My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1570: Playing "Hookie"

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-10-2015 12:24 PM 803 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1569: Warnings about Online Safety Part 1570 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1571: Catching Up »

Ok – I admit it. Yesterday I didn't get a lot done in the work department. Although I did accomplish some things, it was mostly 'putzing' around the house. 

The past several weeks have been so, so busy. Sometimes it just catches up to you. I tend to get submerged in my work and it can consume me. But once in a while, I think I need a day to just do 'whatever' strikes my fancy and not think about it being 'work.'  Sometimes it looks like what I do for work (Keith mentions that to me often) but I know differently. Those of us who design for a living know that unseen 'feeling' when we are playing and doing what we want to do with no ideas of how it will fit into our business plan. There is an unspoken freedom that is free of pressure and expectations and worries about if what we are making will sell or not. It does make a difference, and even though on the outside it may look exactly like the other projects we have been creating all along, as far as our own feelings go, it is quite different. It refreshes us and feeds our enthusiasm and many times gets us churned up about other things that DO pertain to work. So it is not only functional, but I fell necessary to keep things going at a good pace and keep our ideas fresh and fun. 

After finishing up some work related things in the morning, I decided to do some organizing. I do that a lot, in small spurts, and it keeps things in our small place here in order and keeps things easily accessible – not to mention it keeps me sane! 

Many of you have mentioned that you admire my organizational skills, and you marvel at how I can accomplish so much from such a small space. I maintain that the key to this is not having an annual overhaul of things, but keeping them in order always. (Or ALMOST always, if you will.) Allowing things to get beyond a certain point is troubling to me and the clutter that it adds both physically to my environment as well as emotionally can be very debilitating to someone like me. While Keith and I differ on many points, one thing we agree wholeheartedly on is we need our surroundings to be neat and free of excess. Things need to be where they are supposed to be and we are both very adamant about keeping things in order. That is good. It keeps us happy and it allows us to continue to be productive and creative and enjoy our life. 

I went through a closet that I felt had some things that I no longer needed 'at hand'. I was able to sort things out fairly quickly and move what was taking up most of the large shelf into one plastic container that would go in my basement storage. It wasn't like throwing things out. If and when I needed the stuff it would be readily accessible (I mark each plastic container on the outside with a large index card taped in clear view) but it moved it out of a closet and left me with FOUR good sized empty boxes for storing other things that I use frequently. Good. I felt this was a major accomplishment that took under half an hour to do. You can see how maintaining things like this can be very helpful in the long run. Little bites at a time. 

The rest of the day was spent visiting. Keith's mom came over for the afternoon and evening. It had been quite a while since I was a slave to finishing up some huge projects. I always like when she visits because we have such a nice time together. She brings her laptop and needlework and we sit and gab about things and play on Pinterest and embroider. All the while we are entertained by the cats, who love to visit with Grammy/Great-grammy, too. They are always full of antics and love to show off for her. 

We eat really good, too. Having someone here is a good excuse to cook something decent. In the midst of my work-aholic-ism, I tend to just eat on the go. Many times I have just cereal for dinner, as I am too involved to want to stop and cook anything. But when mom is over, we always make something yummy, quick and good. Last night it was spaghetti. And then later, before we took her home, we went out for ice cream. It couldn't have been a better day. 

I played with some of my beautiful silk thread and did some fun embroidery – just on a whim. Last weekend, I tried my hand at dying a small piece of linen with some of the beautiful Jacquard fabric dyes that I had purchased last year. It was fun, easy and I loved the result:

This piece was about 5" square. I will be blogging more about dying fabrics in the future, as I have ideas for incorporating them into some new projects I am doing. I also understand the dyes are suitable for WOOD. That will be fun to experiment with as well. :) 

Since the piece was small and I didn't want to make a huge "commitment" piece, I decided to just embroider some lavender on it. I don't know what I will do with it – maybe make a pretty sachet. But here is what I got done so far:

So far, so good. 

I plan on trying my hand at creating some smaller and pretty introductory embroidery kits to offer to people. There has been such a wonderful and positive response to my embroidery pieces, I think that others would enjoy if I made up little patterns and provided all-inclusive kits for a good price. I am going to start small and see where it goes and what interest it has. In the past two days, I already have orders for a couple of the "Baaa-bins" and sheep bowl set that I showed the other day. There are lots of people who still enjoy needlework and even though they may not be up for large and involved pieces like my "A Perfect World" piece, I think these smaller pieces may do well. Just something to think about . . . 

I wanted to also mention that Keith added a new custom pattern option on our site for those of you who are interested. His SLDKC02 Custom "Home Sweet Home" pattern is now available:

You can check it out on the link if interested. His custom patterns are doing extraordinarily well. We are very happy and appreciative about that. 

Well – that should do it for today. I PROMISE to get moving on the patterns for the sheep as well as the gears. I still need to shoot the video on the rusting process as well. I am really excited about it and I think you will all be amazed at how simple it really is. I certainly was. 

It is quite rainy this morning. We had storms last night and came home from ice cream through a torrential downpour. It is definitely 'springlike' – even if it is a little late. But it is green and lush and beautiful, too. So I don't really mind. 

I hope you all have a wonderful day. Mid-week already!  Happy Wednesday to  you all! :)

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

2 comments so far

View Celticscroller's profile


1203 posts in 1492 days

#1 posted 06-10-2015 04:31 PM

I’ll be interested to hear how the fabric dyes transfer to wood. They sure look good on the fabric. I’m in the process of learning about quilting as I want to make some for presents so I’m interested in your embroidery and fabric dying ideas. I’m thinking that stack cutting some fabric with my woods could get me some very interesting applique designs. Experimentation in the works!

-- Anna

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8983 posts in 2339 days

#2 posted 06-10-2015 04:35 PM

Oh, I have stack cut fabric before. Sandwich it between thin plywood and you are pretty good to go. I haven’t done it in a while, but I think it worked fine. Let me know how you do.

Yes – so many of these different crafts overlap each other. I love that you are like me – willing and eager to try new things. I can’t help but feel if we were neighbors, we would be the best of friends!

But for now, I am happy we are cyber-friends. Thanks for all your great ideas and support of my crazy ones! :)


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

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