It is hard to believe that we are already nearly halfway through with the month of October. I don't know if it is because I have been so busy, or because it is my favorite month of the year, but the days just seem to pass by even more quickly than usual and before we know it, winter will be here.
I never really mind winter. I don't mind any of the seasons really. If I had a favorite it would be autumn though, with its crisp mornings, cool days and sometimes cold evenings. The colors are beautiful as well. Living here in rural Nova Scotia lends us to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, I believe, and autumn only exemplifies them. It is truly a lovely time.
As you all know – for me, this year has passed especially quickly. Since we found a new place to move into in March, our days have been filled with excitement and planning and the actual moving. While we needed to wait three months before actually making the move, even the time leading up to the actual day seemed to fly by. Every waking moment has been filled with planning and implementing those plans, not to mention our regular 'work'. No wonder I still don't feel like myself.
When I look back to attempt to asses my work output, I wish I could have done a little better. I tally the amount of new patterns that I created and there were far fewer than I would have liked. It certainly wasn't from lack of ideas, but more so from lack of time to really implement them. In a way that is good because I have a full "idea bank" to draw on for the next who knows how long. As a designer, that is a good thing to have. It means that there is a lot of promise lying ahead for me in the future. I am anxious to see many of these ideas come to life.
In the mean time, I have my projects at hand to work on and I am pleased to say that I am catching up in that department. My "12 Days" ornaments certainly got off track over the summer, as other things had to take front stage and all painting in general was put on the back burner. But lately, as I am more and more settled, I have been able to spend some extra evenings on them and either today or tomorrow I will be finished with "Day 9" and back on track. Even though the month is half over, it will feel good to be working on "Day 10" during the 10th month. There is hope that I will finish them all in time.
I haven't shown many progress photos of my Ladies Dancing yet, and I would like to share them today. Since moving from 'birds' to 'people' from day 8 and beyond has presented some of their challenges, I thought I would show you how I did.
As usual, I tried to finish up one motif nearly completely first. This way I knew the direction I was heading would be correct. I am glad I do things this way, as sometimes there are colors or shapes that need a bit of adjusting. It is much easier to fix one ornament than all six. I was pleased with the result:
The face of my girl didn't look quite like the one in the pattern, but I am not that worried about it. She still looked pleasant and came out pretty decent.
These thy features have been my biggest challenge to date on these ornaments. I had to use a small brush with about three hairs in it to get everything nice.
But I did eventually, and I was able to replicate it (for the most part) on the other five ornaments as well.
I then continued to paint the lettering (which gets easier and quicker with each ornament) and applied the Opal Dust to make the center sparkle:
The backs of this one were easy as well, with just a pare of ballet slippers.
Of the 12 ornaments, this is the first one that doesn't have 'greenery' on the front side. So far, I have been adding some tiny crystal rhinestone berries to the front of each ornament, and it went against my OCD behavior not to do so on my Day 9's. I actually tried to add some greenery on her skirt, but it looked heavy and out of place and took away from the rest of the ornament. I wound up scraping it off and repairing it and resigning myself to the fact that the berries will need to be on the backs. I am happy to say that you can't even tell. I thought for sure that I ruined it and was prepared to keep that ornament for myself. Sometimes we just need to compromise our plans.
At this point, only one ornament is completed – or at least I thought it was completed. After adding the Opal dust, I realized that I had also forgotten the dots of 'snow' that fell on the face and back center pieces. I need to add that in today and then add another coat of the opal dust to shine it. It is a minor error though and should be fine.
With three more 'days' to go, I feel good about the project. It has taken me a long time, though as there is such a tremendous amount of detail into both the front and back of each piece. But now that I am seeing the finish line over the horizon, I am happier than ever of my choice to give these as gifts. I hope that they are liked by my recipients as much as I like them myself. I am so happy I decided to keep a set for myself.
I believe that part of my anxiety of late is that I want to make some other designs, and just can't manage to squeeze the hours into my day in order to do them. That is to be expected when taking on a large project such as this, I suppose. It is part of the deal. Add to that the daily things that life brings our way and it is no wonder that the days are speeding by. I just need to remember to take a breath and appreciate them every once in a while.
I am going to be away for the next few days. My girlfriend and I are going to spend some time attending a "Fiber Festival" in Amherst, which is about five hours drive away. The festival is a celebration of fiber arts such as quilting, knitting, rug hooking, etc. I hope there is some embroidery there as well. I am leaving early tomorrow and won't be home until late on Saturday. Keith will still be here to take and fill orders and of course, take care of the kitties. It isn't often that I get away – especially on my own, but the trees are what I would call 'peaking' and the drive should be beautiful. I have been looking forward to this weekend for months. Perhaps it is just what I need to refresh myself. (Although it will probably just add to the hundreds of ideas that I have already!) I never mind that, though.
I hope you enjoy seeing my posts and updates, even if I seem to be working at a snail's pace. Your kind comments and encouragement always helps keep me motivated and moving. I appreciate it a great deal.
I wish you all a great weekend, even though it is only Thursday. Hopefully, by the time I come back on Monday, I will have some wonderful new things to share with you. Until then, I will hopefully finish up my "Day 9" ladies dancing. I can't wait!
Happy Thursday 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"