I needed to take a couple of days ‘off’. I find that I get so caught up in what I do, that time goes by and I don’t even realize how many days straight that I am working. That is the danger in having a job that you enjoy so much, I suppose. You tend to stretch the days longer and longer with fewer breaks in between and then you wonder why you are so tired.
Even doing things we love can wear us out sometimes. We all know that feeling. We go on a holiday or spend the day at some type of event and sometimes we come home more tired than if we spent a full day at work. But we don’t notice it until it hits us like a ton of bricks.
The past couple of weeks have been rather busy. My partner Keith had picked up some extra hours at the plant where he used to work before working full time for our company. One thing good about designing and doing what we do is that the schedule is somewhat flexible. It makes it possible for him to sneak off and pick up some extra work when the plant needed him. He does this maybe once or twice a year. As I mentioned before, when he left the job, it was on good terms and it is nice that they call him when they are in need. It is a different outlook to work there knowing that it is only temporary, and the extra income is nice as well.
It is odd though how much it affects me and my work here at home. I think that part of me feels that if Keith is working, than I should really buckle down and pick up the pace of my own work here. There is always a lot for me to do, as I don’t only work in the woodworking field, but as you know I have been working on the painting part of my business as well.
Keith worries that I am taking on too much sometimes, but I try to explain that I love both fields and spending a bit of extra time doing the painting part isn’t a hardship at all. It is fun and relaxing for me. From the outside looking in, it is sometimes hard for others to understand that.
I used my time well these past two weeks I feel. I drew, cut and finished the 12 Damask plaques all in that time frame, as well as other things and running the day to day business tasks. That takes more time than people imagine (that’s not a complaint – just a fact).
I had spent Thursday and Friday of last week working out some paperwork and tax issues. I don’t want to get into particulars, but I think it is time for me to find a new accountant. Since I have hired her four years ago when I achieved my “Landed Immigrant” status here in Canada, I have had to file in both the USA and Canada. She was supposed to be educated on both tax systems, but the past four years have had issues and recently more issues have come up regarding things.
She is on vacation until Tuesday, at which time Keith and I will be waiting at her door to greet her upon her return to work to figure out some things. As I said, there is no need to mention details, but when I talked to the USA Internal Revenue Service on Friday, lets just say that they were the bright spot in my day. They pointed out some errors that she made that when rectified would be much to my favor.
Unlike the popular belief that the IRS are heartless, greedy bastards, I found the opposite to be true. I have had to deal with them two times in the past four years and both times they were compassionate, educated and honestly trying to help me pay my fair share of taxes, but not overpay. I was surprised and relieved about that.
However, I will have to deal with my accountant, who I personally think is a very nice woman, but on several occasions has dropped the ball regarding my taxes – at my expense. It is unfortunate when you hire someone to do a job and you wind up having to educate yourself completely on the subject anyway and tell her how to do it. Why am I paying her at all?
These battles are very draining and take away from my design time and my creative time. In twelve years of using my accountant from Chicago, I never once had an issue. However, once I was Landed here in Canada, he could no longer do my taxes, as he doesn’t know the Canadian tax system and I now need one who knows both USA and Canada. I suppose that I will be ‘accountant shopping’ very soon.
On Friday night I fell ill and needed to go to the ER in Yarmouth. It was nothing serious, but it turned out to be a UTI which was extremely painful and wouldn’t get better without antibiotics. Keith and I didn’t get home until nearly 3am Saturday morning. I can however attest to the Canadian healthcare system being excellent. While it was a long wait, it was no shorter than if I were in an emergency room in the USA. It was Friday night and there were three emergencies that had priority, so the others like us had to wait. While the system isn’t perfect, it is a good one and I did receive excellent care. It is worth it to pay higher sales tax on a daily basis as we do here in Canada to help support the healthcare system. In the States a trip to the ER would have cost me a great deal. Here I walked away without paying a cent. No, it isn’t perfect, but it works.
I spent yesterday laying low. I am probably going to do the same today. I am feeling better, but I don’t want to push things and I need to relax a bit. By the end of yesterday I was feeling rested and “antsy” so I decided to do a little painting. Unlike the painting that I do for work, I decided to paint another’s pattern for fun. Yes – this is different than creating my own design. There is no pressure or thinking, as the pattern is done for me. Ask any designer and they will tell you that there is a difference. (I say this because people have said “I thought you weren’t going to work?”) This isn’t work, it is play. I know it is hard to tell the difference, but that happens when one’s job is so close to what they do for leisure.
In any case, I decided to paint a couple of fun and whimsical ornaments from a Terrye French design. Terrye is the creative genius behind the “Painting With Friends” group that I just joined. While I love to paint realistic animals and cats, I certainly love Terrye’s fun and silly characters. I chose a set of six Halloween kitties. The first one is a Flying Kitty Bumblebee pictured below.
This is from the pattern packet called “Cat's Masquerade”. (Click on the link)
I decided to make them into pumpkin shaped ornaments. You can’t tell, but the background is painted with DecoArt Glamour Dust and sparkles. They are just adorable.
I am going to finish the others today. I already have them partially done. To me that is a day of rest and I am going to enjoy myself and relax and have fun doing it. They are silly and darling, and I can’t help smiling when I see them. I hope you enjoy them as well.
It is another beautiful, warm and sunny day here. I say that every day, but it has been just lovely. The nights are cool and autumn-like and the days are warm and sunny. Just perfect.
I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. I have some really cool designs I am thinking about that I am going to begin drawing tomorrow. They promise to be fun and I am really excited about them. I am also planning my first design for Terrye and the Painting With Friends group and I am very excited about that.
It’s all good.
I wish you all 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"