My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1208: A "Good Day"

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 01-03-2014 12:53 PM 1635 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1207: Getting Back in the Swing of Things . . . Part 1208 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1209: Two New Projects on the Go »

We have all had those type of days where nothing seems to go right. You know how it can be. Something breaks. You forget something important. Things just seem to come apart at the seams as the day goes by. It isn’t fun and it happens to the best of us.

Conversely, there are good days as well. On those days it appears that we can do no wrong. Everything falls into place as the day progresses and it seems that no matter what we are doing. Everything works out well. Those are certainly the BEST of days.

I sometimes wonder – does this happen by “chance”? Or is this something that we had laid the groundwork for? Is it just a natural occurrence that comes as a result of a lot of work and good planning? It is hard to say.

As a practical person, I choose to believe that the majority of the things that happen to us are the direct result of our own actions. Before you all begin to jump all over me for that comment, please realize that this is by no means an absolute opinion. I realize that sometimes there are circumstances that are beyond our control that may impact our lives in either a negative OR positive way. I am generalizing and saying that for the most part, we are our own destiny.

Those of you who read often know that one of my favorite sayings is “We follow where we focus.” I truly believe that having that attitude not only helps us through the worst of problems, but can even make a bad situation into something that is beneficial to us. I think having a positive attitude makes all the difference in the world.

I often receive notes or messages from people asking me what I did to reach the level of success I have achieved. While some may not consider me a “success” by textbook standards, I do feel that I am very successful in finding a happy and pleasant life. However, that didn’t occur overnight and it took lots of work and struggling to get to where I am.

There is no ‘magic formula’ to reaching your goals. Circumstances around us are constantly changing, and I feel that more so than ever it is important to be able to be flexible in our goals and face adversity with determination and an attitude to change things and make them better for ourselves.

It is easy to sit back and feel ‘victimized’ when things don’t go according to plan. Many times I see people who are envious of others.

“She has a huge house!”

“He has a great job!”

“Why can’t I have those things?”

“They are just LUCKY!”

I truly believe that ‘luck’ has very little to do with success. Usually what makes a person succeed is that they have dedicated themselves to accomplish their goals and have worked very hard to obtain them. There is really no way around hard work needed to achieve success.

I have also learned during my trip though this lifetime, that things are not always as they appear. In the beginning entries of this blog, I stated that I felt that people are like icebergs – we only see a small portion of them and have little idea of the majority of what they have experienced and what they have endured. I think it is very difficult to judge others unless we have experienced the exact same things as they have, which is nearly impossible. It would be like watching five minutes of a movie and then making a judgement on the entire film.

We all have our crosses to bear and our own demons to fight. No matter how happy and carefree we are on the outside, there are thoughts and feelings that live within that no one will ever see. And we need to respect that in each other. I think that by doing and living our lives with compassion and understanding toward each other, we can make our own personal world a happier and better place.

I am sorry that I got off on a tangent. Sometimes in the morning I just think. ;)

I was very happy yesterday. Several good things occurred and I felt really good about them all.

I received a package from DecoArt of a new line of paint (YES – MORE PAINT! :D) that I feel will be of great interest to painters and woodworkers alike. It is called “Chalky Finish Paint” and is mainly for home decor, but will also have many smaller project and craft applications as well. Right now (until the end of May) it is available exclusively through Home Depot in the United States, and I will keep you updated on its distribution as I find out more. Here is a link to Home Depot where you can take a closer look at it:

DecoArt Chalky Finish Paint at Home Depot#

I am truly excited about this product and I will be blogging about it more in the very near future. I was sent an entire set of samples:

Isn’t that incredible? As a designer, I LOVE receiving new products to create with and review. It is truly a huge inspiration for me to be involved with such amazing companies! It was as if Christmas all over again!

I also saw that my friend put a link up on her Facebook page that my “All My Love” romantic box had made the cover of the February issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine!

I don’t care how long I have been doing this – it is always a huge honor and thrill for me to have my project chosen for the cover. Even after fifteen years of working with the magazine I still feel giddy as a child when I see they picked my project. I am very proud of this design and I am happy that the editors at the magazine felt that it would be suitable for the cover. What a great feeling!

We also had our final numbers for our website. Our mailing list is growing every day (you can join our mailing list here – Mailing List) and our business is growing nicely. We made some difficult decisions last year regarding our business and the distribution of our patterns and to be honest, we were concerned that we were doing the right thing. But sometimes you need to take a risk and instead of sitting back and allowing our business to fail, we chose to buckle down and work harder than ever on it. And it seems to be paying off.

The point of today’s post is not to lecture, but to inspire.

I realize that we all have bad days and bad times we go through. I have had them as well. They aren’t fun and they certainly can take the wind out of your sails.

When that happens to me and I catch myself sliding down the rabbit hole, I try to step back, take a breath and think to myself “how can I make this work FOR me?” Usually before long I find an alternative direction to head that I hadn’t thought of before. The new direction may be uncertain and scary, but more times than not it opens other doors I haven’t even considered before. And it allows me to grow in ways I never would have thought of otherwise.

Yesterday was a “good day.” There were too many positive things that happened to even mention here. Perhaps some of them occurred by chance, but many of them were the results of hard work and determination and building my business and life on with a good and positive attitude. And I am very appreciative of every one of them.

I hope you start the new year with the notion that anything is possible if you try hard enough to achieve it. I think my “theme” for the year is going to be that WE are the masters of our own destiny. We have much more control over our lives than we ever realized. And what we do with that is up to US.

I wish you all a wonderful Friday!

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

10 comments so far

View NH_Hermit's profile


394 posts in 3125 days

#1 posted 01-03-2014 01:22 PM

Your blog this morning reminds me of the old saying, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” – Practice, practice, practice

-- John from Hampstead

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 2914 days

#2 posted 01-03-2014 01:25 PM

I have had people ask me, “how did you learn how to scroll”. Very simple answer, I purchased a scroll saw and got some wood and a pattern a started. My first work was horrible. However, I did a second, and a third and lots more. I would get books to read, I watched videos on scrolling, and I practiced a LOT. The simple answer is I kept trying no matter what. I still think I have a lot to learn but I keep learning. YES I receive a lot of compliments but does that make me a success – NO. It is the next customer, the next project, the next challenge that I strive for. If we rest where we are than that is the start of failure but if we work, strive and learn – ALWAYS _ then we might be a success.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2949 days

#3 posted 01-03-2014 01:42 PM

You are both so right! I am happy that you understand my point of view. I am very, very grateful for the success that Keith and I have with our business. And after many business AND personal failures, it feels good to feel that things are in a good place. That doesn’t mean that I stop working to keep them that way, but it is sure nice to be able to enjoy them.

Have a wonderful day!


-- 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 2833 days

#4 posted 01-03-2014 02:12 PM

Congrats on the cover Sheila. You deserve the credit. Have a happy happy happy Friday

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2949 days

#5 posted 01-03-2014 02:19 PM

We are in the midst of an old fashioned Nova Scotia BLIZZARD, Roger! Probably got over a foot of snow already and it is coming down so hard that I can’t see across to the road.

We are, however – prepared. ;)

Have a wonderful weekend and Friday!


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

View Handtooler's profile


1581 posts in 2161 days

#6 posted 01-03-2014 03:50 PM

Sheila, You are absolutely right in this journal entry this morning! Sounds so much like my mother and father rearing me in the 40’s. And as is said in the opening to, “A Tale of Two Cities”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. . . .” Thank you so very much for your positive approach to life. I attempt to learn something new every day to enhance my abilities and outlook on life in general.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2949 days

#7 posted 01-04-2014 02:31 AM

Thank you so much Russell. I love the quote as well. I believe it is very relevant to how our lives are. :)


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

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3114 days

#8 posted 01-04-2014 04:18 AM

Congratulations on being chosen for the cover project. You mentioned sliding down the rabbit hole, and I
think that I am like Mr. Toad in the Wind in the Willows, I am enjoying the ride rather than worrying about
where I am going, but hope I shall get somewhere sometime. Thank you for sharing.

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

View Freddo's profile


85 posts in 3726 days

#9 posted 01-04-2014 06:07 AM

Your project made the cover because it “should” be there. I’d be giddy too! Awesome work Sheila. A buddy of mine offered me a scroll saw to purchase on New Year’s eve. I’ll probably visit your website in a few minutes, stare at your work in total awe, then be so inspired I’ll have to call him and then learn a new skill! You have an amazing gift and thanks for sharing! :)

-- God bless! Freddo (Northern - NJ) Our Creator designed us to create - so use WOOD!

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2949 days

#10 posted 01-04-2014 12:39 PM

Thank you both! It really is a boost to have such recognition. It just wants me to try harder to be better! :) I suppose ‘positive reinforcement’ really works! The ride is ALWAYS fun and full of adventure, Gus! That is what makes it interesting! :)

I hope you get the saw, Freddo. I find spending time at the saw very relaxing. Once the “newness” of learning a hobby wears off, then it is fun and a great way to be creative. Let me know how you do!


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

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