My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1172: New Ornaments are Cut and Ready to Finish!

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 11-22-2013 12:30 PM 2611 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1171: Drawing for the Next Project - DONE! Part 1172 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1173: New Projects Completed! Time To Write Pattern Packets! »

It’s really amazing how many every day things we take for granted. Sometimes we are just so used to having things one way, we don’t appreciate it much until it is gone. I recently had an experience such as this.

A couple of weeks prior to my trip to Chicago, I scheduled an appointment with the new eye doctor in town. I was just about due for my annual checkup, and I was noticing that I was not seeing my computer screen well and making several mistakes on orders. I realized that my eyes probably changed and I was looking to improve my glasses and contact lens prescription.

Previously, I had been seeing an eye doc in Digby, which is about 40 minutes drive away. While I really did like my doctor, I thought that with the new office opening just a couple of minutes from where I lived, it would be easier and more convenient if I switched docs and tried them out. I thought it would save some time.

Well, trying to cut some corners nearly turned into a disaster for me. The doctor did a full exam on my eyes, and I told her that I was having trouble seeing things clearly at a “normal” distance of about three feet away. She measured and tested and wound up fitting me with contacts that helped me see far, but I was still unable to see my computer screen clearly. She said that as I got older my eyes were changing (which I understood) and that perhaps I would need to have TWO different powers of reader glasses to compensate and do close work. One for the computer screen and one for closer work such as scrolling and painting.

While I didn’t really agree with this, I figured she knew more than me and gave it a try. Needless to say it was confusing at best. I was constantly hunting for the “right” readers – even though I was already wearing contacts. I was getting headaches every day and I couldn’t even read the buttons on the microwave without assistance. I went back and told her that this just wasn’t working.

She rechecked, did some adjustments and then tried to have me have one eye seeing close and one seeing far away, telling me that the eyes would get “used” to this and compensate for one another. In the mean time, the office was trying to sell me new glasses – even though they didn’t have my prescription fine tuned to the proper power. This was a real red flag for me and I refused to buy new glasses until things were straightened out. It was quite frustrating.

All this happened about two days before we were to leave on our three week trip. I was worried because I not only had to SEE, but I had to TEACH scroll sawing. How could I teach if I couldn’t see a clear line to follow?

I dug through my drawer and found a pair of unopened, fresh bi-focal contacts from the previous year. I had tried the bi-focal contacts with my former practitioner and while they did “OK”, we both felt that I was better off using single vision toric contacts. I had saved the last pair I had “just in case” I needed them in an emergency. This certainly qualified as far as I was concerned.

I cracked open the lenses and they were not perfect, but they were far better than the ones that were newly prescribed to me. No headaches at all and I could see ‘pretty good’ from them. The were good enough for the time being.

I took the trip and immediately made an appointment with my Digby doc when I got home from out trip. The waiting time was into December, but I got on a list to come in if there was a cancellation. Last week they called and they had an opening and I was very happy to change my plans and go in. After about 20 minutes, my doctor had me refitted and sent me home with new contacts that I could really see well out of. She also fine tuned my glasses prescription so that the distance of about three feet was near perfect and I left one pair of my glasses there to be changed. She told me that the new glasses prescription still kept me in the perimeters of good vision for driving and that I should be better off on the computer as well.

Yesterday I got the call that both my new glasses and supply of contacts were in. I took the morning to go to Digby and pick them up. I can’t tell you all the wonderful difference I see in my eyes – everything is crystal clear and easy to read – even the computer. I am so excited about this I can’t even tell you!

I only really wear my glasses now in the morning before my shower and for about an hour before bed. But it was getting so I couldn’t read the computer screen without strain and it was very frustrating to me. Even my daily contacts were not performing as they should. I was afraid my eyes were failing and worried a great deal about how I would be able to continue to do my job properly. The ‘new’ doctor here told me that I may not be able to wear contacts anymore, and I was afraid that I would have to spend the rest of my life switching glasses throughout the day. It was really depressing.

But my regular doc told me that what was happening to my eyes was completely normal for someone my age, and that I was in no immediate danger of losing my sight further. I can’t tell you how relieved I am! It feels just wonderful to be able to glance up here at the screen and not have to labor over reading it. Life is really great and clear now! :)

I am so glad that I returned to her. Even if it is a bit more trouble to go back and forth for fittings, it is well worth the time. I almost feel like writing the other doctor and letting her know why I am not going back to her office. I felt as if they were pushing me to buy more glasses and contacts that weren’t right for me.

In any case, I got home after 1pm and I immediately got busy cutting. I had a wonderful afternoon at my saw and I was able to get four sets of my new ornaments cut. (48 pieces!) These are the easier versions of the Damask style Christmas ornaments – although these are done in traditional Christmas shapes. Each ornament only has about 4 – 6 inside cuts and I made them simpler so that a scroller with less experience can still be successful with them. I am offering them in two sizes – about 2.5” and about 3.25”. I think that they came out wonderful.

As always, cutting on my wonderful Excalibur scroll saw was AWESOME! I absolutely LOVE how it cuts. I can honestly say I never had a saw so nice! I had some Christmas music playing in my head phones and the time really passed quickly. It was so much FUN!

I also wanted to announce that Ray at Seyco told me that Seyco is offering FREE SHIPPING on their Excalibur saws until the end of the year or until their current stock is out. He said they ordered lots of saws for this sale, so there should be a lot of happy people between now and then. It will be a great time for those of you considering getting an Excalibur to take the plunge. All the new saws are black as well, as they are no longer making the green saws. Just go to for details. I know Ray will take good care of you!

I will be finishing these up today and writing the instructions for the next couple of projects. Hopefully they will be on the site by the end of the weekend and I will also have a newsletter coming out on Monday. It is a busy time of year, but also a good one. I hope you are all getting ready for your own holidays and getting a head start on things.

Have a wonderful Friday and a great weekend! :)

-- 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 2854 days

#1 posted 11-22-2013 01:59 PM

Sheila that is a lot of cutting.
I hate pushy opticians Specsavers here is very pushy they try and sell
you new frames each year, last ones were unbreakable. Sure thing, broke
in six months. only 30day guarantee. LoL

Have a great 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 MrsN's profile


986 posts in 3524 days

#2 posted 11-22-2013 02:06 PM

I love these ornaments!!! The christmas shapes with damask patterns really work well together!

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2918 days

#3 posted 11-22-2013 02:10 PM

Yes, Jamie – It was really frustrating. The headaches. The “not listening”. I couldn’t believe they wanted to sell me $200+ glasses when the prescription that they had given me was giving me headaches and making me crazy! I called them on it and they said “Oh – your glasses prescription has nothing to do with your contact prescription.” Really? I mean, REALLY!

I figure if that can’t get ONE right, what are the chances of getting the OTHER right?

So glad I bailed and went back to my great practitioner in Digby. WELL WORTH the trip! :)

Have a wonderful weekend! :)


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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2918 days

#4 posted 11-22-2013 02:11 PM

Thank you Katie! I am glad you do. They are really FAST to cut as well! :)


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

View CFrye's profile


10192 posts in 1837 days

#5 posted 11-22-2013 02:47 PM

Sheila, these beginner patterns will make a lot of us look like pro’s! It is amazing how a few drilled holes step it up in the intricacy factor. Thank you!

-- God bless, Candy

View justoneofme's profile


639 posts in 2478 days

#6 posted 11-22-2013 04:12 PM

So glad to hear you got your eye problem straightened out Sheila … there’s nothing worse than straining to see what you’re working on, especially when the cutting you do is so finely detailed! I’m in the same boat with fluctuating eyesight due to normal aging … a bit of a nuisance, but better than no sight at all, eh?! I have a powerful magnifying glass set up, so when feeling the effects of eyes train during a long day at my Excalibur … it sure comes in handy!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2536 days

#7 posted 11-22-2013 04:12 PM

Sheila, if only I could cut as well as you with my 20/20 vision! I’d be in good shape then.

Glad things worked out for you. I’m very wary of eye doctors since they tried to get me to buy sunglasses and then tried to put a perscription in them when I didn’t need one. Just trying to sell more stuff…

-- I never finish anyth

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2071 days

#8 posted 11-23-2013 03:39 AM

Sheila, these ornaments are beautiful! And so many cut in one day! I’m glad your eyesight problems got sorted. Sometimes it’s worth the drive to get the good guy!
You must have had so much fun cutting all the ornaments out on your new Excalibur. My next scroll saw will definitely be an Excalibur but I’d have to wait until my Dewalt dies which I don’t think it ever will! :)

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2918 days

#9 posted 11-23-2013 11:31 AM

Yes, I feel as if I have a new lease on life with my “new” eyes! Things are SO much easier! Now I don’t have any excuse for my typos here in the morning blog! LOL ;)


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

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2802 days

#10 posted 11-24-2013 12:27 PM

You are production at its best, Sheila.

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2918 days

#11 posted 11-24-2013 02:58 PM

Thanks, Roger! :)

Have a great Sunday! Sheila

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

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