My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1155: An Early Start

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 11-04-2013 10:19 AM 1657 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1154: We're Back! Part 1155 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1156: A Wonderfully Full Day of Inspiration »

This morning I awoke before 5 am. When I saw what time it was on the clock, I almost turned around and went back to sleep. But I didn’t really feel tired anymore and I wanted to get started with my day so I stayed up and got busy with some things.

I typically sleep until about six. To me, that is an ideal time to get up. It gives me time to read through my mail and scan the NY Times and gather my thoughts before the rest of the world wakes up and things get busy and cluttered. I feel that it is my edge.

It feels good to be getting back into a routine. The past month or so have been so out of kilter for us. Even though most of it was for a good reason, it still was a bit unsettling to be so much out of my comfort zone. While visiting in Chicago and New York, we were at least an hour or two off on our time due to crossing over two time zones. One morning I slept until almost nine, which meant that was 11 am here in Nova Scotia and I couldn’t believe it. It is rare that I sleep past seven when I am here at home. Understandably, I must have been pretty tired to do that, and I tried to just allow my body to dictate things rather than force myself otherwise. This appeared to have worked for me though, as it has not been too difficult to fall back into a routine.

I am certain that yesterday’s time change has helped as well. I looked at it as gaining an extra hour, even though I know that technically that is probably wrong. However, it felt good to have that 25 hour day and I feel that I accomplished a great deal more just because of my positive mindset of having an additional hour to get things done.

Funny how our thoughts can dictate our mood. It seems that the days that I forget to have a positive attitude are the days that I struggle most with. If I have the awareness to realize that I am struggling however, I am usually able to talk myself into looking at things in a positive light and things do tend to go easier. It is a trick I have learned to master and a game that I often play with myself when things get too busy or overwhelming.

Whatever works.

I spent yesterday writing instructions for the last two projects that I created for the magazine. I also had to do some paperwork to catch up on. Completing the tasks were lofty goals for one single day, but I am happy to say that by late afternoon I had accomplished them and I spent the rest of the evening taking a breath. I even made a batch of cookies.

While in Chicago, I was finally able to go through the last of my stuff that I had stored there from when I moved here to Canada nine years ago. I finally got to the bottom of the pile, and while I will keep a couple of boxes at my daughter’s house, the rest of it has either come back with me, found a home elsewhere, or discarded. I can’t tell you how good that felt!

Again the mindset had come into play. I found myself being able to let go of things that I couldn’t imagine doing so only two years ago. Perhaps it is because I feel nice and settled in my life. I just didn’t feel the need to have so many ‘things’ as I did before.

I like that. I like simplifying my life. I think the older I get, the less “stuff” I need to make me happy. As I get older, I find myself figuring out that things aren’t the key to happiness. What is important to me is living a life of peace and contentment and being productive and creative. And of course to be healthy. I have all of that so I have little desire for more. I know I am one of the lucky ones.

We are heading back to the gym today. We have been absent from it for just over a month now. I don’t like being one of those people who mentions every time we go to the gym, but for the past 2 years we have tried to go at least three times a week. I only bring it up now because after being away for so long, I notice that my body feels older. Not just normal tired, but out-of-shape tired. I think with what Keith and I do for our jobs (which is mostly sedentary) it is important that we take care of our bodies as well as our minds.

We began walking again as well. I am sorry to say that over the summer we got out of the habit of taking our walks. We used to walk on the days when we don’t go to the gym, so we were doing something physical every day. But our worlds got busy and life took over and we also let that part of our routine slip out of our hands. Both of us feel it, and it is time to get back to it. Not only did it do a great deal for us physically, but also for our peace of mind. Some of our best ‘business meetings’ were accomplished during our walks.

I have a lot I want to do today. I have many ideas for designs and plans for our business. We had a wonderful break from our routine and I am ready to buckle down and accomplish. It feels good to be so excited about things.

This time off did me well I think. It was just the thing I needed prior to the long winter months when I will be somewhat house bound. I look forward to the luxury of working from home here this winter and using my new saw and creating my new woodworking and painting patterns and having a great time doing so.

In the mean time, I will enjoy the beauty that is all around me. This is my favorite time of year and I am happy that I was able to take a breath and enjoy it.

Life is good. I can’t wait to get started.

Have a wonderful Monday!

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

9 comments so far

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 4003 days

#1 posted 11-04-2013 11:57 AM

Hi Sheila,
It seems you are back in time on your routine. The best way to start, look into the pending ones and arrange them according to priority and time it require. I just hope for the best. Sometimes it is very tempting to answer new ones than going back to the past ones. Why not do what you can do best… Have a nice day and enjoy what you came back for… tranquillity, peaceful, and a nice falling changing color leaves.

-- Bert

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3885 days

#2 posted 11-04-2013 12:26 PM

Life is good. One step at a time, Sheila

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View CFrye's profile


11249 posts in 2921 days

#3 posted 11-04-2013 01:37 PM

Traveling through different time zones can be very hard on your mind and body. It’s something a lot of folks try to just bull their way through. Glad you listened to the signals you were getting Sheila. Fall is here in Oklahoma. Love the scattered maple trees among the oaks, and the brilliant scarlet of the sumac that seems to be everywhere. Have a great week Sheila! Pretty kitty pic!

-- God bless, Candy

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 4001 days

#4 posted 11-04-2013 02:46 PM

Hi, to you all! It sure is good to be back. I really missed talking to you all in the mornings, as it puts me on a nice track. Our colors are done here in Nova Scotia, Candy, and all the trees are bare. But we did get to see the brilliant colors of New England as we drove through. It was incredible and a wonderful treat for the eyes.

Have an awesome day! :)


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

View Bluepine38's profile


3393 posts in 4166 days

#5 posted 11-04-2013 02:54 PM

Good to see you back and working in your own space again. Thank you once again for sharing your thoughts
and those wonderful pictures, missed your morning visits.

-- As ever, Gus-the 82 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Celticscroller's profile


1286 posts in 3154 days

#6 posted 11-04-2013 08:36 PM

Hi Sheila, the one thing I missed when we were in Nova Scotia in the summer was doing creative work. The break was really good though and a breathe of fresh air (and we got to meet you and Keith :)) but getting back to our routine was much appreciated. I think the trip made me appreciate my life here even more.
Have a great day. Sunny and cool here – a beautiful Fall day.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 4001 days

#7 posted 11-04-2013 08:39 PM

Yes, there are two sides to taking time away. I was thrilled to see everyone, but oh so happy to be home here. Today I am beginning my next patterns and feel nice and refreshed. The weather here is similar to yours. A glorious and sunny day. Our trees are bare now, but it is still beautiful. You have a great day as well! :)

(And “hi” to you Gus! I didn’t see your comment until now! I missed visiting with you all as well!) :)


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

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3647 posts in 4793 days

#8 posted 11-05-2013 05:29 AM


That two weeks certainly passed quickly. You’re really good with getting back into the swing of things. When I change routine for even a short time, it seems to take forever to get back into it. Actually, I haven’t gotten back into my shop routine since my husband’s second heart attack toward the end of August. With his nearly bleeding to death from the blood thinner 4 weeks later, I’m not sure when I’ll get back into any kind of routine. And next week I will spend with my folks since Mom just had knee replacement surgery (she’ll be 95 in December) and Dad still hasn’t learned to cook at 96! Some day soon I hope to grow up and be just like you—all organized and ambitious . . . and it wouldn’t hurt to be talented like you, too!

Nice to have your back.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 4001 days

#9 posted 11-05-2013 10:39 AM

Well those are some huge life-affecting things, L/W. I don’t know how you would expect to have a routine with what is on your plate. I have a great deal of admiration for you.

The end of this summer was tough. Keith’s dad was in the hospital for much of the time and even when he came home, he had a very difficult time before he passed away in mid-September. As you are doing, we banded together as a family and helped his mom (and dad) through the roughest days. I didn’t mention it much in my blog here because his mom is a pretty private person and I want to respect that.

There were many days when I had to look hard for something positive to write about. While I share my thoughts here every day, there are times when I just don’t feel the need to share things because they are either too painful or I am having trouble dealing with them myself. On those days, I focused on my work and my customers and if I looked hard enough, it seemed that I could always find something positive and inspiring to discuss here. It was a good thing for me and helped me re-focus my own feelings and got me through some very difficult and painful times.

It is funny in a way because I think I have built up a reputation of being a positive person. Generally I am, but when people tell me how my positive outlook every day inspires them, it makes me try harder to live up to those expectations. In that way, it makes me even more positive, even on the days when I am not. I think it is good for me and it just goes to show how much that you and other readers give back to me.

I hope that things settle down in your life and you are able to find some joy in getting back to your shop again. Sometimes even small doses of self-indulgence is enough to keep you going. Remember to take care of yourself first. If you don’t, it will be very difficult to take care of the others around you. Many care takers forget that and some wind up falling ill themselves because of it.

I wish you all my best and thank you for your kind words. Keep in touch and hang in there. :)


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

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