My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1287: A Creative Mix

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 04-08-2014 12:27 PM 1596 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1286: Busy Weekend Part 1287 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1288: Choices »

It’s funny how I have gotten into the habit of writing here every day. As I am approaching my fourth anniversary of starting my blog, I think of all the time and energy that I put into posting each morning here and it boggles my mind. If someone were to approach me four years ago and tell me that this was my ‘assignment’, I don’t think that I could have pulled it off.

But looking back, I realize just how important posting here has been to me on so many levels. Through my blog here, I have made so many incredible friends and have learned so much and gained so much inspiration from you all that I can’t even begin to calculate its worth. It is (as they say) “priceless.”

I love being able to share my every day inspirations with you. Like all designers and artists, there are days when I feel rather ‘blah’. Nothing works like it should and we find ourselves in somewhat of a fog, trying to finish or advance on an idea. I do believe that sometimes during those times I had considered throwing in the towel and (egads!) quitting the project altogether. But since I had talked about what I was doing here in public and promised this or that, I didn’t want to let you all down and as a result of it, I didn’t let myself down either and somehow muddled through and finished.

Everything didn’t always work out for the best, but even the mishaps and failures seemed less important and intense when I shared them here with everyone. There were times when I was even able to laugh at my mistakes, and it gave me the courage to try again. Support from others can do that to you.

It is sometimes difficult to keep myself focused on one type of creating. While my blog began here on, I began copying it to other venues such as Pinterest, G+, Twitter, Facebook and my own site. I find it interesting to see which project appeal to each individual audience. Some get very little responses from one place and much response from another. This seems to fluctuate on a daily basis. I used to worry about not appealing to everyone by sticking to one type of project or another, but that doesn’t really bother me anymore because I always feel that people have the choice whether to read or not and so many of my followers are like myself – they have many different creative interests and work with many different kinds of media. And more than once I have coaxed people to at least TRY other forms of creativity, and that is enough for me. My friend Diana is an incredible woodworker who at one time swore she would NEVER paint. Yet now I see her showing her latest paintings (which are, by the way – beautiful!) and I smile to myself and think “I knew she had it in her.”

We all do.

I will never buy into the “I can’t” theory. I do, however respect the “I don’t want to” attitude, as I realize that everyone is not motivated to try every type of media. It has to come from a desire within to truly be successful, I feel.

So with that said, I will carry on and keep fluttering through the many types of creativity that inspire me and intrigue me and perhaps I will light a small spark in each of you along the way which will motivate you to create more. I only hope that you gain as much enjoyment out of it as I do.

One difficult thing that I found is that when I am making something special for someone as a gift, I often am not able to share it here in my blog. Most of those who know me also read my posts here from time to time (or at least look at the pictures!) and on the occasion that I wish to surprise them with a hand-made gift, I have to keep it hush here for the time being and talk about other things. This is sometimes easier said than done, as my day is pretty much filled up with creating things and when those things are ‘secret’, I sometimes find myself struggling to find something else to talk about and not look like I am getting lazy.

I am usually pretty good about filling in with other subjects regarding creativity, but sometimes I run low on actual content from my own work and that is when I pull on other sources to fill in. But it isn’t without thinking that I am looking somewhat lax to you all or running out of ideas. Nothing could be further from reality.

Yesterday was Keith’s moms’ birthday and over the past several weeks I have been working on a project for her. I know she reads my posts here from time to time, so I didn’t want to mention or show any pictures so I could surprise her with it, which I did. I think she liked it, and I was pretty happy with how it turned out. It was one example of how you could use multiple media forms to make something that is rather nice.

Keith’s mom is one of the reasons that I have once again enjoyed doing needlework. She does amazing counted cross stitch pictures that are the pretties that I have ever seen. Many times when we visit, she is working on a new masterpiece and I am just in awe of her work.

Like most “moms”, it is sometimes difficult to come up with something as a gift. She is happy and comfortable and does not need anything in particular. But I thought that perhaps she would like a small box to hold her needles. A pincushion if you will.

I saw a design in my cyber travels from an online embroidery magazine and I thought it would be perfect for the top of a pincushion box. She also loved yellow which made the design even more appropriate. So I came up with the following:

It is a small (5” diameter) Layered box. The box itself is maple, with a walnut accent layer and the top is the embroidered piece.

The underside of the lid is finished with thin maple veneer and a walnut lid liner. The finish on the box is several coats of clear lacquer.

The design is embroidered on linen, using silk ribbon and threads and the stumpwork techniques that I have been practicing on my other sampler:

The bee has glass eyes and translucent wings which are embroidered on a wire and made of organza.

It was all a great deal of fun to make, and while it was somewhat challenging to assemble it properly, I managed to do so without soiling the beautiful linen design at all. (I was proud of this!) The padded insert inside the box is removable so if she wants to use it for other things, she can take it out.

All in all I am happy with the results. I think it is a fun way to combine different creative venues into a single project. I hope that this post gets you thinking and that you realize that the sky is your limit regarding creativity. There are no fast and set rules and allowing yourself to try new things will certainly do a great deal to light your creative fires.

I hope you keep this in mind when worrying about trying something new.

Today is rainy and windy here in Nova Scotia. It is what I would call a ‘typical’ spring day. After the extraordinary winter we had, I am happy that it finally appears that spring has arrived.

I wish you all a happy Tuesday!

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

4 comments so far

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2917 days

#1 posted 04-08-2014 11:48 PM

Good evening Sheila,
The more I read yours, the more I realize the other works of my love ones… something that is worth to share. Here are some of the works made by Agnes my beloved wife. She loves nature crafts. All our hangings are artwork made of mats and stitch work. I already enhanced them by varnishing to prevent further deterioration. Here are some of the cross stitches she had.

I like to give them names…
The best I like is this….

She took some of my woodshavings and made it for my 50th birthday… what a team..
Have a nice day!

-- Bert

View justoneofme's profile


639 posts in 2475 days

#2 posted 04-09-2014 12:09 AM

You … lazy?! Never Sheila!!

I just want you to know that I do read your blogs each time you’ve posted … although I seldom have time to respond.

Your blogs are interesting … sometimes thought provoking … and definitely full of your eclectic nature! Your wide range of artistic (and writing) skills will definitely encourage all those who ‘tap in’ to at least read up if not try something new.

Creativity is the spice of life! Keep on enjoying everything you do Sheila … and continue to share it too!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2068 days

#3 posted 04-09-2014 02:37 AM

What a beautiful box! A perfect gift for someone who does any kind of needlework. I love the embroidery on the lid. I love the way you show the endless possibilities there are in any artistic endeavour. You keep inspiring! :)

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2915 days

#4 posted 04-09-2014 11:45 AM

Thank you all so much! I am sorry to be so late in replying, but I tried to stay as focused as I could yesterday in order to finish what I had to finish. :)

Bert – Your wife’s needlework is stunning. I am always amazed at those who do counted cross stitch because of the great deal of concentration and skill that is involved. They are certainly works of art! And the piece she made for your birthday is both touching and beautiful – no wonder it is your favorite! What a loving tribute to you! It is priceless!

Elane – Thank you so much. I hate missing some days but sometimes when I am in between work or at a point where things aren’t ready to show, I feel as if you all must think I am slacking! ;) Lately some projects seem to take longer than others. Not because they are so difficult, but some things just take time. The little box took about a week of my time which I had to weave into my normal work and not mention. But to me, it was worth it and it was very relaxing to do. It is just the way it is. Things are not always instant in our world and sometimes I think we forget that.

Anna – as always I appreciate your comments. You are so supportive and when I see how much you enjoy and embrace new ways to do things, it makes me feel that my time is well-spent. I think we feed off of each other as creative people and the results is good for everyone.

I always appreciate your friendship and comments. :) Thank you so much.


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

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