My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1290: The Dragonfly Story

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 04-12-2014 12:24 PM 1398 reads 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1289: Some Great Sources for the Products I Use Part 1290 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1291: A New Project »

I almost didn’t write today. It was just one of those (fortunately rare) days when I wasn’t sure if I would have anything wonderful or inspirational to show or say. But I missed writing yesterday and I think that in some ways my not writing contributed to the ‘blah’ way I was feeling.

So here I am.

Like most designers and artists, I sometimes find myself in a muddle. I am fortunate that it is not because I have run out of ideas or things to create, but probably closer to the opposite. I find myself overwhelmed by so many ideas and thoughts that I don’t know which direction to follow first. It doesn’t happen too often, but when it does it sometimes stops me in my tracks.

It has been a busy time for us. Our site is doing wonderful and our little business is growing every day. Perhaps that is part of the issue. After so many years of really struggling, I need to learn to how to deal with success.

I am sure that part of my feelings are the residual disappointment that I felt from not being able to go on our trip. After several months of building yourself up for not only the journey, but the classes the people and everything that goes with it, it was very disheartening to not be able to follow through with things.

People were wonderful about it though, and I am very grateful that I work in an industry where people are so understanding. After all – artists and creative people are very emotional. They tend to be very empathetic and supportive of other artists. That is one of the reasons I enjoy them so much.

Here at home the transition from winter to spring has not gone smoothly. Keith was finally able to get his car out of storage, only to find it is having issues starting. It was perfect when it put it away in October, and perhaps the bitter cold winter took its toll on it. After all – it is older. He has spent the week trying to get it from point “A” to point “B” so it could be looked after and finally he was successful doing so yesterday. (While living in a rural area has its advantages, it also has some disadvantages as well. No place is ‘perfect’ I have learned.) Now he will have to wait a while to see what is up with it and get it back on the road. I am sure it is frustrating for him.

As for my own car, it is running fine and in good working order with its new tires in place and all, but I noticed that in spots the clear coat of the paint is flaking off a bit. It is, after all ten years old and other than that, there is no rust and it is in perfect condition. I need to attend to it though, and will probably want to get it painted before the end of this season. I don’t want it to get to the point of looking ratty.

Once again though – living in a rural town will have its issues. With Halifax being over three hours away, it is going to be difficult for me to find someone to trust that will be able to do the job. It makes me nervous. And while I don’t have to do it immediately, I know that I need to get it done, and it weighs on my mind.

There are other things as well. They are small, but each one just adds to the pile and it has been pulling me down a bit. Nothing drastic, but just enough to keep me from being as productive as I wish. Just enough of a distraction to pull me off of my game.

I know that life can be like that sometimes. Sometimes things just get to us. I am no different from anyone else in that respect. I just need to go back and read some of my own words of inspiration that I write to you all and take them to my own heart. That will put me on the right path again.

I have a plan for the weekend. I have a small list of what I want and need to accomplish. I think I will begin at the top and just start checking things off, not worrying about getting to the end of it, but concentrating on making progress. Baby steps.

I am not sure if I will write tomorrow. If I don’t, please don’t worry. There are times when we need a day away from our normal routine to readjust our way of thinking and take a breather. I have no doubt that I will get out of my rut here and once again begin to accomplish things. My list of ideas is far to long. But sometimes a short break and a change of pace can kick start things back into a good and productive place.

So with that said, I will leave you with a short story I heard from my friend Tania on Facebook. I read it yesterday and I found that it gave me a sense of calm and peace. I know that when I need it in the future, it will be there to pull on and give me hope. I hope it does for you as well.

Have a wonderful weekend.

The Dragonfly (author unknown)

Once, in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads, there lived a little water beetle in a community of water beetles. They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond with few disturbances and interruptions. Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of their fellow beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and would never be seen again. They knew when this happened; their friend was dead, gone forever.

Then, one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge to climb up that stem. However, he was determined that he would not leave forever. He would come back and tell his friends what he had found at the top. When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the surface of the lily pad, he was so tired, and the sun felt so warm, that he decided he must take a nap. As he slept, his body changed and when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body designed for flying.

So, fly he did! And, as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole new world and a far superior way of life to what he had never known existed. Then he remembered his beetle friends and how they were thinking by now he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them, and explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been before. His life had been fulfilled rather than ended. But, his new body would not go down into the water. He could not get back to tell his friends the good news. Then he understood that their time would come, when they, too, would know what he now knew. So, he raised his wings and flew off into his joyous new life!

SLD413 - Dragonfly Dimensional Candle Tray

-- 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 Celticscroller's profile


1270 posts in 2221 days

#1 posted 04-12-2014 05:42 PM

Love the dragonfly story and the candle tray! I came across this story a long time ago and I re-read it any time i get stuck. I don’t know who wrote it.

Once Upon a Puddle (author unknown)

This is the story about some fish who lived in a very small puddle of water. Hear their conversation:
“Give me that waterbug!”
“No, I saw him first!”
“Get your fins off my supper! He’s mine I tell you!”
And so, every day, the little fish spent their time competing for waterbugs. Their stagnant puddle was cradled between the roots of an ancient oak tree, just beside a flowing river.
But one morning, there was a sudden SPLASH!
An amazing, brightly colored fish had jumped into the riverside puddle… a fish with golden scales. And—what was most unusual in this particular puddle—he was smiling!
One of the puddle-fishes asked, “Where do you come from?”
The Sparkling Fish smiled brightly, “I come from the SEA!”
“The sea! What is the sea?”
The Sparkling Fish was surprised: “No one has ever told you about the sea? Why the sea…the sea is what fish are made for. It isn’t like this little puddle; it’s endless. A fish needn’t swim in circles all day…he can dance with the tides! And it’s sparkling clear! The sea is what fish are made for!”
Then a pale, gray puddle-fish spoke up: ” But, how do we get to the sea?
The Sparkling Fish answered: “It’s a simple matter. You jump from this little puddle into that river and trust that the current will take you to the sea.”
Astonishment clouded the puddle-water. At long last a brave little fish swam forward with a hard, experienced look in his eye. He was a Realist Fish.
He said: “It’s pleasant to talk about this ‘sea business,’ but—if you ask me—we have to face reality. And what is reality? Obviously, it’s day-to-day life—swimming in circles and hunting for waterbugs, Life is hard, It takes a Realist Fish to face facts.”
The Sparkling Fish smiled. “But you don’t understand…I’ve BEEN there. I’ve SEEN the sea. It’s far more wonderful than you can…” But before he could finish speaking, the Realist Fish swam away.
Next, a fish came up with a nervous twitch in his tail. He was a Scared Fish. He stammered, “You mean, we’re suppose to j-jump into that big, swift river over there?”
“Yes. For a fish who wants to go to the sea, the way lies through that river.”
The Scared Fish’s voice trembled in terror…”Look, I’m just an ordinary fish! That river is deep and strong and wide, and I don’t know where it goes. Why I might be swept away by the current. If I jumped out of my puddle, I wouldn’t have any control over my life. NO! It’s too risky for me!”
The Sparkling Fish whispered, “Just trust ME. Trust that the river will take you some place GOOD…” But before he could finish, the Scared Fish hurried away.
Finally there swam out a very dignified figure in a black robe. He was a Theologian Fish. Calmly, he adjusted his spectacles, saying: “My brother and sister fishes, our distinguished visitor has expressed many views which merit our consideration. However, these puddle-fishes have expressed OTHER views. By all means, let us be reasonable. We can work this out… Why not form a discussion group? We could meet every Tuesday at 7 o’clock, and I’m sure some of the lady fishes would be happy to bring some refreshments.”
The eyes of the Sparkling Fish grew sad…. “No, this will never do,” he said. “Talking is important, but in the end—it is a simple matter. You JUMP. You jump out of this puddle and trust that the river will take you to the sea. Who will come and follow me?”
At first no one moved, But then a few puddle-fishes swam to his side. Together they jumped into the river and the current swept then away to the sea.
The remaining puddle-fishes began to swim in circles and hunt for waterbugs just like they always had.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

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Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9237 posts in 3068 days

#2 posted 04-14-2014 01:08 PM

Thank you, Anna for sharing your story. It really hits a chord for me. You wouldn’t believe how many people told me that I wasn’t going to be able to make a living as a designer. People close to me. Friends. Family members. They all looked at me with doubting eyes and told me that I would never do it.

I still hear it from other woodworkers as well, who may have tried and failed.

But to me, staying in the same puddle was no way to live my life. I HAD to jump into the river and see if I would make it to the ocean! It wasn’t a choice for me. It is just who I am.

By many people’s standards, I probably am not very successful. Financially, I am not ‘rich’, but I do have enough to live my life in the way I choose. I have learned to make decisions that help me maintain my creative life and I am (I believe) happier than most that I meet.

So who is really ‘richer’?

Thank you as always for your support and friendship. And thank you for this wonderful story you shared. I truly loved reading it.


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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18373 posts in 3824 days

#3 posted 04-15-2014 10:10 AM

Sheila, Remember everything you have that money can’t buy. I have been thinking about that the last few weeks.

I have just retired. Thinking back, a little part of me is sad to see it end, but it is time. I always wondered why I would want to retire? I knew when the time came. I started wrapping things up a few months ago.

I met an older pipe fitter on a job when I was a 4th year apprentice. He ask how old it was and I said 22. He said he was glad he wasn’t my age. I ask why not. He said it was too much work to get here and I don’t want to do it all over again. I thought that was odd at the time to not want to be young again, but now I know what he meant. I would not change a thing. (Except for not seeing a couple of incompetent doctors and suffering their malpractice.)

I remember others asking me about being in business for myself and asking for advice. Most never did it. A few of those who did gave up after a year or two. Most of them had a wife with a good job. I had a wife who was a homemaker, 2 kids to feed and a mortgage. I couldn’t afford to fail.

I remember a banker who told me they did not want to know contractors, fishermen or restaurants existed until they had been in business for at least 5 years. He advised me to keep my job. I told him I would not need a bank in 5 years and gave him a card in case he needed an electrician. I always self financed everything including payroll. That limited my size, but I liked my size. I was able to maintain level of service some referred to as a standard for the industry. The only reason I needed a bank 5 years later was no one shipped gold bullion. I had to do something with the checks.

I am certainly happy about not staying in the mud puddle and I know you are too.

It is always good to take a break every now and then, but don’t leave us wondering why doesn’t she write?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9237 posts in 3068 days

#4 posted 04-15-2014 02:29 PM

I agree with you Topamax.

I know that many people wouldn’t consider me ‘wealthy’ (heck – they wouldn’t even consider me successful!) but that doesn’t really matter to me one bit.

I am happy. I keep my life as simple as I can. I don’t have the pressures of high mortgages and high bills because I try my best to live within my means.

Most people want more than they have. But the older I get, the happier I am with what I DO have and the life I made here for myself. I know people don’t understand that, but that is about them, not me.

I look back to when I was younger and there are naturally decisions that I regret and things I may do differently. But for the most part I wouldn’t want to change a lot because those actions (INCLUDING THE MISTAKES) made me what I am today and brought me to the place I am now. And I am happy.

Being at peace with yourself and who you are is a gift. I realize that. That is why I try to take at least a small part of my day to give back to the world in some day. Be it through writing this blog and sharing my thoughts and ideas or creating new designs for others to enjoy. I don’t ever see that changing as long as I am able to do so.

Thank you for your thoughts as well. I think you all are just as much a part of this blog as I am. I always appreciate your input. :)


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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18373 posts in 3824 days

#5 posted 04-16-2014 07:04 AM

Thanks ;-) I remember one day the Late Great Paul Harvey said on his radio show that very few people wake up in a good mood every morning all week. I couldn’t help but think how blessed I was to not only wake up on a good mood very morning all week but week after week, month after month and usually all year long.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9237 posts in 3068 days

#6 posted 04-16-2014 10:41 AM

Yes! I am a firm believer that “we” decide how our day will go. I try to wake up happy and positive every day. It makes for a good start and a happier life!

Have a great one! :) 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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