What an incredible weekend I had! It was a combination of accomplishing, relaxing, beautiful weather, good food, a Saturday night “date” and even some beach thrown in. I can think of little more that would have made it much better.
It started off like any other weekend. However, the weather was absolutely supreme. It was sunny and warm, without being either too hot or humid, and it made Saturday just an all around pleasant day. Keith had to run into work for a couple of hours, and that allowed me to get some things done here. After the general straightening, I got to work on finishing and assembling my plaques.
I cut backboards for all nine of them, as well as painted the backboards in some nice, deep colors. I wanted the hint of color to show through the Damask cutouts and accent the natural color of the wood. I found that using colors that were too soft or washed out would get lost in the shadows, so I chose deeper colors so that they would be seen.
I then photographed each plaque for the pattern packet. The ash pieces came out beautiful. I love ash and it is one of my favorite woods to use. Even though it has a distinct grain, it is a much tighter grain than something such as oak, which means that it will hold up to the intricate scrolling fairly well. I also love that it retains its light color even when oiled. Many of the other lighter woods take on a really yellowish cast when mineral oil is applied. While that looks great for some plaques, there are times when I like the wood to be lighter.
The first set of plaques that I finished was the SLD435 Damask Kitty Silhouettes. These are cut from ash, as you see and have some wonderfully bright backers.
I really think that this set is my favorite, and I love how they came out. The light ash is the perfect background for the solid black acrylic painted silhouettes. And the deep coloured back boards add just the right splash of color. The cutting was fun and not difficult and it really makes an elegant display. I hope you like them as well.
In looking at the photograph, it almost looks Photoshopped. But I can assure you, I did cut them all and no Photoshopping other than color correction and removal of the background around the plaques were done. I am very proud of these pieces. :)
The next set was of SLD436 Damask Butterfly Silhouettes. For this group, I chose some pretty curly maple.
You can see the ripples in the maple and it looks just fabulous in person! I chose more Earthy colors for the backgrounds of these plaques, as I felt they complimented both the color of the wood and were more associated with the natural colors of the butterflies and would make us think of Monarchs, Tiger Swallowtails and Viceroys.
The final group of plaques (SLD437) are the Damask Hummingbird Silhouettes.
Once again, these are cut from ash. I chose some warm, yet intense colors for the backgrounds for these as well, as that shot of color really brings out the designs nicely.
When Keith arrived home on Saturday afternoon, he wanted to take me to a movie in Yarmouth. The weather was perfect for putting the top down on the car and doing some ‘night convertable-ing’. It has been so cool this summer that there have been few opportunities to do so. We had a nice date night and some time to relax.
I had planned to get these up on the site on Sunday, but instead I decided to take the day ‘off’. I spent the morning catching up on some house work and the day was so picture perfect that I had to do something outside.
After all – drawing, cutting and finishing nine plaques in a week was a pretty good amount to accomplish. It was time to take a day for myself.
I had thought about spending the day painting, but so far the summer has been rather strange with it being either cool or rainy and here with it being mid-August already, I realize that there aren’t going to be many more warm days such as this. I spent the afternoon washing, waxing and detailing my car which is something I have always loved doing.
I know it sounds goofy, but I truly enjoy taking care of my things and maintaining them. I am the same way with my tools and brushes and everything that I own. I know I don’t have a lot by most people’s standards, but what I have is nice and I like to keep it that way as long as I can.
My car is now 10 years old and I love it as much as I ever did. I constantly have people stop and ask me what year it is and they can’t believe that it is a 2003 because it looks almost new. While it is generally kept clean, it really looks awesome when it is all polished up and waxed and shiny. I hope to keep it another 10+ years and be able to enjoy it for a long time to come.
When I was done with it, it was late afternoon. It was still sunny and beautiful out and Keith was visiting his friend. So I packed up a quick bag and headed for my favorite place in the world – the BEACH! I couldn’t help but think of how fortunate I am to have such an incredible life as I drove along the water. Keith had got me an incredible stereo system for the car last Christmas and spent the spring installing it and it was really nice to be able to enjoy it.
Today I feel wonderfully refreshed and ready to get back to work. It felt really good to have some time to do the things I wanted and also to have some quiet time watching the tide move out. I think that everyone needs time to themselves occasionally so they can truly relax and find their peace. I know that when I don’t allow this for myself, I tend to get anxious and tense and I am not the best at what I do.
I will finish writing the pattern packets for these three sets of patterns. I plan to get them up on the site, as well as the bird silhouette set that I showed next week. Then I will begin working on my next project.
I hope you all had a great weekend as well. This one will go down in my book as one of the best of the summer (so far!) It will be a nice “remember when . . .” moment for me to look back on on those trying days, and know that things will be better.
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. ~J. Lubbock
Happy Monday to you all!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"