As I said yesterday, it was our day to go to Digby to visit our dear friends Ellen and Bernie and their daughter Cindy and have a nice dinner. Cindy needed to work on Sunday, so our plans were postponed for a day and pushed into Monday. One of the great things about working for myself is that my schedule is flexible like that. Most of the time I am able to shift things around when something like that comes up and we don’t miss out on anything.
The key there though is that we need to keep focused and disciplined on those days when nothing special is going on. I have an imaginary time bank and if I fill it with enough hours worked, I feel no guilt whatsoever taking a day off now and then. This is totally up to Keith and myself individually, and one reason we never have any problems if one or the other (or both) of us want to do something other than stay home and work is that we both have similar work ethics and know that our fate for the most part lies in our own hands and we are willing to take responsibility for ourselves.
Many people hear the word “self-employed” and immediately picture someone sitting on a beach sipping a cocktail while others are chained to their offices or desks or doing their daily jobs. They fail to understand that small businesses don’t “just happen” and that usually it takes a great deal more time for a self-employed person to achieve success than it does someone who is punching a clock. The difference is (for me anyway) that we are doing something that we truly love and even though we are pretty much always on call and working, it doesn’t seem like work because we love what we do.
I realize that this lifestyle is not for everyone, and for some it is not possible to live the way we do. But for myself, and I think for Keith too, this is the way that we choose to live and we both feel that we are very fortunate to be able to do so. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the days pass. We are always busy and for the most part it is a really ‘good’ type of busy. I honestly look forward to getting up each morning and working on my business. And as those of you who read know, there are times when I am able to sneak away to the beach and have the best office in the world. I see more of that time coming this summer, and I am thinking now of ways to be able to accomplish some work and get some things done while I am away.
The rest of this week will be fun and exciting as I see my new projects come to life. While I didn’t get much done yesterday, I was able to cut out the overlay pieces on my second design of the recent group that I drew. This candle tray is one I call “Strawberry Fields Forever”, as it made me think of the Beatle’s song of the same name.
It is one of the times I was proudly able to accomplish a truly “random” design and have it look balanced and natural. Usually when I attempt “random”, I wind up doing what turns out to be “organized random” where the design starts to look like it repeats a bit. Somewhat like wallpaper. But this time it is truly a random design and I am very happy with the outcome.
The base of the tray is composed of the vines and the leaves. While this designs looks really intricate to cut, it is very forgiving and easy. I purposely made the tips of the leaves ever so slightly rounded so that it would be easy to make the turn while using a small 2/0 blade without having to make the sharp points. This cut down a significant amount of cutting time without compromising the design whatsoever. I also added the small blossoms in with the vine/leaf layer so that they would remain subtle and not take over the design.
The strawberries were made as overlay pieces. I chose to add eight of them – four larger and four smaller – but naturally you could add as many or few as you like.
The strawberries each have ten teardrop shaped seeds on them. I know I could have cheated and just drilled holes, but me being me wouldn’t let that happen. I think that making the seeds tear drop shaped was critical to making these look really nice, and it was worth the extra time I took to scroll each seed out. (Besides – I did ‘cheat’ and cut the berries stacked two high. That meant only 40 additional cuts instead of 80. It sounds like a lot but it only added about 15 minutes of time on to the project. Time well spent I think!)
As with the first tray, this piece is fresh off the scroll saw. I didn’t even get to finish sand the pieces or oil them or varnish and color them. That will come later on today. We didn’t get home from our dinner until after 10pm and both of us were tired. If I learned anything, it is not to start something new when I am tired. So I will work on them today, as well as cut some more out.
I can see that I am going to be multi-tasking and working on several of these projects at once. The subsequent blogs this week will probably be a mixture of different stages for several of the projects. I have no idea how long it will take me to complete all eight of the designs that I drew up over the weekend, but I expect it to be a week or so.
I feel like I am at Disney World and don’t know what ride to go on first!
As I look at all that is in front of me these next several days, it will be fun and exciting to see each one emerge from the pieces of wood that are now sitting on my table. It has been a while since I added new candle trays into my arsenal of patterns, and while the older designs are still very popular, it was time to introduce some new trays for the new season.
I plan on coloring this tray in with some acrylic stain, which will make the design look pretty cool I think. But I like showing the trays ‘naked’ too because they look pretty nice in natural wood too. (By the way – this tray is done in maple) I hope you stay tuned so you can see all the new trays I made. It is a fun journey and I am thoroughly enjoying it.
The sun is up now, and it is going to be a beautiful day. Unlike yesterdays grey rain, it is bright and beautiful and very pretty out. Perhaps I will be able to fit in a nice walk. It seems like ages since we have done that.
Have a great day today. Enjoy whatever life has to offer you!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"