My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1088: Checking In

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 271 days ago 632 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1087: Those In-Between Times Part 1088 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 1089: Drawing and Adventures with Richard the Cat »

I thought it was about time that I check in with all of you. It has been a rough couple of weeks for several people that I care very much about, and while I myself am doing OK, seeing people that I love and care about so much in pain has been very difficult.

It began with the passing of my dear friend Ellen’s brother. Ellen is my friend Bernie’s wife and I consider them my Canadian parents. From the moment I met them, they have taken me under their wing and have been with me through many difficult times in my life and have shown me love and caring and made me one of their family. I have been through many ups and downs in the past several years and one thing I knew even on the worst of days was that they would be there for me for anything that I needed. We have spent just about every holiday together in the last nine years since I came here to Canada, and although most of them I haven’t been able to spend with my own children, I have always had them there. They let me know that the word ‘family’ goes way beyond blood lines. It was hard to see someone I loved so much in pain.

Another thing that I found out was that an artist friend of mine that I met through a wonderful painting site lost her entire home to a fire last Monday. Over the past two years, we (her painting friends) have witnessed the huge amount of love and work that she and her husband had put into renovating a beautiful house in Cape Cod. She had painted amazing wall murals, created an incredible studio to work from, and restored and displayed many family treasures that were irreplaceable.

The fire hit in the wee hours of the night, and fortunately she was in the studio awake with her dog (she is a night owl and works at night, and her husband was away at work also) and was able to get out in time with only the dog and her phone to call the fire department. Her house was completely destroyed including every piece of clothing, and everything she owned and she had little that was able to be salvaged. While we are all grateful that she is unharmed, she is devastated and it will be nearly a year until she can even think of returning there. I had never ‘known’ anyone who had lost everything so quickly like this, and seeing her struggle to cope and rebuild is difficult. But seeing the support and outpouring from her friends – both those who she has met in person, and those she has not – has been a beacon of light and has shown the good in people. It shows me that even in this messed up and troubled state that the world is in, there are so many kind and good people who care about others, no matter how many miles are between them. I know my friend will recover from this painful and terrible event and in the end be even stronger. But watching her struggles still hurts. I wish I could do more to help.

And finally, our own little family here is going through some struggles ourselves. Keith’s dad has been fighting cancer for over a year and he has had some very rough times. I am not going to detail anything here because I don’t feel that it is appropriate to do so, but it has consumed my of my thinking these past weeks, and it is nothing I want to really discuss. Some things are best kept private.

I have known Keith for about four and a half years now. We met at a very troubled time in my life and we immediately became friends. Because of the troubles I was having, I was afraid that some people would look down on me, but Keith’s mom and dad accepted me from the first day they met me. As they got to know me, they looked through the difficulties and bad decisions that I had made in my life and have always made me feel cared for and loved and like one of the family. Even at our first Christmas together, Keith’s mom – who always gave each of the family members a stocking filled with goodies – had one there for me. Each stocking had the name embroidered on it, and I was surprised to see that she had made one for me so I fit in. It made me feel accepted and loved and like one of the family.

I love Keith’s family very much. They are small, but very close-knit and they are always there for each other. His mom and dad are wonderfully supportive, kind and we always know that they are there for us if we need them. I have written many times of the wonderful visits and dinners we share with them. We never seem to run out of things to chat about and we find a great deal of pleasure just visiting with them. That is how a family should be. I never wonder why he is the way he is, and why I care so much for him. I just look at his family and the answer is right there.

My heart has been so heavy these past days that I haven’t even wanted to write. I know that many look up to me to be positive and look for the good in things. I am the queen of the pink cloud. But sometimes it is more difficult to find pink clouds among the grey. And some days I am just worn out.

But I miss you all, and I miss hearing from you and about your days. I have spent the last week or so lying low as far as the computer was concerned and just trying to get my own thoughts sorted out. I do think that is necessary, but I also think that being that way is a temporary thing. For me, anyway.

In the midst of all of this, I have been working on some new designs. They have been slow-going, but they are progressing and I hope to have something good to show you all by tomorrow.

I have found that creating has helped make me feel better. I get so many beautiful notes and letters from customers who appreciate my designs and show me how they use them or tell me stories of how the recipients of things designed by me enjoy them and it makes me very happy. You all know that I love what I do and if I am able to do something that not only sustains my living, but also brings a bit of joy to others, than I am one fortunate lady. There are so many things in my life I am grateful for.

I am going to spend the day today working on my new patterns. I figure that I will ease myself back into daily blogging as time and creativity permits. I have many ideas that I want to implement and I think that working on them and creating something that will hopefully bring joy and smiles to others will bring me back to a good place.

There are pink clouds ahead. It is just some days that we have to look a bit harder to find them. Even in art, you need the dark colors to contrast with the light colors to make things more beautiful and interesting. I find that going through some dark times truly makes me appreciate the light days in my life even more. You just need to be patient.

We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on his or her own light. – Earl Nightingale

-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs "Knowledge is Power"

14 comments so far

View Rick13403's profile


202 posts in 2011 days

#1 posted 271 days ago

Glad to have you back Sheila. Mornings haven’t been the same. I just finished moving the wood shop and now have to set everything back up and wired so I can start cutting again. Not looking forward to that but it must be done and being retired gives me the needed time. This year has been so stressful for me and I need to get back into the swing of things and cutting does take my mind off of things. Say hi to Keith for me.

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 -

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7212 posts in 1426 days

#2 posted 271 days ago

Will do, Rick. Getting that shop in order may be something that you aren’t thinking you will enjoy, but once you do it you will be glad you did. It will feel good to be back at the saw again and creating things. I bet it will lift your spirits also – especially when you start giving your projects or selling them.

I will definitely give Keith your best. Thank you for your thoughts. I hope things calm down for you also. :)


-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs "Knowledge is Power"

View HerbC's profile


1086 posts in 1366 days

#3 posted 271 days ago


Please know that even in the darkest of times, there are many more friends than you realize who miss your voice and who pray that what ever your load may be lightened, just as the dawn sun puts the brilliant colors in the morning sky.

Take care and be comforted by the strength of the One who cares for all.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View BertFlores58's profile


1637 posts in 1428 days

#4 posted 271 days ago

Hi Sheila,
Now I can connect the bits and pieces just like parquetry… just to let you know… that I am very thankful for you because you made comments on the violin restoration despite the situation you were in. The easiest way to be brighter again is switch on the lights and regain the energy. I also feel the same that Keith has about his father. My sister at 11 years old died with cancer. Just extend my regards to him as well. I know both of you have strong hearts.
Time will come that these will be over.
I include you n your loveones in my prayers this Sunday. Have a nice weekend!

-- Bert

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7212 posts in 1426 days

#5 posted 271 days ago

Thank you Bert. Your thoughts are much appreciated. I haven’t been a diligent in answering my emails because I have been away a lot and rather preoccupied. But I am getting back to things and I appreciate everyone’s understanding. It was just a lot of things in a row, and it took me away from work enough that I wasn’t able to focus on the good parts as much. But we are taking a breath and it is allowing us to get our bearings. I appreciate your friendship as well and receive much inspiration and comfort from my friends here on Lumberjocks.

Thank you.


-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs "Knowledge is Power"

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4283 posts in 1543 days

#6 posted 271 days ago

You are a rock, Sheila. A fixed point of sanctuary in turbulent seas. As my wife, Sue is. She has been through it these past few weeks with me and my back injury. It must be, at least, very tiring. I can’t imagine what your artist friend is going through. I tried to think of what it would be like if I lost all my boxes, my home, my clothes etc. I think I would be devastated.

Thank goodness you have your creativity to help you get through life’s problems. Often, in times of woe and worry, I have found that mine is somehow heightened. Perhaps its a self protection mechanism. All I know is I look forward to seeing more of your creative work and reading your blog. In the mean time I’m glad you have taken time to yourself to enjoy your talents.

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

View Celticscroller's profile


666 posts in 579 days

#7 posted 271 days ago

Good morning Sheila. You have a great community of creative friends around you who can understand the challenges you are going through right now. We are all here for you. The darkest hours are before the dawn and this too will pass.
Enjoy your creativity and I look forward to seeing the new designs. Regards to Keith.

-- Anna

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7212 posts in 1426 days

#8 posted 271 days ago

Thank you bot so much Martyn and Anna. There are some days that I just don’t feel very much like a rock. I get frustrated or angry at the way things work out. It is a tough planet we live on and I have learned that we need to choose what to focus on and how we will face certain obstacles and that will dictate our own peace and happiness. Some days are easier than others to do this. Sometimes life gets really tough. It is often easy to get caught up in things and let them get the best of you.

or . . .

We can focus on the good things that are in our life. If we look hard enough, we are able to find them. While we can’t always make the bad things disappear, we can try to live the best life we can with the hand that is dealt. And ultimately we are able to cope better.

I find a great amount of comfort in my fellow artists and friends. When creating, it helps me focus on the things I love in the world. As Martyn said – emotions can also heighten creativity. I believe that is because creativity is driven by emotion. The best art in any form usually is.

Thank you both for being my friends and my cornerstones. You are both very important to my life.


-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs "Knowledge is Power"

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4283 posts in 1543 days

#9 posted 271 days ago

I agree that the positive is much more important, Sheila. At the risk of offending (though I obviously don’t want to) have a look at this (Always look on the bright side of life – Monty Python)

A friend of mine, who died early, had it played at her funeral.

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7212 posts in 1426 days

#10 posted 271 days ago

Thank you Martyn. It does make me smile. I loved that movie! I admire your friend, too. I hope when my turn comes, I can look at things with the same optimism that I try to look at during life. We shall see . . .

-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs "Knowledge is Power"

View nancyann's profile


104 posts in 400 days

#11 posted 271 days ago

Glad you’re back! So sorry to hear about your family and friends and will put in my prayers. I have been working still on the pretty pumkin ornaments you designed. I cut and painted several dozen of sets of 6. Next will be the masks. Take care Sheila.

-- Nancy Antley

View Roger's profile


13076 posts in 1310 days

#12 posted 271 days ago

Really sorry to hear of all that Sheila. This is a saying that I have always treasure, “Friends become our chosen Family”.
Prayers and thoughts for you, your friends, and, your family, including your “chosen” ones. :) Seeing the pic you posted reminded me of this one I took of the sky out west when returning home once from a visit with my kids. To me, it looks like a horse running, which, I believe is one o the most beautiful things to see.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View CFrye's profile


1645 posts in 346 days

#13 posted 270 days ago

Welcome back Sheila! I will now think of you with every pink cloud sighting :-) When you were speaking of focus earlier it made me think of photography, which is all about focus and point of view. Here’s an image from May 21, 2012 Joplin, MO the day before the one year anniversary of the F5 tornado that destroyed so much of the South end of town. The shell of St. John’s hospital is in the back ground. The spirit of the city in the foreground.

God bless!

-- God bless, Candy

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7212 posts in 1426 days

#14 posted 270 days ago

Thank you Nancy, Roger and CFrye. I missed you all too. Being away just showed me how much I have come to look forward to hearing what everyone was up to. It always keeps me in a good and positive place. It is good to be back. :)


-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs "Knowledge is Power"

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