It is NOT snowing today.
It is hazy and dull outside, and I can see the tops of the bare trees waving slightly in the breeze. There are still mountains of snow – some drifts 3-4 feet high – and they are no longer that beautiful pristine white, but rather rather dirty looking and grey. As I look out to my car, however, I notice that the banks of snow that surround it no longer have it completely encased. They have pulled back quite a bit, leaving a gap between the wall of snow and the car itself. The spring thaw has definitely began.
This upcoming transition is probably my least favorite time of year. It is certainly one of the ugliest. I have never liked that season between the beautiful winter snow and the warm green pastures. It always seems so wet, muddy and dull. Everything is still lifeless and we are teased by a spattering of warm days here and there in between the days of still freezing rain and flurries.
Then come the storms. Growing up on the Great Plains in the Chicago area, that meant that there would be a risk of flooding and tornadoes. The rivers swelled as the snow melted and had nowhere else to go. It was troubling to see additional hardships brought on those who had just emerged from a harsh winter. It was as if winter did not want to exit quietly.
But eventually the days will calm down, and the warmer days will win over. Life will once again begin emerging and things will renew themselves. The grey grass will turn green and the bare trees will blossom and regenerate. Spring will come.
I try not to spend much of my time worrying about the weather. It is something that can't be helped or changed, and therefore I feel it is a waste of my time to do so. I find that when I am not happy about things like the weather or my surroundings or things of that nature, I refocus on the things that I CAN change and push myself in a better direction.
Yes. I said PUSH because it isn't always easy. When things happen around us that are not quite positive, we tend to wallow in them for a little bit. At least I do. But I find that if I take the time to notice this and really think about things that are going on, there is usually some things I can do to make myself feel better about things. Sometimes it is as easy as talking to a friend. Sometimes I take a walk or do an activity that I enjoy. Other times it is focusing on creating something that makes me smile. These are all within my control and all great diversions that help me feel more positive about my own life and world. It helps keep me happy no matter what time of year it is. It helps make every day a good one.
Today I will be finishing up the pattern packets for my four new designs. I had a good start on them yesterday and I am in the home stretch. I hope to get them on the site later on tonight or early tomorrow and we will have a newsletter go out tomorrow for sure. Besides my own four designs, Keith has several new word art patterns he added as well. All in all I would say we have been busy.
I have enjoyed revealing these new patterns to you one day at a time. It has been a wonderful boost to me to see how much you have liked them. Each and every comment is greatly appreciated and I love building the anticipation and keep you guessing a little as to what the next design will be.
Today we have lambs or sheep if you will. I suppose that they are a little more like sheep because they are fat and round, where lambs tend to be more lanky and trim. While lambs are a bit more representative of spring, the rounder, fatter sheep make better shapes for boxes.
My sheep boxes were made from hickory. The board that I had was beautifully toned with two colors of brown – a lighter brown base and a dark streak through it. While on most of these boxes I used two different species of wood for contrast, I found it unnecessary to do this time. The contrast was already there.
For the smaller box, I decided to make a small flower shape:
When I picture sheep in my mind, I do so with them grazing in a field. I thought that flower went nicely with the sheep theme as an accessory, and it was a fun and pretty piece to scroll.
I also made some smaller sheep, as with the previous boxes. This time I used both the lighter and darker parts of the hickory, but since I wanted a very dark sheep, I also cut one of some dark walnut. they make a cute set, I think:
Also – as with the previous sets – the boxes all have a unique 'weave' pattern on their sides. For the sheep I chose to make a fun scalloped pattern, so it resembles the 'fluff' of their coats. That along with the comma shaped slits in the top helped create the curly look I was seeking.
All in all, I am happy with them. I could picture this not only at Easter time filled with candy, but also in a nursery or baby's room filled with cotton balls. The three boxes so far would make a wonderful, cute set of canisters I think.
Of course, I took some Easter themed photos as well:
The bright pastel colors look beatufiul with the soft shades of the hickory. And the dark sheep looks wonderful as well.
Of course, I had to include the two tiny chenille chicks. They are so adorable.
When I look at these, I just smile. As soon as I am finished with updating things tomorrow, I think I need to take a day off and redecorate my 'all season tree' for spring. I love the beautiful glass egg ornaments that I purchased from Ebay last much that I featured here. I also have my pretty bunny ornaments and some embellished eggs that I made in previous years, and some pretty beaded garland. While I loved my "polar tree" that has been up since Christmas was over, it is time now to move on and change with the seasons.
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
Soon the trees and fields will awaken.
Embrace the day – whatever it brings. For you alone can make your own happiness. The days will pass quickly and before we know it, winter will only be a faint memory.
Tomorrow I will show my forth and final design from this group. Happy Wednesday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"