My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1333: A Perfect World - Panel 9

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-09-2014 11:14 AM 1950 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1332: Creative Overload Part 1333 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1334: Painting With Friends »

After an unprecedented three days off of blogging, I am back. I say "unprecedented" because in the four plus years since I began writing, I don't think that I ever skipped three days in a row while I was still home here and not on the road or away. Writing has become a morning ritual for me – as many of you know – and while it felt rather 'strange' not communicating with you all each morning, I believe it was a much needed break from my regular routine and something I felt necessary – at least for a couple of days. 

I don't pretend to completely understand the need for this (short) sabbatical. I only know that I was finding it difficult to express my thoughts, as the state of the world was beginning to get to me. I think I needed some time away to take a breath and regroup and take any and all pressure off myself that I could. I think it did some good.

I always try to come here in the morning and plan my day on a good note. I like to focus on the positive things that are in my life and hopefully share that positive outlook with you, my readers. Many of you write me and tell me that you look forward to my posts each day, and they help to lift you up on the days when you may not be feeling so optimistic. I like hearing that, and I feel that if I can make even one person smile or feel inspired through my writing here, it is worth it. I think that probably the biggest part of being a creative person is hoping that we bring some joy and happiness to others through our creations. And to ourselves as well. I often find myself engrossed in my own world, filled with beauty, art and other positive and creative people. No wonder I am so happy most of the time. 

But no matter how comfortable and happy we make our own world seem, it is sometimes difficult to filter out the real world and it's issues. Our compassion and concern for those around us doesn't allow the hardships of others to be ignored and the feelings of empathy and sadness for our friends, family and fellow beings take hold on our souls. It can be positively debilitating.

I think the worst part is seeing those around us suffer and feel completely helpless. It doesn't have to be someone we even know. With the wide reach of information and media that floods our senses each day, it is sometimes difficult to avoid hearing story after story of hardship and despair. As a result, even the most optimistic among us can get 'down' from time to time. I am no different. I was feeling very overwhelmed by the world in general and as if life itself was beginning to spin out of control. I needed to stop, take a breath and regroup so that I would be able to better cope with the things around me. Whether I would be able to control them or not was inconsequential. I needed to take a step back and figure out what was in my power to change and what could not, and I needed to let go of the latter. This didn't mean that I no longer cared, but it meant that my own energies would be spent in a better way. Hopefully to improve the things that I did have the power to change, instead of worrying about things which I had no control. 

So instead of coming here and writing about the sad or negative feelings that I was experiencing, I decided to take a break. After all – I am from the school of thought where "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" was taught, and I may not always be perfect in that regard, but I do try my best to keep my words and outlook positive. For I truly do believe that we follow where we focus, and by just thinking positively and focusing on positive things, we make our own lives happier and bring happiness to others. 

My time away was not spent idle. Besides thinking about things and sorting through the thoughts in my mind, I actually accomplished a great deal. I sorted through all of my clothing and completed the transition from winter clothes to summer clothes. I continued to organize and re-organize some of my drawers, closets and supplies, and I began moving things down to the new storage area  granted to me by my landlord. That alone empowered me, as I always feel so much better when things are neat and tidy. I was changing the things that I could, and making myself happier and a bit more comfortable, and that was the first step to healing.

I worked on my embroidery as well. The other day, I finished my ninth panel from my "A Perfect World" embroidery sampler. This was the mid-point of the project, so in my own mind it was quite a milestone for me. I had initially given myself until the New Year to complete the sampler (January, 2015) but at the rate I am going, I may be done by early autumn. I am thoroughly enjoying this process, and while I do make mistakes from time to time, I am learning so much from it and I am planning on the ways I will apply my knowledge in future projects. I already have ideas for designing my own. But that will come in time.  

For now, I will show you my finished panel.  It consists of the Leucadendron Xanthoconus, with it's beautiful clusters of French knots for the centers:

Then the Leucadendron Sheilae (a flower that shares my name!)  I love the beautiful and flowing petals of this one. I am learning to leave my stitches loose enough and 'coax' them into position:


And finally, the beautiful centerpiece of this panel – the Leucadendron Eucalyptifolium – with its lovely conal center:

I think this is my favorite panel yet. (Yes! I say that with every panel I complete!) 

The overall look of the three Leucadendron species is pretty impressive:

I think it makes a wonderful centerpiece for this sampler.  I have already began the next panel, but I will save the pictures of that until it is completed. Panel 9 was very complex and took a long while to complete, and Panel 10 seems as if it will be done much quicker. Little by little the sampler is coming together. I wasn't sure how much I would like it, but I am pretty encouraged with it so far. And I can't deny that I am learning a great deal. It is like taking a master's course in embroidery. I will continue to post the panels as I complete them. 

Throughout the weekend, I also finished up my writing for my three projects that will be in the holiday issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine. Getting that behind me really took a load off of my mind, and it allowed me to take a breath and move on to the next project. I decided to work on a painting project for the "Painting With Friends" group, as I always find the Terrye French drawings to be fun and uplifting. The design I am assigned is called "Summertime Tea" and I decided to make it into a welcome banner. Here is where I am at with it so far:

It is fun and relaxing and I have some cute little 'surprises' to add to it. It is just the kind of project that I need to get back into a good place. Following this, I will be working on some new scroll saw projects as well. Again I feel the creative juices flowing. 

I missed 'talking' to all of you these past days, but I felt that the time I spent away was both functional and necessary. Many times I am asked how I keep from burning out, as I always seem to be moving full steam ahead in many creative directions. I feel that it is important to remember to take time for yourself on a regular basis and just do what YOU want to do for a day or so. Or do nothing at all. You will be amazed at how much you can accomplish by doing seemingly nothing. Resting your soul and mind will pay off many times over. 

It's Monday again, and summer is almost here. I hope you are all in the swing of things and enjoying the beauty around you – whatever it is. 

I wish you a peaceful, creative and happy day. 

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

8 comments so far

View Rick13403's profile


271 posts in 4561 days

#1 posted 06-09-2014 12:21 PM

Welcome back Sheila. Missed having my coffee with you in the mornings.

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 & Ex21 -

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3976 days

#2 posted 06-09-2014 12:24 PM

Thanks, Rick! I missed visiting with you all as well. But I needed some time to gather my thoughts. I am sure you understand. :)

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a great week ahead!


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

View Celticscroller's profile


1286 posts in 3129 days

#3 posted 06-09-2014 04:32 PM

Good morning Sheila! Good to have you back. Everyone needs time to regroup and do some things for themselves to recharge the batteries. I love the embroidery! You’ve done a beautiful job on it and the “Summertime Tea” banner looks very fresh and summery! I look forward to seeing the finishing touches.
Beautiful sunny day here though a bit windy.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4092 days

#4 posted 06-09-2014 08:02 PM

Nice to see you back, Sheila. I kind of know what you mean by a sabbatical, no woodworking for me for the next few weeks. Also good to sort things out and come back fresh. Well thats what I’m hoping anyway.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3976 days

#5 posted 06-10-2014 10:41 AM

Hi, Anna – I am happy you like the banner. I really like doing this kind of painting sometimes, as it is fun and colorful and stress-free.

Speaking of stress . . .

Martyn – I hope you have a smooth move. I find moving ‘overwhelming’ and I find myself full of anxiety when presented with the issue. I love your new place though and I hope you two are very happy there. It will give you a chance to weed things out and reorganize everything. You will feel so much better when you are settled. :)


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

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3860 days

#6 posted 06-11-2014 01:45 PM

I appreciate your daily thoughts. I only wish the world had outlooks like yourself, and others that are up-beat, productive, and positive. One day at a time, and steadily forward is the way to go.

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

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3630 posts in 4769 days

#7 posted 06-14-2014 05:08 AM


I finally got this blog page to open all the photographs . . . and what an incredible treat again! I love looking at your embroidery. It would be very difficult to choose a favorite panel. They are all outstanding.

A Bible verse which is always helpful when we get bogged down with the negative things of life or sins that overwhelm us is found in Philippians 4:8. We set it to music to teach the children when we used to do an after-school Bible club. ”Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” NIV

-- “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 3976 days

#8 posted 06-14-2014 12:53 PM

Thank you both Roger and LW. :)

I am glad you like the panel, LW. And the phrase you posted was very profound. I also think that focusing on positive things really helps us feel better about things. There are many positive things in our world, we only need to concentrate on them a bit more sometimes. It seems that the negative things are crammed down our throats all the time can get to us. There is so much negativity in the press. I don’t think we would be human if it didn’t get to us sometimes. But focusing on positive and doing positive things I think helps us get into a better place. :)

Have a great weekend!


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

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