My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #651: Attitude is Everything

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 03-25-2012 11:24 AM 1355 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 650: We Got So Much Accomplished Yesterday Part 651 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 652: The Sands of Time »

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 ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

6 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20923 posts in 2773 days

#1 posted 03-25-2012 01:30 PM

Absolutely! Well said

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

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3005 days

#2 posted 03-25-2012 01:53 PM

I have to agree. There is something satisfying about doing a batch of things all the same. It also allows you to switch off to some extent, let your subconscious do the work, and think on other things. When I do a veneered pattern with tens or hundreds of pieces I start off thinking its a lot of work but in no time I’m piecing the shapesd I have cut together, wondering where the time went and did I really do all of those? Nice to have some good music on in the background too.


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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2889 days

#3 posted 03-25-2012 01:58 PM

Good afternoon, Martyn:
I just saw you post on the new box you are creating. It is fascinating to see. I wasn’t envying you hand-cutting those slots out, thinking my upcoming job will be far easier than yours! I suppose that is why you make boxes and I scroll saw. :)

I am sure the time will fly by. I am already lining up the music in my mind and charging up the cordless headphones. It will be a pleasant journey, to be sure.

(Stay out of the path of that bulldozer! We need you here! )


-- 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

10056 posts in 4021 days

#4 posted 03-25-2012 04:53 PM

Ya gotta do what ya gotta do…

That’s a lot of sanding!

That’s a lot of Patterns!

That’s a lot of Cutting!

... etc. etc.

Have a nice w/e… what’s left of it…

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

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3272 days

#5 posted 03-25-2012 07:53 PM

looks great…...being positive with it all is the best way to be, good for you and best for business….we all learn with each decision we make and you are going forward with the decision to be positive , work hard…as you always have… know how i feel about all of this…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2805 days

#6 posted 03-25-2012 10:29 PM

thanks for the post sheila

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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics