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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