My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #553: Calm

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 12-15-2011 01:52 PM 1571 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 552: Holiday Spirit Part 553 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 554: Researching Where To Sell Your Items »

I have to be honest with you all, lately it has been a little difficult to write here every morning. I have been working on several different ‘secret’ things and I can’t really share them here. Last year, I painted my partner’s mom a box that she could keep her needlework supplies in and I was able to show the progress here, but since then, she has gotten a laptop and I know there are days when she does read my blog. Many of my other friends and family also check in now and then so I don’t want to risk showing what I am up to if it is to be a surprise. So we have to talk about other things.

The days are passing quickly and I am busier than ever. I was able to finish getting all the packages and holiday cards in the mail earlier this week, and with seeing my friends at our luncheon on Tuesday, I was able to deliver some ornaments and holiday greetings in person.

Our gathering was wonderful, but went by much too quickly. Seeing everyone together after almost three years was certainly a treat and the table was filled with several lively conversations at once – just like the painting sessions used to be. It seems to me however that everyone has gone into different directions and life has taken over. For myself, I know it isn’t practical for me to make the hour long trip to go paint every Tuesday – especially in the cold weather. With my car being parked until spring, I can’t expect Keith to drive me there every week and wait the day to take me home again. It just wouldn’t work.

I toy with the idea of getting a second vehicle for winter, but I usually am able to talk myself out of it fairly quickly. The cost of registration, insurance and upkeep for something that I only would use a couple of times a year really isn’t a good way for me to spend money. For the very few times I would use it, the cost would be much too high. When I think of the times when I need a vehicle in the winter, I can’t really justify the cost of getting another one. Besides, there are things I can do here and I never seem to have enough time to finish them anyway.

I am torn between moving ahead and designing for the next seasons and taking the time to enjoy the season that I am in. So often as a designer I am so out of sync with real time. I am making Santa Clauses and Christmas items in the sweltering heat of summer and honeybees on the frosty cold days of winter. By the time the actual season or holiday arrives, it is sometimes anti-climatic and somewhat of an afterthought.

I really don’t want that to happen this year. Although I am not fully in the clear, I am on the best footing in regards to my company than I have been in a long time and feel like I want to kind of relax and enjoy that a bit. But I don’t want to relax too much. Resting on my accomplishments isn’t a role that I enjoy playing. Besides, my head is still exploding with ideas and there is so much that is ahead of me that I still want and need to do. But will a week or so of ‘coasting’ really hurt things in the big picture?

The web site has slowed down a bit, which is expected about now. Because we provide patterns for people to make their gifts, our season tends to peak sometime in the beginning of December. Overall, the year was incredible, despite the economy and our trip to the States. Between the preparation time for a couple of months prior to leaving for the trip and the time gone, as well as getting back into the swing of things when we returned, we figure that the trip took us out of the production mode for at least a couple of months. That’s a lot for someone like me who is pretty much the entire business. I am kind of looking forward to seeing how we will do next year when our efforts can remain focused for the entire year. I am excited about it.

I decided that I am going to work on Ellen’s fence pieces today and spend the day painting. I really want to reach the goal of having them done by the time we see them at Christmas. Although they are Christmas pieces and won’t be used until next year, it is the best I could do for them. I think they are going to take a couple of full days to finish up and I will document my progress here over the next couple of days.

I am satisfied with how things are going. I have heard a lot of good feedback from my customers on both what we already produced for them and also what they would like to see us do in the future. And I know that some of the ideas that I have rattling around in my head are going to be good. Not all – but some. So while I sit here and paint, I will be multi-tasking by thinking about and planning for the year ahead. I am good at doing that.

Sometimes it is a good thing to slow things down a little. While part of me just wants to jump in and begin working on the new ideas that I have, there is another part of me that wants to allow the waves in the pool to settle so that I can clearly see what is ahead and which direction I need to go. Stopping for a minute and gathering my thoughts is something I feel far more beneficial than being overwhelmed by thinking in too many directions at once. The right path will eventually show itself. But only if I permit it to do so.

“We rest here while we can, but we hear the ocean calling in our dreams,
And we know by the morning, the wind will fill our sails to test the seams.
The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore.
For ships are safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
~ Song “Ships” by Tom Kimmel and Michael Lille

I wish you all a wonderful day.

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

5 comments so far

View stevebuk's profile


57 posts in 3165 days

#1 posted 12-16-2011 12:21 AM

time to kick back and take stock, lovely serene tranquil setting there sheila, enjoy your down time, you deserve it..

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3596 days

#2 posted 12-16-2011 02:24 AM

ha ha hiding the treasurres to be revealed in the end of December is something all have to be stressed over
since everyone and everybody getting a very long nose they have stick into every little corner and box they can find and if they find some mull that is freshly shoveled you can bett they will dig into that too with the
same shovel ..nothing to do about it except geting three safecloset inside each other with a tripplecode
on all the saftydoors that only can be opened the 24/12 …... LOL

if you ever spend the money on other wheels then consider a 4×4 wheel truck to houl all the goodies
in the back …... naaa better think of how to get a cossy little woodworking shed to work in and to have
all your wood and maschinery in so when you close the door for the day you know its resting time :-)

take care

View HamS's profile


1837 posts in 2870 days

#3 posted 12-16-2011 03:07 AM


I enjoy your blog and reading about your state of mind. I envy you your cats. I had a lovely cat that would come and sit in the shop with me and then sit on my lap when it was easy chair time. Alas fifteen year old cats develop health problems and we had to put him down this fall. I am not ready to go through that again, but there are two cats that seem to find the rodent population in my barn a tasty addition to their diet. I don’t think these cats are feral, they are simply too fat, but they are skittish and always hide when I go out to the shop. In time, they may join me in the shop, time will tell.

Thanks for the insights into your life.


-- Haming it up in the 'bash.

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3369 days

#4 posted 12-16-2011 11:13 AM

Hi Sheila.

Here’s a suggestion to help keep you in the spirit of the holiday while working…

Do some Christmas projects for next year’s issue of the magazine. I know they often send “themes” to work towards for the issues a few months ahead so you can’t do the whole thing ahead of that, but a few small “filler” items might be useful and be something you could do this far in advance. This gives you double benefits: helping your mood during the season and lessening the workload next year.


-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3401 days

#5 posted 12-16-2011 02:09 PM

Thanks for the comments guys! I am sorry I didn’t get back to you here sooner. :)

I am enjoying picking around, Steve. I do think I need this, although I don’t think I could ever be idle. It is just working in a different direction I think. Something that isn’t for pay. We all need that once in a while. It is a shame I feel guilty about it so much! :)

Dennis – I was a devil when I was young. My sister and I were masters at gently picking the tape off the end of our packages and carefully sliding them out to see what they were before Christmas. Then we would slide them back in and re tape them and no one was the wiser. (My mom worked so we had the house to ourselves after school until dinner!) What brats we were! When I wrapped my kids packages, I usually stored them at my friend Cari’s house down the street. That way they were safe ;)

Ham – I always say that if I died and came back an animal, I would want to be one of my cats. They are spoiled rotten. But who cares? They give me so much back and add so much fun to my life. Who says I can’t show my appreciation to them. Most of the time they come when I call them even when I don’t have food! (That’s good by cat standards!) Kindness costs nothing!

And Paul – I often think about doing things a full year ahead. I don’t know if I am that patient though. Maybe so in part. I am already thinking of fall and Halloween stuff for next year and may be doing that soon. Yes, my life is in a time warp, but on the good side, every day is a holiday! What can be better?

Have a great one everyone! :)


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

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