My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1352: A Weekend Without Power

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 07-07-2014 12:17 PM 1875 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1351: Finally on to Designing Part 1352 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1353: Research for a project »

I suppose I spoke too soon on Saturday. After all the cries of "wolf" continually from the weather channels, we had really become accustomed to not paying much heed to their dire warnings of impending doom. Since Keith and I don't even get 'regular TV' we only had heard about the storm from others. I checked the map on Friday to see Arthur's progress and it appeared to hit land and be winding down. Surely by the time it reached Nova Scotia, it would be minimal. 

I suppose I was wrong. 

While we didn't receive much rain, the wind and wind damage was far beyond our expectations. In my ten years here in Nova Scotia, I had never experienced wind with such power. Keith had gone to his mom's to work on a project and had called me around 11:30 to say they lost power there. She is located on a hill much closer to the ocean than us though and typically gets hit worse than use during storms such as these. 

Just to be safe, I unplugged everything after his call. Thing had flickered anyway and I didn't want to take the chance of losing any of our electronics due to a power surge, brown out, or any other similar factors. With minutes of unplugging things, we lost power. That was about 12:15 in the afternoon on Saturday and we wound up not having power until 11pm Sunday night. 

Long story short, it was a different weekend. Where we live, not only does losing power mean we lost anything electrical, but it also means our water pump doesn't operate so we have no water. Fortunately, I had filled up several large pots with water to drink and wash with, as we have been caught without before. We had lamps, a bar-b-que, and felt we were pretty much ready for the long haul if necessary. However, all the computer work that I intended to do this weekend was not an option. I had to do something else. 

I finished hand sanding all the wood that needed to go out today. That was actually quite relaxing. We then took a nap for a couple of hours, as the past weeks' work was catching up to me. At dinner time, we decided to head out to see what damages were made, as by then the storm had completely passed and the winds and rain had stopped almost completely. 

We were very shocked to see the great amount of trees that had fallen and the devastation that the storm had brought. At Keith's mom's house, which has woods behind it, several trees had fallen and been completely ripped from the ground. We decided to head to Yarmouth and on the way we saw so many huge trees completely uprooted and laying on power lines, sheds, homes and so forth. It was very sad and troubling. We arrived in Yarmouth shortly after power had been restored there (about 7:30 pm) and people were already cleaning their yards and picking up all the debris. We ate our dinner and stopped in the grocery store to see that all the refrigerated products were completely empty. Apparently they had moved out all items and put them in storage when the power was lost. 

We stopped back at Keith's mom's on the way home to check on her and report the damage. While Yarmouth had power, it seemed that there was no power anywhere else. We arrived home around midnight and were preparing for the long haul. 

Yesterday morning still no power or water and I managed to make a good pot of coffee on the bar-b-que. At least with that I could survive. Keith was antsy and decided to go to his mom's and asses the damage and begin clean up. I waited here with the cats and kept the home fires burning. With my recent back issues and it still being tender, I was afraid hauling branches would not be good for me. I still haven't been able to get to the gym and when I went out to the well in the back to bring a bucket of water in for the potty, I thought I pulled it out again. I guess that I just have to keep going slow. 

I spent the afternoon working on my "A Perfect World" embroidery. I was worried about my deadlines, but since I was at a point at them where I needed my computer, I couldn't move forward on any of them. So I decided to just go with what was dealt to me and take a 'forced vacation'. I was at the point where I wanted to re-work panel 11 because I was unhappy with the cosmos flower petals. I had shown the first of the flower reworked and I felt I was on the right track, I just needed to do the other two. 

This was how it looked last week when I finished it:

I felt the petals of the pink cosmos looked sloppy and unfinshed:

They were lined with interfacing and some of them were supposed to flip over, which showed the ugly underside. The edges were left raw as well. 

So what I did was this – I used the ribbon and did what is called a 'straight stitch'.  I did this very loosely so that I was able to fold the outer part of each petal over itself, so the flip would show the good side of the ribbon and the edges would be neat. I embroidered a split stitch in silk thread over each petal both to attache it to the main piece and denote vein lines in them, which are characteristic of cosmos. The outer parts of the petals were stitched free from the background so I was able to 'coax' them into shape to look like they are dimensional and turning. The silk stitches also helped to 'ruffle' the tips of the petals. While it was a bit tedious, I feel it was very worth the results. After probably investing several hundred hours to date in this piece, re-doing something like this was certainly the only option since I wasn't happy with it. For me leaving it would have ruined the entire piece. 

Here is the results of my re-do:

The individual flower look so much better:

You can see the dimension is really nice as well:

My entire attitude toward the piece is once again positive. I was quite a discouraged after last week and I knew that I wouldn't be happy until I did something about it. 

I hope you all like the newer version better as well. 

Today will be a day of catching up again. I am sad about my deadlines being so goofed up, but I am happy that I was able to at least accomplish something productive. I loved the way that the people around us banded together as well, as our neighbors were wonderful in checking on us and everyone helped each other and let each other know they were there for them. It kind of renews your faith in people. :) 

If I am slow in answering, please bear with me. Just as I was catching up, I have a filled email box again and many things to do. Thank you to all of you who checked on us as well. I believe the next time we are warned, we will be a bit more attentive and take it more seriously. Even if it turns out to be a cry of "wolf" we will be better safe than sorry. 

I wish you all a wonderful Monday! 

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

3 comments so far

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2095 days

#1 posted 07-07-2014 05:15 PM

Hi Sheila, I’m glad to hear you survived the storm. We see on the news how much damage the wind created. Hope you have a sunny and calm week!
Love the re-do on the petals. It looks like it fits in with the whole theme much better.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3241 posts in 3734 days

#2 posted 07-09-2014 06:33 AM


So sorry to hear about your storm damage, but glad to know you’re okay.

Your cosmos really looks great. I knew from your first cosmos re-do that they would come out perfectly.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2942 days

#3 posted 07-09-2014 10:48 AM

Thank you both so much. I do feel so much better about the cosmos now. They look more like they fit in with the design like Anna said.

We were very, very fortunate. We understood that some still didn’t have power (Monday night!) and are waiting. We are very lucky! :)

Have a great day ladies.


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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