I had to switch gears yesterday and jump from snowmen and snow globes to chicks and spring colors. I suppose that is part of what I really enjoy about my job – I am never working on anything long enough to be ‘bored’ with it.
This is truly an exciting time of year for me. I know that I can say that just about any time of year, but with the holiday season upon us, it seems that I am working on more projects and directions and the days pass by very quickly. I am sure that part of the reason the days seem so short is because we are approaching the time of year where we have the least amount of daylight. It begins to get dark somewhere between 4pm and 5pm in my part of the world and it certainly makes me feel as if the day is over sooner.
I never really mind the darkness though, as I usually have my little tree sitting in the corner of my main room and I enjoy the pretty glow it emits. It reminds me of Christmases past, when I lived in Chicago and used to attend after school tumbling and dance lessons at the local park district. By the time the classes ended (usually around 5pm) we would walk home together through the south side streets of the city and enjoy the beautiful decorations that the neighbors had put up for the season. We were around 10 years old then, and many times my girlfriends and I would stop at houses and sing Christmas carols along the way (we were all in chorus together). We would be bundled up like Eskimos and didn’t mind the snow and cold one bit. It made the hot chocolate that awaited us when we returned home taste even better. It is memories such as these that I associate with the cold and dark winter nights, and to me they are warm and comforting.
But working in the world of publishing has a way of rocketing me from one season to the next in the blink of an eye. For as the soft Christmas music plays in the background, I have been busy working on finishing up a project that I designed for the March issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine.
The project is one I called “Spring Chick Word Art” and it consists of a block letter vignette which spells the word “Spring” as well as two delightful and cheery chicks:
It may seem funny, but in the midst of working with the deep, rich colors of Christmas, making a project that uses bright and cheerful pastels is quite refreshing. I not only applied paint to the faces of these letters, but I also played around with a fun stenciling technique to add some elegance and interest. I really think it made a difference in the overall look of the project and made it look finished and professional.
And the chicks! They came out so cute and funny! It was truly something that made me smile.
While I had designed the project a couple of weeks ago, the time has come for the instructions to be at the magazine offices to get them ready for printing. The magazines work far ahead, as it takes a bit of time for them to lay out the articles and get things to the printer in order for it to be ready for delivery on time. We work far ahead on things and are usually about 4-6 months ahead of the actual subscription date. Since I often change things in the course of creating the project, I seldom write the instructions until after it is completely built. While in a perfect world that would happen immediately when I finish, the reality of things is that I move on to other projects and later on come back to what I had submitted several weeks before to write the instructions. This was the case here.
In addition to the project itself, I am also going to be contributing an article on using stencils as a decorating technique for our woodworking projects. This easy technique can make a huge difference in the appearance of the project, yet requires little artistic skill and cost. It is not only fast and easy, but it also has a really beautiful results.
I wanted to show our readers just how fun and easy it is to use this process, and the article does just that.
I am also thinking that I may make a short video that people can refer to as well. While explaining in print is good, it always is nice to have a video reference where others can see things done in real time and really understand the process. I am leaning toward doing that this weekend.
But for the most part, I am done with my writing and besides a little fine tuning on the article, it is ready for submission. I spent much of the day yesterday as well as the evening finishing things up.
So today I get to come back through my time machine and I will be once again working on Snowmen. I have had a tremendously positive response to my project (Snowman Collector) that I showed in yesterday’s post and the next step with that is to cut out and create the accompanying snow globe snowman ornaments that will be offered with the pattern. This will not only work well for the cover photograph of the pattern, but it will allow me to recreate the project and take some step-by-step instructional photographs along the way. I hope to have the pattern for this project completed over the weekend, as we are due to have another update on our site and also send out another newsletter.
It’s all good.
With that in mind, I had better get started. I have an early appointment and then I need to get busy on the other things mention. Before I know it, the day will be over.
I hope you all have a great day today. As we move through December, it is fun to see what everyone is up to. I have so many wonderfully creative friends, and they all seem to be kicking it into high gear, trying to get their gifts completed for the holidays.
I wish you all a wonderful and productive day. Happy Friday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"