Don't sweat the small stuff

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Forum topic by cathyb posted 09-29-2010 08:47 AM 1704 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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793 posts in 3267 days

09-29-2010 08:47 AM

That’s what I said to myself, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. Here’s how that feeling of sheer dread came about:

When one of my clients ask me to come to his home and look at the furniture he wanted me to make, I jumped at the chance. I had already made his wife a desk, a rocking chair for their daughter, three tall display cases with leaded glass doors, as well as three lamps. Yes, I had proved myself and was certain that no challenge was too big for me. So when they said, “We’d like you to make this bedroom set for us”, I nodded with a smile.

That smile was covering for the sheer dread that I felt inside! I looked at that dresser and thought, “Oh, my God! How did they make that thing?” I was sure of one thing: I couldn’t let them down. I did the only thing that I could think of doing, I pulled out my cell phone and starting taking pictures. I wrote down all the measurements. I promised that their cabinets would be finished in a few weeks and was out the door.

Why do I do these things? I’d rather be in my comfort zone when I’m working. I don’t know how that dresser was made, since I wasn’t there. Although it’s not a stretch to believe that I already know the techniques used. I’ll rewire my brain and get it done. I’ll be sweating it the whole way through, but in the end I’ll be thankful for the journey. Tomorrow will be day one. I’ll let you know how it goes…....

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

31 replies so far

View helluvawreck's profile


31351 posts in 2889 days

#1 posted 09-29-2010 11:22 AM

You expand your capability by working beyond yourself. I hope that it all goes well for you.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3138 days

#2 posted 09-29-2010 11:31 AM

huu! in a few weeks
you don´t put a lot margin to your self
a picture of the projects wood bee niice
so we can see your stress syndrom
good luck with it


View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3797 days

#3 posted 09-29-2010 12:10 PM

Looking forward to seeing the finished project. I am confident you can do it. You are a good woodworker. I just had the same feelings when my daughter asked me to make a crib for my first granddaughter. It turned out great and she was very pleased. It is in my projects if you care to look.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3455 days

#4 posted 09-29-2010 12:33 PM

When we step out of that comfort zone, we step into our creative zone.
That is where all the fun is!
Enjoy the journey… even if it is only 3 weeks!
Looking forward to the finished project here on LJ

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3364 days

#5 posted 09-29-2010 02:25 PM

i have confidence in you

i bet you will come up with a way
even the original makers would marvel at

deep breath
empty mind
(in my case)
work zen

can’t miss

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View terrilynne's profile


836 posts in 2916 days

#6 posted 09-29-2010 02:49 PM

-- Terri, Rocky Mountain High Colorado!

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3784 days

#7 posted 09-29-2010 03:00 PM

Sit down and make a lot of sketches. Then draw out details & dimensions of your joinery. This thought process will help you when cutting time comes. Don’t be afraid to go back to the customer and re-measure if you are not sure about things. Tackle big projects in smaller steps. Don’t allow deadlines to pressure you into fatigue & mistakes.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 3745 days

#8 posted 09-29-2010 03:47 PM

Well, as daunting as a large commission may be, the client apparently loves your work and trusts that you will do a fantastic job. Being the artist and craftsperson that you are, you probably need to have a challenge to keep your interest and art keen. Although my commissions aren’t as large and complicated as furniture pieces, I enjoy dealing with each client’s individual needs and it keeps my work valid yet creative. Otherwise I could make all sorts of whimsical designs but they may not all be as usable to a person who needs a walking aide. That is one concept that I insist that my work be practical and usable, not just an artsy piece. Don’t get me wrong, I love art and artsy things but they end up collecting dust and not being used. Meanwhile, between commissions I can create designs to my whim and sometimes be less practical, so I can dance between the lines here!

I look forward to seeing your work through this journey! I know it will be spectacular.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Kate's profile


400 posts in 3897 days

#9 posted 09-29-2010 04:09 PM

I sure know that feeling.
Break it down, step by step. You can do it!

-- Kate,

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4100 days

#10 posted 09-29-2010 05:00 PM

You can do it! Take your time to properly design then go for it.

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3326 days

#11 posted 09-29-2010 05:19 PM

oh come on now Cathy…this was nothing but bait and hook… can we be expected to read a story like this…and you not show us or give us any picture of what the challenge is….....i say …picture….picture…picture…...i cant believe you would do something like this…to your pals…your buddies…your friends….fellow wood workers….....its abdominal…lol….....i still want a picture…am i suppose to live with this suspense until your done…lol…......PICTURE…........GRIZZMAN

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3326 days

#12 posted 09-29-2010 05:28 PM

Go get ‘em Cathy!

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View cathyb's profile


793 posts in 3267 days

#13 posted 09-29-2010 07:31 PM

Good morning everyone! I woke up thinking about the joints for those pieces.
I have to spray the headboard that I made this morning and then off to Plywood Hawaii to buy some birch for the interior cleats and drawer glides.
I promise to post pictures as soon as I figure out how to use photobucket. Someone want to give me a primer on that?

Thanks for your support. It means the world to me and probably to my clients as well!
Have a great day…......

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3364 days

#14 posted 09-29-2010 07:39 PM

heres how to photobucket

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View cathyb's profile


793 posts in 3267 days

#15 posted 09-29-2010 07:48 PM

thanks Patron, you’re such a good guy. I’ll get to it tonight.
Have a good day!

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

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