My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #963: Winter Isn't Quite Over Yet!

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 02-18-2013 12:16 PM 2337 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 962: More Bling Part 963 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 964: Some Patriotic Word Art »

Well, it was a productive weekend to say the least. And it ended with a rather big bang from Mother nature. All in all I really accomplished a great deal including getting all the drawing done for my next project for the magazine. I am happy.

I spent the majority of the day Saturday moving files on my computer. One wouldn’t think that would take very long, but I had recently purchased a 3TB hard drive for my computer to meet my growing storage needs. Prices on hard drives have been amazingly inexpensive as technology advances are being made. I was able to get my drive from NCIX for a mere $120 prior to shipping and taxes. That’s a pretty good deal. (It is a Western Digital Caviar Green SATA drive) While that may not mean a great deal to some of you, for me it means I have oodles of storage space so everything will keep running smoothly as my files keep growing.

I have a couple of drives already, but some of them (including my C partition) were beginning to get to the point where they were filing up and I knew it was time for me to expand. I wanted my computer to continue to run at optimal speed and I thought this reorganization was necessary for it to do so. The drive arrived on Thursday so after doing an initial backup and installing it, I needed to clear out one of the smaller drives that I am not going to use anymore and remove it and I then spent Saturday rearranging things to fit in their new places.

It literally took me all day, from around 9 in the morning when I finished my blog here until approximately 8:30 in the evening. While it certainly wasn’t the most exciting way to spend the day, I am really happy with the results, as my computer is just like brand new and every file is neatly stored just where I want it. The system is efficient and logical (for me) and I can find just about anything I want in a snap. The best part about it is that there is plenty of room for growth and everything of any importance is backed up on an external drive that we keep disconnected and safe in a cabinet should a disaster occur. We even burn our final PDF pattern files to disk and keep them at a different location in case something like a fire would occur and everything here would be destroyed. That way we would at least have the final copies of our patterns and be able to function. Our customer data is on a server with our store front, so that is safe too. Hopefully all the bases are covered.

So now that everything was in order on my computer, it was time to work. I am due to begin working on my next project for the magazine and I had some nice ideas that I wanted to pursue. The issue we are working on now is the July issue, which comes out in June. The issue following that will be the Holiday issue (already!) and we need to start thinking about Christmas and Holidays already. But first, I wanted to do a project with a somewhat patriotic theme for the July issue. I decided to do some word art pieces that I can make a couple of versions of. Since Canada Day is July 1st and Independence Day is July 4th, I felt that two versions of the project would be appropriate.

I am still thinking about how I am going to decorate them, but they should be a lot of fun to make. I spent much of the day yesterday drawing them up and today they are ready to cut. I am happy because once again it seems that I haven’t been able to spend much time at the saw, and it will be fun to see them come to life.

Below is a sample of what I have drawn:

I promise that it will be a fun and simple project.

For the early part of the day yesterday, we experienced what I would call “chunky rain.” It was doing something outside between snow and rain but it couldn’t seem to decide on what it wanted to be. By afternoon, it turned to snow. It was the wet, heavy kind with the large flakes that seemed to accumulate quickly. By early evening the wind kicked up and we were in what most would call “Blizzard Conditions.” We lost our power several times, but for only a few seconds. Just enough to interrupt our computers and shut them down.

While I wasn’t very worried because I had just finished backing everything up, I didn’t want to risk having anything go wrong. We naturally have some good surge protectors that we have on our systems, but things still happen and it isn’t good for the computers when the power keeps flickering as it was. So I decided to unplug everything and play it safe and spent the rest of the night reading.

It felt strange to not have the computer going, and it made me realize just how much I depended on it. As I watched Keith install my new drive the other day, I was thinking that my entire world was held in that little box and it was the heart of my communication with my friends, family, customers and business. It is funny how dependent we are on technology and communication. Somewhat scary even.

When I awoke this morning it was still dark outside. But looking out on our deck, I could see that we have probably a good foot of snow on the ground, and much higher in areas where it has drifted. The wind is still blowing and I can’t tell if it is still snowing lightly or if it is just the wind pushing around what is already here. In any case, it is deep and there is far more snow than we had last week with the “Big Storm” that came. This is the most snow I have seen in quite a while. Winter isn’t done just yet.

I noticed our neighbor’s car is still here, so I expect that his work is closed for the day. I am sure that most things are going to be closed or at least slow in opening. It will be a good day to stay in and scroll saw, as long as we still keep our power.

But we are ready. I have extra water in my large stock pot on the stove and we have enough groceries and I even bought an oil lamp last week before the storm that I can use if necessary. It is good to be prepared and I can rest easy knowing I am ready for almost anything.

With that said, I will get to work.

Happy Monday to you all! I hope you have a great week!

-- 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 Dan Krager's profile (online now)

Dan Krager

4003 posts in 2232 days

#1 posted 02-18-2013 12:48 PM

Love the cat pic! You mentioned good surge protectors…Carole works from home and we, like you, are quite dependent upon the income the computer helps generate. From my network building days, I am big on redundancy, backup and alternate power supply. So we have installed a large UPS (uninterpretable power supply) that supports the computer and router. This allows Carole about 30 minutes of time to work uninterrupted when the power goes out. 90% of the time this covers the gap. If I were to go all out, I would set up a miniature hospital situation where a tiny generator kicks in automatically through an automatic transfer switch when the power goes out. This would be in addition to the UPS which smooths out all the spikes created by the transfers.
Is your 3TB a solid state deal or a spinning platter? I’ve grown intrigued with the solid state stuff as it matures and prices fall. There is no reason for them to fail short of total, unsurvivable disaster!
Just a thought.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2917 days

#2 posted 02-18-2013 01:00 PM

Hi, Dan: I have thought about the delay supply and that is definitely a consideration. It would do a bit better to protect things and save files, I am sure. I think those “flickers” can be worse for your system than anything.

The drive is a spinning platter type. I don’t think they make solid state drives that big. But the WD’s are rated pretty good and the price was great. The total cost in the door was about $155. That same drive is now on sale for $135 at NCIX, so I think I got a good deal.

Having huge drives like that also allows for internal backups too. Duplicating files on other drives is an additional safety net, as no drive is 100% guaranteed. The external drive is a good thing because it actually removes our files physically from the main computers. As I said, if a disaster occurs, we are still safe. In all likelihood though, the entire computer isn’t going to fail. One or another drive may though. There is still value in backing up on different drives, as long as they are actual physical drives and not just partitions of the same drive. Even if you only do your important information, it could help.

“You can never have too many backups!”

:) Sheila

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

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2108 days

#3 posted 02-18-2013 04:19 PM

+1 on the UPS. Every computer in the house plus the radio (stereo) is on one. I loaded software on the computers and use a cable so that if the UPS runs out it will automatically shut down the computer.

There are two types of UPSs; almost all of them are of the “continuous” type, meaning that there is no delay in switching between line and backup power. Actually, the computers are always running on the backup power and the line power charges the batteries.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2854 days

#4 posted 02-18-2013 05:11 PM

Sheila Dib Dib Dib a boy-scout is always prepared
Your organisational skills are commendable.
I think you need a wee break in Scotland. LoL

Keith and I could play, I mean work on the lathes. :)

Have a most stupendous day


-- 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 Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2917 days

#5 posted 02-18-2013 05:23 PM

LOL Jamie! We would first have to build a boat to cross the ocean. And then we would need to train the cats to row.

What a fine trip that would be! :D

You can rest assured – if we are every in your neck of the woods, we will come to visit. That would be fun!


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

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2070 days

#6 posted 02-18-2013 05:56 PM

Hi Sheila, I’m glad you are doing a Canada Day design as well as an Independence day! Looking froward to seeing the whole pattern.
Have fun scrolling today and hopefully you will have no power outages.
After a beautiful Spring weekend with the crocuses popping up, we are back to a typical Westcoast drizzly grey day. Can’t complain though, the weather is mild so I’m able to get back into my workshop. :) !

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2917 days

#7 posted 02-18-2013 06:00 PM

Glad you are warmer too!

Yes – I still ‘owe’ my customers a Canada design for my calendar project. I promised I would add that one in because I did a USA Independence Day theme for the month of July. That will be my next thing on my list. :)

It is pretty calm out now so I hope no additional outages.


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

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