I often write about a place in my mind where I see very vivid visions of projects that I want to design. While it may sound strange to you all, it honestly is the truth and truly exists. This is the reason that I wake up so excited most mornings! I can't wait to start each day and one by one bring each of these projects to 'life'.
While I know it isn't always possible, I WISH you all could see the hundreds (yes – HUNDREDS) of spectacular things that I have planned for future projects. The hardest thing for me is to pick and choose which one will be done at what point, and I sometimes get overwhelmed just thinking about them all at once.
As a designer, it is a good thing though. It is my own personal 'job security' and one thing about having so many different ideas to create takes a lot of pressure off of myself. If one thing that I make doesn't really do well, I have learned to chalk it up to experience and move on to the next. I think that many times designers put so much pressure on themselves to make each project a home run that it sometimes stifles them and clouds their thinking. I find that if I am in a 'muddle' and can't decide what to do, I 'just pick' something that I think will be fun and usually by the time I am done with that, there are several other choices for me that seem viable and give me a clear direction to head. It is a great system for me and I must say, it is working well.
My friend reminded me the other day of one of my favorite stories: "The Tortoise and the Hare". I was feeling a little edgy because I was looking around at some of my peers who have seemingly hit one project out of the park after another. Because of the detail in which I create my designs and instructions, I am seeing that (at best!) I am only able to make maybe one or two projects or groups of projects per week (and stay sane!) Sometimes that bothers me when I see others cranking out pattern after pattern of wonderful projects.
But it shouldn't.
We all work at our own pace and we all have our own styles. That is what makes me "unique". One of the most important unspoken rules of being an artist and a designer (I feel!) is that we need to STOP looking at what everyone else is doing and "mind our own "p's" and "q's". We all work at a different pace and we all have different processes. What works well for one may not work well for another. That is part of the joy of doing what we do. WE get to set the pace.
With that said, I am really pleased with my latest project. I saw it as a vision in my head, and I was truly hoping that the reality would match what I saw. When I tried to explain it to a few people around me, I could tell that I didn't do a very good job of it and got some rather lukewarm, puzzled reactions. But I am kind of used to that. Apparently I don't have the ability to explain my visions as well as I can implement them. More and more I have learned to keep my cards close until the project is done. I do this because I used to get discouraged when I tried to explain what I planned to do and perhaps because I was unable to do so properly, I took these reactions as a negative and sometimes abandoned the ideas even before trying them out. (Us designers can be fragile like that! One lukewarm reaction can derail even the most wonderful idea!) But as I grow and mature as a designer, I am learning that I don't need 'approval' to complete an idea of my own. I have stopped listening to others and forged ahead and took the responsibility of accepting the consequences of every idea and project that I want to make. I believe that has helped me grow as an artist and even though every design hasn't been a home run, I feel that at least every idea was given the chance. Even if it was a miss, I learned something in the process. That certainly made it worth the risk.
For the past two days I have been working on a fun little Ladybug puzzle set. When I made the cute bunny puzzles last week (SLD500 Simple Bunny Puzzles) I received a wonderful response from so many customers. It seems that there was a need for these simpler, cute play things for kids. I knew I wanted to do more along those lines. As a result I created some fun Ladybug Counting Puzzles (SLD501) (the link will work later on today, when I post the pattern) I thought it would be a fun and cute way to help toddlers learn their numbers. I painted a full set using DecoArt's Multi-Surface Satin paint:
Did I tell you all I absolutely LOVE this paint?? It needs no primer or top sealer, it covers beautifully and is highly durable. The adhesion is really amazing and just LOOK at the colors! What I love about it too is that it doesn't feel 'sticky' or 'tacky'. It feels silky smooth after only about 5-10 minutes of drying. It cures to an ultra hard finish that will take lots of abuse and scrubbing. (I know I sound like I am doing a commercial, but I really, REALLY love this product!) As with all DecoArt paints, it is water based, has no odor and is non-toxic. What more can you ask for??
These little critters took 2-3 quick coats. Aren't they cheerful?
I will have the PATTERNS for these darling ladybug puzzles up on my site by tonight. I have all the photography done and only need to finish writing the packet today. I have already had several ask me if I sell the finished project, and I ask that you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will connect you with someone who will be able to make you a set that you can paint yourself.
I also will have instructions for a stained version, for those who really don't want to paint:
I was really pleased with how they came out and I hope you like them too. :)
On other news, Keith created THREE new sets of signs that are really nice!
The first set is the SLDK453 Kitchen Sectional Plaque Pattern Set:
It includes several versions of the sign *(click on the link to see them!)
Next up is the SLDK454 Workshop Sectional Sign Pattern Set:
It also includes several versions to suit your taste and need.
And finally, is the SLDK455 Garden Sectional Plaque Pattern Set:
All three are really cool and fun and I can see so many applications for these plaques with Mother's Day and Father's Day approaching! I know they are going to be really popular! :)
Well – I have gone on quite long today. I guess I am excited. I laugh to myself because it appears that my large living room clock battery has run out. While I thought that I was ahead of things, I looked up while writing and the time is still 8:45 am – the same time it was the last time I looked! I thought I was doing good and it is nearly 10 o'clock!
I wish you all a great day! Enjoy your day if you have it off. I have to go rescue Pancakes from the Ladybugs, as they seem to have him surrounded!
Happy Friday to you all!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"