Wednesday, August 30, 2017

My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1853: New Project for Toletown for September

In keeping with my promise to myself and you all to try to do better with blogging regularly, I decided to post some pictures of a project that I am working on for the Toletown painting community for September. 



For those of you who are unfamiliar with Toletown (http://www.toletown.com) it is an online painting group that is a fun place to learn about and share our love of painting. I have been aware of them for well over ten years and have been a member for as long as I can remember. a few years ago, Lorrie (I’ll call her the Mayor of Toletown) asked me if I would like the join her ‘Design Team’ of artists who create projects for the website. I gladly accepted.  



As a member of the design team, I create two “full projects” per year, which means they include video lesson(s) and what Lorrie calls a “quick paint” which doesn’t require videos. Those who know me though know that my quick paint projects are also usually full patterns – complete with lots of step-by-step colors photos and instructions. I don’t know how to teach any other way.  I am in the company of some wonderfully fabulous designers, and as a member of Toletown, each month the members receive two new full patterns with access to the accompanying videos, a quick paint, a line work “challenge” piece to play with from Lorrie, and access to the archives of classes, patterns, etc. that Toletown has to offer. It is a great value for painters both financially as well as in regards to the wealth of information/patterns/lessons it has to offer. You can join month to month or yearly, and there are always some fun specials and events that are offered. I hope you check it out.



I love designing for Toletown because it kind of forces me to create and shoot a video now and then. While I have lots of good intentions about doing so, I rarely find the time to really sit down and get it done. This gives me a 'reason’ to pull out the camera and teach on video. It is funny – I actually like doing things that way and teaching through videos. I always say I need to do it more often. But as usual, time isn’t always my friend and as per tradition, I have more ideas than time allows. This helps me make it a priority.



I also like to choose a project with somewhat of a 'different’ technique that isn’t common to tole painting. With all the new products out there – especially from DecoArt – I look at it as a wonderful opportunity not only to educate others on them but to learn something new myself. After all, I want things to be a bit more exciting than the typical “base coat, float shade, highlight, detail” sequence that is the core of many painted projects. I usually try to throw in at least a little something 'different’ so that the projects are truly a learning experience. It makes it fun and exciting. 



With exploring new avenues and techniques also comes failures. That is just the nature of the beast, I believe. I am a firm believer in that nothing teaches better than experience and sometimes things don’t always work out as we planned. 



I try to be genuine in my posts here, and that sometimes includes showing my botched attempts. While some of you think that every time I do something it is successful, we both know that if I allowed you to believe that, I would be lying. I have had my fair share and then some of “mishaps”. The thing is that I have learned to take them in stride and learn from them and try again. This project was a fine example of just that. 



I had a 'vision’ in my head of what I wanted this to look like. The intention of this project (besides looking cool!) was to give a lesson on high-contrast to create drama. I wanted the painting something that was going to make the viewer really 'look’ at it and say, “Wow!” and make a statement. Personally, I love painting 'dark’ things. Creating 'dark’ paintings where certain elements catch your attention would be a nice lesson and challenge for most. I had an idea … 



I had given you all a peek at the background for this project in the last blog post. This only came to be after no less than THREE attempts to achieve the look I wanted. The first time was pretty much a disaster. After trying a technique that I thought would work, it turned into a mucked up mess. I had to head to the sander and begin over again. 



The second attempt was 'closer’ but I still had issues. While the look I was seeking was 'almost’ there, the paint began lifting in places which looked bad:



It was back to the sander again, and after several hours of work, here is where I was with my painting:



But I was undaunted and determined. What I learned from the two previous mistakes was taken into account and I wound up changing my plan of attack completely. (I will talk about the details in the video.) After the first evening of painting, I had my background where I wanted it to be. I was happy. I knew I had a victory under my belt and I was really excited to continue on. 



Here is the finished background, as I showed you last time:



From here on, I knew it would be 'smoooooth sailing!’  The rest of the process was something that I felt good and comfortable doing, and it would be a pleasure to see if I could bring my vision of this project to life. 



I added a CAT:



(I know that may become as no surprise to you, but I really don’t paint THAT many cats – really!)  I also added the moon. I didn’t originally think I wanted a moon. It seemed kind of cliche. But in thinking through the way I wanted to have things laid out, it seemed to naturally go where I put it. Maybe subconsciously it was my intention all along. In any case, it now had a moon. ;) 



From then on it was pretty easy. I based out the pumpkins where I wanted them to be:



… painted in the undertones … 



… and started the shading … 

I had a fabulous evening of enjoying my painting time. By midnight or so, I was pretty much done with this part of the painting:



I am happy. :D



Ah – but it isn’t done yet. There are more surprises to come. I will be doing some things to really make it special and even better – and even throw in a nice little variation as well.



(Did I ever say how much I LOVE my job?) 



I hope you enjoyed seeing this little step-by-step demonstration. I want to show most of all that these things are easy to do. No great skill was required to create this cute painting. Just a little patience and some familiarity with some easy techniques. 



I invite you to stay tuned and stop by to see the finished project in the next post. Better yet – join Toletown and paint it yourself. You will be amazed how fun and easy it is to create! 



Have a wonderful Wednesday! 




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Monday, August 28, 2017

My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1852: Lots of Changes

Try as I may, it just hasn’t been possible for me to write and blog the way I used to. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.  



It is funny, but we work so hard to achieve a level of ‘success’ and sometimes we don’t realize that along with those successes come added responsibility and time. It isn’t as if I didn’t know this. I just perhaps didn’t foresee that the path to succeeding required as much additional time as it does. 



That isn’t a complaint, mind you, but more so an explanation. I am settling on the reality that at this point in my life and business, at best I will be able to post only once or twice a week. I see nothing wrong with that, and I am sure that most of you agree. The past several months have been spotty at best regarding posting though and I have had many,  many notes and letters asking why. I am happy to say that it is because things are going well and the business is evolving. I have always stated that life is like a kaleidoscope – constantly evolving and changing patterns. This is just the next step for me. My days of 'morning musings’ will just have to be limited a bit. While I love posting and I love hearing back from you all, the blogs take on the average about two hours each to prepare the photos, write and post. I just don’t have the luxury of those two hours in the mornings anymore. But both Keith and I truly thank you all for that. If we weren’t growing, it wouldn’t be an issue. 



As usual, things have been crazy/busy lately. It has been a summer that has passed in a blink of an eye it seems and it is surprising to me that the mornings are so crisp and cool already. Autumn is knocking at our door. 



Keith has been working so hard on dividing the website into two complete entities. For my woodworking followers, Sheila Landry Designs (www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) will look pretty much the same:





The only difference is that it will be “cleaner” and easier to navigate. The painting patterns and surfaces have all been removed from that address and placed on the new site for my painting followers. I call that site “Tole Painting Designs” (www.tolepaintingdesigns.com) and when you get there, it will look like this:





This site contains all the painting patterns, surfaces, and embellishments that we have to offer.  It has categories for patterns, general surfaces, other designers’ surfaces, and kits and combos clearly marked so there is no confusion. It was getting to the point where many of the painters would order scroll sawing patterns, thinking they were surfaces that they could paint on. While that would be nice, we were constantly having to explain that in order to cut the pieces, it would require several hours of work, as scrollers know how much time is involved in cutting fretwork. It led to a bit of frustration on all parts and since the painting side of the business has grown so much recently, we felt it was time to do the split. We feel it will make it easier and better for everyone. 



I give Keith a huge amount of credit because he has been the one setting things up and moving things. He strives for perfection and “consistency” throughout the site(s) and with over 1000 products to sort through, classify, move, and link, it has been a monumental task. In seeing the result of the two sites, I am absolutely thrilled and proud of both of them. We ask if you see any errors to please contact us so we can fix them. While we think everything is good and has been running smoothly, there are usually some hidden broken links or little glitches that may need attention. If you don’t tell us, we won’t know. 



For the woodworkers, things will run as usual. I will be copying the blog from one site to the next and posting it in both places. As far as our semi-monthly newsletter, things will be the same. 



I am however asking my PAINTING followers to SUBSCRIBE to the newsletter through the Tole Painting Designs painting site (Newsletter signup). Once you do so, please unsubscribe to the Sheila Landry Designs one. That way if I have specific offers for either the painters or the scrollers, you will only receive the notification that is relevant to you. I believe this will also make things simpler for everyone. Plus, it will give you a chance to see the new site. I am really happy with it. (We are sending a newsletter out today, so if you are on our list, you should be receiving one. It will probably pretty much say what I am saying here but in more detail.) 



In other news, Keith has two new designs for you to enjoy. 



the first one is a custom wedding/anniversary pattern that we think you will like:



His SLDKC04 plaque allows you to make these beautiful plaques with your own names and dates added. This is great for you, your family, or your customers. The instructions are explained on the product page. We think they are beautiful and will be extremely popular as gifts this upcoming holiday season. 



His other new design is a rendition of a common saying that we all can probably relate to:



The SLDK735 - Chocolate is the Answer plaque pattern comes with two versions. With all my 'chocolate-loving’ friends, I think this one will be a big hit! (Dark for me, please!) 



Both patterns are available on the Sheila Landry Designs woodworking site. 



For my painting followers, I have LOTS of new surfaces. (I believe there are actually TEN new ornaments sets and plaques for you to create with!)  Here is a sample of some of the smaller ornaments:





I also 'supersized’ these shapes, as well as some others for larger plaques for you to paint on. Here is an example of just one of the classic shapes:



(This product is SLDPK175 - Large Portrait Oval Beveled Plaque wood kit.)



I purposely made a larger size inner diameter for the plaques in this series (as well as the ornament series) so that you can have a nice area to create in. The beautiful frame lends itself to an endless array of styles and designs, from Gothic to floral or geometric. They will be a joy to paint! I have several designs planned on these surfaces myself, so look forward to seeing them emerging soon. I can’t wait to see what YOU all do with them as well. Please send me photos of your paintings on them! 



All in all, it is a pretty big expansion of things. I hope you all understand why I am not blogging as much and stay in touch with the newsletter. I always love to hear from you, too, and I really try to answer everyone promptly. You are all why we love what we do so much. You make our 'jobs’ personal and we do feel good to know so many of you as friends. 



As a final thought for today, I will show you a quick shot of something that I am working on as a project for Toletown. For those of you who read, you know that I create several designs for Toletown each year. They are a wonderful online community for painters and offer patterns, instructional videos, and friendship. I love working with them and I love contributing to their site. This project will have a video with it to take the painters through certain steps of the painting process. 





It took me three tries to get this background how I wanted it to be. But I stuck with it and I am happy. Just wait until you see what I have in store for it. :) 



That is about all I have to say for now. I will try to blog more often, as I have new creations to share. I am getting a 'handle’ on my cutting and finally catching up, but with the busy season coming up, one never knows what tomorrow will bring. All I can say is “I do my best” to be here. :) 



Thank you all for sticking with me. I once again urge my painting friends to join that mailing list. It will put you in the place you should be in our little creative world here and assure you that you are receiving content that is relevant to your taste and creativity. 



Happy Monday to you all! (Watch for your newsletter later!) 






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Friday, August 25, 2017

mirror / table conve

mirror / table conversion Muebles que se modifican:que surtende la maleta- Maleta que es fa moble: Clever Mirrort, Tables Design, Mirror Folding Tables, 2623 Pixlar, Products Design, Design Fornitur,…

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Zemberek Design || S

Zemberek Design || Sketchers TR Casual Showroom || Photo By Safak Emrence

via Tumblr https://davidpires578.tumblr.com/post/164597602149

liveinternet.ru

liveinternet.ru

via Tumblr https://davidpires578.tumblr.com/post/164596863824

Could use stools fro

Could use stools from kitchen island outdoors

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Balkon.bar. Dinner.

Balkon.bar. Dinner.

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Eine Mini-Balkonbar,

Eine Mini-Balkonbar, vermutlich selbst gezimmert … von Pinner gepinnt, da keine Linkverbindung zu einer weiterf├╝hrenden Website

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Plans to make this W

Plans to make this Wooden Cross DIY. This cross is handmade from three solid woods; Cardinalwood, Cypress and Walnut. Handcrafted in Texas by DenneheyDesign.com

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1851: Tall Ships

Yesterday I did something I rarely do – I took the day ‘off’. 



There were several reasons that I did this. Lately, things have been busier than ever and I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed. After many years of having my own business, I realize that working seven days a week – even when we are busy – isn’t always the best answer to getting caught up. Sometimes it is best to take a step back and rest and do something completely unrelated to 'work’. No matter how much we like what we do, we all need a change of pace every now and again. 



Another reason I took a break was that it was my birthday. While that in itself isn’t a reason to stop the world, as we all were “born”, I thought it would be a nice excuse to do some slacking. Over the years, I have viewed my birthday as a wonderful thing (when I was a child) to something that I really didn’t enjoy (in my 40’s) and now as a reason for reflection and gratitude. Perhaps as we get older, we realize what a gift each day can be – especially when we have our health – and appreciate all the things that life can bring us, as well as the gift of life itself. To me, it is a time to enjoy all the simple things that we may take for granted, and take time from the busy lives we have to be grateful. It sounds simple, yet rings true for me. 



And finally, several weeks ago I found out that the fleet of “Tall Ships” would be porting in nearby Digby harbor for two days. They would be arriving on my birthday and leaving the next day. This is something that as fellow creative people (as I feel most of my readers are) will appreciate. The beauty and craftsmanship of these magnificent vessels are undeniable. Seeing so many of them this way is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I didn’t want to miss. It was meant to be. 



The day was warm and sunny. The weather perfect for an adventure such as this. I had been looking forward to it since I heard they were coming and I couldn’t wait to see them.



The tide was very low when we were there, which meant that we had to look 'down’ to the ships from the dock, but other than that everything was just perfect for seeing the wonderful festival!



We were greeted by a banner and a beautifully painted trailer for the Bluenose II – a tall ship that generally resides in Nova Scotia:



Then we walked onto the wharf to see the first of many ships. Unfortunately, they didn’t have their sails up in port, but it was still awesome to see the beautiful workmanship on them:





I didn’t see the name on the first ship, but it was really a beauty, with its towering masts:





It even had a 'ship’s kitty’ aboard! (Leave it to me to find a cat in all of this!) 



The next ship on that side was the Bluenose II. What a beautiful deck!!



We were so close it was difficult to get photographs of the entire ship. It was like taking a picture of an elephant from three feet away! But then one more ship came into the harbor . . . 




As it approached the dock, it disappeared below because the tide was so low. But you can get a feel of its size by the huge masts that loomed:




I walked to the side to see its final approach and watch it tie up:



It turned out to be the Lord Nelson. Another beauty! 



While there were eight ships at the dock, it was crowded and difficult to distinguish them in photos, being so close to them. But I did get a shot of these two ships that I didn’t get the name of:



I even saw a couple of pirates. This one agreed to take a picture. I look kind of goofy, but I was so thrilled I didn’t think much about it. :) 



To me, it was one of the best days I could have had. They also had tours of the ships where you could board them later in the evening but just seeing them this close was enough for me. We see ships like these in movies all the time and I don’t think we realize the artistry and scope of them. Watching the Lord Nelson sliding to the dock – so big, yet so graceful – was thrilling. I wish I would have been able to see it with its sails up. But maybe another time. 



All in all, it was a lovely day.



After the ships, I got to go visit Ellen, my “Canadian Mom” who had spent the last two weeks in the hospital with a heart attack. She finally went home on Monday and we stopped at her cabin where she was convalescing to say hello and wish her a happy birthday, too. Her birthday is Friday and we always celebrate together. I know it will be a quiet one for her as well this year, as she will be recovering from her ordeal. It was comforting to see her and give her a hug.



We had a nice dinner and came home and had a quiet evening. I came home to read all the wonderful birthday wishes from my Facebook friends and family. It made me realize just how many wonderful friends I have made through Facebook and my blog here. You all enrich my life a great deal. 



Today it is back to work and shipping out orders. I have new orders to make as well and I will be working on them. Tomorrow I will have more exciting news about our business. I hope you come back to read about it. 



I hope you enjoyed my pictures of the beautiful ships. It is nice to take some time to enjoy the wonderful things in our lives sometimes. You never know … you may even get to hug a pirate! 



Happy Wednesday to you all. 






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Monday, August 14, 2017

My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1850: A Milestone

A long time ago, I read that in order to achieve your goals, you need to first set them. 



As simple as it sounds, how many times is the list of things we wish to accomplish undefined and ‘blurry’?  How many times are we flying by the seat of our collective pants and not really sure exactly what we intend to accomplish?  



When this happens to me, I must admit that not only do I not achieve as much as I would like, but I feel a higher level of stress as well.



About a year and a half ago (around November of 2015, I believe) I purchased a book from Lynne Andrews called Christmas Blessings. (You can find the book here: Christmas Blessings Book)  When I received the book, I knew that I HAD to make this adorable set of “12 Days of Christmas” ornaments. In fact, I needed to make several sets so I could give them to my close family members and friends. But being that late in the season, along with the fact that they are incredibly detailed meant that realistically I wouldn’t be able to complete them by that Christmas.



But then I had an idea . . .



What if I gave the first day as a gift for 2015 Christmas and then painted one each month so that by the NEXT year the set would be complete?  That way, I would only need to create six ornaments each month and I would be able to send extra little things along with the ornaments to the families that lived afar (my daughter, my son’s family, my dear friend’s family). It would be a gift that would be received all year long and “keep Christmas in their hearts.”  It seemed like a great plan and a great goal that was truly attainable. 



When I blogged about this idea way back then, I noticed that there were many others who had this book or who wanted to join in and create along with me. I set up a Facebook Support Group which I called “12 Days of Christmas Ornaments by Lynne Andrews - We are Making Them!” and the response was amazing. So many others wanted to join me in this venture. 



While I loved the beautiful porcelain ornaments that Lynne used to make her samples, they were just not practical for me to use them for my purpose. After all – many of them needed to be mailed and the chance of them getting broken in the process was high. Besides – they were a bit costly considering that I would need a total of 72 of them to complete the six sets. But being a designer and a woodworker, that wasn’t a problem. I drew up a design that I thought looked nice and would accommodate the designs as beautifully as the porcelain ornaments. After posting my finished “Day 1” ornaments on my blog here I began receiving requests for the ornaments, so I put them on my site here: SLDPK129 Elegant Bevel-Cut Ornaments Wood Kit. They really became popular quickly and I have been making them ever since. 



The rest, as they say, is history … 



I did pretty well with keeping things 'on schedule’ until we found a house to move into last summer. I had kept on the 'one a month’ timeline pretty much and was mailing them out regularly on time. But when we moved, it kind of blew things out of the water. The two plus months of moving, settling and organizing took its toll and I found it impossible to keep up. Things fell behind. 



Normally, this would have bothered me tremendously. But knowing that those who were receiving the ornament sets fully understood that it wasn’t just that I was “lazy” or “slacking” helped a great deal. After all – these were the people that I love most and they love me too and all of them assured me that they were patient. This is why I wanted to gift them with such a nice thing in the first place. 



During the autumn, I nearly caught up. I was working on my “Day 10” ornaments early in December and had thoughts of actually finishing by the holidays. But then I lost my little kitty friend Pancakes and my other kitty Richard became gravely ill and it took all the wind out of my sails. I just couldn’t do it. 



By setting goals, it doesn’t mean that something 'bad’ happens if you don’t reach them exactly when you intend to do so. I think that if you hold yourself fast to your goals and don’t allow for deviation, they can be stressful and detrimental. As I get older, I realize that 'life happens’ and that everything doesn’t always turn out just as we want. We may have the best of intentions, but we also need to allow for other factors to enter into things. We need to be kind to ourselves and realize that sometimes there are other priorities that take precedence. 



It took a while for me to figure this out. As I grow older, I realize more and more that certain things are more important than others. I think it is part of growing. 



In any case, I am finally to the point where I can say that I FINISHED with all 12 Days!  What a huge milestone that is for me! 



I don’t believe I showed the “Day 11” ornaments, so I will show them here now, too… 



Eleven Pipers Piping:



As with the others, all have sparkles on the center parts: 







… and the back:



… both sides:





… times six:



And FINALLY – DAY 12!!!!!! 



… with sparkles:



… and the backs … 



Day 12 front and back:





… time SIX! … 



As I mentioned, I don’t have all six full sets here. Most of the ornaments are sent to their homes. I am sure that seeing all 72 of them at once would be pretty impressive. But that was not meant to be. 



Still, they look pretty amazing as even a single set:



To say I am proud is an understatement!



I still have another thing planned for this set. I also want everyone to know that the Facebook group will still be kept up with. I will be there as will Lynne Andrews, Lynn Barbadora, Vera Souther, and all the members to keep on cheering everyone on and helping them through this amazing project. Lynne still has books available and I will always be selling the ornament pieces. I even have a cute set of charms that you can get to hang on each of the ornaments. They are available on my site here: EMB06 - 12 Days of Christmas Metal Charms





I hope you all enjoyed seeing this project come to life. I know I couldn’t have done it without the wonderful friends – old and new – that cheered me on throughout this past year and a half. I think that having these groups in Facebook really is a wonderful thing. As with anything, it is what we make it. 



Remember, too that your goals may not always be reached in the timeframe you initially intended them, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of having goals or trying to follow a path that you set for yourself. Sometimes life just slows things down a bit. 



I wish you all a wonderful day! 



Happy Monday to you all!






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Thursday, August 10, 2017

My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1849: Getting Back in the Habit

Once again it seems that I am catching up here on my blog posts. I am finding that it is harder than I thought to get back into the habit of writing each day. These days, every morning it seems that I wake up with a long list of things to do. I find myself putting off posting to just do a couple of things and before I know it, the morning gets away from me and I look to post ‘tomorrow’. Then the cycle begins again. 



But I am determined to keep posting here and get back into the habit of doing so. Not only does it keep you all up to date as to what Keith and I are working on, but it also helps keep me on an even keel and helps me both set and attain the goals that I wish to accomplish. That is important for me. Especially since I am self-employed. What many people don’t realize is that being self-employed requires a great deal of self-discipline. Without it, it is very difficult to have long-term success. While I find that I do excellent in this area in some ways, there are others that absolutely need improvement. It is something that I am working on daily. I hope you will all be patient with me. I want to make this blog something that is both entertaining to you all as well as inspiring. With all the new things in the works, I believe it can be just that. I just need to get back in the habit of writing. 



Since my last posting, I have been busy working in a few different directions. I suppose there is nothing new there, but some of them have been new adventures and others have been finishing up some things that I started. I don’t like having “UFO’s” (Unfinished Objects) in my work pile. Whether the projects are designed by myself or by someone else, I like to finish things and close the books on them and move on to the next. I don’t need these unfinished projects taking up valuable real estate in my thoughts, as there are so many new things that I want to work on, they require as many resources as I can spare. I like to check them off of the list and move on to the next thing with a clean(er) slate. It is what allows me to do my best work. 



Many of you have seen me working on and followed the progress of my “12 Days of Christmas” ornament series by one of my favorite designers, Lynne Andrews. While my original plan was to do one ornament “day” per month and have them done by Christmas, I complicated things for myself and decided to make SIX sets of them. These ornaments are very, very detailed and add to that fact that BOTH sides are decorated. That means that in order to complete them, I would be creating 144 little 'masterpieces’ – each with hand lettering that I refuse to use a marker to create – along with embellishing each one. 



I must have gone completely crazy. 



But I persevered on, and by last December, I was through Day 9 (times six sets) and not far from my goal. I thought this was a pretty good showing, as I was totally taken by surprise when I set up the group on Facebook (12 Day of Christmas Ornaments by Lynne Andrews … we are making them!) and it took off like a rocket. I spent much of my time cutting ornaments for members, painting my own and trying to keep up with things. It was so busy! (In a good way!)  Then add to that our move of last June from a small, one bedroom apartment to a full house and that took me out for the summer. Then just when we were settling in, last December I was devastated by the loss of my favorite little furry kitty – Pancakes – and our other dear cat Richard became gravely ill. You all know that I am not typically a 'complainer’, but I believe for that reason, I just needed to shut down for a while from my social media presence. I worked with Lynne Andrews again on a new series of Noah’s Ark ornaments (you can join our group on Facebook here to participate or just watch: Inspirational Ark Series by Lynne Andrews) and that was wildly popular as well. I was grateful for this 'busy work’ and work where I didn’t have to think much. Just cut wood and help people out. 



I have also been working with the talented Amy Mogish on her Classic Halloween Ornie Club and that was also very well received. We also have a Classic Halloween Ornie Club 2017 on Facebook for people to enjoy creating these pieces together. I love that these free groups bring painters and new people together and allow as much participation as they wish. Many just want to watch. Many are silent learners. Others love to share what they learn and help others out. It is a great mix and a wonderful way to share our creativity. I am planning more clubs with various artists and projects, as well as my own in the future. I think it is an awesome thing.



So finally my heart has healed enough to continue with my own “12 Days” ornaments. For a while, it was difficult for me to work on them because each time I did so, I was reminded of my dear friend Pancakes who was always by my side when I worked on them. It was simply too painful. I would go back into the photos I took of my progress, and every single step had pictures of him 'painting’ with me. It would bring me to tears. I think that is why I avoided working on them for so many months.



But I am healing and life does go on. This weekend, I was determined to tackle the final ornament(s) of this set and finish them up. And finish them, I did.



Here is a photo of the “Drummer” for Day 12:





This is (of course) “in progress” this past weekend. Since then, I finished the painting, tied the last ribbon, and applied the final rhinestone. I completed them last evening around 10:00 pm. To say I reached a milestone is an understatement. 



Today I will be taking the final presentation photos of everything. I had not yet applied the rhinestones or cords to the Day 11 ornaments and I did that, too. I will show the full set in tomorrow’s post. It will be wonderful for me to have everything in one place. I am proud. I hope you come back to see them.



On other things, we did a site update yesterday at Sheila Landry Designs. This is a feat in itself, as Keith has been working on splitting the site into two separate sites – Sheila Landry Designs and Sheila Landry's Tole Painting Designs. The address for Sheila Landry Designs will be the same, and the web address for Sheila Landry’s Tole Painting Designs will be http://www.tolepaintingdesigns.com. You can use the www.tolepaintingdesigns.com address now to get to the painting related pages on my SLD site, but as soon as it is ready, it will redirect to the new site. I suggest my painting followers begin using it now so you can get in the habit of doing so. The new site will be up and running in the next few weeks and we both feel it will simplify things for all of our customers and make things less confusing and less cluttered. I hope you all agree. 



As far as new items for the update we did yesterday, I have both the pattern and the wood kit now available for my SLDP261 Christmas Penguin Gift Tags shown below:



The pattern is SLDP261 and the wood kit is SLDPK162 on our site. You get six little tags in the kit and they can be used for many different painting projects. 



Keith also has a new pattern for a Biblical plaque:





His SLDK733 - Store the Bible in Your Heart plaque is both simple and elegant. 



We also have new Pattern Specials and even some wood kits on sale.



We hope that will get you in the creative spirit. 



I hope you keep in touch and watch for the unveiling of the new site soon. Everything will be in order and connected and we both believe it will be a great improvement over the existing site. Hopefully, the transition will all go smoothly. 



I want to thank you all again for supporting us and following me – even if I haven’t been here as often. I feel as if I am getting better though and working through my grief. It is hard to be an artist and be creative when my heart is broken. While some artists do their best work when their lives are in turmoil, I don’t believe that I fall into that category. It seems to have shut me down for a bit. But I am feeling much better and getting back to my positive self. I have many wonderful and exciting projects and ideas and I can’t wait to share them with you all. I hope you have fun and enjoy the process with me. 



It is another beautiful and warm and sunny day here in Nova Scotia. We have been truly fortunate this summer. I hope you are all having fun and enjoying these warm August days. 



Happy Thursday to you all! 






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Thursday, August 3, 2017