My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #711: Double Duty

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 05-24-2012 11:10 AM 1610 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 710: Another Full Day Part 711 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 712: A New Project in the Works »

As you all have probably realized, things have been really busy here for us lately. It seems that the business is growing and that is a great thing for us – especially considering the way the economy is these days. We are really happy and feel so fortunate that things are working out, and we also realize that there is much to do ahead that is both fun and exciting.

Finishing the latest wholesale order was yet another big milestone. Even though I had help with it, I was beginning to feel some of the pressure that accompanies this level of success. I don’t think that it is that I am afraid to work, but it seemed to be more of making the right decisions as to where it is best to put my time. With the large order coming in even before I was able to complete the previous order, it rather threw me for a loop. I didn’t get a chance to take a breath and evaluate things and needed to jump right back in again. That was a bit unnerving.

The latest order went out yesterday and now there are two in transit. I spent the early part of yesterday deep cleaning the place and organizing everything. This included filing papers, breaking down unused boxes and discarding them (there will always be more available from our grocery store when I need them) and even organizing things on my computer. I can’t even begin to tell you how good it felt to get that done.

I sometimes get teased because of our emphasis on being organized. But the last week or so showed me what an important part of being successful keeping things in order can be. We are in a small place here and it really doesn’t take much to make it look cluttered and messy. When we are in a hurry with things and don’t put them where they belong, it is very easy to be frustrated and waste time trying to locate them. At least for me.

While some people thrive in busy and cluttered areas, I find that I do not. I don’t concentrate well when things are messy and out of place and I don’t feel that I do as good of a job. I realize that everyone is different and I maintain the attitude that we all need to do what is best for us and our own well being, but for myself, I need things neat.

Around lunch time yesterday, when things were all done, I sat down and looked around and I could actually “feel” a sense of calm come over me. The anxiousness from the previous days drained away, as if someone pulled a plug on a sink full of water, and I felt at peace. I was then able to dive into the next project and make some real designing progress for the first time in a couple of weeks. And I am excited about the new things that are developing!

Besides the physical organization that I did yesterday, I also did some mental organization as well. Part of what has been bothering me the past couple of weeks was being torn between the scroll sawing part of my work and the painting part of my work. Both are showing signs of success and both need attention in order to grow. I needed to come up with a realistic way to be able to attend to both parts or I would have to choose between them – something that I don’t want to do.

So what I decided to do was this . . .

I am going to be working on the scroll saw aspect of my job during the day hours, and after dinner I would be able to devote time to my painting. (At least in the designing aspect of both)

It sounds simple enough, and in theory it should at least be a starting point for me. Until now, there has been no defined time lines for doing either and I seem that I have been flopping around between the two with no clear direction or rhyme or reason. I needed to define my goals a bit better in order to focus on them better and this will certainly help me in that direction.

There will be no hard and fast rules for this, as times will surely come when I will deviate from this time table, but at least I have a starting guide line set up for myself and that will eliminate the tug of war I am having with myself right now as to ‘what to do first.’ Of course, the wholesale orders will take precedence and be the first priority, and deadlines will also get heavier consideration, but using this time table as a loose guideline will help me set the pace and I will not be wandering aimlessly in my thoughts as to what to work on next.

Already by just defining the plan I settled in and actually got some good designing work done yesterday. I worked on new scroll saw patterns all afternoon, knowing that I would have time in the evening to work on new painting patterns. It cleared my conscience and I found I was more productive than I have been in days.

So for now I will be doing some ‘double duty’ as a designer.

Scroll saw pattern designer by day and painting pattern designer by night. We can all see together how this will work out for me and if it will keep me on track.

I am hoping for the best. :)

Have a great day!

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

7 comments so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3978 days

#1 posted 05-24-2012 11:43 AM

Hi SHeila;

I know what you mean about needing things neat and orderly. One of the fellows that worked in my shop was less than neat and tidy, to put it mildly. It would drive me nuts. I would often vacuum off the miter saw station or the table saw, before I would use it. It just seemed too unorganized for me to use it. Guys would ask me why I would vacuum off a machine prior to using it, which would just replace the mess I was cleaning up, again. I guess that’s part of what makes me, me. Of course I would clean it off when I was done using it as well.

You do have a way of coming up with “organized solutions”. That is a great template for your day. Splitting your design time into two like that is a good idea if you plan on working night and day. Your dedication is admirable.

Exactly when do you just relax?


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2918 days

#2 posted 05-24-2012 11:56 AM

Well, Lee. It is going to sound goofy, but I do love to paint as relaxation. Even though it is part of my ‘work’ it is not a burden to me at all. The scroll sawing isn’t either, really, but because of the messiness and noise of it, it does seem to fall into the ‘work’ category a little more.

When I really need to get away from everything, there are a few computer games that I like to play. Nothing hard core or stressful, but stuff just to pass the time. Keith’s mom showed me some really cute and fun games and they are something that is definitely different than what I do all day.

If we are going to take a full day off, we usually do one of our road trips and get away completely for a day or so. That’s when having that Mustang is really a treat! There is nothing like driving through Nova Scotia with the top down and the warm sun shining on you to relax you! Hopefully, we will get some time this fall to drive up to Cape Breton on the north end of the province. Neither Keith nor I have ever been there and we are hoping to take a couple of days and explore. That will really be nice!

I do feel relaxed much of the time. While it may appear that I am always working, I am doing something that I truly enjoy. I talk to so many people who wish they could do what I do for a living. There are so many other jobs that are not any fun at all. If I get overwhelmed, I just need to stand back and look at my life and it takes about two seconds to realize how fortunate I am. Remember the old saying “If you love what you do, you don’t work a day in your life!” I am proof that it can be true. :)

Take care, Sheila

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

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2802 days

#3 posted 05-24-2012 01:28 PM

I can’t imagine you being so busy…... NOT,, just kiddin.. I hope you’re laughin about now

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

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3302 days

#4 posted 05-24-2012 01:52 PM

well i was wondering when you were going to get some work done, glad to see you have a work plan in order, your such a slacker…LOL…no it really sounds great sheila, i like the idea, when you need to paint , you know when you will get it done, and if your day changes, your plan is flexible…good organization…yea im like lee, even though my shop is sorta full with wood , i do keep it clean, and like all of my tools clean…before and after cuts, i dont do well at all with saw dust all over, i sweep the floor after each big cutting and sanding step…just have to…well work away today…and for heaven sakes, feed those kitties, they look hungry…lol…..grizz

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2918 days

#5 posted 05-24-2012 02:36 PM

Thanks, guys! I hope you have a good day too. I suppose it is getting really hot by you two! It is warming up here, but nice and cool in the evening – just how I like it! The beach is calling . . . calling . . . calling . . .

But I have to snap out of it!!!! Work to be done. There will be beach time later on! :D


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

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3113 days

#6 posted 05-24-2012 05:32 PM

cleaning up and organice is a good thing
in line with cleaning floors filled with sawdust .. for one great reason …...........SAFTY WORK INVIREMENT :-)
working in cluttered space or filled with sawdust is like inviting acidents to happens

have a safe day all of you

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2918 days

#7 posted 05-25-2012 09:26 AM

Thank you Dennis. I always think it is much safer to work in a clean environment. I need to rid myself of all distractions before I begin to work with any tools. It makes good sense and is a practice that I got in the habit of doing a long time ago.

Take care and have a great day. :)


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

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