What an amazing weekend!
Not that anything paticularly unusual happened. For the most part, it was a 'typical' weekend. But I felt as if I accomplished a great deal and also had a chance to visit with some dear friends and enjoy some 'down time.' For me – I guess it IS unusual.
On Friday afternoon I received a call from my Canadian mom, Ellen. I call her that because both her and her husband Bernie have treated me like a daughter for the past eleven years that I have been here in Canada. It is nice and comforting to be made part of a family, especially since I have no strong family ties of my own. But from the time I met them, they have always treated me with kindness and love and have supported me through some difficult times. Family doesn't have to be related by blood.
Anyway, Ellen called to invite Keith and I to a dinner at their lakeside cabin on Saturday, and I eagerly accepted. I love their little place at the lake. It is a cozy, two bedroom home that Bernie built many years ago and I have great memories of my time spent there. It is one place where I really and truly can get away and not really think about work or other issues that may be going on in my life. The serene setting of the lake, cabin and woods are the perfect place to unwind and truly relax. Add to that the great company and some wonderful food and I think it is as close to heaven on Earth that I can get. Needless to say, I instantly accepted the invitation.
I was raining on Friday, and the forecast for Sunday was also rain. But Saturday was an absolutely glorious day. It was warm and breezy, but not hot in the least. The sky was deep blue and I don't think there was a cloud that passed all day. We couldn't have asked for nicer weather if we had ordered it.
We spent the day visiting and eating and catching up. Our winter was long here in Nova Scotia and we are just now beginning to enjoy warmer and greener days. What a great way to kick off the summer. I really think I needed some time away – even if it was for only a day.
Yesterday the rain returned. It didn't bother me though, as I had many things around the house that I wanted to tend to. I had a couple of orders for wood pieces to cut, and I got that done. I did some organizing and general cleaning. That always felt good, too. I even mapped out some future projects that I am rather excited about. I will elaborate on them later.
I spent the late afternoon and evening working on a new embroidery piece. I have had a lot of interest in my embroidery work and when I look on the web, I see that there are few places that sell small kits with quality supplies. Even though some think I am crazy, I am thinking of adding some of those to my portfolio of work. After all – writing instructions is second nature to me. I find from offering my Haunted Carousel Kit that people really like having everything included in one product. When I purchased my "A Perfect World" embroidery sampler kit, I really loved the quality of the supplies, but there were still many thing that I had to hunt down myself. Even though the kit says "complete", it did not really fit my own definition of what complete is. I still had to do quite a bit of chasing to find all the supplies that were required. I suppose that it made sense in a way, because it was shipped from South Africa and cost a bit for postage, but small things like beads and so forth should have (I think) been included. It is just my thoughts.
I have been actively looking for suppliers that work with small companies as mine. Realistically – I don't know if I would sell one kit or ten, and I really don't want to invest a great deal of time and money into keeping stock. Lord knows I don't have the room for lots of supplies. But when I show my pieces here, I do receive many emails from those who want the pattern and kits and I feel it may be worth investigating. After all – it wouldn't involve much more time than I already put into it, and I have been writing instructions for various projects for so long, I don't see that as being much of a problem. So I am moving slowly and cautiously and I am going to be testing the water with this new aspect of designing. I think it will be fun.
Last week I received my first order from a thread company here in Canada. Valdani Threads is located in Alberta, and features a full line of hand-dyed, colorfast silk and cotton threads that are just beautiful. I think it will be wonderful to work with their products. Last week, I tried them out by designing my first project using all of their beautiful supplies. I made a cute little beehive pin with a stumpwork bee to welcome in summer:
I think it came out nice. It measures about 1.5" in diameter and only took a couple of hours to create. I would love to offer small things such as this in kit form. I think it would be a nice, quick project that people would enjoy making. It is small enough not to be intimidating, but satisfying enough to have fun with for someone who just wants to kick back for a few hours and do something creative. We shall see . . .
That doesn't mean that I am abandoning my other two loves – woodworking and painting. I actually worked on drawing some new scroll saw patterns this weekend and I am mapping out my next painting project that will be featured in an online magazine for August. I am excited about both things, but especially excited about the story behind the painting. I will be blogging about that in the near future.
I feel I am at a very good time in my life. I am fortunate enough to have good health, and my list of creative ideas keeps on growing. I feel that I have many wonderful creative friends who are both talented and inspiring to me and a wonderful support.
As I look around and read the newspaper, I find it is easy to get down about the state of our world. I don't talk about the negative things here in this blog because I want it to be a place where people can come to focus on something positive and perhaps find a bit of joy and escape the harshness of our world for a little bit through doing something positive and creative.
I get my down days, too. Sometimes when I look around or see the news and look at the state of the world, it gets to me. But for as public as I am here in my blog every day, I feel that there are times when I need to be private regarding my thoughts and feelings. I find that when I change my focus from the difficult things that I can't help with to creating positive things that will make others happy, I am less likely to feel sad. I wish I could share with you all the letters I receive and the stories I hear from others who find happiness in creating my designs. That – as they say – is "priceless". It will keep me doing what I am doing probably for as long as I have breath in my body.
As always, I am appreciative of you all. As friends, colleagues and customers, you all play a part in making my world better. Together we can make this world a little bit happier, one project at a time. Even if it is just for a little while.
Happy Monday to you all! (And WELCOME Summer! We have so looked forward to your arrival!)
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"