My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #381: Taking My Time and Enjoying the Creation Process

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-25-2011 12:58 PM 4218 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 380: Progress Part 381 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 382: Meet Fiona - The Halloween Witch (Pretty Scary!) »

I love to build things and play. From the time I was small, some of my favorite things were building sets and play sets. When I was young and we lived with my grand parents, they had this farm set that was really cool. The barn was metal and it had a green metal tractor with chipped paint that pulled a little plastic wagon. The plastic fence kind of hooked together but it never wanted to stand on the carpet, which was frustrating. There were these little flat strips of plastic material with holes in them which served as the planting ground and you would stick the plastic “crops” into them to make them grow. On the end of the barn, was a plastic pulley and a plastic hook held on by a string and you could hook things to it and pull them up to the top level of the barn.

It was simple and basic, but I know I spent hours and hours farming. Now days the metal barn would be banned probably. The sharp corners would be considered a hazard. The pieces were small too and probably wouldn’t be acceptable. But it was a lot of fun and ran on imagination and it is one of my favorite toys.

When my kids were growing up, I loved to play with them too. What a cool job it was being a parent and playing. Of course, there were the many responsibilities that go with parenting, but the rewards were pretty good. When I had my son, we decided I would be a ‘stay at home mom’. I didn’t see the point of having children if we weren’t there to raise them. This meant many sacrifices financially for us, as it was hard even then to survive on one paycheck, but we never once regretted doing things that way.

As my son grew up, I began making crafts to make a little extra money while he was napping or playing with his friends. It was fun to be creative and make cute things and decorations to sell. A group of nurses at the local hospital saw one of the items I made and soon they were calling asking what else I had. I never advertised back then, and just by word of mouth I was kept so busy that I could barely keep up with the orders for stuff. I made teddy bears and all kinds of holiday decorations and eventually it brought me to scroll sawing and wood working.

And here I am now.

I still enjoy making fun and cute things. There is something cool about actually building something that fits together properly and looks nice too. I think decorations and celebrating the different seasons help enhance our lives and make them more pleasant. It is wonderful to go somewhere that is decorated for the season. These items bring happiness and joy it seems wherever we see them. It is such a pleasure to see something so simple put a smile on someone’s face.

As for myself, I don’t really ‘collect’ a lot of different things. Those of you who read regularly know that I live in a small place and don’t have much room for collections. I do, however, have a few prized pieces that trigger good feelings and memories of people and events that I wouldn’t part with for anything. I like that when we see something from the past, we often associate it with the good memories of days past. It is our own way of holding on to those good feelings and reliving those moments in our hearts.

Lately I have been building some kind of cool replica toys. I don’t know what really triggered me to do this, as I have never owned any similar items in my past. I suppose I liked the thought of them, as they represent what we perceive as a simpler time (although each era had its own turmoil for sure). We look upon these items and reminisce and day dream about a time and a place long ago and it seems we somehow find comfort in those thoughts. I do anyway.

I like to imagine the times and places when things were so different. I see a piece of art or ironwork or even a glass door knob and it can bring me back to another place in time. It is fun to imagine things as they were and it is like going on a mini-adventure.

My latest design that I have been working on is another little pull toy. This one is Halloween themed as I mentioned, and almost finished. I was going to show more pictures here today, but I still need to finish it up and I kind of don’t want to spoil the surprise of it.

It has taken a bit longer than I expected it so, but not in a bad way at all. I had drawn up and cut out the wheels, and then yesterday decided that I didn’t like them at all so I started over on them and redid them. I am happier with the new ones and glad for the decision. So it was a good delay.

I have also been figuring out several of the elements to make things go together easier, as well as the little details on it. Again – this is something that I don’t regret spending the time on, as the results are more within my vision of what I want the piece to be like.

There are still a few more things that I will be ironing out today, but I am slowly seeing things come together and I am happy that I am taking the time and enjoying my journey.

Working as a designer for a living usually means that I need to rush to meet deadline after deadline. That is OK some of the time, but there are other times like these when I need to slow down and really take the time to be artistic and create.

In rebuilding my business these past few years, it was quite imperative that I build up an arsenal of patterns and designs so that my customers have choices. I will admit to you that I don’t always like every design I do (I’ll never tell which ones!) and that I only created some of them because they were requested or in demand and they were part of the ‘job’. That didn’t happen too often, but it did happen.

Now, however, I feel that I am in the position where I can be a bit more choosy as to what I do. I think that there is a difference that can be seen in the things that I create from my heart. Maybe that is only evident to me, as it is my own feelings that I am assessing. But I like these designs better, and I am more proud of them even if they are simpler than the others or not as popular.

I was never one to run with the masses anyway. :)

So I will be finishing up this project today, and I am looking forward to showing it to you by tomorrow. It may be a little slower than my normal pace, but I am thoroughly enjoying the process of creating it. And that is what counts.

Have a wonderfully creative day!

-- 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 huntter2022's profile


275 posts in 3154 days

#1 posted 06-25-2011 06:58 PM

I remember them little farm sets when I was a kid . I can remember having it took away for awhile because my parents stepped on one of them little piece ouchhhhhh !
Come on Shelia ; you know your trying to relive your past , and you always wanted a pull toy but never had one so now you are making your own .
keep up the good work Shelia

-- David ; "BE SAFE BE HAPPY" Brockport , NY

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3459 days

#2 posted 06-25-2011 07:18 PM

Yes, those little pieces were killers! I like pull toys! I remember having a wooden bee with plastic wings that turned when you pulled it.

I found one here:

Toys certainly are fun to make – not to mention the smiles they bring to children and adults too! :)


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

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