times when we have something to do, the attitude in which we approach it can really affect the whole process.
In looking ahead to the job of creating 300 pattern kits that I have in front of me, to some it may seem like a massive chore. I understand and respect that, because I realize that all people don’t have the passion in their hearts that I do regarding woodworking and my job.
While production work may seem mundane to some, to me it has its virtues. I look at the task of printing, cutting and assembling 300 ornament kits in several different ways, and not one of them holds negative feelings. While the work may not be considered as ‘glamorous’ by many, I see it as a wonderful opportunity not only for myself and my company, but for others to see what kind of work I do. Each kit is a mini lesson, which I am proud of. And each pattern was created with the goal of teaching others and perhaps bringing a smile to someone’s face with my designs. And I can’t deny that I am pleased with the interest in them and also the sale. In fact, I hope that they sell well and that I will have many more orders to fill again. After all – part of why I am in business is to sell my work. It would be ridiculous if I were disappointed in achieving that goal.
There are many who look at the scope of what I need to accomplish and cringe. They can’t fathom doing the same task over and over so many times. But to me, I enjoy woodworking in any form and I can certainly think of many worse ways to spend my time to earn a living. Cutting on the scroll saw is something that I find fun and relaxing, and the thought of getting paid to do something that is so pleasant is an opportunity that I am grateful to have come my way. And while designing and painting are things that I also enjoy, being at the scroll saw is something that I never seem to tire of, and as I have stated here often – I don’t seem to spend a lot of time doing it.
With that said, I had a wonderfully productive day yesterday. Among other things, I began printing the patterns necessary for the kits, which is a process that is going to take a great deal of time. However, it is also the kind of thing that could be done in the background while doing other things, and when working properly it takes little of my attention.
I printed about 60 patterns yesterday. While that doesn’t sound like much, it is a substantial amount. Each of the patterns are 15 pages long and also color. I like to use a nice setting on the printer because I want them to look their best and everything went smoothly.
While I was doing that, I did some organization around the house and also caught up on my receipts and book work for the past month and a half. With the short trip and all the running around we have been doing, the pile of receipts needed to be recorded and filed and everything put into its place.
I also began bringing in the 10” x 10” sheets of wood and started preparing them for cutting. Below is a picture of approximately a quarter of what I have rough cut:
These are sheets of 1/8” Baltic birch. While they are smooth and pretty nice, I think I will give them a light sanding with the orbital sander before I apply the patterns. While it seems like an unnecessary step, I think it will make a difference and really make the ornaments nice and they will be ready to paint after being cut. I want the customers to be able to open the kit and not have to worry about sanding the pieces. While there may be some slight sanding necessary, they should be just about ready to go.
I am going to continue printing today, but I need to draw up the next project for the magazine, which is due shortly. I know what I plan to do and I don’t think it will take me very long to draw and cut. In the mean time, I will weave in printing these patterns and working on the kit pieces themselves. That way I will still be pushing the pile along while fulfilling my other responsibilities. It is a good way to approach the job, I think.
The more I think about things, the more I am thrilled with the opportunity to create and sell these kits. While some may look upon making this many kits as something negative, I am happy to have the work. The reason that I got involved in scroll sawing in the first place was because I liked woodworking. And especially after hearing so many others complain about their jobs, I feel fortunate to be able to do something that I love for a living. What is there to complain about?
I think that the way we approach things greatly affects our own happiness and quality of life. It is always easier and more pleasant to do something with a smile on your face and a peaceful feeling in your heart. Sometimes we forget that we are the ones that have the choice of which way to look at things. If we take the time to look just a little harder, there is usually good in most situations. Choosing to focus on those good things will certainly improve our quality of life.
That’s my choice anyway.
Although it seems much cooler today, outside my windows are several different song birds merrily chirping. There is no Mozart of Vivaldi playing this morning, as the cats and myself are enjoying the choir outside our window. What a pleasant way to begin the day.
I wish you all a wonderful Sunday.
Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses. ~Alphonse Karr
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"