My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #800: Home Again

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 08-28-2012 10:03 AM 4612 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 799: Cutting Again Today Part 800 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 801: The Catalyst »

While it felt kind of odd to have a couple of days away from the computer, it wasn’t really bad. In fact, I think that I needed the time to finish things up, regroup and in between, have some time with family and friends.

Things were a bit rough last week. There was just too much going on and I was feeling rather overwhelmed. Between the big order, working on new patterns, and getting things ready for the new distributor, and preparing to be gone for a couple of days, I found myself feeling anxious and restless, as if things were slipping out of control.

I could have written yesterday, but I needed one more day to focus on getting things back on track and finish up the order and I needed one more day of quiet time, so I chose to wait one more day. Today I feel more like I am back to normal and ready to face the world again. so here I am. The order is finished and boxed and I already put in for the pick up today. We did well considering that we were gone for two full days. It only took us three days to produce 250 kits. Now we can get back on track with our other things.

I learned a lot about the business in the past week. About other people too. I share these experiences because I wish that I had known many of these things early on and perhaps it would have saved me a bit of grief regarding the business and helped me make better decisions. But just like Dorothy in the movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’ I suppose that learning things for myself is the best teacher.

But like the journey through Oz, this journey that I am taking isn’t always pleasant. I tend to take people at face value and sometimes that comes back to bite me. Especially on the business side of things. I never claimed to be a great business woman, as I tend to think with my heart more than my head. Being a ‘pink cloud’ person doesn’t always help either. Sometimes when looking for the best in people or situations, I fail to see the potential downfalls and put myself in places that aren’t necessarily beneficial to myself or the company. While I like being a positive and optimistic person, I find that sometimes I am not thinking realistically enough about things and that is when I get burned.

Having a partner is helpful in this area. The old saying that ‘two heads are better than one’ certainly applies in my own circumstances here. Having someone to talk to and help assess things saves a lot of grief later on. While there is still no way to make perfect decisions every time, I believe the odds are greatly increased by having another opinion.

I am still nervous about the problem that we had last week with the wholesaler. I mentioned in my blog that in the end, we were called back and told that they were going to carry the snowmen ornament kit in the next catalog. Our contact was to be leaving on vacation, and he said that he would be assigning it an item number and sending us an order shortly. On Friday I packed up the set and sent out for photography and we ordered additional supplies (wood, bags for packaging, etc.) so that we would remain ahead of things and the orders could be filled quickly. However, Friday came and went without receiving an invoice from them. This troubles me a bit.

I would like to think that it was just an oversight, and that with getting everything done prior to leaving for vacation, it just got lost in the cracks, but seeing as how such a fuss was made as to the time frame it took for the items to be received at the warehouse from us here in Canada, I would think that the order would have been placed ahead of time so we would be able to get it there with plenty of time before the deadline.

I was told on the phone that there would be 150 kits ordered. But with no purchase order and with everything that went back and forth, I am not really sure if we should even begin printing it, let alone cutting it out. If they were to change their mind, I would certainly be ‘stuck’ with more kits than I would need and I don’t want to invest the time or materials into this when I am not certain. Of course, now my contact is on vacation so I will be up in the air until his return. Then things would be rushed again, I am afraid.

So for now, I think that I will take a breather on this front and concentrate on other things. I have a couple more presentation pictures of the new plaques that I need to take and I want to do that today, as well as assemble the pattern packets for those pieces. Then I think I will move on to the next designs, as I have quite a list of what I want to do.

Hopefully I will feel a bit better about things today. Keith finished organizing all of our files and we were able to forward them to the new distributor before we left, so we are excited about having a new outlet for our work. We both have lots of things in the works so there is much to look forward to and it keeps us positive.

I have a picture of the sunrise the other day from our room at the hotel. This is overlooking the Halifax harbor on Sunday morning. It is quite beautiful I thought and while the colors were amazing, it only lasted a couple of minutes.

I like the city, but I am truly happier here in my quiet little place in the country. While it is nice to venture out into the world sometimes, I can’t deny that for myself “there’s no place like home.”

I am very happy to be back.

Have a great Tuesday.

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

9 comments so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3975 days

#1 posted 08-28-2012 11:58 AM

Hi Sheila;

Welcome back.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 2880 days

#2 posted 08-28-2012 12:06 PM

WELL welcome back guys. I thought, yestersday, that you were taking one more day ogg and good for you. I am glad that you got to spend time away and relax. On the business side learn to “TAKE TEN”. Just step back, take ten minutes and think it over. There are things you can’t control like no Purchase ORder. IT will happen. Have a great day.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2799 days

#3 posted 08-28-2012 12:09 PM

Ditto on what Lee said. That sunrise looks to be a good start for a good week, yes, Dorothy,, I mean, Sheila. :)

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

View Steve's profile


2 posts in 2094 days

#4 posted 08-28-2012 01:42 PM

Hi Sheila, first can I thank everyone for heir warm welcomes to LJ. Just joined lumberjocks specifically for your scroll saw lessons. As a woodworker for many years I’m surprised that I have never taken up the scrollsaw, seems like one hell of an oversight, but I intend to remedy that as soon as my new SS arrives. Your videos were excellent, well made and very very informative, particularly for a SS virgin.
My primary interest was to make puzzle boxes but having seen the wealth of projects and patterns which can be achieved I have radically changed my view on my use of the SS. Where is that d%*n scroll saw??

-- Steve (AKA SSnewbie)

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3299 days

#5 posted 08-28-2012 02:27 PM

welcome back and welcome back home, have a great day.oh and i see this is number 800, quite a milestone…congrats on a wonderful blog too so many…....

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2915 days

#6 posted 08-28-2012 02:43 PM

Thanks everyone. I am sure you all missed the kitty pictures (NOT!) :) Steve – it is a pleasure to have you on board here at Lumberjocks. I hope you find it to be as great a place as I do and learn as much as I am learning from the other wonderful woodworkers.

Have a great day! :) Sheila

-- 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

#7 posted 08-28-2012 11:31 PM

Good to be home again! That is how sweet it is to see all those pending jobs. That is relaxing.
I want to start your work on decision making you require to produce the demand… I think on our side as woodworker, depreciation of the products is not in question. If you think making lots of those patterns as just order without purchase, and it will not be useless in any otherway, then… HIRE a marketing firm (but this can be done in other way.. isn’t it).

My friend started with small baking business, make more, and there were lots. He then hired a marketing and advertising firm and now he own a 3 floor of mass production of different bread, cookies and preserves with the marketing firm distributing not only here in Philippines but also some like Dubai, US and even Canada. Of course they started the cannery for preserves for export products.

So, think whether the market of those surplus orders you will make can be market not only on those who order but others too. Good luck!

Good to see my e-mail box with you on my daily mail.

-- Bert

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3238 posts in 3708 days

#8 posted 08-29-2012 07:00 AM


As the years go by, we keep experiencing less and less integrity and honesty—not just in business but in personal relationships too. We recall the days when a man’s word could be trusted; when business could be done with a handshake, not a 20-page legal contract. It just isn’t that way any more. Because you work by high standards of honesty and integrity, you expect that others will as well and you try to give them the benefit of the doubt when it appears otherwise.

More than 20 years ago I read an article on relationships that stated that a person needs to determine the level of honesty that they want in a relationship. I really couldn’t figure out what that meant since I was certain that everyone would desire 100% honesty, but now I have come to realize that the reason someone doesn’t want complete honesty is because they do not wish to be honest and don’t want to be held to that standard. It is so refreshing to read your desire for an honest lifestyle without the greed. Lust for power and money has overwhelmed so much of the world.

We shouldn’t be surprised by this since the apostle Paul when speaking about the end times states in 2 Timothy 3:13, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”

We certainly understand your feelings about your quiet place in the country. We feel like we are on a perpetual vacation living in the country and being able to spend our days in the workshop. We no longer have any desire to travel. Each time we have to go to a large city, we can feel the stress level rising as we get closer to it. There truly is no place like home!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2915 days

#9 posted 08-29-2012 09:05 AM

Hi, Bert:
It is good to hear from you. As new opportunities arise, we try to evaluate them to see which ones would work best for us. We want our company to grow, but we need to keep it growing at a rate where we can handle everything. I find that proceeding with caution is the best way to do things. It takes a great deal more work to do so this way, but in the long run, it is worth it for us.

L/W – I am afraid that I am learning first hand that just by being honest and having a high standard doesn’t mean that others will reciprocate those values towards you – especially in business. I used to think that just by doing the ‘right thing’ and presenting things with honesty and integrity, it would naturally come back to me in the same way. But the world doesn’t work that way. I have been burned several times by others who use that information against me and prey on my vulnerabilities. Part of the reason I put myself out here every day is so that others can learn from my errors and possibly avoid making the same mistakes that I have made. From the feedback I have received, it does help others who are trying to give it a go in their own business. I am happy that is the case, and it is why I continue to write here almost every day.

I do find the city to be a bit stressful. While it was exciting in my younger days, I find it more overwhelming than anything lately. Perhaps it is because my senses are not used to it. This weekend when I attended the wedding, we were staying at a downtown hotel. The ceremony wasn’t until early evening and we were heading across the street for a sandwich for lunch. As I was coming out of the hotel, I didn’t see the curb and fell on all fours into the street. Both my knees have large bruises on them and one is skinned and I jammed my wrist. For a moment I was on the street on all fours just stunned. I think the noise and the traffic and the commotion just got to me. I am fortunate that I am not hurt beyond some soreness, but I really felt OLD. Too much input for me to feel comfortable, I think.

The wedding was nice, and it was nice to ‘dress up’ and wear nice clothes and heels again (I was in my tennis shoes when I fell – before I was dressed for the ceremony) and it reminded me of when I worked in a downtown Chicago bank for several years. But that is no longer my comfort zone and I think I am used to my quiet. It give me room to think.

In any case, thanks for the comments. I truly appreciate hearing your thoughts on everything. :)


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

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