I awoke this morning to a thick cloak of fog. The cars were wet as well, so hopefully that meant we got some rain last night (although I heard nothing outside my window.) Like so many other places, Nova Scotia is in need of some decent rain. Everything is quite dry and thirsty, and I understand there are several fires that we have as a result. The roads are all dusty as well, and even though I have recently tried to wash my car a couple of times in the past couple of weeks, by the time I arrive home it has another layer of dry dust on it.
Not every day can be filled with sunshine. As much as we would like it to be that way, sometimes you need to let the rain fall to replenish and cleanse. I believe that this is true not only literally, but metaphorically as well. For I believe that nothing makes us appreciate the good things we have before us like remembering the times or events that were not so good. These stormy moments in our lives do well in reminding us just how fortunate we may be. Without them, we sometimes find ourselves taking the good things for granted.
I, myself can't complain. As far as summer goes, our summer here in Nova Scotia this year has been splendid. It seems as if every day I wake up to a cool morning, followed by a warm (not hot) afternoon that fades into once again a cool evening. The humidity has been low as well, and it has been a comfortable existence. When I read how many of my friends are experiencing sweltering temperatures, I realize just how fortunate we are. But I am sure that the farmers would like a bit more rain. Just a few days ago when we made our trip to Halifax (a three hour drive from my home) we noticed that some of the leaves were already beginning to turn a bit golden. That is pretty much unheard of for early August – even up north here where we live – and it emphasized just how dry it has been.
I have also heard of many who have had to order water for their wells. That was something else I had never heard of before moving here from Chicago. Water was always plentiful there. While there were sometimes restrictions on watering our gardens or lawns when I lived in the Chicago area, I never actually heard of people 'running out'. I can't imagine.
So I was happy to see the fog today. Happy to see the damp ground as well. Even if it was just a bit of rain, I am sure that any is appreciated. Our weather forecast shows that rain is expected all weekend. While I feel bad for those attending the local music festival that will be going on, I am sure they are prepared for a bit of rain and I am sure that it won't dampen their spirits. It will help so many others in the area.
As for myself, I plan on doing some cutting this weekend. I have been trying to build some stock up in my little shop and I also have some orders to fill. Keith and I are also planning to update the website again soon, and I want to get some of my own new designs posted. If I have any 'spare' time, I want to try to finish up my "Day 7" Ornaments from my 12 Days of Christmas sets. It appears my weekend will be full.
I finished painting my new project yesterday. This is the SLDP251 Kind Words Bee Plaque and Ornaments pattern that I have been showing you. I have been pretty happy with how everything turned out, and I hope it will be a popular item.
Initially, I had intended to make two patterns from these designs – one for the plaque and the other for the ornaments. But in making them, I saw that it made little sense to divide them up, as they go so well together and since the colors are the same as well as the instructions, there was no reason not to put them all together in one packet.
I am also offering "kits" for these items. While all the pieces will be available separately, I am offering a 'super combo kit' that will include the wood surfaces, the pattern, all the metal charms, and even the optional stencils to create the entire set. This is the first time I am offering stencils, which I will be cutting myself on my Silhouette machine, and I hope that is something that people will enjoy. I used the stencils for the subtle background in the center of each hive and I think it looks really cool. I am however, providing the line work so that anyone who doesn't want to buy the stencils can still complete the design without it. I find that for myself, I get disappointed when I like and purchase a pattern and find out that I need several stamps or stencils to complete it. It gets to be very expensive and many times the stencils or stamps are so focused that they only are usable for particular things. My stencils that I used with the hives are a more generalized stencil and I think that they can be used with many projects. I suppose I will see how they work out.
Here is a picture of the finished plaque:
I just love the saying on it. With the way things are in the world today, we need a bit of kindness, I think.
The plaque is made of two pieces, and the center oval is cut on a bevel so it is slightly recessed when glued together. This seems to become my 'trademark' for many of my surfaces. I love this self-framing effect, as I feel it adds interest to the design. I also found these amazing and beautiful gold bee metal charms that I used to accent the plaque.
I think they make a lovely touch and go with the hive perfectly.
The ornaments/magnets also came out nice:
I love the positive messages they bring and the bright colors look awesome.
I embellished each ornament with a small hanging bee charm as well:
I think it adds to the finished look and really makes them special.
Together they make a lovely ensamble:
My friend made the suggestion of placing all of these in a large wreath. Wouldn't that make a lovely welcome? I think so!
Today my task is going through the many step-by-step photos and constructing the pattern packet for this project. Hopefully I can get it up on the site by tomorrow. I will certainly try. If you want an update, you can join my mailing list to receive our newsletter, as I will surely be posting a new update soon that will have links to the pattern as well as the surfaces and embellishments.
This was such a fun project to make, and easy as well. It went quite quickly and used just basic painting techniques and regular Decoart Americana paints. I am really pleased with it.
I also wanted to thank a friend of mine – Dolores – who is actually the mom of a friend whom I went to grammar school with. Dolores sent me this beautiful kitty mug that I received yesterday, for no reason in particular:
Isn't it beautiful?! She said she likes my kitty puzzles that I post nearly every day on Facebook, and sent it as a housewarming gift. I am taken back by her kindness, and I will think of her fondly every time I use my mug. I am very grateful that I have met so many lovely people through Facebook and my blog here. It really makes my life better. Thank you, Dolores. <3
Kindness is something that is an important key to being happy. It can be displayed in many forms and actions, from doing something nice for someone to a simple smile or encouraging word. We live in a world where those who are harsh often get center stage. I find that they are loud and boisterous and have a way of pushing themselves into our lives, causing anger, fear and anxiety. It can be somewhat depressing just to be witness to them, even if it is just something you see on TV or read about in the newspaper.
Those who are kind and do kind acts seem to be softer and quieter. They aren't looking for attention, and sometimes get lost in the cracks of life. But that doesn't mean they are not appreciated. And it doesn't mean they aren't making a difference. I believe that an act of kindness toward another not only helps them, but helps us as well. It is its own reward in so many ways.
I wish you all a lovely Friday and a wonderful weekend ahead. I hope you find a way to spread some kindness yourselves. It will make those around you feel good, and will be uplifting to you as well!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"