As the days tick off of the calendar, I am still trying to figure out why they go by so quickly. There is always so much to do and every day is filled from start to finish with what seems like a hundred different tasks. I have noticed that the days are already getting longer, with the sun coming up earlier and setting later. That coupled with the relatively warm weather that we are having sure makes it feel like spring is just around the corner. I think I blinked and missed winter.
The other day when we drove home from Yarmouth, the fog was so dense you could barely see. Especially when we passed the small lake that was along the back road we took. The lake was still frozen from the two or three cold days we had and that coupled with the warm air over it created a fog so thick you could barely see a car’s length in front of you. It is odd weather for these parts – especially in February and while I certainly don’t believe that we have seen the last of the snow, I think we are just about done with winter. Spring is on its way.
I suppose I don’t really mind. While I realize I am odd in thinking that spring is my least favorite time of year, I plan to embrace the season with as much enthusiasm as I do winter and this year I am actually looking forward to the warmer weather. I have been trying to think of why I am not fond of spring. In thinking back, I do have some fond memories of Easter gatherings with the family and visiting in the yard in the warm spring sun before heading out to dinner. I don’t know why that particular memory came to mind recently but I found myself thinking about it more than once of late. Perhaps it was because I was thinking of my grandparents after the loss of my friend Fran last week. I am not really sure.
I am also remembering that day last summer when I headed to the beach and spent the afternoon writing on a blanket in the warm sun. I believe if I had a choice, that was one of the finest days of the summer for me and I plan to spend more time there this summer. It may sound like an easy thing to do, but in reality it isn’t always that easy. The weather needs to cooperate first and foremost, and then so does my schedule so that I am at a phase where I can do work that is ‘portable. That eliminates all work that is done on the computer as well as the saw and leaves only things like writing (long hand) or sanding or painting. With the possibility of me doing more painting patterns however, this is probably the most promising task for me to take to the beach. In the days when the kids were small, my friend Cari and I used to tote our painting supplies to the local pool with us (along with the kids) and spend the afternoon painting poolside while supervising the children. I’ve painted many Santa’s and snowmen in the hot Chicago sun in my day and it is certainly an adaptable craft. I just need to do some careful planning and have some projects ready for when the weather cooperates. It is all about adaptability.
Speaking of painting, I will be spending the day working on (and hopefully finishing) the new project that I am doing. I cut several pieces out yesterday and everything went smoothly. I was able to cut the painting surfaces in a reasonable amount of time so that if I were required to make a large quantity of them, I will be able to do so without much trouble. They are actually quite simple to cut and because they are smaller (about 8” in diameter) and relatively flat and strong, I will be able to ship them in a bubble envelope if necessary. This will make it possible to sell them both retail as well as wholesale if the painting pattern company picks them up. I am quite nervous about submitting them and I really hope that I can make them appealing enough that the company wants to take a chance on them. It is a bit of a risk for me but one I feel is worth taking. I have talked to several new customers who do enjoy painting and were inquiring about other painting patterns that I may be offering and I feel that with the recent exposure that I had with the skating pond set, it introduced me to a whole new set of customers. When I look on the painting side of my site however, I see the need to add to it and offer some new patterns and kits for people that will keep them interested and coming back to check for new things.
While the painting side of my business is centered around woodworking, it is still almost like having another entirely different business. I do think that it will be good for me however, and I want to develop that aspect of the business too. With our economy the way it is, I still feel that diversification is the way to go. Doing things in several different areas is necessary to survive in this economy – especially in the crafts area. And besides, I love painting as much as I do woodworking. I find the variety that each offers opens a world of designing possibilities for me and keeps me fresh and enthusiastic.
Well, its off for my second cup of coffee. The sun is already coming up, which in some silly way makes me feel like I am already falling behind.
There is much to do for me this Friday and I want to get right at it. I wish you all a wonderful day!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"