After over a week of feeling a bit overwhelmed and anxious, I am finally feeling like I am getting caught up and back on top of things. Although struggling with attending to several things in many different directions, I think that I made a good dent in things yesterday and hopefully by today I will be caught up.
Again (at the risk of harping to you all) I credit “The List” for helping the most in making this possible. Many times just a mental list is enough to help me accomplish things, but there are times when there are so many odds and ends and directions to go that only the real paper-and-pen lists are what will pull me out of the chaos. Yesterday I finally sat down with Keith and we wrote everything we needed to accomplish down and prioritized them and began working on things one at a time. By the end of the day we probably got through over half of the things listed. Not only did it give us a sense of accomplishment, but it was a physical record of what we actually did and it felt good to cross each item off, no matter how small it was.
Among the things I was able to accomplish, was that I worked on the pattern for some small easels that I am making. These will compliment the new ornament and plaque patterns that I am going to have on the site soon, as well as previous patterns. I realize that people don’t always have extra wall space or places to hang ornaments and plaques in their homes. Perhaps they don’t want to put holes in the wall for a seasonal item or they don’t have a place for an all season wreath or tree. These little display easels will make it easy to have an item out on a mantle, dining room table, shelf or even a coffee table for the holiday and then fold flat for off-season storage.
I had drawn up the design last week when was making my Halloween ornaments and plaque pattern. I sprayed them black and I thought they looked great.
Mine here however were held together with electrical tape. :(
One of my quests when I went to the city last weekend was to pick up some pretty hinges that I could use on them. However, as this so often happens, I wasn’t able to find exactly what I needed. While I found small hinges, they would have had to be attached on the inside of the easels (which I didn’t like) in order for them to fold properly. I also noted that since the wood I used with these was 1/8” thick, the only way the hinges would be attached was to glue them. I didn’t think this would hold up over time. The final deciding factor was that the smaller easels would only be able to be hinged on the bottom, as the top of them was too thin to accommodate the hinge.
With three strikes against my original thoughts, I decided to rethink things and figure something else out. What I came up with was a slotted system to hold the two pieces together. When making ornaments and such, it was important to keep the slots the exact thickness of the wood, as a tight fit was often desired. However, in this type of item, I felt that having the slot a bit loose actually made things better, allowing the easel to fit to the size of the display pieces more comfortably. So here is what I came up with:
They simply slide together like this:
Not only did this look nice, but it also spared everyone from going out and trying to find small hinges that would fit. The ones that I purchased cost about $2.69 for a pack of two at Home Depot. By making these yourself, you save having to run around looking for hinges as well as the cost. You will also be able to re-size the pattern to suit your needs so you can make larger easels for bigger pictures using just a small amount of scrap wood. I think this project is a winner.
I have decided to offer this up for free on my site when I update it this weekend. I was going to include it in the pattern for the Halloween plaques and ornaments, but I figured that there are so many uses for it that I didn’t want to restrict it only to that. There are many of my plaques and ornaments from last year and before that could be used with the easels and I think that people will find lots of uses for them.
Today I am going to paint these up and finish creating the patterns packets for the new patterns. I have my projects for the magazine ready to go out the door today (as well as Keith’s) and all the printing is done for the next wholesale job. We are working on updating the site this weekend and will be sending out a newsletter in a day or so when that is complete. And we will be finishing up the next wholesale order over the weekend.
When all that is finished, I have several new designs that I am working on that need to be done. Here we are the last day of August already and autumn is right around the corner.
It feels good to be back in control of things. At least for the time being. I don’t like that helpless feeling I have when things are slipping away and they begin to overwhelm me. I want to enjoy each day and take time to be aware of all the good things that every day brings.
I leave you with a rather long quote today. I saw this yesterday and it really struck me. Perhaps it is a bit idealistic, but I read it and think to myself “Wouldn’t that be nice?”
“Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about his faith.
Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long and of service to your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people, but bow to none.
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light,
for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Abuse no one and nothing, for abuse turns the wise to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision.”
-Chief Tecumseh via Catalyzing Change ‘Native American Wisdom’
Have 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"