After yesterday’s blog was finished, I went for my daily walk. As I had stated, it was snowing and turning out to be a beautiful day. I decided to take my camera on my walk with me so that I could share some pictures of what inspires me.
I had spoken about being rather stuck on a gift that I was contemplating making for a friend for Christmas. Although I knew I wanted to makes something special, I was unsure as to which direction I would take. The recipient loves to do cross stitch, and keeps with here a medium sized cookie tin with the supplies she is using for the current project. Although the cookie tin is quite adequate and functional, I feel that I could make something that would be a bit more artistic and somewhat nicer for this purpose. Since she does most, if not all of her cross stitching at home, the item I had in mind wouldn’t necessarily need to be portable.
I also noticed that she really likes nostalgic teddy bears. In fact, the current cross stitch picture she is working on is one of teddy bears in a sewing room. It is absolutely beautiful and is almost fully covered in stitching. The scene is several vintage teddy bears among sewing paraphernalia and it has an overall nostalgic look to it. The colors are deep and rich and it is quite beautiful. She has a nice place reserved for it on the wall of her dining area where she does much of her work.
While I was walking, I was thinking about the box I would like to make for her. I originally had a medium sized rectangular box that was about 10 in long by 7” wide and almost 3” deep. It was a bit smaller than the cookie tin she was using though and the quality of the box was mediocre. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to invest the time and effort necessary to paint it because it just wasn’t the type of thing that I would consider a keepsake. I am sure I would be able to use it for something, but it just didn’t seem right for this project.
It is amazing to me how getting out and having a change of scenery can get your mind going in a new direction. It felt so good walking in the fresh air and walking through the falling snow and not trying so hard to come up with something. I thoroughly enjoyed the walk and the break that I was taking and getting out. I wasn’t cold at all, and took my time to walk the trail and appreciate the smells and sounds and look of the day.
When I was just about home, I remembered that I had some nice wood pieces that I had bought from a painting supplier several years before. Among them was one of my favorite pieces to date – a round box that was intended to keep cookies in. I had painted up one from a Betty Caithness pattern which looked like a Victorian house and sweet shop.
This is the other side:
And the lid:
I don’t keep many of the things I paint, but I really do like how this one came out and it still sits up on the top of my refrigerator to this day. I had bought several of these pieces, as I loved the shape of them and the quality was really nice. Although it is a bit larger than the cookie tin she is using, I think it will make a nice piece to keep her supplies in and hopefully be something she will keep for many years. I don’t know why I didn’t think about it before.
I plan to paint the gift with some teddy bears and perhaps a vintage sewing machine on it. I thought that on the lid I could perhaps paint a tape measure and some spools of thread and scissors. I want to keep the theme nostalgic. In one of my other life times, I used to design and sell mohair teddy bears, and I believe I still have some pictures of my own bears that I had made for reference photos. It is quite exciting to see the project coming together in my mind and I am very anxious see it come to life.
I retrieved the container from where I had it stored and sanded and base coated it yesterday. While it was drying in between coats, I spent the day drawing. I have two bears and the sewing machine drawn, and I also decided to do a sleeping kitty on the back, as she also loves cats. Although all the details are not clear yet, I think in the end it will be a fine piece to give as a gift to a special person.
It is amazing how a simple walk in the woods can clear your mind and inspire you. I don’t know what reminded me of that container, but something did between the time I left the house for the walk and the time I returned home. Perhaps letting go and not trying to think so much was the answer. Just allowing the pleasant and simple things in life to be the focus seemed to do wonders to clear my mind and get back on track. Letting the inspiration come to you instead of looking for it.
We all have creative blocks from time to time. When we are in the midst of them, it is sometimes difficult for us to see a way out. I think that backing off and refocusing on something that gives us pleasure, no matter how simple it is, can be a wonderful way to overcome those difficult times and stimulate our creativity.
At least it is worth a try. Enjoy your day!
|From Dec 11 2010 Walk|
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"