I spent most of the day yesterday working on some orders for wood pieces that I want to ship on Monday. Even though it is labor-intensive, I like that part of my job, as it allows me to be a 'woodworker'. People think that because I design woodworking patterns that I spend most of my days in the shop. Actually, it seems that the actual cutting time I get is probably closer to 10 to 15% of my work time – if that. I realize this is in part because I also design painting patterns and also lately have been spending part of my evenings (when time allows) learning needlework and embroidery. Usually my goal is to wrap up my "work day" by dinner time and then spend the time between dinner and bed doing my embroidery. It rarely works out that neatly though, and many times I work right up until I go to bed, or I am too tired to tackle the needlework, as it takes a little bit of concentration on my part at times. But that is OK though because it is very rare that I dislike what I am doing in the first place and my "job" is a source of enjoyment for me. Again – if there were only a 48 hour day! (And then I will probably still be asking for more!) The world is full of wonderful things to do!
I know Keith doesn't quite understand the entire concept of embroidery and why I do it. Every now and then he looks over at me working on my stitchery and quietly mutters "You're crazy!" He doesn't say it in a derogatory manner at all, but I realize that he doesn't really see the purpose of why I want to do it. (This is from the man who is building an entire new sound system for us when I feel that ours is perfectly adequate.)
I usually just smile back at him and say "To each his own."
After all – living our own lives and allowing others to live theirs should be a given. While it is fun and exciting to find someone with similar interests as your own, wouldn't you think it would be dull and boring if we all were interested in exactly the same things? I find that the older I get the more I understand this and perhaps the more 'mellow' I have become. I think that is a good thing.
I have had the good fortune of being able to surround myself with creative people. Many of them have interests that are similar to my own, yet many of them are pursuing other venues. In thinking about it, I find that I equally admire them and that it matters little what media they have chosen. What matters to me is that they are following their hearts and pouring their passions into doing something positive and productive and something that they believe in. Be it woodworking or painting or embroidering and sewing or even electronics or writing, they are finding satisfaction in the process of creating. Those are my favorite people to be around.
I don't think that is an accident. I believe that when people are creating something new – no matter what it is – it builds self-confidence and self-esteem and gives us a sense of accomplishment. In turn it feeds our souls and gives our life meaning and purpose. And because of what we create, we tend to be happier people.
I have thought about my embroidery picture as I progress in its creation. I have been asked what I am going to do with it when I am done. Truth be told, I haven't really thought much about it. I suppose I could admire it for a while and tuck it into a drawer. I had ideas of making a pillow of it, but as I see how the cat's are fascinated with all the beads and wings and dimensional parts of it, that is out of the question. In all probability I will just make it into a picture and hang it on the wall. It will remind me of my first lessons in the craft and be a benchmark for future projects. It will be something I can look back on and feel accomplished about.
I finished panel 7 last night. That means I am nearly at the half way mark of the piece, as it consists of 17 panels in all. (Well – almost half way anyway!) I am amazed that I am so far so quickly, as I gave myself to the end of the year to complete it and at this rate, I may very well be done by the end of summer. I have learned so much since beginning it just two short months ago. Terms such as "stumpwork" and "bullion stitch" and "stab stitches" have become part of my vocabulary and there is instant understanding and visualization when I hear them. I give full credit to Di van Niekerk for the outcome of my project so far. Without her clear and concise instructions and wonderful style of teaching, I certainly would not be so successful in the craft. I am so happy I have found her.
I suppose I rambled on enough though and it is time to show you the panel. This is panel 7 of the "A Perfect World" sampler:
The components in this panel are as follows:
The beautiful blue Phlox divaricata . . .
The pretty, winding vine of the Pimpernel . . .
And, of course the beautiful roses . . .
And the "critter" on this panel is a pretty blue butterfly . . .
What a delight it is to make these!
Our world is far from "perfect". Every day we encounter hardship, sorrow and loss. For many of us, we use our creativity to express our thoughts and feelings, and to surround ourselves with pretty things to focus on so that things don't seem so bad.
There is much joy in the world. Although some days we find that joy elusive. Perhaps by creating things that depict the good things around us that make us happy, we not only lift our own hearts, but the hearts of those who see them as well. If that were the case, it could truly be "A Perfect World" after all.
I like to think that is so.
Have a wonderful Sunday. And happy Mother's Day to all the moms who dedicate their lives to others.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"