My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #827: From Teacher to Student

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 09-23-2012 10:48 AM 1538 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 827 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 828: More Than One Way to be Productive »

As I watch the seasons once again change, I can’t help but think about how quickly time passes. There is one side of me that can’t wait for cooler temperatures of autumn and winter to arrive, while the other side of me is beginning to be cautious about what I am wishing for, as that time will pass quickly too.

It was humid and muggy yesterday here in our area. The kind of mugginess where everything feels almost damp and you can’t tell if you are too warm or too cool – or both. I found myself wishing for the cold and the snow, for at least then you know you can put on a sweater and perhaps bundle up with one of the cats.

Many cringe when I say that, and I realize that I am not stating a popular opinion when I say that, but I still maintain that I would rather be in a cold climate than a hot one, as it is always possible to add another layer of clothing (or a cat) to make myself comfortable. I don’t do well at all with the heat and humidity.

But it is what it is, and like anyone else, I take what is offered and try to make the best of it. If I am not careful, I will find myself wishing season after season away and not take the time to enjoy the present.

I spent the day once again working on some new directions for my designs. While these new directions initially appeared to be something that would be an easy transition, I am finding that it is far more complicated than I had first anticipated. Now that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I say it more out of surprise than anything. By outer appearances, it would be a much easier path to travel than I am on now.

But isn’t that always the case?

We look at something with a fleeting glance and think to ourselves “Oh! That’s easy! I can do that!” and then when we begin to see the inner workings of things and how to do them properly and successfully, we see just how much work is involved. Such is the case for so many things.

I find it funny (odd) that this is a surprise to me, as I am usually the one who tries to look at things with consideration of the skills and learning processes to make them possible. I, after all, am the one who has preached in the past that the key to creating a good design is taking something that may be a bit complicated and make it look easy. I have always spoke of how important it was to look at things from a beginner’s point of view, and how the success or failure of a pattern lies within the ability of it to teach basics. As an experienced designer, I am rather successful at teaching my patterns so that even a beginner can understand them.

But now the tables have turned, and I am the one who is the beginner. While I have general knowledge of the area that I am working in, I am certainly not as comfortable or highly trained in it as I am with scroll sawing and painting. There are new sets of rules that apply, and I find that there are many things that I have to learn. Even the terminology is different than what I am used to, and learning to phrase things properly without confusing others is in itself a small challenge.

It is all a process.

I enjoy learning new things. I am a firm believer that we are learning every day we are here on this planet. New experiences and events keep our lives interesting and exciting.

While there was a time when I felt a bit overwhelmed yesterday, I stuck with what I was doing and there came a time when things started to click. And it encouraged me to continue. I saw there was some hope that things would be OK after all.

It is a good thing for me to be in this role as beginner once again. I have been in the role of teacher for quite a while now, and by putting myself into this role of student it once again it reminds me and helps me understand how someone just learning feels. And it will make me a better teacher in the long run.

Photo by Harry Wittier Frees

Today I will continue working on designs – both old and new. For there are still so many scroll saw patterns that I want to make, as well as pursuing these new avenues. I will play the role of both teacher and student, and hopefully make progress as both. And I will enjoy the processes of being both student and teacher.

β€œHe, who learns, teaches.” ― African Proverb

-- 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 Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2912 days

#1 posted 09-23-2012 12:29 PM

Sheila I’m sitting in the sunshine

it is bitterly cold though

But Pleasant, no rain

I’ll need to speak to your Post Office

No Scones, that will not do :)


-- 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 BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3092 days

#2 posted 09-23-2012 01:19 PM

Yes there is always the excitement of grasping what new things are about, Sheila. Good to see you more positive.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2129 days

#3 posted 09-24-2012 03:04 AM

Have fun with all the new stuff you are learning, Sheila!
Beautiful sunshine and warm in BC today – a perfect Fall day.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2976 days

#4 posted 09-24-2012 09:47 AM

Thank you all!
Jamie – last year I made some blueberry scones that were pretty good. You froze the butter and then grated it with a cheese grater before adding it to the dough. You also froze the blueberries so they wouldn’t mush up when incorporating them into the dough. They were good. I just need to find the time to make them. If you have a few extras, sent them my way, will you?? :P

Martyn – I am trying to look ahead instead of looking back. While some things are still in the air and bothering me, I find I do far better when occupying my mind with new and positive projects. I have had my little bit of wallowing. Now it is time to move on.

Anna – It is so good to see you here! After talking to you so much through comments on my other blog page, I feel like I know you! Thank you for sending the autumn weather here to Nova Scotia! It is far cooler than it was a couple of days ago and feels wonderful! I am so happy you joined!

Thanks all for the encouragement. (And thoughts of scones!)


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

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