I am happy that last week is behind me. I can honestly say that it wasn't one of my 'favorite' weeks. It only confirmed my own beliefs that negativity and controversy can really take its toll on someone. For the first time since I could remember, I wasn't really excited about my work. I think when things really began to sink in, I realized the full scope of the events of the week and the implications for the future. I found it difficult to find my motivation, even though I still have many ideas that I want to see come to reality.
I am not telling you this to gain your sympathy or pity. I am just being honest because people who I speak to often wonder how I can keep a positive attitude when things don't go exactly as planned. I am often asked about this and people wonder how I stay excited and motivated nearly every single day.
Sometimes it is hard for me as well. There are days when everything seems to pile up and I feel like I am climbing up a muddy mountain carrying a 50 lb. backpack. I get tired, frustrated and discouraged just like the rest of you. But I find that is the time to look inside myself and really asses what was going on and how I reacted about it. Was it crippling me physically? Do I have other options? Can I figure a way around it?
In taking the time to stop and consider these questions, I usually figure out that things aren't always as bad as they seem. Usually it will take a little thought and ingenuity on my part to think through the situation, but after the dust settles and I am able to calm down and look constructively at things, I come up with some viable alternatives. This doesn't happen instantly, as usually it takes some serious thought and consideration, but I find that if I am patient and honest with myself, I wind up with several options in front of me.
I believe there are always options for us for most situations. It is a matter though of if we choose to take the time to look for them and embrace them, as they aren't always right in front of our noses. When something we don't like occurs, I believe we have two choices – seek the other options, or wallow in the misery of misfortune. I choose the former.
Since Keith and I are the creator of our designs, we are the ones in control of them. Hopefully, people who don't receive their magazines anymore will take it upon themselves to seek us out if they want to continue purchasing our patterns. On our side, we just need to ramp up our visibility a bit and be present in as many places as we can. It may mean a couple additional advertising dollars, but we understand that and realize that is part of the process.
What I am actually seeing as I actively look for ways to do this is that there were several different avenues already in place that we have yet to explore. If I wanted to be an optimist (and I do!) I will say that if it wasn't for the events of the past week or so, I would not have taken the time to seek these new avenues out. So I feel fortunate that I was forced to open my eyes to them.
I am going to put the past week behind me. What is done, is done. I have spent the necessary time to mourn the changes and I am ready to move ahead. One thing I found out is that I really don't like being in a 'mood' such as I was these past several days. While I still feel bad about what has happened, it is time to stand up and continue on and show myself what I am made of. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment far more than I enjoy the feeling of misery. I can't see any reason whatsoever as to why I should be miserable. There are still so many options ahead.
I spent Saturday cutting out my next project and doing the preliminary sanding. It felt good to be back at things again, and being productive was just what I needed. The project was one that has been requested many times in the recent years and I thought it would be a good start to get me 'back on the horse.'
A couple of years back, I designed a pattern which I called "Rocking Reindeer". (SLD360) It was very popular and people really loved it.
But people asked me many times if I would make reindeer that would stand on a table or mantle wihout the rockers. I finally got a chance to do this now. So here is what I came up with :
There are two reindeer in the set, and I will be adding more. I think I will have four poses in all, and then I will make a matching sleigh. These reindeer are a bit larger than the Rocking Reindeer (about 9" tall) and are made of hard maple. Since several of the people that requested them said they wanted to make a sleigh scene, I thought with four different poses, they could make two of each and it would make a beautiful set. Naturally they could add another deer for "Roudolph" if they want. I may or may not make an extra pattern for that. We will see.
They were a bit of a challenge because I wanted them to stand properly. For a while there, I was unsure if they would be steady enough, as they were not wide and a bit tall. But upon finishing them, I came up with a "foolproof" way to align the pieces so that they are very stable and since all the pieces are 'pinned' together with dowel rods, alignment is very easy and accurate. You only have to drill and cut accurately to accomplish it.
There was a time over the weekend when I was sanding these pieces and I was a bit worried. I didn't know if things would need to be modified, or if they would stand nicely. There was even a point when I considered scrapping the entire project. But I kept myself moving forward, and as I said, I believe I have come up with a quick and easy way to make these work. I am relieved about that and the extra thinking may have been just what I needed to get myself moving forward again.
So I am back. And after seeing these finished deer (they will be decorated nicely for presentation photos) I feel that I am through the worst of the ripples of last week. It is a new day and a new week and if things go well, we will be updating the site again with out new stuff in the next couple of days. Time marches on.
Thank you to all the many people who have sent me your messages of support. Whether it be here on the blog or in private messages and emails, it has certainly meant a lot for both Keith and myself. We will hang in here as long as we can.
I wish you all a great Monday and a wonderfully creative week ahead!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"