My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #847: Always Learning

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 10-16-2012 10:17 AM 2164 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 846: Getting Ready for a Busy Week Part 847 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 848: Drawing and Thinking . . . »

I was awakened quite early today by my beautiful kitty Coco. For some reason, she was calling out to me just before 5am. Of course, as soon as I got up and came out to see what she wanted, she promptly went into her bed and fell asleep. She’s still there now, almost two hours later.

You gotta love her!

Since I was already up, there was no sense in me trying to go back to sleep. It was a time when it was too close to my normal time of awakening (around six) and I knew that even if I went back to bed, I wouldn’t in all probability be able to fall back asleep. So I made my coffee and decided to start my day.

I was really excited yesterday, as the new painting patterns and painting video that I ordered had arrived. I ran to pick up my mail near dinner time, and had to stop to the store for a couple of necessities (I was out of coffee – egads!) on the way home. When I arrived home, I had a quick dinner and loaded up the video to peek at it and see how it was. It was a video from Holly Hanley ( who has always been one of my favorite painters and I couldn’t wait to see the techniques that she used to make her cute designs. Below are some of the cute patterns that I purchased from Holly:

While I was skimming through the video, our friend Lee stopped in for a little bit to talk to Keith. When he noticed I was watching a painting video, he asked “What are you watching that for? You are already a great painter.”

I appreciated the compliment, but as I told him, there is ALWAYS something new to learn from others. I am a firm believer that as long as we are on this planet, no matter how adept we become in one thing or another, there is always something else we can discover and learn.

I often get emails from people who are new to scroll sawing or painting. They are usually enthusiastic and have many questions about learning their new skills. I love seeing this excitement, and I try my best to answer what they are asking by sharing my favorite ways to do things and the things that I find make it easier to be successful.

But one thing that I also tell them is to seek out information from as many sources as possible and then you can make your own assessments and develop skills and techniques that will work best for yourself. This rings true in so many things that we encounter in our lives.

I am currently working on some new designs for my decorative painting patterns. I have an idea in my head as to how I want these characters to be, but I haven’t fully developed things yet in my mind. I find that for myself, by exposing myself to many other’s techniques and styles of painting, that it will help me find my own niche and develop a style that is unique to me.

Am I going to ‘copy’ the style my favorites? Absolutely not. But I will use the building blocks of basic skills to create something that I can call my own. Without those basic skills however, it would be very difficult for me to do so.

I use painting as an example because that is what I am working on right now. This also applies to drawing, woodworking and scroll sawing too. While we all follow similar rules when making new projects and designs, it is only after we are confident in our ground level skills that we are able to deviate from them and develop styles that are our own. Without this foundation, it would be much more difficult to advance and venture out on our own.

I don’t mind being a perpetual student. As I explore each new chapter of creativity, be it painting, making large yard art, or even computer work, I find it refreshing and exciting to learn new skills and later on apply them to my own ideas and projects. To me, there is no definite line between creating. I love taking skills from several areas and bringing them together to create a symphony of ideas that play out as one.

And in the process, I will hopefully teach others to join in my song.

Perhaps Coco knew what she was doing this morning when she awoke me early. Instead of being cross with her, I am glad she did, as it gave me an extra hour to spend observing and learning new skills. It’s only just after 7am and I feel that I already had a productive day.

Thanks Coco!

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"

7 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2884 days

#1 posted 10-16-2012 11:19 AM

Sheila never stop learning it is such fun

Clever Coco


-- 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 jerrells's profile


918 posts in 2912 days

#2 posted 10-16-2012 12:48 PM

You know, our cat, Abby, was doing the same thing at 5 AM. Only she just wanted to play.

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

View MrsN's profile


986 posts in 3553 days

#3 posted 10-16-2012 04:29 PM

I wish I would get out of bed at 5, I always wait until the last possible moment to get out of bed.
I also love learning new things. There is so much to learn, and to share with others. Somedays I wish there were more hours so I could try all of the things that I want to do. Your painting patterns have opened new doors in my hobby, and I have lots of things I would like to try. but the more I paint the less I scroll. Then I find cool things on facebook or pintrest and I want to try those, but still dont have any more time in the day.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2947 days

#4 posted 10-16-2012 04:48 PM

Anytime I get up after 4 am is fair game for me Katie. I really don’t mind the early hours, as I get lots done in my peace and quiet without interruption. But after 9 or 10 pm I am a slug. I’ve been known to stay up a bit later if working on something or watching a really good movie or playing a good game, but for the most part, I am pretty much done by then.

I am always looking for that elusive 25th hour that we can squeeze out of each day. There is so much yet to do and so many wonderful discoveries to make! Life is really good. :)


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

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3142 days

#5 posted 10-16-2012 07:10 PM

the hardest part of geting up in the morning
is to leave the bed you just have used all the night to warm up !!

at least Coco didnĀ“t steal your pillow as our cat does if it wakes us in the mittle of the night
just to tell its going to bed now …..... and not as you thought wanted something to eat
or wanted to get out ….. no ... its I steal from you now …. can you feel it fool …. lol

take care

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2100 days

#6 posted 10-16-2012 08:54 PM

Good afternoon Sheila! You are so right – you are never too old or too experienced to learn something new. It’s what keeps us alive and young at heart!
I’d love my body chemistry to make me a morning person but I’m a night hawk! My husband is the morning person but we manage our timelines alright! There are the times I need to be a morning person and times he needs to be a night hawk and times we work according to our own time – it all works out in the end!
Enjoy the day.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2947 days

#7 posted 10-17-2012 11:17 AM

They sure are smart, Dennis! And it seems that they will do anything in their power to get your attention when they want it! Your kitty sound like she is the one who calls the shots.

Anna – I truly respect that some people are morning people and some are night hawks. Keith is up late every night – until 2 or 3 most nights. I think he enjoys that time to himself, just like I enjoy my quiet morning time first thing. We all do what we need to do at a time when our bodies are most comfortable. I see nothing at all wrong with that and for Keith and I, I actually like it that way!

Thank you both for the comments. :)


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

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