My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1136: Attitude and Gratitude

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 09-25-2013 10:57 AM 1470 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1135: Some Significant Site Updates Part 1136 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1137: Time for Another Site Update! »

As I finished up the last couple of things that needed to be done yesterday, I stopped and thought about how fortunate I was to be doing the job I am doing. It is actually difficult for me to call what I do a “job” because I enjoy what I do so much that it doesn’t really feel like work.

I know that I am the exception to the rule, as I see people complaining every day about their jobs, their co-workers and bosses. Many of them count down the days of the week to the days when they don’t have to show up to work and can do what they like. That’s OK and people do what they have to do. It only makes me appreciate what I do each day even more and I am grateful for the position that I am in. I know I am very grateful.

I woke up this morning and a friend on Facebook had a wonderful blog which spoke of – among other things – gratitude. I love reading her blogs because they are always not only sensible, but very positive and not “preachy”. My friend has a way of looking at life through eyes of kindness, tolerance and hope and I find it to be wonderfully refreshing among the sometimes negative and complaining posts that I read on Facebook.

I realize that many of you have nothing to do with Facebook at all because of the rampant negativity, and I understand that. But I find that (as with anything) there are good parts of it as there are not so good parts. I have learned to filter out the negative people and I focus on the positive people and support that I receive from them. And because of that, my experiences there are for the most part very good.

I find that artistic people tend to be more positive. Maybe that is an incorrect assessment, but to me anyway, those who are busy creating and inspiring others seem to be too busy doing so to spread negative thoughts and preach to others. They seem to be focused on their crafts, whatever they may be, and they have a nice and healthy appreciation for their own life and things around them. It is as if they want to spend as much time as they can doing what they enjoy and don’t have time to sit around and ponder all of the things that are wrong with their life. I can tell you from experience that it is difficult to be cranky or negative when I am in the process of creating something new. For me, it is like therapy.

Yesterday I noticed that most of the people that I am in contact throughout the day are those who are creating in some way or another. I spoke with customers, a couple of different people from companies that I deal with, some of my creative friends, and even my editor from the magazine and all were positive experiences. All these people were busy, but they were all happy in what they did and the day was overall a very pleasant and productive day. I suppose that is when the connection clicked, and I figured out why things were so good. They all enjoyed what they were doing and it showed in their day to day attitude. I thought that was pretty cool.

I often say how much I love my job and my life. I expect it may annoy some people who are not happy in their own life, but I don’t try to do that. I say it often because I am truly in awe at how easy it is to be happy, and I am truly grateful that I am. Like many people, I have had my ups and downs in this life. I have made some good decisions and some really, really bad ones that I wound up paying the consequences for. And that wasn’t fun. I think once you have been through some really difficult times and have come out the other end still breathing, it does change your perspective on things and you do tend to appreciate even the small things that are good in your life. And that is a great way to feel.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I am not grateful for all that I have. I don’t have a lot by some people’s standards and I don’t make a lot of money (people would laugh if they knew how much!) but to me, that isn’t important at all. The only standard that I have to meet is my own. And I have enough money to live comfortably and be able to still do what I love every day. So I am happy.

I honestly think that my calling in this life is to teach and create. It has not always been easy to follow that calling. We live in a world of material things and naturally we need to make enough money doing what we do to pay for our own living. But over the years, making decisions and focusing on what I “need” rather than what I “want” made a huge difference in the outcome and quality of my life. It isn’t that I don’t give in to the “wants” now and then, but not on a daily basis. Usually, if I procrastinate about getting something, then I really didn’t want or need it in the first place. If I wait even a week or so, I find that more so than not the urge to get it recedes. This saves me a fortune. If I still am thinking about it after days or weeks, then I consider it a little more seriously. It is a good way for me to do things and keeps down the clutter and unwanted things in my life.

I apologize for going off on a tangent. But my friend Charlotte’s blog really got me thinking.

So what is on my agenda for today?

I am finishing up working on the new pattern packets for the site update, which we plan to do tomorrow. I have three new patterns that I will be adding there, and Keith has some new ones as well. Among my patterns will be the SLD430 Nativity Christmas Box:

The matching SLD431 Nativity Christmas Keys:

And the SLD432 Angel Place Card Holders:

People have been asking about them since I began showing them when I designed them this spring and I am happy that they are finally released for me to sell on the site.

We are also going to visit our friends Ellen and Bernie today at their beautiful camp on the lake. We haven’t been able to get there yet this year, as one thing has come up after another and we have all been busy. We are actually celebrating both Ellen’s and my own birthday (both which were in August!) with a nice relaxing dinner and visit. It is always nice to spend time on the lake and I look forward to it a great deal.

It is going to be a good day.

I truly feel that any day can be a good day. Even if bad things happen, there is always something good that we can find in our lives to focus on. Attitude dictates so much of how we feel and how we live. While it sometimes takes a great deal of thought and practice to have a good and positive attitude, soon it becomes a habit and we train ourselves to look for and recognize the good things that we have. And in the end we are happier people for it.

It makes me feel good when people tell me that they enjoy my positive attitude and that it inspires them. I honestly think that if I complained and griped to you all each morning, I wouldn’t have lasted over three and a half years writing this blog. I am glad when many of you tell me that you come here because of my positive outlook and I hope that I can continue to look at things in a way that makes people feel good about things. Believe me – there are times when I get down as well. But knowing that you expect me to be positive really does help me look harder for the good in even the worst situation, and it pulls me out of the hole as well. By finding these good things and writing about them, it reinforces my way of thinking positively, and makes my life better. Thank you all for that.

I wish you all a wonderful day today. I hope you stop and look at all the good things in your life and focus on them. You will be amazed at how nice it will make you feel!

Happy Wednesday!

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

6 comments so far

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3109 days

#1 posted 09-25-2013 01:57 PM

Another great blog from a beautiful lady and her partner. Thank you for sharing. I find that lately I have
been not so much creative as busy in the shop getting ready for winter, getting my tools finished and ready
to move easily so we can get both vehicles into the garage. After a long hot summer, the weather broke
and it is now in the 60’s and raining with more snow forecast for the mountains. As the Mad Hatter would
say “Happy Unbirthday”.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2880 days

#2 posted 09-25-2013 02:19 PM

Sheila right on.
I saw this project earlier on FB the detail is incredible, I’m
sure it could be adapted to suit many seasons
I do get a lot of links on FB and meet other crafters
Found a wonderful craft worker today. I’ll show you on FB
just what I’m looking for for my Chiefs Chair project
Thanks for sharing

Tea Toast and Marmalade in hand

-- 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 2944 days

#3 posted 09-25-2013 02:59 PM

I love getting ready for winter! There is comfort in staying in curled up with the kitties on those snowy days with cookies and tea! I grocery shopped yesterday and got extra butter, cheese, tea and baking supplies. Never too early to start thinking about it! This is my favorite time of year!

I also find that Facebook is like anything in our lives – we get from it what we give into it. I like being happy and positive and I seem to attract many happy and positive people. So my experience is GOOD because I make it that way. That can be applied to so many aspects in our lives – can’t it?

I wish both of you gentlemen a wonderful day! Mine has already gotten off to a good start! :D


-- 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 2097 days

#4 posted 09-25-2013 04:49 PM

A great blog Sheila! It’s not what happens to you in life but how you deal with it that’s important. And anyway, it takes way too much energy to be negative! :)
Yea! The box pattern is coming! It will be third in the line of projects I’m working on now.
A beautiful sunny Fall day here. Not a cloud in the sky.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2828 days

#5 posted 09-25-2013 11:17 PM

Amen, Sheila. You say it all, very well. I agree.

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2944 days

#6 posted 09-26-2013 10:34 AM

Hi Anna and Roger. I am glad you like the box Anna. Lots of people have already made it and it really came out nice. I am happy when I see others enjoy my designs.

It was overcast here most of the day, but nice and cool. Just the way I like it!

Thank you for stopping by and thank you for your 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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