My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #749: You CAN Mix Work and Play

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 07-01-2012 12:26 PM 1365 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 748: A Word About Selling Your Finished Items Part 749 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 750: Back to a Routine »

I was really happy with the response that we had from the newsletter. We posted several new projects which were mostly Keith’s because of my time being taken by the two painting projects, and we had a lot of people come and get the new patterns.

It had been a while since our last newsletter – I thin the last one was sent out the end of May – and I like to touch base with our customers and update the sales even if we don’t have a lot of new things to add. I honestly don’t like sending too many emails out because some companies tend to bombard my email box with so many solicitations that you can never tell when they really do have something new.

I worked on some house stuff in the morning and I was trying to finish up my final pattern packet and I decided to accompany Keith to the store for a couple of things. We have a long weekend here in Canada (today is Canad Day and everything is closed on Monday) so I wanted to go with to make sure that we had stuff like milk and the essentials to last us at least until Tuesday.

During our drive, you couldn’t help but notice how beautiful it was outside. While it was a bit warm in our place, near the ocean was a cool breeze and the sun shone brightly in a cloudless sky. What a perfect day!

The devil on my shoulder began calling to me. Even though I had taken part of Wednesday and all of Thursday as rest days, I really wanted to go to the beach. I tried to talk myself out of it, as I know I have a lot that I want to get done. It has been a while since I have worked on my scroll saw patterns and I really needed to get some of those ideas on paper and completed. But I couldn’t shake the thought of the sun and the warm sand and I got to thinking about how many full weekends that I worked in a row. Sometimes I would go for weeks and weeks without a day away from working. Last year I only made it to the beach on one occasion, which is a sin seeing as I live only about 3 miles from the shore. I had vowed to myself that I would be spending some more time there this year, and I planned to honor that commitment to myself.

It was already about 1:30 when we returned home from the store and I quickly packed up my beach bags with a couple of cans of soda and a little bag of munchies, my favorite squishy pillow and several copies of my favorite painting magazines (The Decorative Painter from the Society of Decorative Painting) I had received all the back issues for a Christmas present, as I was out of touch with them for several years and I still hadn’t had the time to read through all the issues. It was the perfect time for me to take time to enjoy them.

Keith chose not to go with me. He was still working on some things on his computer. He doesn’t really like the beach anyway, he said. He doesn’t like that you just “sit there”. But to me, that is the reason I go. There are no phones or distractions and it is quiet and beautiful and calm and gives me a chance to really recharge my batteries.

The tide was out (way out) and the water was quite far from where I was. But that was OK, as you could still hear the waves crashing on the shore and smell the smells and I quickly found a nice spot to settle. There were several families and groups of people spotted along the way, but there weren’t so many where you lost your sense of peace and quiet.

I spent the next couple of hours reading through my painting magazines and learning some new techniques and tips and it only made me want to paint more.

I only stayed there a couple of hours, but that was enough. When I came home, I felt good and I finished the pattern that I needed to finish as well as some housework that I needed to catch up on. I am now all caught up with everything that is pressing me at this point and free to go in any direction that I please. Those of you who read regularly know how rare that is.

Today we are going to Keith’s parents to help with the lawn and perhaps wash the cars. In between, I am going to work on the birdcage ornaments and get them finished up for cutting. I hope to be cutting them by tomorrow or Tuesday at the latest, and I think they will be a great addition to my ornaments. I then have some ideas for both Christmas and Halloween scroll saw patterns that I have had living in my head for quite some time. I have a couple of weeks before the next catalog deadline is due, and I hope to have at least two or three new patterns to offer. I would like to build up the scroll saw pattern part of my business a little, as it seems that the painting side have drawn me away from it a bit. I want to keep a balance as much as possible.

In the beginning, I felt kind of guilty for taking off yesterday. But after thinking about it, I think those couple of hours of doing what I like does me good. I think of getting up at six almost every day and typing here to answer questions and write and draw before the sleep is even out of my eyes and working nearly until I fall asleep on most days, and sneaking a couple of hours away – even if it is several times a week – isn’t all that bad. Before we know it winter will be upon us and I will have little choice but to stay in and work. While I love what I do, I know that without keeping a balance and allowing myself to get away from time to time, I may grow to resent it.

While laying on the beach and reading, I had heard someone call my name. It was a friend of Keith’s and his wife – a couple whom I had met last year and we had dinner at their summer camp near us – and they recognized me reading there. They stopped by and talked for a few minutes, as they were on their way to meet another couple, and we talked about getting together again in the future. It may sound silly, but it felt nice to feel that I have some ‘friends’ here in the real world. Since my painting group from Bear River dissolved several years ago, I don’t really go out to socialize except with Keith’s family or to see Bernie and Ellen. That is OK, as I do feel that life is pretty full and I am happy with how things are. It is nice, however to have the occasional time to visit others and get out in the real world. It is very easy to isolate yourself and get buried in work – especially when you are at home as we are. I hope we plan something soon.

I can tell that today is going to be a hot day already. It will be good to get out again later on, and until then I plan on getting some work done on my drawings. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and find some time to unwind too.

Have a great Sunday and Happy Canada Day!

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

2 comments so far

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 2949 days

#1 posted 07-01-2012 01:18 PM

I also had one of those weeks where on the surface, I spent an awful lot of time not working. I think if you tried to evenly space your soul-refilling opportunities, though, it would be too hard to commit to them. You just have to take them when they show up.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2883 days

#2 posted 07-01-2012 01:29 PM

I’m with you 100% on that Lis. I was thinking that when I was at the store yesterday, trying to decide whether to work or go to the beach. If I would have waiting until the ‘correct time’ who’s to say that the weather and such would be right. Sometimes you just have to “go” when you can. Everything else will fall into place. Micromanaging free time is sometimes wasted effort. :)


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

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