One of the best things about this time of the year is that everyone is kicking it into high gear and I am seeing so many wonderfully creative projects that people are making to give as gifts. It is so much fun to read the posts and see the pictures of these things. They range from absolutely stunning to absurd. (One of the most clever items I saw here on LJ’s was the ‘Toilet Seat Guitar’. If that doesn’t make someone smile in Christmas morning, nothing will!)
I am also enjoying my facebook friends more than ever this year. I have had a facebook account for a couple of years now, but in the past year I have really reconnected with so many people and I have also met new friends and gotten to know fellow woodworkers a bit better just by watching their activities and seeing photos of their day up there.
I must admit that I haven’t posted as much lately as I have in the past, but that is more because of time constraints on my side rather than lack of interest. Whether or not I post though, I do read through things a couple of times a day and see what everyone is up to. I enjoy seeing pictures of children, pets, families and projects as well as seeing great information on woodworking and also painting stuff. It is a nice way to feel a bit closer to people that are far away and feel that you are part of their lives and they yours.
One of the groups that I have reconnected with on Facebook is what I will call my original woodworking group. When I was first introduced to the internet somewhere around 1997, I was amazed at the scope of information that I was able to access and also the ability to have ‘real time’ chats with others from all over the country. One of the popular woodworking magazines hosted a Tuesday and Thursday night chat in an AOL chatroom and through some friends, I was invited to participate. That was where I first obtained my nickname “scrollgirl” and it has stuck with me ever since.
It was a wonderful group that showed up every Tuesday and Thursday and we usually spent a couple of hours in lively conversation talking about woodworking and projects and soon it led to jokes and some friendly bantering. Some people may think it was lame, but through that room, I developed many friendships that I keep to this day.
Back then, there was a resurgence in scroll sawing and there began to pop up several scroll saw ‘picnics’. These were shows that were dedicated mainly to scroll sawing and over the next few years grew to be quite popular events. There were probably 3-4 major shows per year and people came from all over the country to attend them. They were located in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan and later on as they grew, there were even shows in Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin. They were great opportunities to actually meet the people face to face that met in that room, as well as other designers and representatives from the major tool companies. One year I was able to attend four shows, and each one was a three day event and like a family reunion. They are some of my fondest memories.
With the tough times that the economy is going through however, and the decline of scroll sawing and woodworking in general, these shows are quickly becoming a thing of the past. People are having a much harder time being able to attend due to the economy, job insecurity and fuel prices. More and more shows are being discontinued, as it is costly to host one and more difficult to entice people to attend. It seems that the future for events such as that is quite grim.
I am thinking ahead however at the show I will be attending in March. It has been years since I have been able to go to something of this nature, let alone teach and participate in it. It is by far going to be the largest show of this type that I have seen and I am getting very excited about it. One of the best parts about it is that there are several of my friends from that original woodworking group that are going to be there. It will be like ‘old home week’ and I will be able to see these friends fro the first time in years.
Things like this make me appreciate sites like this so much. When we are all here talking to each other on a daily basis through our comments and blogs and project posts, it is easy to forget that we are scattered not only all over the country, but all over the world. I think it is possible to have wonderful and meaningful friendships through the computer and I have seen evidence of it here so many times in the way we help each other and share our lives with each other. It is really a great thing and I just want to take a minute to say how much I appreciate all of you. I don’t know why, but I thought about it as I was scanning the projects this morning before I came here to write. When you think about it all, it is truly incredible.
As for my own project, I am progressing nicely on the sewing box. I spent some time working on it yesterday, although I had some other stuff that I had to accomplish that dealt with the business and life in general. I wish I could be moving a little quicker, but sometimes things just get in the way. I still have time though so I am not in a panic yet and I should be able to get it mostly finished by the weekend as I have most of today and all of tomorrow to work on it.
Yesterday, I did some additional work on the first bear. I needed to adjust the highlights and shading and did so by glazing and re-highlighting some of the areas so that the light source was more defined. I also reinforced the shading in the shadows and gave it a bit more depth. Here is a picture of the result:
|From Diana's Sewing Box|
I think it is ‘almost there’ and I found that perhaps I was picking at it too much as I often do when painting so I forced myself to move on. I wanted the second bear to be darker, and I did the basecoating on it with a dark wash of color.
|From Diana's Sewing Box|
I liked how it looked so much, I almost left him bald and stopped right there. However, I thought a little fur may be in order so I did put some on him using several colors of darker brown. I did want him to be somewhat fuzzy like the first bear, although I wanted his coat to be much more worn looking and somewhat shorter.
|From Diana's Sewing Box|
I am sure I will pick on him some more before the day is done, but for now I feel that it is time to move on. It has been so long since I have painted fur like this that it takes me a while to get back into the swing of things. I need to find the time to practice a bit more and get a definitive game plan if I am going to be able to teach a piece like this. Eventually I would like to make some painting packets of some of these bears, but I need to be more organized in creating them so that people can follow along. I think that is why certain things I can make to teach and other things I just can’t.
I am going to spend the day working on this and also getting ready for a birthday dinner I am attending tonight. I am making a lasagna to bring, and it should be a great time. It will be nice to take a break from things for a while and get out for a bit, although I have been really good with keeping up my walks. Lately I have liked the night walking almost as much as the morning walks. It is an entire new adventure in the dark and also a nice way to refresh after a busy day. I am reading so much about people feeling burned out and I want to take the proper precautions so that I can keep a balance with my work and not feel that way.
I hope you all remember too that even though you are busy to take some “me time” an do something you like to do – just for fun. It will pay off tremendously in the long run and help keep you focused and interested and make your work much more enjoyable.
Have a wonderful Saturday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"