My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #737: Teamwork

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-19-2012 11:03 AM 1610 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 736: A Very Productive Sunday Part 737 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 738: Sticking To It (or Not!) »

Things are moving right along today and we are well on our way to getting our large order filled. It is amazing how much work can be accomplished when two people work together as a team.

I look back to a couple of short months ago when I was taking on this project by myself. It seemed like a huge task and even though I was able to complete it in a reasonable amount of time, it seemed like it took much longer than it is taking now to do twice of what I did then.

Perhaps in part it is because the process is being ironed out and the work is being done more efficiently. But I think that the more likely reason is that I have someone helping me here and we are working together toward a common goal.

I tease about the friendly rivalry that Keith and I have – both of us always wanting to outdo the other – and I realize that this healthy competition is something that is beneficial to both of us. We both strive to do our best and there is no animosity whatsoever between us. We are both the type of people that like to push ourselves to our limit. Not for the sake of recognition or rewards, but more so for our own sense of accomplishment, which is not measured or seen by anyone other than ourselves.

Therefore, there are no losers. Everyone wins as we strive to reach this higher level. The customer wins because they get the best we have to offer. The company wins because we are setting a standard that shows ourselves to be reliable, honest and provide quality products. But most importantly, we ourselves win because we feel a great sense of accomplishment knowing that we are doing our absolute best. What could be better?

We finished cutting the wood for the second hundred kits yesterday. We also finished printing the second group of patterns. Everything was right on pace for what we set as our goals.

I also completed writing one of the two remaining patterns that I need to do. I am going to proof it today so that I can begin printing copies of it while we cut. The final pattern should go rather quickly, as it will be formatted much like the one that was just completed. I already did the editing work on the almost 40 photographs that it will contain so it is mostly a matter of assembling them into the packet.

The ink system for the new printer arrived yesterday, too. So we are all set with our backups. We haven’t even opened the boxes for the new printers, as I don’t see a need to until this printer is finished. Whether it lasts another week or month, when it does finally spit out its last copy, we will be ready with that back up and should not miss a beat. It is like having an insurance policy and I am happy that we are thinking ahead. Planning ahead does wonders for offering peace of mind.

My thumb is healing, but by the end of the day was a bit sore. Keith had brought me these little rubber finger cots that you roll over your finger to protect it.

I had never known that they existed before and they were a great help to my healing thumb. It kept it clean and I was able to keep a small bandage in place with some antibiotic ointment on it all day long. It didn’t interfere with my cutting either, and most of the time I forgot it was even there. How did I get by for 50 years without knowing about these?

For the next four days, we will be cutting 75 kits each day. On that schedule, we will reach our goal of 500 kits by the end of the day Friday. That will allow us the weekend to package things up and get them ready to ship on Monday. Not a bad week’s work I would say.

We are going to get an early start today so that we can do some other things this afternoon. I hope to finish today’s cutting session by mid afternoon so that I am not too tired to write. Hopefully, the world will cooperate and all will go as planned.

I am very grateful to have someone to share this with. While it is hard work, it is also something that is good, and something that both Keith and I have worked very hard to achieve. Not only is it satisfying to finally complete the orders we have, but it is also wonderful to sit back when those jobs are finished and have a partner to share that sense of accomplishment with. And while we each have our own personal goals that we work on individually, it is nice when occasionally our paths cross and we are able to do something as a team. It helps make our business strong.

I saw a poem on Facebook this morning that seemed to be appropriate for where we are now.

Go about your own path.
I will go about mine.

Should we meet and agree,
it will be beautiful.

If we do not, then it too,
will be beautiful.

For your path has its own beauty
and wondrous sights as does mine.

The greatest beauty will be for us to
share our experiences and be made
richer by our differences.

I was unable to find out who the author is, but I feel that it is a nice reflection of what having a good partner is, and I thought you would enjoy it.

Have a wonderful day!

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

4 comments so far

View HamS's profile


1829 posts in 2385 days

#1 posted 06-19-2012 11:25 AM

Good Morning Sheila,

I slept in so I got to read you in real time as it were. I am glad the orders are going out the door. I hope that the volumn doesn’t grow so large that it discourages you or tempts you into sacrificing the quality for meeting a deadline. We got the new patio door installed and the difference between the new one and the old one is astonishing. I guess I am getting old and crotchety, but the old door was 25 years old and the bottom had rotted out from a poor installation. The advances in energy conservation and thermal transmissibility (sp?) are just astonishing. When the hot afternoon sun was beating on the old door you could stand next to it and feel the temp rising. Yesterday, it was 94 F in the afternoon and I stood by the new door at 5:00pm and could barely feel any warmth at all. I hope it will be as efficient at keeping the heat in as well.

-- Haming it up in the 'bash.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2916 days

#2 posted 06-19-2012 12:19 PM

Hi, Ham:
It sounds like you are really rolling along. Yes, it is amazing how technology has advanced so much in recent times. We were just talking about that the other day in regards to our home computers. Where would my business be if it weren’t for computers? I hope you post pictures of your project when it is finished. I am sure that I am not the only one would love to see them.

As far as keeping the quality up, I think we are doing a pretty good job of it. We are very aware of quality and we put some checks into our routine so that things won’t get by us. I only print batches of 10 patterns at a time. That way if the print quality declines, I am aware of it early on and can either refill the ink or find out what the trouble is. Fortunately, that hasn’t been much of an issue, but it is OK to keep checks anyway.

Another thing we do is that we cut an extra sheet of each set of ornaments. That means that there is an extra 48 pieces to choose from if we come across one with a flaw or knot or something that is unacceptable. Then instead of having to go reprint the pattern, go back to the saw to re-cut, etc. we have extra pieces to pull from and don’t think twice about tossing a piece that doesn’t meet the standards.

We do try to make every kit as perfect as we can. I try to look at each one as individual, and I imagine them being sent to all ends of the country. Not clumping them together helps keep things in perspective. I make each one with the standard that I would want it to have if I purchased it myself. :)

Have a great day today!


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

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2918 days

#3 posted 06-19-2012 11:49 PM

Hi Sheila,
The way I look at your busy days, I feel that delegation is always the solution of a heavy workload. Team works faster and more productive however if the load will be still there then expansion will be needed. I hope for the best in you to get all your demands supplied.
Be extra careful,

-- Bert

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2916 days

#4 posted 06-20-2012 10:55 AM

Hi, Bert – So far we seem to be keeping up pretty well. It is definitely easier to handle with two of us working than if I were by myself. I plan on not sending too many designs (maybe 2 or three per season tops) so that I don’t get too bogged down. I am still kind of feeling around and finding the right formula that will work for all of us and still be profitable. Right now things are still manageable and we are very cautious in taking our next steps. :)

Have a good one, Sheila

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

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