When I think back to when I began painting and scroll sawing, I remember how different things were back then. I started both in the mid-90's and there was very little available online. I remember when we purchased our first home computer and I was thrilled at the thought of being able to type on it. My biggest excitement was that I would have a way to find and organize things like recipes and photos, as it was a time when my kids were young and my own little family was a focus. I never could have imagined how things would evolve.
As things changed and the internet grew, we are all able to reach farther out to the endless possibilities that are offered to us every day. From the early days of making friends from all over the country through chat rooms (I am still friends with many who I 'met' in woodworking rooms back in the 90's) to our online communities that we frequent today (such as Facebook) it has helps us reconnect with old friends, connect and meet new friends, and learn new skills that would have never been possible otherwise. When you think about it, it is truly amazing.
As you all come to read my posts here and watch me explore so many new types of creating, just think of how much of that learning that I do is from online sources. Think of your own learning journey as well. While some of you may have access to classes and lessons in person, I find that the vast majority of those that I know depend on online learning to further their knowledge. While some may give the internet a bad rap, one can't deny the positive aspects of learning that it can bring to our lives.
Several weeks back, I received my newsletter from Mary Kingslan Gibilsco. Mary has been a positive influence on my painting skills for just about as long as I remember. I have followed her through her painting books, magazine articles, and now online. I am happy to say that we have even become 'friends' on facebook and I feel that I have met one of my idols whom I have admired for many years. One thing that I like about Mary is that when she teaches, she teaches core values. She doesn't just teach 'a project'. She teaches the methods and processes and the theory that goes along with the projects so that as a student, we can apply it to our other art projects. To me, this is the most valuable kind of lesson, for it builds our knowledge base and makes us better artists in our own rites.
In the newsletter that I received, I noticed that Mary was offering a free Amazon Fire 7" Tablet for those who subscribe to her Online Video Learning course. What an incredible and generous value that is!
As many of you may remember, I don't own a portable phone. Since I am close to home all the time, I find that my Vonage line is adequate here at home and I don't want the extra expense or bother of having one at this point in my life. I know I am a 'dinosaur' as far as this is concerned, but I am going to hold out as long as I can. I would rather spend my money on online lessons or art supplies at this point.
But having a tablet like this is a wonderful option for me. Until now, I have had to sit at my computer and try to paint along or mix colors while sitting on my couch, where I am able to access my screen. Being able to sit at a table where I can actually work is definitely a step up for me. I have been subscribing to Mary's online course for years anyway, so I was happy to extend my experience.
My tablet arrived last week. I must say, I am a total novice as far as things like this are concerned. While I am rather competent on the computer, I had to fumble around quite a bit to get my footing on the tablet. But after a little while, I am feeling more comfortable on it and I am able to access my videos on it, which is the main reason I wanted it. The picture and sound are really nice:
I even got a snazzy little case for it that folds over to make an easel:
I read up on it and it is supposed to have really nice battery life. Some people said they didn't like the sound, but I find it to be great. It is clear and certainly goes loud enough for me to hear what is going on. Needless to say, I am thrilled.
I hope that my painting followers that are looking to learn will consider taking Mary's course. There are many different levels of subscribing and I think that if you try one of the shorter periods, you will certainly want to up your membership. (Wouldn't that make a wonderful Christmas present for those of you who have family members who are wondering what to get you??) I started by trying it out for a month and then I took the full subscription. Whether I paint the exact projects or not, I find that I like to watch the videos just to see the techniques and theory that Mary is teaching. I can certainly say that Mary's course has helped me improve my painting skills a great deal. You can access the Online Video Course choices by clicking on this link: Online Video Learning
I truly hope you consider it. Mary is one of the best teachers I have seen. Not only will this be great for painting, but for watching my embroidery videos as well. I am really thrilled and grateful to Mary for this generous offer.
On other fronts, I just about finished my three new projects yesterday. Today I will be doing more assembly and then taking the final photos of them and writing the packet. We are (hopefully) going to update our site tomorrow (Thursday) and send out a newsletter as well.
Here is a quick photo of ONE of the new patterns:
It is a Christmas Tree trinket box with two matching ornaments. There is an overlay pattern on the top of the box and one of the ornaments will have the date on it (ALL numbers are included in the pattern, so you can change the date from year to year) and also a plain ornament.
Those of you who know me will figure that I will probably embellish these pieces with some interesting 'sparkle' or rhinestones. ;) I just can't leave them be! But they look rather handsome right now on their own, don't they?
I am late today in my posting because I am still fighting this little cold. But I am beginning to feel better and hopefully I will be 100% soon.
I promise to have more photos tomorrow of the other two patterns.
Have a wonderful and creative day! 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"