My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1820: Evolving

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 02-13-2017 02:02 PM 904 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1819: Over the Hump Part 1820 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1821: Back in the Swing of Things! »

We all work for certain goals in our lives. Be it personal or professional, there always seems to be something to strive for and give out lives purpose. 

I began my own business many, many years ago. I was in my 20's then and looking for a way to earn some extra income for my young family while doing something that I enjoyed. I had always loved 'making things' and thought that would be somewhat of a utopia for me. Justifying doing something that I love and being paid for it as well. It would be the perfect answer. 

Things didn't come easy. There were many times that I made decisions that cost more money than I earned. There were no clear-cut rules as to how to succeed. Only trial and error, which sometimes came at a great cost. 

But eventually, I began to figure things out. One thing that I feel is the most important is the ability to be flexible. To change as things around us change. They do, you know. Whatever works for us one year or season comes with no set guarantee that it would be successful the next. That is because the world is also changing every single day. If I learned anything, it is that the quicker I allow myself to adapt to these changes, the more successful I will be. It keeps me on my toes and always in search of new ideas and products to offer our customers. It makes what I do exciting and fun and doesn't allow for me to become stagnant. To me, it is part of the joy. 

With that said, I noticed that lately, our little business has taken on a somewhat different look. We are still offering scroll sawing and woodworking patterns (as a matter of fact, Keith has recently created some of his best designs to date!) but I have noticed that the painting and wood surface production portion has been taking up more and more of my own time.  It seems that my wood surfaces are catching on with decorative painters and I am just thrilled about that. It makes things rather fun. 

This doesn't mean that I am not designing anymore. It only means that I am not able to focus solely on designing and need to allow myself time for production work. Since I really enjoy working in my shop, I think that is a good thing. It is nice that others appreciate the time and care I put into cutting the wood pieces I offer and I am happy to be able to do so. I remember back to when I began painting and finding good sources for wood was difficult. That was in part what introduced me to scroll sawing in the first place. So for most of my creative life, woodworking and painting have gone hand in hand. I am glad to see it continuing in that manner. 

Not only does it allow me the chance to work directly with customers, but I have been able to get to know some of my favorite designers and meet new and upcoming designers in the craft industry. I like this personal contact with people and to me, it makes the end products so much more meaningful. It is a wonderful way to do business. I have really been enjoying myself lately. 

I suppose the downside of that (if any) is that it will limit my own design time. But I think that as I settle into this new role in my company, I will be doing a bit better on that part. I have always been a believer of "quality over quantity" and I would rather put out fewer designs that are of a higher quality than more that are not. I believe that with a little dedication and some good time management, I will be able to make it work. In the meantime, Keith is always coming up with some of the nicest scroll saw designs on the market. I feel so fortunate to have such a talented partner. Without him, I am sure our business wouldn't be in the place it is. I am so grateful. 

As always, I have several new ideas in the works. I have ideas in both the painting area and I am working on some new woodworking and scroll saw designs as well. I hope to be able to offer them soon and I will certainly keep blogging here when I have some new things to show you. 

I mention this all because the frequency of my blogs may decline a bit while I get things settled into this role. For over six years now I had blogged nearly every day. But lately, I have found that it didn't seem appropriate to do so. If I spend a day working in the shop cutting out pieces, I don't feel that is of much interest to you, my readers. I used to show piles of wood pieces from time to time so you would all see what I was up to, but I feel that lately, one pile looks much like the next as far as blogging is concerned and I once again feel that I want my posts here to be "quality over quantity" and post only when I have something that I feel will truly interest you to talk about. I think you all will agree. 

So things may be a bit spotty while I am settling in, but I hope when I do post, you all feel that the posts I offer are helpful and inspiring. I never want that to change. 

I spent the last week doing lots in my shop. I had an unusually large amount of wood orders and instead of my usual one to two days per week up there, I spent probably five. The quantity of work that I accomplished was good though and it gave me a good sense of satisfaction. I was even able to get ahead a bit and cut some pieces to have in stock. That is pretty cool. 

Keith was busy designing, as usual, and I have a couple of new things that will interest my scrolling readers. First off, he made this new plaque:

His SLDK706 Simplify Your Life plaque is a beautiful addition to Keith's word art plaques. I think it will be something that many of you will enjoy, as we all need to take some time to take a breath and enjoy just 'living.'

Keith also created a great new offer for our customers:

This SPECIAL OFFER allows our customers to get all 20 of his Self-Framing, Leaf-Bordered wildlife patterns at half price. We hope that those of you who are looking to collect this handsome set of patterns will take advantage of it. It is a great opportunity to have the entire collection. 

Today I am going to be writing a newsletter and we will be updating a few things on the site. I am also finishing up my new scroll saw pattern and I need to take the photos and finish writing out the pattern for it. I think it will be something that scrollers of any level can enjoy creating and will have lots of uses. 

I appreciate you all who keep following us through our newsletters and my blog here. I realize that I have been spending a bit less time here and on social media than previously. However, as our business demands more of my time, I have had to adjust my schedule and do what is necessary to keep the business healthy and growing. I still enjoy hearing from you and seeing your projects. So many of you who began as customers or readers have become dear and valued friends. 

I hope you keep coming back to read as well as commenting and sharing my posts. My goal of sharing creativity has not changed and if anything, has strengthened over these past years. Without you all, I wouldn't be able to achieve it. Thank you so much. 

I wish you all a wonderful Monday! Have fun today and do something that makes your heart happy! 

-- 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 bushmaster's profile


3764 posts in 2883 days

#1 posted 02-14-2017 03:47 AM

Love the animal patterns, I am not a full time scroller or they would be first on my list… I have been using the scroll saw to cut animal puzzles for my grand daughter. You certainly have made great determined choices in your business, one has to do that to make a success. It is not easy in the wood field, in the world wide market,, But there will always be a place for the true craftsman or should I say craftswomen. You fit the bill with your energy and fountain of ideas.
My next project I will post I will work with color, but not in the way you do. there also will be an adventure video. Hope you are not in the dak, see there is a wild storm out your way. Been warm here the last few days and not mucch snow now.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3520 days

#2 posted 02-15-2017 01:00 PM

We had a couple of cold and windy (and SNOWY!) days, but things are calm and beautiful today. I was up in the shop filling orders most of the time while I had the chance. We are supposed to get hit later on today with another round of wind and snow. But we are prepared. :)

I did a simple train that I am posting in today’s blog that has simple painting on it. I think it is nice for some customers that don’t like shading, etc. with paint. I love the DecoArt Multi-surface Satin line of paint for this and children’s toys. It has a finish built in and it dries to a beautiful, bright and durable finish. Give it a go if you see some. :)

Have a great day. Sorry for the delay in responding. I don’t always get notices when someone does.

Take care, 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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