I can't tell you all how much good taking some time off last weekend did for me. Not only did I get some things organized, but I also allowed myself to do some things that I really enjoyed. It isn't that I don't enjoy my life every day. I love what I do and I say it often because I know I am fortunate to have a job where I actually look forward to getting up each morning so I can start my day and work. I am not saying it is perfect, but it is pretty darn close.
I had so many wonderful new ideas that I began developing yesterday! I am channeling my thoughts into Christmas and holiday time, as my projects for Creative Woodworks and Crafts Holiday Issue are going to be due very shortly. I came up with not one but THREE fun and what I think are unique projects that I am going to be developing for that issue. I ran them by my editor yesterday and I got the green light on all three of them, so I am good to go and need to really start getting busy drawing. I will be doing that most of the rest of this week.
I did however, stay true to my promise to myself that I would "quit working" by at least 9pm in the evening. This will allow me some time each day to unwind and work on the things that I want to work on, and it will give me something to look forward to each night.
Over the weekend, I made some good progress on my "A Perfect World" embroidery sampler. Those of you who read regularly express that you enjoy seeing each of the panels completed, and I also enjoy showing it off. It is made from a kit that I got from Di van Niekerk who is located in South Africa. This form of embroidery is called Silk Ribbon and Stumpwork and has been around for centuries. It fascinated me when I saw it and I just had to try it. I have found Di's instructions and kits to be a wonderful new path of exploration in creativity for me and I am thoroughly enjoying working on this panel called "A Perfect World". The instructions are the entire book and it teaches over 60 stitches and techniques. While I have had some embroidery experience in the past, it has certainly brought my skills to a new level. I encourage anyone who is interested in pursuing this art form to check out Di's site. All of her books, materials, kits and videos are top notch quality, and I am certain you won't be disappointed. I purchased this kit from her directly, along with more additional supplies than I care to mention <grin> and everything that I have received is amazing. All the beautiful colors of hand dyed silk ribbons and threads spoil you for anything else. And while I was concerned about receiving the items in a timely manner, my last order arrived in a short six days – all the way from South Africa! I have ordered three times now and each order went without a hitch. It is truly wonderful to find such a great company and dedicated people.
Anyway, since I am running late this morning, I will get to the photos. As I said – I finished panel eight of the seventeen panels. That means I am nearly half way through the piece! I had given myself until the end of the year to complete it, but since I only started in February and am this far already, I am now hoping to be done by the end of summer. I am very excited!
Panel eight consists of Honeysuckle, a beetle and two Hawk Moths. Here is an overall photo of it:
As always, these are quick "snapshot" type photos. When I complete the entire design, I will take some beautiful, high-quality photos of it, I promise!
The pretty yellow and coral honeysuckle flowers have raised stumpwork leaves and glass beads 'berries' The moths have stumpwork organza wings that are delicately embroidered with silk thread. They were so much fun to do! :)
I loved doing the little beetle, too! His little striped body is raised up a bit so he actually looks like he can crawl off the panel!
The overall depth and dimension of this panel is amazing! I find that I am getting better with each step at allowing the ribbon to flow. While I felt awkward in the beginning, I am now feeling more relaxed. Even though I am still learning, I am much more familiar with the stitches and terminology.
I am at the half-way point right now as I begin panel nine. The next panel is quite involved and I think will take me a while to complete. I don't have the energy to work on it every night, but I try to do so for at least an hour or so if I am up for it. One promise I made to myself was that I would never work on it if I were too tired. There is no time limit and I don't want to risk making a mistake because I am not concentrating. In general, it is very relaxing and fun. I want to keep this part of my creative world that way!
I am glad that I get so much positive feedback from showing this. While it is neither scroll sawing or painting, it is still being creative and I believe that it helps my other work as well. It certainly is a joy to see it come to love. The colors are amazing and it is thrilling to use each new strand of ribbon or thread. What a nice way to end my day each evening!
I hope you all have a wonderful and creative day today. It is overcast out this morning, but quiet and peaceful. I can hear the river across the road among the chirping birds and quiet hum of the insects. What a beautiful morning!
Happy Tuesday to you all! I hope you get to do something you love!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"