The new year has just began and it has already started with a "BANG"! If these first few days are any indication of what is to come, we are on a wild and wolly ride!
I am certainly not complaining though. Even though my old body is weary at this moment, it has been fun and I am very excited about all that the future is going to bring. Keith and I are both really thrilled.
I missed blogging these past few weeks, but I am rather happy for the time off. While our holiday here was quiet, it was very pleasant and I enjoyed it very much. The 'time down' not only gave me a chance to finish up my own gifts and send them all out (pretty much) on time, but it also gave me a chance to take a breath, enjoy each day and plan ahead for the future. There are so many ideas that I want to see come to life! It will be thrilling to see them implemented for sure! If even a couple of them are marginally as successful as the first one, then I know we have a lot to look forward to. It sure is going to be fun.
I barely know where to begin . . .
I'll start by telling the story of some of the gifts I decided to give for Christmas. Those of you who read my blog here know that lately I have been fascinated with designs by Lynne Andrews. I had seen Lynne's work before and I had liked it a lot, but I finally took some time this autumn to actually paint some of her projects. They were so much fun to do and came out so much better than the photos that I continued to invest in several of her pattern packets. I am sure I will be showing more of them as I paint them.
One project that really caught my eye was her version of the "12 Days of Christmas" ornaments. Lynne dedicated an entire book for this project called Christmas Blessings. I loved the designs so much, I decided to paint SIX sets of ornaments for my friends and family (and one set for myself!) But since these ornaments are quite detailed, I decided to paint just the FIRST day ornament and present it at Christmas time, and then follow through with an ornament each month so that by next December, each recipient would have the entire set. That to me would be much more 'doable' and practical. Besides, it would be more fun for the recipients to receive a gift each month for the entire year.
Lynne's ornaments were done on some beautiful hand-pourd bisque from Bows Plus Bisque. As pretty as they were, making six sets of twelve would be a bit out of my budget and I was afraid they wouldn't survive the shipping to the recipients throughout the year. So being a woodworker, I decided to design my own ornaments to use for the project. I used 1/4" MDF and bevel cut the center circle to add some more dimension to them. They were simple and pretty and I could also thing of many other uses for them and plan to design future projects on them. Here is what my version looks like:
I have them up on my site and am selling them in sets of three as SLDPK129 - Elegant Bevel Cut Ornaments. I can't wait to show you all the designs I have planned for this surface!
To make a long story short, I finished my six sets in plenty of time for Christmas. They are painted on both the back and the front:
Here is a close of up the front:
. . . and the back:
I even found these beautiful tassels:
. . . and gold cord for hangers:
I think it compliments them beautifully!
So after Christmas, on the last day of the year, I began a Facebook group page because there were so many in my painting group where I had shown the ornaments that were interested in making them. I thought the group page would be a fun place to 'paint together' with others this year and complete these sets. The support of having others really is a great motivater for many (myself included!) and I am looking forward ot sharing with all those who want to participate. This is NOT a class, but rather a place to meet and cheer each other on. I called the group "12 Days of Christmas by Lynne Andrews - We're Painting Them!" and posted it on the painting site. What happened then was amazing!
Within an hour we had nearly 50 people ask to join! As of now we have 118 members and are growing! I only posted it in one of my groups so far, as I was absolutely SWAMPED with orders for the ornaments. By the weekend's end, I had orders for 52 DOZEN ornaments!
Needless to say, I was a bit overwhelmed! I recruited Keith to help me make these, as they cannot be stack cut because they are two piece and have the center circle cut on a bevel. We spent the last three or four days buried in cutting, drilling and sanding. Here is a photo of what 52 dozen ornaments look like . . .
My old body simply aches today, but I am happy that they are all ready to go out the door. Today we are packing things up and shipping them out as quickly as we can. This will probably take most of the day though, as we need to fill out customs forms for all those sets (most of them) which are going to the USA. It all takes time. :)
But what a wonderful way to end a great year and start another great year! We are both so thrilled to see our little business growing. While that may have been a lot of cutting, it was for the most part a lot of fun. I looked like an alien for three days with my glasses, dust mask and headphones (I HAD to have my favorite music going while I cut and sanded!) but it was nice to know that I was helping create 'future heirlooms' for these wonderful ladies.
And the fun is just starting!
I will be taking the next two days to pack and ship the orders out, and then on to the next batch. I am also in the process of drawing some new scroll saw patterns as well, but I haven't been able to get to that for a couple of days.
I know that this initial rush won't last, and things will get back to 'normal' soon, but I am very grateful and fun for the additional work and new friendships this has brought my way. It is a wonderful way to kick off the new year. I couldn't have asked for anything better!
I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday as well. I hope you join me in my travels this year through my blog here, too. I think we are going to have a fun time! This is only the beginning!
Happy Tuesday 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"