I truly believe that I am very fortunate to live in a time when we have so many opportunities available to us via our computers. Not only does it allow us exposure to parts of the world that we may never be able to see, but it also is a great resource for learning new skills in ways we never thought possible.
Last year, I was invited to teach a class in the program "Art Play Date 2015
" which was organized by a wonderful teacher (and my friend) Kelly Hoernig.
This morning when I sat down here at my spot at my computer, ready to do the mail, my little cat Pancakes hopped right up here and snuggled in. He had greeted me with cooing and 'chirps' this morning and I was heating up my coffee - more enthusiastic than usual. Perhaps it is because he 'knows' that I made some cinnamon shortbread cookies last night and he knows me well enough to remember that I may steal one to have with my coffee for breakfast. He loves cookies and seems to favor the cinnamon flavored ones the most.
I woke up this morning to a cool, gentle rain and the sun wasn't even really up yet. I have noticed this past week that whether it is cloudy or not, it is taking longer and longer to get light in the mornings.
Something else changed as well. That cool, crispness is in the air again. After the heavy humidity and warmth that we experienced last week, it seems we have turned another page and are beginning a new chapter of seasons. Autumn is definitely knocking at our door.
I never mind this time of year.
There are few things that make me feel better than seeing someone enjoying my patterns and making projects from them. After all - the reason I began designing in the first place was so others could learn and have fun with them. I try to make each pattern I create into a mini-lesson, so that people of all skill levels can create the project themselves.
Often I get notes or emails asking me if I mind if people change up my designs a little bit. Not only do I not mind it, but I encourage others to do whatever they like to make their projects truly personalized.
Yesterday I felt a lot more like myself. After a couple of weeks of feeling a bit 'lost' I was back in full swing again working on three different projects at various stages. There's nothing like some good, solid deadlines to kick start us back to productivity!
I know I am not alone in feeling this way. I have many friends who design and create all kinds of crafts from woodworking to painting and just about everything in between. I have seen them struggle and I have seen them soar and I don't think any of them can help or predict when one of these 'lulls' comes along.
After a much needed break, I am back and finally feel ready to move forward in a productive manner.
It isn't because I have been short of ideas. Actually it is quite the contrary. I have so many things that I want to do that I seem to have been somewhat 'stuck' as to which direction I want to head first. It is as if all the thoughts and ideas have bottle-necked in my head and as a result, I have been quite overwhelmed.
Add to that my little back issue that remained (I haven't been to the gym for nearly a month) and the warm spell we are going through here in Nova Scotia and I feel as if I have been pretty much useless as far as accomplishing anything.
On Friday we took a bit of an unplanned trip for the weekend. I say "a bit" because we knew we wanted to plan a getaway, but we didn't really know exactly where we were heading or for how long. Sometimes those are the best types of vacations.
We didn't really make the decision until Thursday, and then we finished up our site update and got things ready to head out. Fortunately, we have our dear friend and neighbor Lee who looks in on our kitties when we go away like this.
With the summer months here, it seems we are running just a bit slower. I know I am. I don't know if it was because of the back issues or if is attributed to some things that have been on my mind. We all go through highs and lows though, and for the most part, things are still moving in a forward direction - just slower.
The only thing that seems to be moving quickly is "time". It is hard for me to believe that it is the middle of August already. It seems that summer has just started and it is already beginning to feel like autumn.
Yesterday I had to skip posting. Our internet had become so spotty that it was difficult to stay online for any length of time. Over the past couple of weeks, both Keith and I noticed the problem was getting worse. The thing that got us wondering though was that much of the time it would work fine, but then it would be 'dragging' for increasing lengths of time. Sometimes hours.
It is funny how dependent we have become on the internet. Not only for our business, but for our every day communication.
There are times when I get impatient with myself. I always have lots of plans and things that I want to do, and many times I only get a fraction of the things actually finished. If by some chance I do get close to the bottom of my list, I then feel that I didn't set my goals high enough. As you can see, I am kind of setting my self up for a 'no win' situation.
It is hard sometimes to be objective though. Especially when I am dealing with myself. As I look at the Facebook posts of all my creative friends - both woodworking and painting - I see project after project and sometimes feel inadequate and as if I am not 'keeping up'.
All of you who know me know how much I love cats. I have had cats all my life and they are always a huge part of my daily living. I also love autumn and the beautiful fall colors. the deep, rich tones are always a pleasure to paint and work with.
Last year I had an idea for a plaque for autumn/fall/Halloween. Unfortunately, it was a bit late in the season when I thought of it and I had to move on to other things. I was determined to have it done for this year.
Like many ideas that I have, it developed slowly.
Today's post will be short. (Really!) It seems that the past couple of days, I have awaken to a lot of emails that need my attention. I have spent much of the morning working on that and I am anxious to get to finishing up my latest painting. Then on to writing the packet.
I made good progress yesterday, adding details and thinking about the finishing touches that I will add today to complete it. I am pleased with how it looks, and feel good about it in general.
I have enjoyed hearing the feedback from people regarding the piece.
Ahhhh the sweet taste of "progress"!
Like that first sip of coffee in the morning or the breathtaking beauty when the sun begins to illuminate the morning fog, it is something that sometimes causes us to just stop, take notice and enjoy.
I am especially aware of positive progress in my current painting because things have been a bit of a struggle for me in creating it. Not because what I am creating is particularly difficult, but because there have been a few obstacles in place along the way.
It is good to be back. Not only here blogging, but actually having something to blog about. Last week when I wasn't feeling my best, it reminded me just how important setting goals for myself and being productive was to my life. It is even more important because I am self-employed I think. Without setting new goals and working toward them every day, I would imagine that there is really no way that one could succeed. I believe that 'success' and 'self-motivation' go hand in hand.
Last week was not one of my usual weeks. Between getting the new computer and the issues I was having with my back, I felt that I didn't really accomplish a great deal. I have been writing here for over five years now, and I think this was the first time in all those years that I was here at home and took so much time 'off'. But sometimes it is needed. I always try to be positive and productive and have something interesting to write about. With the week that I had, I thought it best just to skip.