Over the past week or so, things here have been moving fast and furious. Keith and I decided we were going to take a two to three week trip to Chicago and see my children (and meet my grand daughter) and stop along the way to visit friends and teach a class or two. I usually am pretty good at planning things, but doing so on the fly has some challenges – both expected and unforeseen – that go with it. There is a lot to coordinate, and that leaves room for things to go wrong. But with a bit of patience and sorting things out, everything can work.
I like to drive whenever I am able. Besides the high cost of air fares, I like that when I drive I get to see the countryside and I feel more relaxed. I am also able to bring more both to my destination in the form of supplies and class materials and on my return trip home. Since we are travelling in October, we hope to see the beautiful colors of fall throughout the New England countryside. That is something I have always wanted to see.
I had pretty much given up the idea of making a trip this autumn. Keith’s dad was ill and naturally we didn’t want to go during that time. We wanted to be with our family on this side of the border. But circumstances changed and my grand daughter Willow was born and it has been over two years since I have visited my own children, so squeezing in a trip before the weather changed was once again an option. But we had to move quickly.
My dear friend Jeannie was very enthusiastic about us coming to visit and teach her wood club near Albany, New York. Since it was right along our way, we also thought it would be a great opportunity to touch base with people and have a nice visit for a couple of days with people who we really enjoyed. Jeannie got right to the matter and started scheduling classes.
But last Sunday, she was brought to the hospital because her heart stopped. Needless to say that was quite a scare, as they kept her for a few days for observation. She did go home last Wednesday though and after a few days rest, she jumped right back in to arrange for us to be there. She is an amazing woman and an incredible friend.
Long story short, along with some other key members of the group she arranged for us to teach a scroll sawing class on Thursday night and a painting class on Friday. We are thrilled and honored that there is so much interest.
But now came the planning . . .
Prior to her getting ill, I was able to call DecoArt and order the paints and mediums needed for the class. I understand that they already arrived.
I also got hold of a representative of Olson Scroll Saw Blades and they were happy to supply blade samples for all who participated in the class. That will be a nice bonus for Keith and myself, as we will be teaching with blades we are used to using.
We have decided on the projects and the lesson plan for the class, which will focus on many of the techniques of scrolling. The painting class will cover my SLDP208 All Cracked Up Snowman, which will cover all the basic painting techniques (base coating, float shading, highlighting, line work) as well as applying the DecoArt Weathered Wood Crackle Finish. I think both classes will be lots of fun and hopefully everyone will learn something new.
This morning I woke up to an email from Jeannie with TWO decent hotel choices for our stay near Albany. Everything is falling into place.
Yesterday, I finalized the scroll saw blade selection and they are on their way. I made an appointment to get back to the eye doctor this afternoon (to readjust my contact prescription so I can see normal again!), I found out that the bearing in my car was, indeed worn and it was replaced. Our mechanic is going to bring it to the alignment specialist tomorrow to give it a final (we hope) alignment and make sure it is in good shape for the trip.
Keith is working at the plant this week to pick up some extra money for the trip so I have been trying to get everything organized as much as I can without a car and without his input. Although I did have his dad’s car as of yesterday for a day or so while we waited for mine. That allowed me to make the eye appointment for today. I also need to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday. We are going to our good friends’ cabin (Ellen and Bernie’s) and we are bringing Keith’s mom as well. It will be a welcome bread from all the busyness here.
Oh – and in between that I cut out my new box that needs to get to the magazine. Most of the cutting is finished, and all I need to do is fit and cut the slots. Here is a quick picture of some of the detail. I will show more tomorrow, I promise:
I must say – this is NOT the easiest cutting that I ever did. The box is cut from ash, which in itself actually helps the process because even at the 3/16” thickness of the sides, offers a good amount of resistance needed to control the blade. But there are definite techniques and ways to cut this type of design that will help you be successful. I was sure to take extra photos along the way so I could point them out in the pattern.
And finally, I got to talk a bit with my daughter. When in Chicago, we will be spending time with both my daughter and my son and his family (and of course, the new baby!). They do live about an hour away from each other and while we have some activities planned together, we also are going to spend some time with each of them individually. That all has to be worked out.
We talked about trips to the zoo, some of my favorite restaurants, Starved Rock State Park, Six Flags and several other options. It will be a wonderful trip to be sure!
I saw this picture that my daughter’s boyfriend posted of her last night on Facebook. She had told me that for one of her classes she had to do a photo assignment and chose one of my favorite places in the city – Navy Pier.
After speaking to her in the afternoon and then seeing her here, my heart just jumped at the thought of spending time with her. I love her and miss her so much!
I also received a 1 month picture of sweet Willow (my grand daughter) the other day.
It is hard to believe that she is already a month old! Time passes by so quickly and I am glad we made the decision to go and see her before she grows up. It seems like only yesterday that my beautiful Danielle was that small. They sure grow up fast!
Yesterday was a banner day for me. It seemed that I was able to check so many things off of my list and one by one, the little problems are being solved. We are planning to leave early Tuesday morning, and will probably be on the road nearly three weeks. But in that time we will not only be able to reconnect with our friends and do some teaching, but spend the majority of time with my wonderful children. It will be a wonderful time.
I must admit that things were kind of getting to me earlier this week. I felt overwhelmed and exasperated at all the little obstacles that popped up. But by looking at these problems one by one, things weren’t so bad and I was able to make great headway on our plans. That really makes a difference.
Today I still have lots to do. I need to finish that box and do some shopping and get my eyes re-checked so hopefully I can see better again. But it is a good start to the day already and I am looking forward to making progress and the days ahead.
Have a great Thursday!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"