Lately I have felt a bit unfocused. I am not worried about that really, as this seems to happen to me from time to time and usually passes after a bit. I don't particularly like the feeling though. It usually occurs when I have many different things going on at once in different directions and I tend to get 'stuck' along the way as to which way I want to proceed first. I used to worry about it a bit, but now I have come to recognize it as just being a 'creative overload' and I know that if I just let it be and back off a bit, things seem to fall into place and I am right back to being productive again. I don't think it is a bad thing at all.
I am still working on writing the instructions for my three projects that I featured on Monday's blog. These three things went to Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine for publication in their holiday issue. It is always a bit of pressure for me to create designs for that particular issue because it is their most popular of the year. Many people want to get a jump start on their holiday crafting and as a designer, I want to put my best foot forward, as always. I like to think that my contributions to the issue help sell it and encourage interest in the magazine. Even though many people seem to prefer online magazines, I still like the thought of holding a paper issue in my hands, and I hope that the magazine is around for at least a while longer. In any case, coming off of that level of pressure that I place on myself usually leaves me with a bit of a 'let down.' For me, it is just part of the process. I have come to recognize and accept it.
I am happy to say that Keith and I have gone back to taking our daily walks. Although Keith has been having issues with one foot hurting a bit, he has been trying to stretch it out daily and we have been keeping our walks limited to the kilometer walk to the end of our road and back – staying on the pavement. While it may not be a picturesque as a stroll through the woods behind us, it is nonetheless filled with beauty and inspiration. The dreaded black flies seem to have run their course which allows me to enjoy the outdoors without fear of bites or the subsequent reactions I get from them. It is a much needed and welcome chance for me to step away from things and be thoughtful and appreciate all the beauty around me. And that is refreshing in itself.
The other day I had the presence of mind to bring my camera with me on our short stroll through my neighborhood. In looking back at the photos this morning, I am once again reminded of all the natural beauty that is around me. It is quite the change from the city streets of Chicago where I grew up. I have come to love it here in our little place across the road from the Meteghan River, Nova Scotia and I feel very fortunate to be where I am. I don't think I will ever take that for granted.
I was thrilled this year when the family of Canadian Geese returned to the small pond down the road from us. We had seen the male there for a month or so, and recently he has been joined by his mate and their small goslings.
Last year there were two families. But only the one came back to raise their young here again. There is though a mallard duck family that we sometime see sharing the pond with the geese. They weren't visible at the time I took the pictures, and in all probability they were across the road in the river, as we see them swimming there from time to time as well. It is quite a nice little area for them to be, and they are left in peace and I am sure well-fed.
Just past the pond, there is a pasture where four horses reside. The area goes back up the hill and I think that they are very happy there. You can hear the bellow of the bull frogs from the marsh and pond and it is beautifully quiet and peaceful. We enjoy seeing the horses in winter as well, as they are out on the milder days all year long. I will have to try to remember to take a photo then as well, as it really makes a pretty scene.
Down the road from the horses, there is a beautiful little garden area set up by one of our neighbors. I just thought I would take a photo of it because it looked so nice.
And at the end of the road (at the crossroad) is the old mill. The mill is no longer in operation, but the dam is and yesterday there were several cars parked and people inside. I wonder if they are thinking of doing some sort of renovation? I always thought if I ever came into money I would love to set up the mill as a woodworking shop or a tea shop or small cafe. Wouldn't that be fun? It would share the history of the mill as well as be functional and a nice little place for tourists to stop and visit. Perhaps a couple of hand made items would be available as well. Oh . . . to dream . . . !
And finally – on our way home we encountered a single lupine. They are definitely late in coming out this year, as is just about everything. I was not familiar with them until I came to Nova Scotia, but they are very plentiful and pretty and grow wild just about everywhere. I will post more pictures of them as they bloom.
As you can see, I live in a beautiful neighborhood, filled with inspiration. Sometimes just taking some time to enjoy things can help relieve the traffic jam of ideas that I have in my head. I am very fortunate to be where I am and I never wonder why I am so inspired every day.
Today I plan to do more writing. Perhaps I will be able to button up the three projects and start on some new things. I have some ideas as to what I want to do next, but I am letting them gel for now and thinking them through.
I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday. Remember to take time to enjoy the beauty around you.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"