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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1225: Looking at Things Differently

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 01-21-2014 11:53 AM 694 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1224: Pretty Maids All in a Row Part 1225 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 1226: Writing Instructions »

As I sit here and try to think of something interesting to write about today, I am eager to begin my day. The last several days have seemed to go by in a whirlwind, as I have been so busy working on some of the new designs that I have thought of. It seems that no matter how early I begin, before I know it I look up and the sun is already setting and yet another day has slipped by.

I go through phases when I am absorbed in my work like this. It’s funny though – as I typed the word ‘work’ I almost changed it to something else because usually people associate that word with something that is toilsome or a hardship. I feel no hardship at all in doing what I do except that I am not able to accomplish it fast enough so I can move ahead to the next project.

I am already thinking of what I can create for the next year’s holiday seasons, and I haven’t even finished making what I wanted to do for this year. Each season comes and goes so quickly and I wonder if I should just jump ahead and begin designing for the next year ‘early’ or try to squeeze in things for this year.

Part of it is that there are many unfinished ideas that don’t have a chance to come to be. For instance this past Christmas I had a list of projects that I wanted to make (as I did for autumn and Halloween and all the other prior holidays) and I barely scratched the surface of getting them done. Usually, after a certain point in time passes where it gets too close to the holiday I am working on, I resign myself to the fact that at least I will be ahead and have some good ideas for ‘next year’. I privately call this my ‘job security’ and it alleviates any fears that I will run out of things to do. Many artists and designers have these fears, as I did earlier in my career as a designer, but as time goes on and as I taught myself to look at the world through artist’s eyes, the floodgates were opened and what may begin as a single thought can easily snowball into several interesting and fun ideas. Who would have thought?

I know that I am very lucky in this respect. Although, I am not completely comfortable with the use or even the idea of the term ‘luck.’ Being a person who believes that we are our own destiny in this world, and that we have the power to be whatever we wish, I extend little merit to ‘luck’ and prefer to view ones’ successes and failures as the result of a combination of hard work, good decision making, and dedication. When looking at things from that perspective, one can see that luck or chance has very little to do with things. I like this way of approaching things because (whether it is true or not) it gives me a sense of being in control. And that leads to feelings of comfort which in turn allow me to be more creative.

It is all a mindset.

So as my notebook of ideas continues to fill, the only anxiety that I am feeling at this point is trying to decide which thing to work on next. It is like a trip to the Godiva chocolate store. Which chocolate do you pick first?

I am going to spend the day today writing the two pattern packets for my two ballerina patterns. One pattern will be the painted versions of the ballerinas, which will include full painting instructions to ‘tole paint’ the girls. The other pattern will be for the scroll sawyers, which will include the cutting instructions for the dressed and ‘undressed’ silhouettes, and will also include some ‘light painting’ as I showed last week.

While all of these are derived from the same concept, you can see that they offer very different results.

Since different people have different tastes, abilities, needs and preferences, I felt that by doing this pattern in several different versions, I can offer something that will not only appeal to more people, but hopefully will encourage those who are creating them to stretch a little and perhaps dabble in a new technique. If the instructions are already in front of them, then perhaps they would be more likely to try. In essence I am baiting them by dangling new things in front of them, one baby step at a time.

I don’t quite know why I am so determined to get others to try new things. It has been a goal of mine since I began designing over fifteen years ago.

We have all heard the saying ‘misery loves company.’ I am a true believer that ‘joy’ loves company as well. Sharing in our joys and bringing joy to others makes our lives fuller and happier, I believe. Just as sharing our misery brings sadness and despair.

I prefer the joy.

I wish you all a wonderful Tuesday!

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



13 comments so far

View BertFlores58's profile

BertFlores58

1646 posts in 1587 days


#1 posted 01-21-2014 12:09 PM

Hi Sheila,
The other way around concept of design is just as good as the original. Why not pair the lady ballerina? Transformation is now my vision. Some of the old principles are no longer accepted but without knowing from our work.. we just combine those and create a new one. A 3D is one of my ambition in woodworks. Seeing from all sides is quite difficult to think. Good that your morning is sharing your joy in work.
Enjoy the day.

-- Bert

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7685 posts in 1585 days


#2 posted 01-21-2014 12:30 PM

Thank you Bert! You are an inspiration to me as well. I loved your new project that you posted. So creative and different! Now THAT’S Thinking of things in different ways! :)

Have a great Tuesday! Sheila

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

View Handtooler's profile

Handtooler

1086 posts in 797 days


#3 posted 01-21-2014 12:45 PM

My, my what a wonderful day you’ve so very nicely penned (keyed-in) this morning; that’s not only expressing your start, but aiding in me starting mine.

As to looking ahead, by being associated with your magazine JOY I realize you must look ahead far into the future to make there deadlines.Valentines Day for you i well past ,your’re probably already into the fall and late summer.

I always thoroughly enjoy your writings. Might I ask, knowing you grew up in Chicago where did you receive your college education? Beside your art degree work you have certainly mastered wruting wonderful techniques that flow well to a conclusion. Just a little praise and laud for you this morning.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@msn.com

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7685 posts in 1585 days


#4 posted 01-21-2014 01:05 PM

Thank you Russell:
I went to grammar school in the city of Chicago. I attended high school in the south suburb of Oak Lawn, and I attended two years of college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. I never finished university, due to life’s circumstances, but I feel that all three of my schools contributed to my writing background.

My grammar school teachers were strict. We had to obey and respect them. That was in the late 60’s and early 70’s when things were very different than they are now. I am amazed at how much of what I was taught in English class really ‘stuck.’

In high school, I don’t have many deep recollections of any one particular English class that stands out. I was pretty much an average student and like many, my social life was my top priority.

University was a bit different though. I had some wonderful literature and writing classes that I believe impacted me a great deal. There was a technical writing class in particular that was excellent. The teacher was very dedicated I believe this class helped me learn the type of writing needed to create the lesson packets that I write today. The class focused heavily on organizing our thoughts and getting to the point without adding emotion into the mix.

Reading and literature classes at university also weighed heavily. I love reading and enjoyed many different styles of short stories and novels by the classic writers. I wish I had more time to read now.

And finally – spell check and computers DO help. People need to pay attention to them though. I was always taught that when you write, it is a reflection on you – just as when you speak. I believe that may sound ‘old school’ now, but writing used to be an art form and done so with the greatest respect. When all people have to judge you by is your written word, I feel it is important to put your best foot forward. Using foul language and slang and even the ever-popular abbreviations that are common are just something that I never feel comfortable with. Many people now write so sloppy and are just plain lazy when they write. I am not trying to be a snob, but I don’t even read some of the posts because of this. If there is a language barrier, that is one thing but I do believe that some effort should go into proper writing. Just as we all make ourselves presentable when we venture outdoors. How is writing different?

Yes – I do have errors in my morning musings. Most of the time I am just waking up when I write and I always write my blog ‘stream of consciousness’ so it isn’t what I would call polished writing. But it comes across half-decent most of the time and I am grateful for the many followers that I have here.

How’s that for a LONG answer! I suppose it is a combination of things. Bottom line is that I do CARE how I come across in my writing. I am glad you appreciate it. :)

Sheila

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

View BertFlores58's profile

BertFlores58

1646 posts in 1587 days


#5 posted 01-21-2014 01:15 PM

Thanks Sheila,
Just want to add… I may be good in Math but not in English but participating in this sort of blog is an actual training for my writing. Aside from the auto correct in the new word processor, it took me a long time to proof read and edit all my blogs… The best of all is no one will ever notice how good we develop until you tell them where it had begun.

-- Bert

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7685 posts in 1585 days


#6 posted 01-21-2014 01:18 PM

And I am not good in math! See how wonderful this world can be?? :)

I find reading your posts are not at all difficult. I forget that you don’t speak English as a first language, Bert. They are always so informative and I learn a great deal from you.

Have a great day today!

Sheila

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

View Roger's profile

Roger

14649 posts in 1469 days


#7 posted 01-21-2014 01:19 PM

I promise, I’ll right …lol…write better. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7685 posts in 1585 days


#8 posted 01-21-2014 01:23 PM

Oh, Roger! You are silly! ;)

Sheila

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

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

3134 posts in 505 days


#9 posted 01-21-2014 02:06 PM

Thank you Sheila for again sharing your thought processes. It is so easy for us armchair quarter backs to sit on this side of the computer screen and pick apart a post or article. Yes, there are times when a misspelled or left out word completely changes what is being said. How many times have we sat in a classroom and heard the same kind of error from a highly educated instructor’s mouth? We are all human and flawed. Usually when I get the most worked up about a misspelling/misused word and point it out or complain about it I’ll find that I’ve done the same thing in my response. Remembering that will usually keep me silent and forgiving.
I, too, dislike using the concept of ‘luck’. I prefer ‘fortunate’ and ‘blessed’.
Have a great Tuesday!

-- God bless, Candy

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7685 posts in 1585 days


#10 posted 01-21-2014 03:17 PM

Hi, Candy! There are many times when later in the day I re-read my post and find errors. That is usually after a couple hundred people have already read it. But in the mornings I am hurried and sometimes not really even awake when I am writing and I found that if I keep picking on it, it would take half the day to do and I would have little to write about. If I am writing a more permanent or formal article (like something for the magazine) I naturally take more care and read it over several times before submitting it. Even though I know the editors will have a look and probably some suggestions, I want to be sure to have it in good shape before turning it in. I suppose it depends where we are writing as to how picky we are.

In any case, I don’t feel that I am judgmental regarding what I read. Only when it gets to the point where you can’t follow it do I throw in the towel. If something interesting is being discussed, I still follow. :)

Have a great day yourself! :)

Sheila

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

View BritBoxmaker's profile (online now)

BritBoxmaker

4378 posts in 1701 days


#11 posted 01-21-2014 03:58 PM

Over the past few years I have feared ‘losing it’, the need and/or ability to design things. I believe you are right though, that things go in fits and starts. In the good times you should always leave things to one side to be explored in the lean times.

As for designing itself, I am becoming convinced that the harder you try the less likely you are to come up with the best of what you can do. For me it’s like approaching design out of the corner of the eye, not face on.

Limiting the amount of information seems to increase my creativity. I once saw a demonstration where a picture was built up on a TV screen. Starting with a picture of background noise, the amount of actual picture dots (randomly spread) in the picture was gradually increased. By between 1% and 2% of the actual picture being there everyone agreed ( and I could see, in outline at least) that the picture was of a skull. I think that the mind’s ability to fill in the blanks and interpret pattern and form like this are very useful in design. Although I can’t qualify it further or quantify it.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View Celticscroller's profile

Celticscroller

811 posts in 738 days


#12 posted 01-22-2014 03:51 AM

Hi Sheila, your certainly have not lost the “art of writing”. It IS an art form which regretfully in this technical age is losing it’s lustre! Autocorrect adds wonderful new meanings to transcripts! :)
Have fun, and enjoy the journey!
I hope it doesn’t get too cold for you but looking at the weather forecast for back east, it looks pretty chilly!

-- Anna http://richmondcarvers.com/

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7685 posts in 1585 days


#13 posted 01-22-2014 11:17 AM

We are getting our second taste of cold and snow Anna. The next few days are supposed to be really snowy. But that is part of the charm of four seasons, so I don’t really mind.

Have a wonderful day! :)

Sheila

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

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