I can’t believe that after getting up on time, it seems I am already running late! (It is just after 8am as I am writing, and so much to do today!) I spent the morning catching up on emails and so forth, as I took a day (partially) away from the computer yesterday to have a little break and accomplish some things. It is a constant batter for me between staying connected and getting actual things done. I find that it can be so easy to spend the entire day ‘visiting’ with customers and friends on the computer, and I need to take note of things and allow myself only a certain amount of time. Otherwise, nothing new will get done.
The weekend was full and fun, as always. I actually finished my new project for Painting With Friends yesterday morning. For those that don’t know – “Painting With Friends” is a group of collaborating artists that work with the very talented Terrye French in creating fun and whimsical painting pattern packets. (You can visit the Painting With Friends blogspot and see the wonderful array of work at http://paintingwithfriends.blogspot.ca/)
I often get questions how it works, so I will explain it to you so you understand. Terrye is a very prolific designer, and has many more ideas than she has time to implement them. She send sketches to those of us who are in the Painting With Friends group and we use her sketches as a spring board for how we would finish the designs and work them into pattern packets. We are given the freedom to do just about ANYTHING we want with them, and this makes our projects fun and unique. Since there are many different designers with very different styles and personalities, the ideas are always fresh and fun. We split the proceeds from the patterns with Terrye and everyone benefits – Us, Terrye and the painters! It is a very fun system and I love being part of it.
I have been asked several times why I participate when I have so many ideas of my own already. I like to answer with the reason that it helps me explore an area of art that I don’t really specialize in and expand my own abilities. Many of you know that I enjoy painting realistic paintings. I find that fun and whimsical designs such as Terrye’s are relaxing and I enjoy doing them a great deal. Painting With Friends is perfect for me and gives my own designing a new dimension. I still do designs on my own, but I like to do designs for the group as well.
This is my third design for the group. It is a cute candle tray/mat that can be painted on wood or done in Roc-Lon fabric for those who don’t cut wood. I am sure that those of you who read often know how I love doing candle trays. I thought that since I offer the basic wood piece to paint as a candle mat, I may as well make some more designs that use the piece. I like cutting wood pieces from time to time and I spend a day a week or so filling orders for pieces. This is a nice change for me and allows me to spend some extra time at the saw.
In any case, here is a picture of the tray. This one is done in 1/4” plywood:
And here is the counterpart, done in Roc-Lon fabric. Roc-Lon is intended for drapery lining, and painters have found it to be wonderful for painting. The edges don’t fray at all and it can be cut to any shape. The painting surface is textured somewhat like canvas, and it is weather resistant so it makes great banners and things that go outdoors. This was the first time I painted on it and found it to be a dream to work with. I think it is a great alternative for wood and for those who don’t have access to a woodcutter or who don’t cut their own wood, it is wonderful.
The mat came out really cute.
And since the Roc-Lon was fabric, I decided to do a simple blanket stitch on the edges and around the candle for some added interest and texture. Of course the stitching can be painted as with the wooden tray, but I liked the idea of sewing it on. It only took me about an hour or so to do it, and I love the results.
I spent the rest of the day working on my embroidery sampler. I made progress on the second panel and I am for the most part happy with the results. I had finished the stumpwork Penstemon flowers last week:
And yesterday, worked on my Wood Poppies:
The pink Erica flowers are next up, as well as the little honeybee. I get an hour or so in the evening to work on them when I am done for the day, and I am enjoying the learning experience.
Today I am cutting some wood orders to be mailed out tomorrow. I am also going to be beginning to draw my next scroll sawing project. I have a wonderful idea for an Easter project that hopefully will come out nice. I have been thinking about the construction of it and figuring it out while I was doing these other things and I think it should work out well.
Always so much to do! But what a fun life it is!
I hope you all have a wonderful week. We still have piles of snow here, with rumors of more to come. It doesn’t bother me though, as I am happy with so much here to keep me busy and creative.
Happy Monday to you all!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"