While I did enjoy these last couple of weeks and taking some time for myself, the realization has hit that it isn’t really something that I want to make a habit. It seems that it has been way too long since I really had a good productive drawing day and a day at the saw and I miss it a great deal.
I am finding though that taking a step back from time to time and refocusing on something else is really good for us in general. No matter how much we love doing something, continually doing the same thing day after day after day can be a bit draining. These breaks from time to time give time to take a breath and refuel and actually miss things. And I think that keeps me fresh and excited about my work.
My dear friend Cari used to assimilate it to eating cherries jubilee. You can only have so much and then you need to try something else, even if you love it.
So while Keith and I kept things going pretty much here throughout the past couple of weeks, we definitely had it turned down a bit and focused on other things. But now I feel ready to take on some wonderful new projects and can’t wait to do so. And there is no better time to begin than now.
I spent yesterday getting my computer files in order. Cleaning and organizing my computer is one thing that always makes me feel wonderful. Just as when I clean and organize our place here, cleaning my virtual ‘computer house’ is a great source of inspiration.
My computer has many levels of storage on it. There are folders that I have created where I put stuff temporarily until I can really sort and organize them into the deeper levels of storage. These folders fill up very quickly – especially when I am browsing around for some quick inspiration and it is not uncommon for them to have nearly 1000 files in them. It turns into quite a task for me to rename each file with specific keywords so that they turn up in relevant searches when needed. But it is time well-spent for me and each time that I take the time to tag and file everything from those storage files, I feel as if I accomplished a great deal. It is then when I like doing my backups, as everything new is in its proper place and orderly.
The process of backing things up is really quite simple and doesn’t take long at all. It is this pre-organization that takes the time. But as of yesterday, all the temporary folders are completely empty and everything is in its proper place and safely backed up on an external hard drive. It is as if I have a new computer. A clean slate to work with. And it is awesome.
Another good thing about tidying up my digital files is that I revisit all the photos and things that were inspirational and I thought warranted saving. There were many ‘oh yes!’ moments and my head is once again filled with ideas for new projects. It is just a matter of sitting down and doing them now, and that is a really fun part of things I think. It really makes me look forward to the future.
For Christmas, I received several journal type notebooks. I think this is really cool because I use these small notebooks to jot down ideas and inspirations and thoughts that I have on new projects. I always keep these small books by my side and whenever I see something that triggers an idea for a project, I do write it down. You would be amazed at how much it help you keep on top of things and keeps those ideas flowing. Often people ask me where I come up with the ideas that I have for patterns, and I think that since I began writing things down, finding something new to focus on is quite an easy task. Between the woodworking and scroll saw designs, the painting designs, and the customer requests there is always more that I want to accomplish. You would be amazed at how helpful having all these ideas in one place can be. When I get ‘stuck’ I simply read through them and before long I find myself heading in a positive direction. I highly recommend it.
Before the holiday lull, I was working on my next design for Creative Woodworks magazine. It was mostly done, with probably only a day of drawing left before I can cut it. I also have an article that I am working on for the same issue and I want to finish these all up by the weekend. Then I will be able to work on some of the new that I am thinking about and start heading in some new directions. It will be a good way to start off the new year.
I think it is good to slack off from time to time. Pushing too hard for too long only causes one to feel fatigued and resentment to build. I don’t mind working every day if I can shift things around and do some other things in between. I think finding the balance between work and play is an important part of living a happy and healthy life. We need both accomplishment and also some play time to make our lives full and enjoyable. At least I do.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Mine was incredible and while I thoroughly enjoyed the time I had “off” I am ready to jump in with both feet and get back to work. I think it will be better than ever!
“Let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
Happy Thursday to you all!
(Random cat picture to make you smile today! :D)
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"