Shoe Carving Challenge #8: Hung Up

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Blog entry by MsDebbieP posted 10-15-2010 11:55 AM 1695 reads 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Creativity Part 8 of Shoe Carving Challenge series Part 9: I have a shoe »

Oct 15/10

Well, I’ve finally hit the wall … the carving process has been going really well and the personal struggle to push through fears has also been relatively easy and successful… but this week I hit the big barrier, challenge, self-awareness, or whatever you want to call it.

It’s been a few days now since Jordan posted the blog on carving the laces and right away I could feel the wall forming. I put off taking the next step.. and I put it off some more.. but I knew that I had to do it sometime and I had to do it soon or the shoe would sit unfinished.

So yesterday I prepared to carve the laces. I can’t put it into words but the precision necessary to carve the details of the laces, well… that “something” within me is winning and I think my shoe will be lace-less.

I have struggled for a couple of days, not with the carving, but with trying to identify what this roadblock is for me. If I could identify the barrier than I could find a way to overcome it or work around it. But … identifying “it” seems to be as difficult as carving the laces.

When I talked about creativity in a previous blog I mentioned feeling like being stuffed into a box when I feel my creativity is being blocked. The feeling, now, is similar but different. If I could describe it, I could understand it; if I could understand it, I could manage it.

However frustrating this is, it is also fascinating. I do love the self-awareness process. I’ll just have to keep digging away at it—oh wait, that’s the next stage of the shoe challenge, digging away at the hole in the shoe! HA.

But now.. today.. I have to make a decision about the laces. I’ll keep you posted.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

19 comments so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4488 days

#1 posted 10-15-2010 12:51 PM

Hi Deb;

There no doubt is some artistic ability required to carve something. That’s the road block I run into every time I carve something. I’m just not artistic in that sense. But, I do manage to draw then carve a small portion or piece of an object, which in turn leads to the next portion. It manages to keep me from getting overwhelmed. Baby steps, I think they’re called.

I know you already know this, just trying to cheer you on.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4669 days

#2 posted 10-15-2010 01:16 PM

thanks :)
i think I’m “one baby stepping” towards eliminating the laces hahahaa :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4423 days

#3 posted 10-15-2010 01:37 PM

One word – velcro. That’ll keep you from getting unstuck about the laces :)

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3429 days

#4 posted 10-15-2010 01:50 PM

I get this too, Debbie when I over think stuff. Sometimes when I am designing, I research so many photographs and pictures that everything is all jumbled up in my head and I can’t draw anything! It is SO frustrating. I am finding that in order to break out of that (much like the ‘box’ you put yourself in) I just choose a simple starting point and start drawing. Just like Lee said – Baby Steps. Usually when I get to moving again, I stop the over thinking process and concentrate on the task on hand. Some of my best designs have been ‘born’ that way.

I am not as far as you are at all with the shoe. I have had some deadlines I need to meet and will jump back in afterword. I looked at the steps in doing the laces though and I can see why it may be intimidating to you. I may be joining you in a week or so in your frustration. But as an outsider looking in, I am going to suggest just taking off a little material at a time. Take a breath and take it slow. Laces are flexible so if there is a little extra removed here or there, who’s to know? Overall it will fall together.

I am sure our fearless leader (Jordan) will have some good advice for you. I just wanted you to know I am cheering for you and that I have confidence in your abilities and know you will get through this. Don’t let that anxiety get too tight a grip on you!!

Whatever the outcome, have fun and you will learn!


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

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4669 days

#5 posted 10-15-2010 02:01 PM

thanks :)

this one isn’t anxiety .. another step towards the awareness .. I’m not worried about the laces and about getting them right, or at least I don’t hear the voice of worry. ..

I’ll do the deep breath though when I get to carving today….. deep breath, one piece at a time … and chug my way through it.

maybe when I get through it I will know what I had experienced.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3431 days

#6 posted 10-15-2010 02:47 PM

Sometimes the method maybe stopping you. What I experience with those difficult things is try it on other object… the one that you can afford to destroy or make errors. This is the reason why we need practice or test or trials or even a mistake to learn however we cannot afford to make mistake in the final work. Cheer up and do a trial thing… this will help..

-- Bert

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4514 days

#7 posted 10-15-2010 03:00 PM

I’m a staunch advocate for the “imagine things much worse thus noticing the comparative ease of the task actually before you” method. Just pretend you had to have four shoes completely finished by Monday but the customer called saying he only needed one by then and he’d appreciate if it had more of a folksy non professional look.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View sras's profile


5197 posts in 3638 days

#8 posted 10-15-2010 03:41 PM

Well, maybe you could try carving the laces. If they don’t work out just carve them off and presto! Laceless shoes! (I’m probably oversimplifying this …)

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4669 days

#9 posted 10-15-2010 04:16 PM

thanks everyone.
Steve – that’s my plan for the laces

and in the meantime I’ll keep peeling back the layers to discover the real roadblock here

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View terrilynne's profile


836 posts in 3402 days

#10 posted 10-15-2010 04:45 PM


-- Terri, Rocky Mountain High Colorado!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4669 days

#11 posted 10-15-2010 05:28 PM

thanks :)

well the laces are done … they aren’t much to look at but they are done.

and… for the record, I was so focused on the laces that when I went on to the hole for the foot .. well, ((shaking my head)) .. .. well, it is what it is.. I can’t put wood back on, so no need worrying about it

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3634 days

#12 posted 10-15-2010 06:15 PM

Like in painting – if you can do a square inch, you can do the whole picture – do one lace at a time and don’t look at the whole picture. But you say you’re done? Well then if you don’t like them later, you will be further along and may make some improvements. You can always make your shoe a little smaller too if things don’t go exactly right.


View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4669 days

#13 posted 10-15-2010 06:18 PM

thanks Jordan. .. yes, I did it .. next time—I’ll take the laces out hahaha :)

I still don’t really know what the roadblock was perhaps it was that big picture vs “inch” issue.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4808 days

#14 posted 10-15-2010 11:51 PM

Sounds like your enjoying yourself, & following Jordans advice, & doing just one lace at a time.

Don’t try jump ahead too fast. In one carving class I taught once, the subject was a Rose. It was a two evening course, & after the first night, I told the class if they continued at home, to carve only one petal at a time, or you may mess up. I had a couple of students that didn’t take my advice, I had a couple of messed up carvings I had to try salvage for them.


-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4669 days

#15 posted 10-15-2010 11:57 PM

I was just going over Jordan’s blog again (on carving the laces) when it hit me—I know what the problem is!!

My shoe is black.
The laces are black.
The laces are extremely long and are stuffed here and there just to get them out of the way.
My vision isn’t what it was when I was 20 (and yes I had my glasses on)

But it is black on black and all I can “SEE” is a blob of black. My brain said, “Huh?” “Huh?” “Huh?”
And it shut down… can’t see it; ain’t going to do it… Yup.. I’m pretty sure that is what the problem was.

Of course, now that I know what the problem is I could work around it by 1) changing the laces to white ones and/or 2) getting a very powerful light to shine on it from an angle, creating stronger shadows.

But.. that will be for the NEXT one.. because these babies are already “carved”. ... (Yes, Dick.. I went ahead and plunged through it.) But that’s ok. I still like my shoe.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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