Yesterday was another full and busy day. We hadn't planned on doing our update until mid-week, but we were as ready as we were going to get so we thought it would be time. Keith's job in updating is getting all the new products up on the site. Besides posting them, he cross links them to other similar products and makes everything look nice and consistent. He really is the one that makes our site look good.
As for me – my job is to write the newsletter. You all know that I like to write and while sometimes I feel the newsletter is somewhat redundant because I am reiterating things that I write here in my blog, I do realize that our newsletter reaches a much larger audience and I kind of condense the two weeks or so of activity into one short mailing. It isn't too hard to do really, but it takes a little time.
Between that and getting the regular mail done for orders, it brought me well into the afternoon. Add to that the daily tasks of answering questions and emails and it was just about dinner time before I could sit down and take a breath.
It was a good day, but I had so wanted to paint and work on my Day 2 of Lynne Andrews' 12 Days of Christmas ornaments. After all, I started the group to make them and I have barely had time to paint my own. I WAS going to keep moving ahead to get them done. Really.
As I gathered all of my painting supplies and arranged my table for painting, I felt good about the day. I accomplished quite a bit and I looked forward to a relaxing and productive evening of painting. My goal is to get these out the first week of each month (I am making six sets and sending five to other recipients throughout the year) and I knew I had to get moving in order to keep on schedule. January was crazy busy and I had very little time to work on them. So the time was NOW.
. . . or WAS it??
As I literally went to touch that first bit of paint from my brush to the first ornament, everything went black. Seriously. The computers shut down. The refrigerator stopped. Of course, there were no lights. No power whatsoever.
We live in the country and there wasn't even any moonlight at that point. It was so dark that it was as if I had my eyes closed tightly. I couldn't even see shadows or anything at all.
I worked my way to the cabinet where we kept candles and fumbled my way to the drawer where we had the barbecue lighter. The candles lit our little place enough to see what was around us, and Keith called the power company to see what was up, as he just happened to have his mom's phone. The news wasn't good. Something big blew and 3000 people would be without power for what they thought would be about three hours. (Remember – I live in the country. Three thousand people is a widespread ares here.)
But then I remembered we also had an oil lamp. It was a small one, but did give off somewhat effective light. I dug it out from the back of the cupboard and lit it up. Yes! It would work! I brought it to my painting table and decided that it was enough light to paint by.
It kind of looks a bit romantic, doesn't it??
Fortunately I had one of the six pieces done, as I like to finish one up first to make sure I am on the right track and then I complete the other five. So there was no issues of guessing if my colors would be correct. Since I have been working with DecoArt paints for many, many years, I also knew what the colors would look like - even in the semi-darkness. I forged on . . .
Keith got 'antsy' and wound up taking a drive to Yarmouth. I had already donned my jammies, as I wanted to relax while I painted. I was amazed at how much the time flew and also how much I got done. I probably made more progress than if I had power, as I didnt' go to answer emails or check my computer every few minutes. It was a good night.
While I painted, my mind wandered to many things. It made me think of those painters from generations past and how they only had candles and oil lamps for lighting in the evenings. Are we to think that they only painted in daylight? I don't think so.
We are so spoiled with things like "Ott Lights" and fancy lighting. It made me think of the masterpieces that came from those who didn't have the fancy equipment, supplies, and lighting. Just think of the conditions those masterpieces were created in! :)
I was happy when the power came back on about three hours later, but I didn't really mind the 'hiccup' that we had. I like the quiet and as much as I like music, there are times when I find it is just nice to 'be' without any additional input from outside. This includes phones, computers and other sources.
We live in a world filled with information. Right now as I type this post, I have five tabs open on my Chrome browser and I am watching my email and some other things that need watching. We 'multi-task' daily without even realizing it. No wonder we feel so frazzled and tired some days.
We hear that out of adversity we learn things. While a three hour power outage isn't the end of the world, it did remind me that there are times when we should just 'be'. The 'freeing' feeling of unplugging and stepping away from communication with the world for a short time is not only beneficial, but I believe necessary for our good health and a positive attitude.
I need to do it more often.
I wish you all a wonderful Tuesday! I hope you remember to take care of yourself and your own well-being.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"