Did you ever have a day when you just can’t wait to get up and out of bed and get going? I love those days and today was one of them. Even though it is raining out, I can already feel that it going to be a good one.
Yesterday turned out to be a wonderful day too. After writing my blog here, I really got going and decided to attack my paperwork. The pile was sizable, as it not only contained the regular stuff that I had accumulated in the last two months, but also all the receipts for the trip. I was really proud of myself with the trip receipts, because I had placed a pocket folder for them in the car when we left and every single receipt was put in that folder. I believe I had just about all of them, including gas, food, tolls, etc and it really made it easy. In running the totals, I was impressed that the fuel costs were far less than I expected. I had put over 5,000 miles (not kilometers) on the car and even though the gasoline prices are at an all time high, it was still much less than if I would have decided to fly. Then you need to figure in the freedom of having a vehicle and also being able to come and go on my own schedule and the trip to Chicago and all and it is a no-brainer.
I made great headway with my paperwork and I am all caught up in logging everything for the year and back on track. (Yay for me!)
With that behind me, I proceeded to make my dessert that I was bringing to dinner. I made Kolacky, which is a Czech pastry type cookie with a jelly filling. My grandparents on my mother’s side are from Bohemia and my grandmother had taught me how to make them long ago. It is a simple recipe, and I thought it would be a fitting way to honor her on mother’s day.
While I did that, my partner Keith did some rearranging on the website, setting up a new section to add in the finished items that will be for sale. In listening to your responses, both here and in personal messages, we decided that it was best to keep everything in one place (on my main site) However, the goal was to keep my site organized and not over cluttered, which I think we accomplished. The divisions of the main categories at the top of the page are very distinct, and people can navigate just to the section they want to be at quite easily. If they are not into painting, they don’t have to go there. If they do want painting stuff, there is an entire section for them to see without having to filter through woodworking stuff that they aren’t interested in. And now, if they want to buy one of a kind finished items, they can get right there too. I think it is win/win/win.
I am still toying with the thought of having one or two items on Etsy though. These will be mainly to attract more traffic to the main site and hopefully gain some new regular customers. I still have to investigate as to how much I can say about the main site on Etsy though, as I know there are restrictions. If I can even put a little phrase like “more items available at Sheila Landry Designs” it may be worth it. I have a tracker on my own site and will be able to see how many people will be able to come to visit from there. It is good to think about.
I gave a call in to Ellen and Bernie too, and they were planning to go to dinner with their daughter and grand son. Although I did not get to see them for the day, we had a wonderful lunch on Thursday and we plan to get together next week. Ellen is my “Canadian mom” and I hold her very close to my heart.
Around mid-day my neighbor Lee stopped by. He was the one with the five cats and who watched my cat children while I was away. In his hand he had a card that had “mom” written on it in a childlike scrawl. Now I know I am a bit older than him, but I don’t feel like I am old enough to be his Mom, and I said so to him. He said it wasn’t from him to open it up and sure enough, the card was “signed” by Coco, Richard and Pancakes, my own cats. I was very touched at his thoughtfulness and it really made me smile. Lee himself is a “cat person” and although he is single, he has five cats of his own – all rescued from the Clare wharf and helps manage the anywhere from twenty to forty ferel cats that people abandon at the dock. The group has built a little cat village for the strays and find the suitable ones good homes and take all in need for medical attention. They have auctions and such throughout the year to fund the care and Lee is an active participant in the group. There isn’t a day that he doesn’t go by and feed and care for them. Even with five of his own, you would never know he has any because his own place is so clean. I love visiting him and his herd, as they always are good for a smile.
It was then time to get ready to go to dinner. For Keith’s mom, we decided to give her a set of note cards with my animal paintings on them and a pen that we both contributed to making. I scrolled a cat silhouette into the plain maple pen blank and then filled it with tinted resin before Keith turned it. It was more of an experiment, but came out quite nice considering I kind of just sketched the kitty. Here are a couple of pictures of it:
|From Scrollsawing Meets Turning|
And the entire pen:
|From Scrollsawing Meets Turning|
Keith, of course, is being very picky about his work and didn’t think it was quite worthy of giving. I didn’t agree, and I think considering that he has only made a couple of pens to date, it is a beautiful job. There are no boo boos that I could see and needless to say, his mom loved it. :) My head is now spinning with the possibilities of what we could making using the scroll saw along with the lathe. It is very exciting!
We had a wonderful dinner and a great visit. The men don’t really like lobster (ARE THEY CRAZY!!???) and they had steak on the grill, but Keith’s mom had TWO lobsters for each of us! I only ate one of mine, but that means that I get to have the other one for lunch today :D
|From Everday Stuff|
Even Lacey, my “cat in law” got in on the action and joined us for some dinner:
|From Everday Stuff|
When I got home, I had a message from each my son and also my daughter wishing me a happy mother’s day. I think this is the first time in history that both of them remembered to call me on mother’s day. (My babies are growing up!) I feel that my real gift was last month when I got to see them both for a week and spend some quality time with them. It is so good to know they are happy and doing well. Nothing could be better than that.
I also found out that I had won a contest that our own Jordan had on his Facebook. Besides being incredibly talented, Jordan is a wonderfully fun and generous friend. He likes having little quizzes and contests about his work and apparently I was the first one to get the quiz correct. I won a set of magnets that are made from his carvings and I can’t wait to get them!
This morning I feel refreshed and ready to go and very excited about everything in general. I am so appreciative about the wonderful people in my life (and cats) and it is truly a joy to get up and work every day. I know that may sound sappy to you all, but sometimes it is the little things that mean the most. I find more and more that the simple things that don’t cost bring the most joy and happiness.
While driving home, I was once again treated to an absolutely beautiful sunset over the ocean. It was so pretty that we stopped the car and I attempted to capture it in a picture for you. It was the perfect end to a wonderful day and just wanted to share it.
|From Everday Stuff|
No amount of money can buy something like that.
Life certainly is sweet!
Have a great Monday! :)
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"