Thank goodness it has cooled off a bit! It was so nice to actually get a good night sleep . The past several days were so warm and muggy it seemed that I was up half the night and then woke up tired and felt like I didn’t get much rest. I shouldn’t complain because I know that many people have it much worse, but I will say that I was very pleased when the sun set last night and the air cooled down considerably. It was a very welcome change and made for a comfortable and restful night.
I feel ready to take on the world today. I love mornings like this. I plan on working on drawing my next set of ornaments and doing some more work on this set. Since I stack cut two sets of them, I have decided that I am going to use the DecoArt gel medium and tint one set to give the option for those who want some color in them. I like options and offering lots of them for my projects. I try to remember that everyone has different tastes and I think that giving several options for a single pattern is a better value for those who buy it. I also think it helps springboard their own creativity a bit and I like to see how people build on the ideas I may give them. It makes what I do both exciting and satisfying.
When I was at the show in New York in spring, I met a nice man who was also a customer. Although I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him, I did enjoy the time we talked. After the show, he called and asked if I would be able to make instructions for coloring in the songbird plaques that I had as patterns with paint. He said that he had a customer who wanted to order a plaque but have some color in it. I thought about how nice the plaques would look with some color in them and told him I would like to do that. We made an agreement and he is sending me the plaque to add color and I will then be able to add the procedure into the instruction packets. It will be a win/win for both of us.
For those of you who know me, you know that I love color and painting. When I began designing for the magazine, I used to have the dream of ‘teaching painters to cut wood and cutters to paint.’ After many years of kind of hitting a brick wall in that department, I came to the realization that most woodworkers don’t want to paint and most painters have little interest in cutting wood. Not all, but most. Over the years, I kind of abandoned that idea.
But every once in a while, I get the urge to try to coax others to test the uncharted waters. With my own discovery of the Staining and Antiquing gel that I used for many of my candle trays, I found that it was much more palatable for woodworkers to use something like that rather than actually ‘paint.’ Somehow it seems that they are not as opposed to staining as painting and both at the show in New York and through many messages that I receive I find that there is quite a positive response to using this method for adding a bit of color to the wood.
So what’s the harm?
I feel like giving it a try again and offering these bird patterns with two versions – one in natural colors for the wood ‘purists’ and the other using the gel stains. It will cost me no more to do this besides a little more writing time, and I think it will give the option for people to try something new. Perhaps if it is there they will give it a go. I will work on this today and post the results and you can offer your opinions and thoughts and let me know what you think. I would really appreciate the feedback.
In other things, I read this article today and I think it is worth sharing. I know that many of you don’t like external links, but I do think it is worth a read if you feel like doing so. It is a short article on Steve Jobs and I thought it was interesting. The link to the article is here.
I often receive comments and notes on my positive attitude and how upbeat I am (I like to call this my ‘pink cloud’ existence.) I find that in general our lives are what we choose to make them. If you look around, sometimes you will see people who seemingly have nothing and they are the happiest and kindest and most giving people around. Conversely, you also see people who seem to have everything they need and are sour and always seem to find something to complain about no matter what. These are just extreme examples, but they do show us something:
We all have the ability to choose how we are going to live each day of our lives.
That is something that no one really has control over but ourselves. If we wake up and focus on the day being good and positive, then even if there are bumps in the road, it usually is. That is because we are looking for the good things in our lives and even when things are bad, we usually can find something good if we try hard enough. If we choose to focus on those good things and minimize the bad things, not only is our attitude better, but also the attitude of those that we interact with too. Happiness (as well as despair) is infectious.
I find that some of the happiest people in life are those who have gone through the most hardship. Have you ever noticed that? Perhaps there is something to the saying that to experience the highs in life, you need to have experienced the lows. I don’t know. I believe it is more of an appreciation of life that you gain when you have had adversity that makes you aware of how good the mundane and every day things can be.
I try to remember that when I get crabby because of the weather or something else that comes up that I have little or no control of. Instead of feeling cranky and focusing on what is bothering me-+, I literally try to find something that is positive or good to focus on instead. There is always something. Before I know it, I forget about the bad things and I am happy. Its a good way to be.
I wish you all a positive day today. May you all find something great to focus on and make you happy. You’ll be amazed at how it affects others around you.
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"