Time is not always my friend, but it can be if I allow it.
I think that there are instances when we can use time to our advantage. Sometimes by just doing nothing. Although I wasn’t on a rampage or anything near as drastic yesterday, I suppose I was quite disappointed. I think that is the best way to describe my feelings. I felt quite blind sided by what happened and it came at a time when I was questioning my own creativity and just after I had spent a week focusing on getting everything ready for when the big debut of the project and it was quite a let down. It seemed that my little pink cloud was overshadowed by some very menacing black clouds.
In reading your responses and advice, it did make me feel better. Perhaps I needed some outside confirmation that this wasn’t the end of the world. More importantly, it made me realize that there are other options for me to consider and although I spent the day painting and doing other things that I enjoyed, I gently weighed my choices and thought about my next plan of action.
Going in with guns blazing was not among the options. If I have learned anything in these 49 years on this planet, it is that when I do things with a cool head, I always seem to come out better. Even when I know in my heart I have been wronged. There are ways to approach problems without causing the opposite party to immediately become defensive and by offering the benefit of the doubt, I have found that they are far more open to discussion and the issue at hand has a good chance of being resolved – without muddying up the waters with anger and accusations.
I am not saying that I will not make my concern known to them, I am just saying I will do it in a way where (hopefully) they will be receptive to my feelings and offer up some type of compensation. Again, I am not looking for a lot here. An apology would be nice. After all, without trying to sound cliche, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to put the cat back into the bag. By that I mean that the publication is out and in the mail or already on the stands and the next issue will not be at this point until three months down the line. The proverbial ship has sailed for this Christmas season and I realize that I am standing on the dock watching it go. No amount of ranting or even friendly discussion will change that.
There are however some other options that may help. Perhaps they will work with me to put a small ad in the next issue which will advertise the set. The magazine is after all called “Christmas 365” and every issue is about holiday and Christmas. Many times people look to make things all year around for the Christmas season. I know I do. In all honesty, I was thinking that this set would be marketable any time of the year for just that reason. It is not a simple project and will take a bit of time and I can see people doing it in the heat of summer in anticipation for the holidays or even on the long winter days after the festivities end in anticipation for the coming year.
I think it will be an interesting study to see how they react when I approach them about this. If they are genuinely remorseful and it was indeed an innocent error, then so be it. I make mistakes. Everyone does. Perhaps with the new management of the magazine, things just got lost in the cracks.
When I wanted to reclaim this project and not publish it at all in August, after several months without hearing from them, I had made it clear that the reason was because I wanted it to be on the market for this year. I had clearly stated my intentions to them. It was the former editors’ idea for me to sell the blank pieces for their readers who don’t scroll saw. I had done a small nativity set for them last year with the same premise – that I was to provide the pieces for customers if necessary. The response from that publication was tepid, and I attributed it to the fact that the magazine was new (I think it was only the third issue) and came out in June or July. Maybe there just wasn’t that much interest. Or perhaps, as other things got lost in the changing of the management, so too did this.
On the positive side, I did get a nearly ten page spread in a 100 page magazine. That is something to be proud of. This will force me to dig down deep and look to myself and figure out other ways to market my work and reach people who would be interested in it. I have had some very generous offers and ideas from people who respect my work and it has done wonders to lift those black clouds that were surrounding me. Working on my own here, day after day it is important to receive that occasional pat on the back from both customers and colleagues. That is why interaction here online is so important to me. That is also why I try to encourage others who are perhaps just finding their way in both woodworking and painting.
So the plan for today is formulating. I have an early doctors appt. and then when I get back I will get in touch with the editor and gently point out the omission. The ball will then be in his court. Either he will see that it was somewhat damaging to me and try to rectify it in some way or he won’t. I will move on from there and in the mean time, I will get things up on the site so that either way it will be there for others to see. It will turn a troubling situation into a positive one for me.
I don’t want to dwell on the negative things in life. If I do, it is only my fault if I choose to live in sadness. I don’t want to be the victim here. As Elanor Roosevelt said “There are no victims – only volunteers.” I am not ready to sign up. There are too many other positive things around me and I would be a fool to fall into a hole such as this.
I spent yesterday painting some wonderful little snowmen ornaments. They are happy and fluffy and when I look at them they make me smile. Kim Christmas is the designer (yes – that is her real name!) and she is also a happy and wonderful and sweet person and I love her designs. It isn’t often that I paint others’ designs, but I find hers delightful and I just wanted to take the day off and do something that would bring me joy. Here are two of them for you to see:
|From Snowmen Bells by Kim Christmas|
|From Snowmen Bells by Kim Christmas|
It was the perfect solutions for the ‘blahs’ I was feeling. Taking the time off to think things over and refocus on some positive things was probably the best thing I could have done for myself. I think that sometimes we underestimate how powerful stepping away and allowing some time to pass can be. After all . . . how can you be sad or angry when you are smiling?
Thank you all again for your support. I hope you all have an incredible Monday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"