My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #791: Planning

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 08-16-2012 11:10 AM 1440 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 790: Things and Stuff Part 791 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 792: Ebb and Flow »

Yesterday was a busy day, but from the outside looking in, it may have seemed that I accomplished little.

There were many things going on and errands to run and I spent the bulk of the afternoon and evening doing things away from the house and planning on the next projects.

Planning is an odd thing. While I believe it is the backbone of most of my projects, it is something that no one can see, touch or feel. Yet it is there. And without it the entire structure of the project would be chaotic and sloppy.

My friend Cari’s dad used to say that we were like fighter pilots. He admired our ability to take care of children, plan dinner and still be creative – all in the course of the same hour. Coming from him that was a great compliment, as he was an engineer with such high and exacting standards that he was admired and respected by all. He was, in fact, the one who first introduced both Cari and I to the scroll saw. While he had a son who was older than Cari, he also had two daughters and treated all three children as equals. He loved to give each of them the opportunity to learn new things by offering the tools and the basic knowledge and he received a great deal of pleasure seeing them ‘run’ with it.

Since I was so close to Cari and constantly around, I also benefited from his philosophy and was exposed to many creative things that I otherwise would not have been. Improving my ability to map out my projects before starting them was one of the things that I remember most, for Cari’s dad believed that with good planning, any project will be successful.

It was an important lesson to learn.

Now, several years later, careful planning of my projects has become a habit. I don’t think much about it unless there are days like today where I have little physical progress to show. But even while I was gala-venting around yesterday, my mind was busy thinking about the next several things that I want to make and how I am planning to go about doing them.

I believe Keith notices this in me. Sometimes when we are driving or in a place where I will see something that will take my thoughts away, he will stop and question what I was thinking about. “Nothing.” I usually reply, as most of the time my thoughts don’t warrant discussion. But while these ideas and thoughts may seemingly be unimportant, I believe they are essential to what I do and make things go much easier in the long run. I need to take this time in order to feel comfortable about what I am doing and be able to enjoy the process.

So there isn’t much to report today. Only that I have made progress in my planning of things. You won’t see the results of this work that I have been doing for several days or even weeks, when the projects just seem to flow.

I like days like yesterday. We had a good day together and accomplished a lot. In the course of our errands, we seemed to have not had much to buy, and we came home with less than usual. That is a good feeling. It is good not to be wanting anything and realizing that you have all you need to be happy and comfortable. It seems as if we are reaching the point where we are all shopped out and ready to settle in for the winter. While I know it isn’t upon us yet, before long it will be here and we will be prepared. Without anxiety or worry.

I believe that is called ‘contentment.’

Today I will begin implementing some of those thoughts. Hopefully, you will all see the resulting flow of work that will follow. (And understand why it looks so easy.)

I wish you all a wonderful day! Take the time to gather your thoughts and plan your course of action. It will be a wonderful relief to you and hopefully make your day much more pleasant.

What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself. – Mark Twain

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

5 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2910 days

#1 posted 08-16-2012 11:34 AM

Yes Sheila that creative gap

truly content and in the moment.

101 Question

What would be the best blade be for Oak



-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6860 posts in 4033 days

#2 posted 08-16-2012 11:47 AM

Hi Sheila;

Who was it that said,”if you fail to plan, you plan to fail?”

I’m a big believer in having a plan myself. I had a new project manager a number of years ago. I happened to have a 9:00 meeting with the client on the jobsite, but I got there at 8:00, just in time to see this guy start the day. I wanted to see how he handled his new job.

I had about 15 guys working on this job, and another 4 sub contractors, so watching this guy was a real eye opener. He had no plan what-so-ever. As workers would come up to him, he would give them something to do off the top of his head. In a matter of minutes, they would be back, saying we didn’t have the materials to do it. He looked like he was panicking. Actually, I think he was, since I was standing there, seeing him throw my money away.

I really couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This was a VERY smart man, but he sure didn’t look like it. I pulled him off to the side and told him that I considered myself very good at what he was doing, and I wouldn’t consider showing up in the morning without a plan. A plan that was now several days old, and one where all the materials that were needed were already delivered to the jobsite, and placed where they were needed. The previous afternoon, I would give each of the workers a heads up on what they would be doing the next day. Most of them would think about it overnight, and have a plan of their own, on how to get the work done.

Fortunately, he took my advice, so I didn’t have to shoot him. LOL

Have a planned day!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2973 days

#3 posted 08-16-2012 12:19 PM

Hi, Jamie! I would think a #5 would do well. (Let me know if you want me to send you a blade chart because I forgot if I did and I don’t know the number of teeth per inch that is offhand!) I use the Olson Mach Speed blades in size 3, but that may be a little draggy if the oak is hard. The #5 reverse tooth blades may fare better. Like anything – there are more than one correct choice. I think if you are in the ballpark of those, you will do well. :)

Lee – Thanks for your story. That is the perfect example that I was trying to convey. When I lived in Chicago and everything was ‘convenient’ I was far more lazy about this aspect (and probably wasted a lot more time too!) But living here in the country where a trip to the store is about an hour each way, without careful planning you have a huge problem on your hands. Add winter to that mix when I park my car and have to ask Keith to drive me and YIKES! I could be in lots of trouble if I am not careful.

I like having everything here in my ‘nest’ that I may need. Keith teases me about it, but when we run out of something and I have a ‘spare’ he is quite grateful I think. It all comes down to planning. Thanks for sharing again! It is a great lesson to all of us! ;)


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

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6860 posts in 4033 days

#4 posted 08-16-2012 02:27 PM

Hi Sheila,

Here’s an email I received a few days ago. It’s for a free program, designed for making a plan. I figured I would post it, an case anyone can make use of it.

I haven’t tried it out, or even checked it out, but I plan to. LOL

Hi Lee,

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote to let you know about a
brand-new tool we’ve been working on.

It’s called ‘Plan Anything’!

Plan Anything will help anyone who wants to start a ‘real’
business, or who wants to grow their existing business.

We initially only released one plan for the beta, but I’m
excited to announce that another plan type has just gone live!

The new plan is designed to let you quickly and easily
create a well thought out project plan.

As the aim is to help real businesses to plan projects, we’ve
done our best to keep it simple and get rid of all the
complexity that project planning tools are normally plagued by.

We wanted something that would make sure you’d crossed all
the T’s and dotted all the I’s, without having to worry
about things like inter-task dependencies, critical path
analysis and diminishing resource allocation.

It’s ideal for things like:

- Product launches
- Office relocations
- Marketing campaigns
- Event planning (although we’re working on a separate plan just for events)
- Software development
- Writing and publishing an ebook
- Charity events
- Attending Exhibitions
- Opening a shop

And pretty much anything else that needs a simple and
straight forward project plan.

If you’re planning the opening ceremony for the Olympics
Games, a space mission to Mars, or a multi-billion dollar
power plant then this is NOT the tool, but for typical
business projects we think it’s a great little tool and we
hope you like it too.

To get started, head over to and
either sign-up (if you haven’t already), or login to your
existing Plan Anything account – and then select ‘Simple
Project Plan’ when you create a new plan.

Don’t forget to let us know how you get on by posting
feedback and questions to:

Happy planning!


P.S. And don’t forget that, just like the Product/Service
Blueprint it is absolutely free! Crazy, but true :-)

-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2973 days

#5 posted 08-16-2012 11:24 PM

Thanks so much Lee. I am sure that many will find this really helpful. :)


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

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