My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1015: One Last Tray (for now!)

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 04-20-2013 11:15 AM 2023 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1014: Pocket Full of Posies Part 1015 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1016: Finished Updating our Website »

It was a restless night. The wind was howling and gusting so loud that it was difficult to get a restful sleep. It is muggy out, but opening a window meant hearing the violent swirling of the wind through the trees as they complained with loud rustling and creaking. I would say that it is raining, but besides a sharp smattering here and there against the window between the blasts of wind, it does not appear to be so. The ground is only slightly wet and there are no large puddles. When the wind subsides, I can hear the birds chirping cheerfully. It is a bit unsettling.

Such is spring.

We unplugged all the computers and equipment last night, expecting to have the power out for at least a bit. So far though, that hasn’t happened, and everything has been steady. But as the sun is coming up, I can see the tops of the tress across the road by the river violently swaying in the wind and I hear the blasts against the window from time to time and I know we aren’t out of the woods yet.

To the west of us, others had very cold temperatures and snow yesterday. Usually that means that whatever weather system they experienced is heading in our direction, although many times by the time it reaches us here in the east it has changed quite a bit. Whether it intensifies or lessens remains to be seen. I have long ago learned that we just have to take it as it comes. “It is what it is” and there is little choice but to accept it.

While I do watch for the alerts that come across the internet in regards to weather, I have learned not to panic. More so than not we are advised to take precautionary measures, and as it turns out, what arrives is typically a great deal less than anticipated. It is good to be prepared though, and we have to guard ourselves against becoming complacent in regard to these warnings. We don’t want to be caught with our guard down when a real storm hits. So we are watchful.

I think having no television is helpful in these matters. It seems that the media hype of things like this is so constant that the public becomes desensitized to the warnings. I am sure that one would think it odd that we don’t have access to television, but rest assured, it is our choice and it is one that I don’t regret. It is probably one of the reasons that I can be so productive. Besides . . . everything we need is accessible on the internet. Why spend over $100 per month for something that we feel we can do well without? We don’t even stay caught up with the shows that we watch for free online, let alone flood ourselves with all the other things that cable TV has to offer. We do well as we are.

I feel as if I accomplished a great deal last week. Even though I am not quite finished, I am almost to the point that I need to be. I have the pattern packets made up for six of the eight new patterns and I plan to finish the other two this morning and get them available on the site today. I also plan to send a newsletter out to our subscribers, announcing the update.

Making this many new patterns in this amount of time was a lot. Keith has said that I probably should have made only a couple at a time, finishing them before continuing on, but I honestly didn’t want to do things that way. It may have been easier in some ways, but I felt that I was on a roll and wanted to keep going. As I said when I finished drawing, I could have kept on, as I have many more ideas for the next batch.

In between doing my own new designs here we put out a sizable wholesale order and I also built the little crow and cart for the magazine as well as an article with eleven variations on one pattern. I think I did OK. Sometimes stopping in the middle of drawing and taking time to finish what I started breaks the rhythm that I am in and I somehow lose that inspiration. I don’t know how, but it happens. So doing things the way I did was probably the best way for me to proceed.

I have one more design to show today, although I made it a couple of months ago. It was one that I created for the magazine that I will be able to now sell on my site, as the issue has been released. It is also a candle tray with some dimensional pieces. The subject for it is dragonflies, and I really like how it came out:

As with many of the other trays, I also added some color to this piece:

I think that the simple colors of the piece really makes these dragonflies look great:

I am happy that so many of you who don’t like seeing wood painted enjoy seeing these pieces colored. The Staining and Antiquing Medium from DecoArt is so easy to use, and it really does allow you to see through to the wood grain, which helps the paint look subtle and soft. It isn’t as if I just painted solidly on the pieces. The character and figure of the wood is still visible, only enhanced. That is why I like this product so much. The best part is that you need little painting skill to achieve a good result – which is something that many woodworkers really like. I hope to encourage even the hard core woodworkers to give it a try.

So onward I go today. I hope to be able to accomplish all I set out to do and finish up the patterns and update the site. So many of you have been asking for the patterns for these new projects and I hate to put you all off. I really am working as hard as I can. But they need to be right, and they need to be complete, and making them the way I do takes a little bit of time. I truly appreciate your patience. I know it will be worth it though, as I am pretty proud of what I have accomplished so far.

I hope you all have a good weekend. It has been a rough week for many – especially in the USA. Between Boston and Texas and flooding in Chicago and storms in the Midwest and South it seems that many of my dear family and friends have had a heck of a time. I wish you all the best and I hope you are all safe.

Have a good Saturday. Remember the good things that you can be thankful for.

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

11 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2882 days

#1 posted 04-20-2013 11:56 AM

Sheila it is amazing how productive you can be with no TV
All we watch is the odd DVD, no news or weather forecasts
I think we get to read the seasons better and adjust to suit
Love the dragonflies you are on a roll
Hard Core. Does using a chainsaw on a wood lathe while sitting
in a wheelchair count, LoL

I love my job

-- 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)

9231 posts in 2946 days

#2 posted 04-20-2013 12:11 PM

Yes, Jamie: At first I missed watching football, because I grew up with it and I love the game, but now that it has been a couple of years, I really don’t miss it at all. I kind of laugh because when I do look at Environment Canada for the weather, it is wrong most of the time. So why bother?? The sensationalist news is something else I don’t need. I get the NY Times and the Chicago Tribune in my email and I look at it when I have the chance. I also can follow current events online as I wish. This past week was crazy though and I pretty much stayed off of Facebook except for answering questions or an occasional break. I didn’t let it control me and I was able to focus on what I was doing.

And yes – a chainsaw on a wood lathe while sitting in a wheelchair qualifies big time! Especially after seeing your latest project and your shop! You do amazing work! :D

Have a great afternoon! Sheila

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

View jjw5858's profile


1135 posts in 2628 days

#3 posted 04-20-2013 01:09 PM

Great blog Sheila. I have to admit if not for my love of Football, Hockey, Nascar, oh my…...oh no…..I am a TV sports addict! I give you credit for not having cable TV, you are saving a lot and really missing little.

Your work is looking awesome!

Hope your day is creative and all is well,


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2946 days

#4 posted 04-20-2013 01:23 PM

Thanks, Joe: Yes – at first it hurt! I grew up in Chicago and when I was a kid, I could stay up and watch the first half of Monday Night Football only if I did my homework. I love football and if I think about it too much, I do miss it. But there is so much to do and I rarely have sports on anymore. I thought of just getting the NFL ticket through the internet, but I don’t think it is available here in Canada. So it must be a “sign” LOL. I don’t miss all the commercials and stuff. If anything, I like background music rather than shows, although I am able to see my favorites on some of the free TV sites. That is good enough for me. I have plenty of distractions!

You have a great day too! Thanks for stopping by! :D


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

View garyprott's profile


47 posts in 2870 days

#5 posted 04-20-2013 02:20 PM

Really nice work Ms. Landry. Speaking of no TV, I’m hearing you on that one. All it is a commercial
with a bit of show. Keep up the great work and have a wonderful day. G

-- James Krenov..."It's about a lot of little things, they do matter. Enjoy them."

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2948 days

#6 posted 04-20-2013 02:52 PM

Wow! Thats my fave insect. Wondering how it flies so steady in one place with just very thin wings. Sheila, you made it really nice adding to it you skills in painting. I can see that it has no smear even though your substrate is wood.
Have a nice weekend.

-- Bert

View Rick13403's profile


256 posts in 3530 days

#7 posted 04-20-2013 03:26 PM

Hi Sheila,
Your patterns just keep getting better and better over time. I have a difficult time picking out just a couple of patterns to buy at a time. Thank you for all of your hard work on creating these patterns, and that goes for Keith also. You certainly make the rest of us non designers look good.

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 & Ex21 -

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2946 days

#8 posted 04-20-2013 03:37 PM

Thank you all. Gary – the longer I go without, the less I miss it. We wanted to get just BASIC cable here and it was pretty much about $100 per month. And that was without any special channels. It is criminal. Besides – we are working so much and on such a goofy schedule that even if we had the choices it would be difficult to find the ‘right time.’ It is certainly not a necessity.

Bert – you always have a way of making me feel really good about what I do. Thank you for that. I look at your work with such a huge amount of respect and I am happy that you like what I make. It is a great compliment. :)

Rick – I think that it is a mutual thing. YOU make US look good! Your continued support really helps us get through those tough days. Because of people like yourself we get to do what we love. Thanks so much! :)


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

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3241 posts in 3738 days

#9 posted 04-21-2013 04:43 AM


We believe no TV is a wise choice. When everything went digital, we could no longer get a signal without cable or a very tall antenna so decided not to waste the money. Television today has more to do with perverting the mind than informing or entertaining, and who needs all those commercials anyway? We get some news on internet, but with dial-up that can be a huge time-waster as well. We’re still hoping that one day we can have affordable, reliable high speed here but we’re not holding our breath. A few years ago when I asked a local telephone employee when we might expect DSL, he took a quick look at me and said, “Not in your lifetime, lady,” (and from a distance with no visible gray hair, I don’t look THAT old).

We hope your weather didn’t get any worse and that all is well in your neck of the woods.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2946 days

#10 posted 04-21-2013 10:25 AM

Thanks L/W. The day just turned out to be dull and rainy. It was a good day to stay inside and work. Today is much more calm and while it is a bit overcast, it is not too bad.

Some of the areas around here were very late in getting high speed, but it seems that most have it now. Even though we don’t live in a heavily populated area, we are fortunate to have high speed internet. I don’t know if I could run my business without it. Probably not. It really is something to consider when thinking of a place to live for someone like myself.

Take care, Sheila

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

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2830 days

#11 posted 04-21-2013 12:18 PM

Mother Nature is actually, Beauty & the Beast. It’s nice not to have tv on. It happens here as well. The sounds of silence reboosts the soul once in a while

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

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