I started off early today and now after a couple of hours of ‘doing things’ I don’t seem that far ahead of the day. But that is OK, because I was in the process of planning out my next design and I got distracted.
My head is whirling right now. I wish I could do 10 things at once. I realize that it is coming up on my favorite season of the year (autumn) and I have so many ideas that I don’t know which one to do first.
Yesterday I finished drawing up my next magazine submission. I had described it to my editor and she seemed eager to see it. When I described it to her, it was still only living in my head, and since then, I have brought it to life on my drawing board and I think it looks even better than I originally thought it would. Today I get to do the actual cutting and see it take shape in wood. I think that is the most exciting part of all.
I don’t want to show the whole thing yet, as there needs to be some anticipation built up. Don’t you think? Besides, I still don’t know just how much I want to preview before it reaches the magazine. I often fight with showing the magazine submissions here or not. While I had spoken to my editor about it quite a while ago and they didn’t seem to be bothered in the least. I suppose it is good advertisement for their magazine and as long as I don’t give the pattern away or sell the pattern, they are OK with it. After all, they do previews themselves of ‘upcoming issues’ to entice the readers to look ahead.
Since the only thing I have right now in front of me is the line work, I will only give you a glimpse of it:
Since this is for the winter issue, you could have probably guessed that it would involve some snow. I suppose that isn’t much of a surprise.
I have really been having fun working with the magazine because with the new editor, she seems much more open to having me demonstrate and use many of the different paints and finishing products that I have access to. While the other editor accepted some things with different finishes and such, Deb is not only happy that I am using them, but she also likes me to write accompanying articles about the products if possible.
You may or may not have remembered the product I used a couple of months ago called “Margot’s MUD” which was a texture paste that I used on my Christmas Bell Ornaments that is now being featured in the magazine.
The issue of the magazine that contained that article came out last week and already there has been quite a good response from it. Both my editors at the magazine and Margot herself have heard a lot of positive things about it due to my project and article. (By the way, you can see more about the MUD at Margot’s site at www.margotclark.com) Besides that, I have also received several phone calls regarding the product. It seems that a lot of woodworkers are interested in learning new ways to make their items stand out a bit.
My affiliation with DecoArt is also a great asset, as they have a huge range of products not only suitable for decorative painting (tole painting if you will) but also home decor, which is becoming more and more popular as people are doing more around the home themselves. While many industries are suffering because of the unstable economy, I still feel that the do-it-yourself industry will be all right, and maybe even grow. I am certainly not an economist, but I know for myself when money was really tight when my kids were growing up, I chose to make many of my holiday gifts and decorations rather than purchase something cheap and ill-made. That is really the time when I honed my ‘career’ as a designer and crafts person. I think home made gifts will be more popular than ever in the upcoming years. Perhaps that is just wishful thinking on my part, but we will have to wait and see.
In any case, Deb (my new editor) had asked both Keith and I if we would like to contribute more articles to the magazine in addition to our regular project submissions. We both jumped at the chance. Keith has had several articles published already and while he likes to do articles on many of the technical aspects, I enjoy trying out and demonstrating new products that are both fun and easy to use, yet make things look really cool.
Along with this project, I will be doing an article on the Weathered Wood Crackle Medium. I will be using it in my design that I am working on today, and I will also make an accompanying article which will clearly demonstrate the process of using it for the readers. I will also be making another video – a bit shorter and perhaps a bit better organized that the article will link to so that the readers can see the product being applied first-hand. All in all it will offer them a complete package of instruction.
I love doing things this way. And I love the flexibility and support that the magazine has offered me. Working like this has turned a great job into a dream job, where I am able to really teach something new to people on a wide scale. It just seems better and better.
I realize that some woodworkers aren’t interested in painting or adding different effects to their wood working projects. They like the natural beauty of the wood to show through and that is enough for them. I also like that look for many of the designs that I make, and agree that color and finishes aren’t for everyone. But all the designs that I am making in this respect are shown in two versions – one which adds effects and/or color and one left natural. This way people who like the design but aren’t partial to the effects will still be able to enjoy it and make it and it will look attractive.
And who knows? Maybe with all the instructions in front of them, they will give a new technique a try and find that they like it. You never know.
I hope you enjoy your Sunday. I know I will because I will be busy at the saw and working on creating something fun and new.
Have a great one!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"