My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1378: A Perfect World - Panel 12

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 08-09-2014 12:03 PM 1719 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1377: A Different Kind of Project Part 1378 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1379: Thank You All American Crafts »

I honestly don't know what is with me these days. Last week we were away for five days, and it has taken me almost a full week to catch up with things. I am finally nearing the 'bottom' of my email box and getting everything answered and caught up. Soon I will be able to move forward onto new designs. 

I have some ideas as to what I want to do next, but they aren't quite 'there' yet. By that, I mean that I am not quite clear in the direction that I am heading with them and therefore a bit stuck. I know that is part of the process, and I want to give things the time they need to be completely developed (or at least enough to begin drawing them!) but I also know that forcing things along will just be a waste of time, as that never really turns out well for me.

So in the mean time, I do other things . . .

The paperwork I mentioned earlier this week still needs to be posted to my computer. There is still a bit of organizing for me to do around my home here. And then there are the "UFO's" – (the "unfinished objects") that are partially painted and need to be finished up so I can either donate them or give them away. There are always so many.

Looking back on the past week I see I DID accomplish quite a bit. I finished several mail orders for wood surfaces which took me at least a day to cut, sand and pack. We had a beautiful day visiting friends, I sent out a newsletter and updated the web site, and we painted Keith's speakers. I certainly wasn't idle. That on top of the hundreds of emails that awaited me on my return and the laundry and other daily chores that are typically awaiting upon returning from a trip away.

As I sit here writing, I wonder why I feel the need to justify myself when I know there hasn't been a waking moment  when I wasn't 'doing something' in the past week. Or several weeks for that matter. Sometimes we can really be hard on ourselves.

Last night I came to the decision that I may 'just coast' for a couple of days. While I usually like to map out my days ahead of time, I am going to give myself the weekend to just see what I can get done and do only what I want to do at the time. Nothing is really pressing at this time, and the loose ends of what I want to accomplish are many. I think I am going to allow myself to pluck on whatever string fancies me at the time and see where it takes me. Perhaps without the self-imposed pressure that I tend to apply to myself, I will actually get something accomplished. Or at least feel that I am doing so.

It sounds good to me. ;)

As you can imagine, being occupied with all that I have been lately hasn't left me with much energy at the end of the day to do my embroidery. When I began the piece in March, I told myself that I would only work on it when I felt good and it wouldn't be another "pressure" that I add to the list of things that I want to do. That would defeat the entire purpose of it and I feel would mar the final results. I want to associate it with being relaxed and having fun and not put a time limit to complete it onto myself. (Although secretly, I gave myself a year!)

After dinner last evening, I decided that I wanted to spend the rest of the night working on it and I realized that it was time to post the progress and completion of another panel – panel 12. So following are the photos for you to see:

Panel 12 is a very colorful section. it was very fun and not difficult at all to do. It began with some cute little English Dasies:

Also included were several bright colors of Freesias. I found them a lot of fun to create. There were buds and full flowers, and while the pattern called for some button stitching along the edges of some of the petals, I liked them loose and left them 'as is'.  They do require some stamens in the center, but I am finding that the stamens that I added previously in other flowers and used as antenna for the butterflies and such are becoming loose from the constant handling of the piece during embroidery. I have decided to apply them to the piece closer to when I am completely finished. 

There was also a lovely little honeybee that was sampling the freesia. I mentioned many times that this piece is a 'teaching piece' and I can attest that creating the bee was very easy this time. After doing bee wings and dragonfly wings and moth wings, it is becoming second nature to me to create these types of pieces and I barely had to think about doing them. I suppose repetition is a great teacher after all!

The overall panel is very vibrant and colorful. It is one of my favorites so far. 

On to panel 13!

I thought I would take a shot of the entire piece so that you can see just how little I have left to do. Five more panels and then the trellis and final detailing! And here it is only AUGUST! 

As you can see, I already am working on panel #13. I am getting rather excited, as the finish line is in sight. Although I can honestly say that this has not become tedious in the least. Each section is new and exciting and as I finish each one, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. My only problem is that I feel that I am better now than when I started and I have to fight the urge not to rip out and re-do some of the earlier steps. (I promise I will NOT! There will be other pieces in the future to do and I want this piece to represent my advancement and learning process – mistakes and all.

I don't know where the weekend will take me. I just think that I need some time to find a focus before I can go full steam ahead. I know many of you also go through these 'unsettled' times and the reason I share with you is because I have so many people who ask me how I keep my energy level so high. I believe the answer to that is because I am diverse enough in what I do to always have SOMETHING that will keep me going in a good direction. By listening to your heart and allowing yourself to have lulls, I feel that when the direction is clear and the drive does return, you are then able to move ahead with full force and accomplish a great deal in a small window of time.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Happy Saturday to you all! 

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

9 comments so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3909 days

#1 posted 08-09-2014 03:37 PM

Sheila, could your need to ‘justify’ yourself stem from not having set work hours? One of the dangers of a home based business is that you are ‘always’ at work and subconciously, or perhaps conciously, feeling that you should be producing something, anything, because you are at work. It may be particularily difficult for you to ‘go home’ at the end of the day because your hobby and relaxation that you love is what you do as work. They say that work will expand to fill the hours available to do it…letting work consume all of your time is to start down the road to burnout and coming to begrudge the time spent at work.

I don’t know you or your situation except from what you post here so I may be completely out of line, please don’t take this as critisism as I greatly admire your work and am very grateful for the incentive and inspiration you’ve given me and my kids in beginning scrollsawing. I fully credit your postings in my wanting to start SSing myself and to getting my kids hooked also!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9237 posts in 3116 days

#2 posted 08-09-2014 03:53 PM

Oh, I don’t take it as criticism, Mark. As you know – most of the time when I write in the morning it is just ‘stream of consciousness’ and I often type whatever I am thinking at the time.

That said – you are probably correct in saying I need to ‘justify’ myself sometimes. After years of struggling through some very, very lean years I conditioned myself to think that ‘the harder I work, the more successful I will be’. If my job as a designer were not a success, certainly then it would be my own fault for not trying hard enough or working more hours.

I have grown to know better – I know I put a full effort into what I do – but there are still those haunting habits that creep in and make me feel guilty for taking time to just ‘do nothing’. I usually don’t feel it, but I have been lately and I do believe that it is a clear signal to back off a bit. I know I just returned from a “vacation” but we still came home to literally hundreds of emails that needed to be addressed. I am just now getting them all to fit on one page of my gmail program.

Writing stuff like I do in the mornings helps me clarify my thinking though. After today’s post, I decided that I was going to take the entire weekend here to just do “what I want.” I have many partially done things looking at me and I want to take the time to finish them and organize things a little better. Doing that will allow me to work worry-free and be more comfortable in what I am doing.

Thank you very much for your input. Keith has been mentioning to me from time to time “you are always working” so perhaps you are right and I need to take a little breath. This is our ‘slower’ season and while part of me wants to prepare for the upcoming holiday season, there is more of me that needs to feel refreshed about my business and my surroundings. In the long run it will all be for the best.

Take care and thanks again for your thoughts. :)


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

View Celticscroller's profile


1270 posts in 2269 days

#3 posted 08-09-2014 05:14 PM

Good morning Sheila! I think most creative people feel a bit guilty if they are not producing something but really even when we are “doing nothing” we are just taking a step back from all the creative ideas buzzing around in our heads so that we can get a clearer vision of which idea to focus on. You are always a great inspiration and one of the things I have respected about you is your ability to know when to take time for yourself. That way burn out is not an option!
I love the progress on the embroidery panels and the photo of the whole piece is stunning! It’s going to be a beautiful piece of artwork.
Have a great day.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9237 posts in 3116 days

#4 posted 08-09-2014 05:19 PM

Thanks, Anna:

You have always been an inspiration to me as well. You embrace so many ways to be creative and are so open to new ideas and techniques! It really is one of the best about my ‘job’ – meeting people like you!

Thanks as always for your words of encouragement and support. They are always very much appreciated. :)


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

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3265 posts in 3909 days

#5 posted 08-10-2014 04:36 AM


Each panel seems to get more exciting. I really love the brightness of the colors and all the different shades. I know what you mean about wanting to go back and re-do. I find myself doing (or thinking) the same thing sometimes when no one else would ever even notice the imperfections. From the photos of your sampler, it all looks perfect to me!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3000 days

#6 posted 08-10-2014 04:37 PM

Scrolling and sewing, and painting, and such!! Your an artist, no matter what you touch. :)

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9237 posts in 3116 days

#7 posted 08-10-2014 05:26 PM

Thank you both so much! It feels good to be in the home stretch! :)


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

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3214 days

#8 posted 08-20-2014 01:34 PM

Sheila, I can appreciate the panel more now and it’s complexity after having seen it first hand. What a wonderful piece of work to behold! Most people would shy away from a complex piece like this! Keep up the beautiful works. I’ve noticed that lately your scroll saw designs have taken a great step up in quality and creativity, seems like you and Keith are working and feeding off each other!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9237 posts in 3116 days

#9 posted 08-21-2014 05:07 PM

Thank you so much Erwin. I am glad you liked it. I enjoyed meeting you and Edith face to face and you are both as kind and friendly as I thought.

Your trip sure was full and wonderful! I am glad you had such a great time and happy that you made it back safe and sound. Keep in touch and thank you again for the beautiful bowls.

((HUGS)) 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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