My Journey as a Creative Designer

I encourage comments from everyone!  Due to software restrictions, all comments need to be approved before showing.  I will check several times a day to approve comments and answer questions.  Enjoy the posts! This blog is cross-posted in several locations. If you wish to see my older blog posts, they are all archived at http://lumberjocks.com/scrollgirl/blog

Listing all posts with label Needlework. Show all posts.
  1. Another week has passed and lots of new things are happening here at Sheila Landry Designs. Unfortunately, most of the things that we are doing don't make very good blog material. It is hard to document some of the day-to-day activities without putting everyone asleep. 

    But trust me - I think it will be worth it for everyone. . . 

    As many of you know, while I began my business and website (nearly 20 years ago) as a means to offer mostly scroll saw patterns to woodworkers, I had learned to scroll saw because I wanted to make my own surfaces for painting.
  2. In trying to keep my promise to myself and also to you all, I am doing my best to catch up on posting about some of the things that I have been working on that I haven't yet shared. Yesterday was a good day, as we finished getting the site updated and all the new patterns and products are now available. 

    For those of you who liked the new SLDPK164 Autumn Leaf Beveled Ornaments,



    they are now available to order on our site at this link: 
  3. The longer I am away from blogging, the more projects keep piling up and the more overwhelmed I feel about writing again. It is funny how that works, isn't it?

    I didn't realize how long my break from writing was until I received several emails from some of you who were somewhat concerned about my absence. I very much appreciate being missed, and I promise I will do my best to try to post more regularly. It is just that sometimes getting back into a routine can be tough. 

    I certainly have been busy.
  4. While one would think that the reason that I haven't been blogging regularly is due to things slowing down, usually the opposite is true. As always, I have several things 'on the go' at once and many times I just don't know what to do first. Add to this that the weather here in Nova Scotia has been just beautiful, and not only does that lend itself to outdoor projects (yard work, etc.) but also really makes me want to head to the beach for the day.  Our home is so close to the ocean, and in the past two years, I think I visited the beach ONCE.
  5. Yesterday was a difficult day. Most of you who read or know me know how much I love kitties. Cats and kittens have always been such a big part of my life. Most of my life I have had at least one cat and most of the time more than that. To me, they aren't only pets but valued members of my family. 

    Many of you remember that this past December, I suddenly lost my dear feline friend Pancakes to illness. He had gone into surgery that was intended as 'exploratory' and never made it back.
  6. What a beautiful and busy weekend we had! 

    There is something about the nice weather that just makes us want to 'do' things, isn't there? Even though Friday was a rather dark and dreary day, with heavy rain for most of the day, things calmed down by the evening and both Saturday and Sunday were warm, sunny and picture-perfect!  We couldn't have asked for better!  I was actually rather happy for the rain on Friday, as it gave all the flowers and plants that I just put in a chance to settle.
  7. It seems like just about every morning I intend on writing a blog, and then I get distracted. By the time things settle down, it is usually too late to write a post. I suppose it is just part of the business growing, and that is a good thing. I do, however, miss talking with you all and sharing what I am creating with you. I feel odd only posting when we have an update and we have new patterns. It makes me feel like I am only here part-time and I miss out on visiting with you all. I hope to be a little more consistent about posting.
  8. I am trying to keep my promise to myself to get back to posting when I have made progress on some of my projects. With that said, I had a pretty productive weekend and wanted to share some of what I did with you all. 

    I spent most of Saturday working up in my shop. I had some orders to go out, and I have a large project that I am working on with another artist that I want to stay on top of and chip away at gradually. That way, by working it in with my other work, I hardly notice the time spent doing things and also can keep up while accomplishing my own work.
  9. It's funny how we fall into and out of habits. There are times when this happens with little effort or thought, and other times (usually when trying to develop positive habits) that it seems like a chore to follow through with things each day. There are also times in our lives when things change unexpectedly and along with it, our routines. I suppose that is part of living.

    For the past several months, it seems that every time I post here I am apologizing for not posting as often as I used to.
  10. Those of you who know me realize that I am an 'Organizational Junkie'.  

    Yes - I am actually very proud of that fact. I grew up with very limited means and I was taught to respect and take care of the things we have. Throwing them here and there only causes them to get lost or damaged. Besides - how can we be efficient if we have to stop and look for stuff while we are in the midst of creating? Maybe others can work that way, but I sure can't.
  11. It seems so long since I have posted, that I almost forgot how to do it. (Not really - but you get the point!)  

    The past month or month and a half have really been quite a change for both myself and my business. It is a good thing, but something that takes a bit of time to adjust to, and I find that I am finally feeling that I a getting 'caught up' and doing that. It has been a busy and crazy time for me, though. 

    Things really started to get busy when Lynne Andrews launched her "Inspirational Ark" series.
  12. It seems like it has been forever since I posted a blog. As a person who posted a new blog nearly every day for over five years, it seems that I have been quite lax lately in keeping up. I apologize about that.

    It isn't that I am not busy. Quite the opposite is true. It seems that the floodgates have been opened and all of a sudden things are really kind of wild. That in itself is wonderful, but it is also kind of scary. While I am thrilled and excited about this recent 'growth spurt' of my business, I still need to keep things under control.
  13. It has been a wild and incredibly busy week. I have spent most of my days up in my shop, working on cutting my wood orders. It is difficult to call it 'work' because I do enjoy doing what I do so much. With the release of Lynne Andrew's Noah's Ark series last week, there has been a huge rush to purchase the wood pieces from me. Along with this have been our regular orders and all the other business tasks. I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined being in such a wonderful and productive place for our business.
  14. I think that most who hear that I design for my living and have my own business have visions of me spending my days in the dreamy wonderland of creating. . . lolling away the hours overlooking the rolling meadow or gazing out to the ocean, drawing or painting my heart out to the sound of the lapping water on the beach. It is truly a wonderful thought, isn't it?

    While I have been able to experience days such as I described, they are few and far in between. As our little business grows, the daily part of running it seems to take up more and more time and less time is left to be creative.
  15. I am very pleased with the way things are going these days. It seems that many of the things that I have been planning over the past several months are all coming into reality, and so far the result has been more than I could have ever asked for. 

    I love working with other designers. (Are you seeing a theme here?) Having a "partner in crime" that you admire and trust really does make a difference. Not only are you motivated to do your absolute best, but you also learn a great deal from a fellow artist.
  16. As usual, it has been a wild and crazy week. Monday was spent finishing up sending out orders and (what else?) organizing some more! I suppose when I get on a roll, I really get into it. My office, as well as my shop, is so fine tuned right now it is amazing. I only have one more section to do that houses my needlework and embroidery supplies and I am totally good to go! That section isn't too bad, though, and I think that will need to wait for another time. I have so much to do to move forward! I have so many exciting things that are coming up soon and I can't wait to share them with you!  

    I will begin by talking about a project that I am doing with Amy Joanne Mogish.
  17. One would think that with me having a full-time business as a designer, that the majority of my day would be painting, drawing, and cutting new designs on the scroll saw, wouldn't they?  But lately, it seems that the 'business' aspects of our business fill much of the day, and sometimes there is little time left to do the creative things, let alone create for my own pleasure. 

    I am not complaining, mind you. I am thrilled that things are moving in a good direction. I truly enjoy doing things like cutting orders and helping customers.
  18. I had a crazy/busy weekend (again!)   I had hoped to have some time to paint, but it just wasn't in the cards for me yet. That doesn't mean that I didn't have a productive couple of days. It was quite the opposite. 

    Many of you who have followed me regularly here on the blog may have noticed that I am not posting as much. It isn't because I am not working as much or doing as much creating, but it is more because the 'production' side of my business has really grown.
  19. One thing about posting here less often - when I do post there is so much to share with you all! I feel like things are going fast forward again and I am back on the 'creative track' after a bleak two months for me. Those of you who have followed me for a while know that I usually try to look at the good side of even the not-so-good thing that happen. But sometimes, that just doesn't work. Try as I did, I found it hard to feel good about things.  It was time for me to step back and allow myself to go through the grieving process and get through my day.
  20. We all work for certain goals in our lives. Be it personal or professional, there always seems to be something to strive for and give out lives purpose. 

    I began my own business many, many years ago. I was in my 20's then and looking for a way to earn some extra income for my young family while doing something that I enjoyed. I had always loved 'making things' and thought that would be somewhat of a utopia for me. Justifying doing something that I love and being paid for it as well.
  21. I think I finally made it to the 'other side.'  By that, I mean that I feel as if I finally made it to the 'healthy' side of life. After weeks (and I mean WEEKS) of fighting various symptoms a cold/flu virus, I woke up this morning with the feeling that I am getting better. I still have a few of the symptoms. But I definitely feel that something has changed for the better. There is much less tickling in my throat and little congestion and no more body aches. I am on the mend.
  22. I had a pretty productive day yesterday. My goal was to get the 15+ orders that I had cut out all packed and shipped by the pickup time at our local post office and I was able to accomplish that. It may not seem like a lot to some of you, but it takes a great deal of time. Since most of the shipments are international, I have to fill out customs forms for each package and make sure everything is right. I was happy that my partner Keith decided to give a hand. It made a huge difference when two of us were working compared to doing it all on my own.
  23. As we begin a new month, I realize how quickly January has slipped by. Time has always seemed so relentless to me, but lately, I find that to be true more than ever. 

    Many of you have noticed that I haven't been writing as regularly or as often as I used to. After over six years of daily posting, I find that I have, indeed, backed off a bit and have taken a bit of a break from it. It felt odd at first, but soon it became something of a 'habit' to NOT write (funny how that happens!) and I found myself lost in the disarray of the things that life had thrown my way.
  24. Good day to you all. I am still in my 'organizational mode' here and I am sorry to say that I have been so busy that is has been difficult to find time to blog. Add to that the many wood orders I have been receiving (thank you!) and the fact that both Keith and I are fighting this cold/flu thingy that is going around, and you will understand why I haven't posted. It has been a crazy month to start out the new year, to say the least. 

    Our kitty Richard is doing better, though, so that is a relief.
  25. It really feels good to get back to creating. The last month and a half went by so quickly. Between the holidays and the chaos of having my beloved pets ill, it seemed that with a blink of an eye the month of December and now most of January is behind us. I wish I could say that I was more productive. But I spent my time doing what needed to be done and taking the time I needed to deal with these personal things. 

    I know I am working my way to a better place because there are so many ideas that are creeping back into my head.
  26. I spent the long weekend working on a new painting pattern set. While I have had this idea in my head for quite a while now, I had to just bring myself to do it. I don't know why I am always so timid about jumping into a new project. There is sometimes a fear that it won't come out like I envisioned it in my head. You would think that after all of these years of designing that I would be over those fears and have more confidence than that. But that isn't always the case. 

    I find that I am drawn to the soft, pale blue tones of winter.
  27. Last month, I was thrown a bit off track by life's events. It happens to the best of us. We set our goals.We work to achieve them. And then as we are rolling right along . . . BAM! "Life" gets in the way. It is just part of living. 

    As I get older, I am figuring out that the more resilient and flexible that I am, the easier things are. I have watched family and friends who are perhaps a little bit rigid in their thinking struggle because things aren't quite the same as they were before or things didn't go exactly as planned.
  28. (I want to note that I am was in no way compensated for this review. I researched and purchased this mask on my own.)

    In today's blog post, I am going to talk about something that I think is rather important. It is something that I have been lax on myself, but I made a vow with my woodworking friend (Leldon) that we are going to change things and try to do a bit better about it.
  29. The older I get, the more I seem to enjoy the concept of 'familiarity'. 

    I will follow up that sentence with stating that I do NOT feel "that old". (Really!)  I think that lately, though, the things that have come up unexpectedly have not exactly been things that I consider as 'pleasant'. I know that has nothing whatsoever to do with age, but for some reason, these days I don't feel quite as resilient as I have in the past. Is this due to circumstances? Or is it something that changes with time?  Perhaps our life's experiences just seem to pile up on us as we age and because we have more memories to look back on, we tend to remember the most traumatic ones for the longest amount of time.
  30. I realize it has been a long time since I posted a blog. To be honest with you all, it has been a rough couple of months. After losing my dear kitty and constant companion Pancakes suddenly early in December, the following week my other kitty Richard became gravely ill. The vet seems to think that his illness was triggered by the stress of losing Pancakes. Cats are very sensitive creatures. The combination of Pancakes just 'disappearing' and me being grief-stricken was something that he didn't understand.
  31. I am not going to kid you all. This has been a tough couple of weeks. I have struggled more than I have in a long time and I am still trying to recover from recent things that happened. I am getting there, but it is going to take a bit longer, I am afraid.

    I know that isn't what you are used to seeing from me. In general, I am a very positive person. A fighter. Someone who is able to look at even not-so-nice things and try to find a grain of something good in them. Keith used to say that I lived on a "Pink Cloud".
  32. Every once in a while, life throws us a little curve ball. These little surprises often come when we least expect them (thus – the term "surprise") and knock us for a loop. They never seem to occur during the lulls in our life, but when we seem to be the busiest. Sometimes that is just the way it goes . . .

    Last week, I had to take my dear kitty Pancakes to the vet.

  33. As we arrive on this final day of November, we realize that Christmas and the holidays are right around the corner. Once again, I am in awe of how quickly time passes. It seems like just last week I was working on my glass pumpkin and teaching video for the November ToleTown project, and here I am with another project (and video) due. It all seemed to happen in a blink of an eye. 

    But happen, it did, and as time marches brutally forward, we have no choice but to fall into line and try to do what we are able before the holidays are upon us.
  34. I'll start this post off by mentioning that it was a wonderful and productive weekend. After all the nice comments on my sloth picture, I was happy and very encouraged to continue in some of the directions that I have been heading. I am actually quite humbled by the kind comments I received from everyone, and it just goes to show the power of kind words and encouragement. I really felt like an "artist." (That may seem basic, but any artist knows that it is certainly not a given.) 

    I had quite a long 'to do' list of what I wanted to accomplish this weekend.
  35. I am slowly getting to the finish line with my sloth. I think that is quite appropriate, given that I am drawing . . . well . . . a sloth!  They don't do anything quickly, now do they? 

    Actually, I think this is going much quicker than I had anticipated. So far this has only taken three evenings to reach this point: the first for the background, the second for the branch and the beginning of the eye, and the third for the head. I believe it will only take one more session to be pretty much 'done'.
  36. There are two times during the year that seem to affect me the most regarding living here in Canada.  For those of you who may not know, I was born and raised in the United States. More specifically, in the Chicago area. I lived the first 42 years of my life there and I have many ties and fond memories.  About 12 years ago, I decided it was time for a change and the time was just right for me to move here to Nova Scotia. I am not going to go into details here, as it is a long story, but overall, I am very happy and enjoy having two countries to call 'home'.
  37. I seem to have really slowed down with  my blogs here these days. For those of you who are used to reading my posts every day, I promise you that I will get back to being here more often as soon as I can. It isn't that I am doing less (I don't believe) but that things have been spinning in different directions this year and I am sometimes unsure if my daily activities are 'blog worthy' or of interest to you all. Sometimes we just need to take a breath and  regroup before we can forge ahead.
  38. It is hard to believe we are at the end of another week already. I have been trying my best to stay caught up with things, and for the most part, I think I am doing alright. I have long ago abandoned the idea having to do "x" number of designs per week/month/year. If I measured my productivity by those numbers alone, surely it would be depressing and I wouldn't be fair to myself. There is so much more that is involved in my day-to-day activity that takes a good deal of time. 

    I have learned that the way to be most productive and feel the best about things is to just keep doing the best I can and be happy with that.
  39. As I began to post this morning, I realized that this is my 1800th blog post. When I started blogging several years ago, I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that I would be capable of writing that many entries! Just thinking of 1800 titles alone just blows my mind. But it has really been nice sharing my creative process with you all and I hope to continue to do so as long as you all want to read about it. I still feel there are several more chapters to write, and I hope you are right here with me.
  40. It is probably the most frequent question that I receive as a designer. . .

    "How do you keep coming up with so many new ideas?"  

    It is a big question and one that really has no quick answer. There are so many things that factor into creativity.  Our mood, general health, and overall attitude are things that immediately come to mind. It is difficult to be creative if we are overwhelmed or exhausted. It is for me, in any case. While some great designers and artists are at their best creating in a chaotic environment, I need to have things clean and orderly.
  41. It was exciting. 

    It was gut-wrenching. 

    It was just short of amazing. 

    At approximately 2am last night Nova Scotia time, the Cubs did it. They won a World Championship. It has been a long, long time coming . . . 

    Most of you know I come from Chicago. I lived the first 42 years of my life in the city and surrounding suburbs. The first 13 years of my life I lived on the south side of the city - IN the city. It was so different back then. 

    I remember the first ball game I ever went to.
  42. As a designer, we try to think of original things to create. When I mentioned that I wanted to make a "blue pumpkin with Christmas roses" on it, he cringed. He just didn't see my vision. 

    That is the risk we need to take every time we try something new. Over the years, I have learned to have a pretty tough skin. I used to be greatly influenced by those around me when I had an idea as to what I was going to design. I would try my best to explain things so that people would be able to see the same vision that I was seeing in my head, but I wasn't always successful in doing so.
  43. I am posting a little later than normal today. I am starting to wonder what 'normal' really is. I haven't been doing anything in particular this morning that is interesting or fun, (like sleeping! ;) ) but I have been doing the usual organizing and checking and responding to emails and general straightening of the house here. Things we all do in the morning. 

    Lately I feel as if my world is spinning a bit too quickly. More so than it usually does for me. I am not quite sure the cause of it and I am not quite sure that even really matters.
  44. Today's post will be pretty much to the point. I have already been out and back and have a multitude of tasks that I need to work on today. It is all a great deal of fun though, and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

    Most of you have seen my completed pastel drawing of my dear cat Pancakes:



    I have had such a wonderful response to it that I can't express my appreciation for your wonderful support.
  45. It has been quite busy, as usual here for me these days. I was truly grateful and overwhelmed by everyone's response to my drawing of Pancakes. It truly makes me feel that I am on the right track with things and I am doing something right. Again - I have to give a huge 'thank you' to teachers who present online classes for us to learn and expand our artistic horizons. It his world of negativity and sadness, it does wonders to focus on something as simple as creating as an 'escape'.
  46. When last I left you on Friday, I had began a new artistic adventure. For my first time ever, I was using a new medium (New to me, that is!) in drawing with pastel pencils and blocks. I had seen a video from the very talented wildlife artist, Jason Morgan, in which he shared his 'discovery' of the joys of using "Pastelmat" pastel paper by Clairfontaine to draw with. He mentioned that it changed his entire perspective on pastel drawing.
  47. It is already past my 'normal blog time' this morning, so I will get right down to business. I am figuring out that sometimes we need to sacrifice chit-chat for quality content. While I like to sit and muse about the day, my plans and life in general with you all, I am finding that sometimes it is best if I just get to what I want to do and talk about it a little less. The photos speak for themselves. 

    My routine has changed somewhat lately and I have been trying to hit the gym prior to writing here.
  48. I have always been one of those designers that loves to work on designs from others that I admire. I can't help it. I see something that someone else creates that 'speaks to me' and I can't help but try to make the time to create it. I look at it as helping support the industry that I love so much. It also gives my brain a rest and keeps me feeling like I am having fun. After all - I believe that enjoying what I am doing is linked in a big part to the amount of success that I have.
  49. Yesterday was a good day in many respects. Not only did I feel as if I got a bit caught up with things, but I was feeling a bit more like myself again. (My productive self, that is!)  I think the two days away really did me a world of good. Not only was in inspired by seeing so much creativity and beauty, but I got a chance to not think about the business, my computer or any of my day-to-day tasks for a short time. While I missed having Keith travel with me, it was a comfort knowing that here was here at home to manage things and take care of the cats.
  50. "How can you miss me if I don't go away?"

    It's one of those questions that may seem to state the obvious, but few seem to get it. 

    As many of you that follow me know, I have been going through a kind of 'transition' all summer long. I have been blogging for what I think may be six years already (I truly lost count) and never mind sharing my creative adventures with you all. (Some personal ones as well!) You have been just as inspirational to me as you say I have been to you, and I have found out that I need this exercise of writing nearly every day to help keep me organized, productive and on track with things.
  51. 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.
  52. I feel as if I haven't done you all justice lately. Things have been quite busy here and I have been burning the oil late to try to squeeze more hours from the day. Because of that, something has to give and I find myself not getting up until after 6am in the morning. That may sound pretty early to some of you, but I always said that any time I put in before six was like a 'bonus' for me because I seemed to be so productive at that early hour. Any time I awoke that was after about 4:30 was a good time to start my day.
  53. I am happy to report today that the "Mystery of the Missing Little Pusheen" has been SOLVED!  (I know that you all have probably lost sleep over it!  ;) )  It seems that when Keith awoke and got out of bed, there was the little toy snuggled into the covers with him!  Apparently, Richard my kitty had brought me the Little Pusheen earlier and then left the ADDITIONAL Kitty at the doorway after Keith came to bed and the door was closed. So he really had brought me TWO toys that night! I am truly loved! 
  54. (Before anyone gets upset - This is just a fun story!) 

    I awoke this morning just as I did any other 'normal' day. It wasn't quite daylight yet and the sun was just beginning to peek over the eastern horizon. As it gently but persistently began to illuminate the morning sky, I knew it was time to begin my day. 

    I openend my bedroom door to see what my cat, Richard had left me today. Lately, for the past week or so, he has been depositing my little knit Pusheen toy at the threshold to greet me each day.
  55. It was a crazy/busy weekend. That means it went perfectly with my crazy/busy life of late. 

    As usual, there is just so much I want to accomplish and only 24 meager hours per day to fit everything in. And for some reason - those hours seem to get shorter every year. I think it is some kind of trick . . . 

    I am writing later than usual today because I have already been to the gym and back.  I am not usually one of those who boasts about my gym visits, but lately, whenever I can make it there I feel very 'accomplished'.
  56. I really love designing. Whether it is scroll saw projects, painting projects or even needlework, I like taking ideas that I have in my head and making them into reality. Sometimes people wonder how I began doing design work, but that is a difficult thing for me to answer. If the term "designing" means changing things up and 'not following the rules or instructions' for a particular project, then I suppose I have been designing most of my life. It seems I always had the ability to look at something and see it in a different way.
  57. Did you ever feel that you were running in lots of directions at once?  Lately, that is exactly how things have felt for me. I have been busy from the time I wake until the time I finally go to sleep, but have been going from one thing to another to yet another. 

    I don't think that this is a bad thing at all, really. Because in the process, I am checking off a lot of things that I wanted to get done and in the end, accomplishing a great deal.  To the outsider, it may not look like a lot, but when I think of the 'emotional real estate' that I am freeing up, I realize that these little pieces of the puzzle that are slowly falling together are far more important than I initially thought.
  58. As some of you may have noticed, I haven't been posting as regularly as you all may have been used to. It seems that the past couple of months have been a bit unsettling for me and I have been a little bit distracted. 

    I don't know if reading about our move is becoming tiring to you all or not. I hope it isn't. I am finding that settling in has taken much longer than I have anticipated and there is really no way around being distracted. After all, both living and working from home means that I am constantly reminded of all these little things that I need to do.
  59. As summer slipped quietly away, it made room for my favorite season of all - AUTUMN! 

    Many people dread the passing of summer, as they see autumn as the gateway to the ice and snow that comes with the winter season that follows. I am fortunate in that my health is good and I am able to appreciate all the seasons without problems. I actually love the cold, crisp air  of winter, along with the snow it brings. I don't even mind being inside for the season, as I am happy to have a nice and comfortable place (and several cats!) to keep me warm.
  60. As I continue my work as a designer, I also continue to learn and grow. I like to think that each project I do - no matter how large or small - teaches me 'something'. 

    I am often torn between working on my own projects and doing projects from other designers that I admire. Every day as I check my Facebook account and other social media venues I see more and more projects that I want to try. These come in many different types of media - woodworking, painting and even needlework and sewing.
  61. OK - so it hasn't been that 'wild and crazy'. But it is barely 10am here and I feel as if I have put in nearly a full day already. All my mail is organized, my desk is clean, and the mail is just about ready to go out the door. It is a good start to the week. 

    I also already have been to the gym this morning. While I am not one of those people who feels the need to report every time I go to the gym, I find that today it was somewhat significant. I have been playing 'hookie' from the gym most of the summer.
  62. Today's post will be a brief one. (Yes - I know! I always say that!)  

    My day yesterday was pretty much filled with doing some 'maintenance' things for the business as well as our home. Unfortunately, there is nothing profound or exciting about that. I don't really mind, though. The older I get, the more I like these 'non-exciting' days. 

    Today, however, I want to hit the ground running. I have a lot I want to accomplish and time is ticking. I want to make the best use of my day and see how much I can actually accomplish.
  63. Some of you may have noticed that I have been a bit 'unsettled' lately. While I have been keeping my self busy, I have felt as if I haven't been making much headway in several areas. Maybe the term 'overwhelmed' is a bit more fitting. 

    I have never been one to make excuses for myself. I learned at an early age that it is better to own up to the things you did or didn't do and then move on from there. To me, the consequences of thinking about things were far worse than the actual result most of the time.
  64. We all that those 'little things' that we want to finish up in our lives. I think you may know what I mean - those 'extra' projects around the house that we may have put off for some reason. They range from things that take five minutes to others that take five or more hours or even days. It seems that we all have them and they are put on the 'back burners' of our lives until we decide that it is time to actually do them.

    Since we moved into our new home in June, my list of these types of projects has been long.
  65. It seems that I frequently mention in my blogs here the importance of finding balance.  I think for most of us, it is something that is an ongoing quest. We have our work and responsibilities to fulfill, and we have our home and family obligations. Sometimes that doesn't leave much time for ourselves. 

    I am fortunate in that I truly love what I do. The saying "If you love what you do, you don't work a day in your life" is usually applicable, but there are still times when I would like to do other similar, no pressure things that I can do 'just because' at my own pace and without a time line.
  66. I have missed the past few days of blogging, but with good reason. It used to bother me to miss, but after over 1700 posts, I have come to understand that sometimes we need to have to stay off of social media and the computer in general in order to do the things that we want to write about. For me, that is usually doing some type of creating. (Although yesterday I had an eye exam appointment in the morning in Digby, which is about a hour drive from where I live. There was no way that I would have been able to write a quality post and get to the office on time.
  67. As an independent, freelance designer, I am fortunate that I am able to vary my designs to my heart's content. While I do have to (somewhat) follow trends, I have the flexibility of creating not only the type of pattern that I would like to see, but also pick the subject, type of media that is used to create it. It is really what makes things fun. 

    But with that fun, also comes responsibility. Many know that 'artists' tend to march to their own drummer. While this creates new and innovative projects for everyone to share, it isn't always guaranteed that they will be liked or even accepted.
  68. As I awoke this morning and came down the stairs, my cat (Richard) was sitting in my studio room, staring at the floor vent. You all know how cats can be. Just - well - looking . . . (and looking. . .  and looking.)  It kind of creeped me out. 

    The house in which we live is old. My studio is on the first floor, right above the basement. The basement with the stone walls that many of the 150 year old houses in this area have. The basement that had several mouse traps in it prior to Keith power cleaning it and painting the concrete floor.
  69. It is raining today. That is good for us here in Nova Scotia. 

    While it has been a beautiful summer by most people's standards (mine, anyway!) it has been quite dry and the rain is very much appreciated. I supposed that it is appropriate that the piece "Raindrops" by Chopin just came on my headphones. I didn't plan it that way. I am listening to a six hour playlist of 'relaxing classical music' from YouTube. I like that lately in the morning. It is a good way to begin my day.
  70. Aristotle said "The whole is more than the sum of its parts."

    While most of us know that in the literal sense that statement is incorrect, figuratively I think it has a lot of merit. The way that I interpret it is that we accomplish a great deal more working together with others than we can accomplish individually.

  71. Who doesn't like to daydream sometimes? Who doesn't like to allow their thoughts to wander to places impossible to visit? 

    As children, we learn to daydream from the many stories and fairy tales we are told and read about. We visit fantastic places, where nothing is impossible and characters are not always human. We hear of mermaids, wizards, and other magical creatures that take on a personality and life that can only occur in our imaginations. It is wonderful and fascinating all at once.
  72. The busier that I get, the more I want to do.  Why does it work that way?  

    I never understood the concept of "boredom." Even at a young age. With an entire world of things to do for work, leisure and fun, I don't know how anyone could feel that they were bored. I suppose it is the way we approach things and life in general. 

    I am always amazed at how quickly time seems to pass. If I had one thing that I could change in this world, it would be to slow things down a bit.
  73. These past couple of days have really been busy. (That is a good thing, right?) I am very pleased at how well-received our new items have been, and as I have been filling orders, Keith has been working to reorganize the site and make it a little easier to navigate.

    As our little business keeps growing, we are finding that it is dividing itself into two distinct avenues that attract different types of customers - Scroll sawing and Decorative Painting. While there is the occasional time when someone is like me and is interested in both, more so than not people come to the site to see one or the other.
  74. It is hard to believe that after such a BUSY day I would have trouble finding something to write about. But that seems to be the case here for me this morning. 

    Yesterday was my birthday. And while I thought that I would kind of treat it like 'just another day', I kind of got caught up in the celebration and somewhere in the afternoon, I decided to just go with the flow and embrace the day and enjoy it. 

    We went out for a late lunch/early dinner (Keith, his mom and me) and I got my lunch for free - "because it was my birthday".
  75. I can't believe how quickly the weekend passed! It was one of those times that it seemed that I blinked my eyes and it was gone. The weather was not that great, as it was muggy and overcast most of the time. We had a little rain at night, and I truly wish we had some more, as it has been very dry here in Nova Scotia this year and there have been some wildfires in our area. But we take what we are given and hope for the best. 

    Today is again overcast and muggy. It isn't hot though - almost 'autumn-like' in the coolness of the air.
  76. 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.
  77. I love creating new patterns. I always have at least a dozen ideas in my head for new things to make. Over the years I have learned to write things down when I have a new idea that I want to implement. That way when I am a bit 'dry' or looking for something new to make and can't really think of the perfect project, I can look back on my list and it will at least point me in a direction and get things rolling. 

    Sometimes the ideas don't look so great later on.  I look back on them and say to myself, "What was I thinking?" and it goes by the wayside.
  78. Once again today I will keep my post rather brief. These days it seems that there is much to do and the clock is moving faster than ever. Having a larger place is wonderful, as we are able to spread our wings and do so much more, but it also requires a bit more maintenance. (Believe me though, I am not complaining!)

    I think that part of it is getting used to our new home here. I am finally able to sleep a little better. For one reason or another, it seemed that even though I was really tired, my nights were a bit fitful.
  79. Good morning to you all. It has been quite a busy weekend and I have a busy week ahead as well, so this will be just a short post to catch everyone up on what I am working on. 

    Over the weekend, I had several new orders that I had to cut. Once again, I really enjoyed working in the new shop upstairs. It was such a difference from working from the corner of the kitchen. Even though I made do for years, it feels so good to actually have room to do what I need to do - without making a mess of our regular living area.
  80. I really am a sucker for details. while I do like all kinds of designs, I really think that details are what set certain designs apart. As I look at my list of favorite designers, I think the ones with the extra 'touches' and fine details are really the ones that head my list. I am certainly drawn to them. 

    I believe that is the appeal of the "12 Days" set of ornaments that I am painting by Lynne Andrews. Her work is a beautiful combination of kind of a 'refined country' look with lots of little details and extras.
  81. It has been a perfect morning so far. (I know - I have only been up for an hour or so! But really, it is good!)  The air is quiet. The sun is shining. The world is still asleep. I am on my second cup of coffee and the cats have been fed and are lounging in their various spots, dreaming of the next meals (or whatever cats dream of!) 

    It is Thursday, and I have a full day ahead to do what I like best - designing. 

    I say this like it is an oddity, and in many ways it is.
  82. Over the past several months, it has been difficult to get what some call our 'real work' done. Both Keith and I have been torn in so many directions. But finally (FINALLY!) it seems that things are getting back on track and we are once again falling into a somewhat "normal" pattern (whatever that is!) It is a welcome change. 

    Being self-employed has its plusses and minuses. Obviously, I think there are far more plusses, or I wouldn't be doing what I do. I get to do what I love every single day - and that is a big plus - but sometimes it is hard to completely walk away from 'work' and focus on other things.
  83. Those of you who know me know that I am a firm believer in goals. Perhaps I developed this trait while working with several arts and crafts magazines for over 20 years. I am sitting here trying to think if I was so 'goal-orientated' prior to those days, or if that was when it really became embedded within me. 

    No matter what the reason, there is no turning back. Goals are part of my life and imperative to keeping me moving forward with both my work and my life. I think they are a good thing.
  84. As we begin this month of August, I am finally feeling as if things are getting back to 'normal'. Defining what that means isn't always easy, but after months of distractions and preparations and then our actual move, it feels pretty good.

    Everything essential to our daily living is just about done. Furniture is here and in place, boxes are put away and shops are set up. The most important thing though is that our 'creative places' are clean and comfortable and ready to be used for their purpose - creating and designing new patterns and projects.
  85. Yesterday I was away on an 'adventure'.  For most people, it wouldn't be what they considered 'exciting' but for me it was a nice day. 

    Keith's mom had her knee reconstructed this past April. Everything went well and she is doing better than ever on it. However, she still has one more procedure to have done on her other knee. That will be done in the upcoming months. 

    Yesterday was a 'girl's day' in which we traveled up the valley to New Minas, where the main hospital is located.
  86. As most of you are going through probably the hottest time of the year, I am here in Nova Scotia humming Christmas carols to myself and working on Christmas ornaments. Things are going just as I planned. 

    many of you know that I have been working on a year-long project of creating no less than six sets of Lynne Andrew's "12 Days of Christmas" ornaments (you can purchase the pattern book here: Christmas Blessings Pattern Book - or come and join our Facebook page dedicated to this project here:
  87. Having limited means can completely shut some people down. For others, it serves as a challenge - not only to meet, but often to be completely conquered. For them, having less doesn't mean giving up, but trying harder and often coming out of the situation even better than expected. It can be surprising what one can accomplish with a bit of determination. 

    I grew up with limited means. My parents were divorced when I was very young (at a time when 'divorce' was neither common or readily accepted.
  88. It has been over three weeks now since we made our 'final move' to our new home. In reality, it is closer to four. I look back and consider 'moving day' as the day we finally brought the cats here to our new home and began sleeping here, after our bed arrived. One would think that we would be all settled by now. Anyone who knows both Keith and I know how much we love to be organized. While he and I have many differences in the way we do things, one thing that we really see eye to eye on is having our things and work areas 'in place' so that we have the most comfort and efficiency possible.
  89. As I sit here this morning, trying to decide what to write, I realize how much we have accomplished in the past several weeks. I hope that I am not being tiresome talking about our moving adventures, but for Keith, the kitties and myself, it has been a life consuming event for the past several months. Not only from the day nearly three weeks ago when we finally brought the cats (and the coffee pot) to our new place here, but it has been on our minds for many, many weeks before that. We had first come to see this house early in March, and from the time we did that, we knew this is where we wanted to live.
  90. If this move has taught me anything, it is taught me that things don't happen overnight. Even if things appear to fall into place when looking in from the outside, there is usually a huge amount of work to make that happen. I am beginning to think that the more seamless that change appears to be, the more work it required to get there. "Effortless" takes more effort than we can imagine. 

    It has been over three weeks since we made the big move to our new place. (I actually had to check the calendar after I wrote that, as it seems impossible that it would be so long yet time passed so quickly!) These weeks have gone by in a flurry because every single day we were busy doing something from the time we awoke until the time we went to sleep.
  91. If anything, we are learning that expanding to a full sized home from a one bedroom apartment is an 'adventure'.  While customizing things to our own needs and preferences is fun, it is a lot of work and takes a great deal of time. 

    Yesterday we decided to take off to New Minas - a town that is about two hours away - as that is where the nearest Home Depot store is located. I mentioned before that I had not finished with my scroll saw room and one of the things that still needed to be done was to add in the shelving and some storage boxes to hold the pre-cut wood pieces for the kits that I am selling.
  92. Today's post won't be too long, but I wanted to show the progress that I made yesterday. As I mentioned, getting things how we like will be a 'work in progress'.  For people like Keith and myself, we have little understanding of that concept. We like to have everything done quickly, efficiently and pretty close to immediately. We are just like that. 

    But in life, things can't always happen instantly. I think that the older we get, the more we realize it. No matter how well-planned things are and how much we do to head off delays, things still come up and take more time than anticipated.
  93. Routines. 

    We need them for order, guidance and pacing. They help us set and keep goals and they keep us organized and productive.  Some people don't like routines, but I am one who embraces them completely. Perhaps that is from being around cats all of my life, as they are big fans of routines, as are many animals. 

    The past several weeks have been anything but "routine" for me. From the time we first saw our new home early in March, I have been a bit out of step.
  94. It has been a crazy couple of weeks! Even though I didn't get much 'work' done, I don't think I have ever worked harder in  my life. Perhaps it is because I am a touch older now (EGADS!) Or maybe it was because this was the first time that I had to not only move myself, but a moderately successful business as well. It certainly entailed much more than I had anticipated. 

    But all went well and there were barely any hiccups in the process. We were fortunate in so many respects.
  95. It is funny how something that has been a habit so long can fall out of being a habit so quickly. In the past couple of weeks, so many habits that I have acquired over time have been greatly altered. I expect it will be like that for the next few weeks, as we received the KEYS to our new place and are going to finally be able to start moving things there! How exciting this is for us!

    I am filled with a wide range of emotions right now. I go from being excited and happy to being completely overwhelmed.
  96. As I mentioned before, the next several weeks will be quite busy for Keith and I. We are in the process of preparing to move in the next few weeks and there is a great deal of things we need to do. It isn't that we were unorganized while living in our current place, but rather that we are expanding our living space to nearly four times what we have today. Needless to say, we are beyond excited. 

    While Keith and I think differently on several issues (and what couple doesn't?), one thing that we have in common is that we both love organization.
  97. In preparing to move in a few weeks, you can imagine that things are a bit different in my life these days. Even though the 'big day' is a couple of weeks away, my general routine is rather 'off' and my mind has been in many different directions. For the first time in years, I feel as if I am not producing designs like I should.

    This isn't a matter of "Designer's Block" or anything of that nature. I have more ideas than I have time to create. It is more like "Designer's Distraction" which means my mind is continually being pulled in other directions and it is difficult to focus on the task at hand.
  98. I have been busier than usual the past couple of weeks, and I expect that this will continue for the near future as we prepare our move into our new house. There is so much to consider and so much organizing to to! We are both really excited about it, but it is also very time consuming to plan and think things through and also figure out and purchase what we will need to make the move as seamless as possible regarding our business. 

    Since we no longer will be both working in one room, there have to be several adjustments made to our computer systems.
  99. One of the most difficult things that I find about owning your own business is finding the "off switch."  As someone who has been dedicated to creating and art for over 20 years now, working on art of business related things has not only become a habit, but also a lifestyle. 

    Many times my partner Keith mentions to me that my 'relaxing' (off) days look a lot like my 'working' days, as it seems that I am always in the process of making soemthing in some shape or form - be it drawing, painting, woodworking or fiber and needlework.
  100. It seems like I haven't blogged forever. Even though I have only missed for a week, it feels like much more time has passed than that. It has been over six years since I began posting nearly every day, and breaking away from that routine has been difficult, but I feel for now it is necessary. 

    We are going though many changes at this time. Keith and I have made the decision to move into a larger place and there is much preparation that needs to be done to make our move go smoothly.
  101. I am going to keep this post quick today, as I have some projects that I want to work on this weekend, but I did want to mention to you all that we once again updated the website and we are also having a sale coupon for those of us who subscribe to our Mailing List. I realize that I am not the best sales person in the world, but I thought that I would let you all know because there are so many of you that are new to our site and I want to give everyone a fair shot at the discount.
  102. As I sit here this morning, I can't help but feel content and happy about my life. Certainly things are not 'perfect' all the time - that would be unnatural - but when I look at things overall, the important things are going well, and I can hardly complain about trivial things that don't really matter in the big picture of my life.  My loved ones are all healthy, (Both those with and without tails!) our business is doing well enough to keep it going, and we are looking forward to moving to a beautiful new (to us) home in a few weeks where we can spread our wings and really fly.
  103. I am going to try to keep this post on the short side. As usual, I am doing many different things and I am running in several different directions. The weekend was busy and full and I have lots of new things that I am working on that I will be sharing in the near future. At last count, I am working with (I think!) FIVE other designers in one capacity or another on some really cool projects.  These collaborations are in addition to my own work in my own many directions, so you can imagine how my head just wants to explode! While some days it may not seem like I am doing much, you can rest assured that it appears that way only because I am not yet at liberty to speak (or write, if you will) about the many fun adventures that I am participating in.
  104. Yesterday was a tough day. Even though everything turned out alright, it was very emotionally draining. I am very happy to have it behind me, and I look forward to moving on ahead from here. 

    Nothing really tragic happened, but my dear kitty Pancakes needed to have some oral surgery done. I realize that many of you may think that this is an 'extravagance', but I assure you it is not. Any one of you who has suffered tooth pain should realize the importance and necessity of something like this.
  105. Is there such a thing as loving too many things about life?

    As I wake up each morning and try to plan out my day, I think my biggest problem that I am encounter on most days is which direction to head.

    One tends to view others that are self-employed as someone who gets to sit on the beach most of the time, drinking a tropical drink with a wide-brimmed straw hat and wondering where they will spend their next holiday. When I come across people that have that mentality (yes - they do exist) I just smile to myself.
  106. It has been another busy end of the week, as well as weekend. As we are moving into the second week of May, the weather is finally getting warmer and beginning to resemble spring and summer. Hopefully in the next week, I will be picking up my car from the place that is working on it and I will once again have my driving freedom. It has been a long story regarding  my vehicle this past year, and I don't want to bore anyone here with those details. There is enough good to focus on and talk about and hopefully that particular chapter in my life will end and I can move on from there.
  107. What is better than a beautifully crafted, furniture quality box?

    Why a beautifully crafted, furniture quality box filled with supplies, of course! 

    Yesterday, I showed you the lovely box that I snagged on the Derwent site last weekend. For the price (about $140 CDN or $115 USD SHIPPED from England) I was thrilled with the quality and workmanship that Derwent used to build it. But let's face it - the reason that I ordered it in the first place was to use it for storing my odds and ends of my pencil supplies.
  108. As an artist, I love getting new supplies. Besides loving to work in so many different types of media, being active on the internet and participating in classes and online forums exposes me to many, many different new and exciting products. It really keeps my creative juices flowing and I love trying new techniques and products. It is a wonderful part of what I do. 

    Many of you know that I live in a very small place. Keith and I have lived in a one bedroom apartment for over seven years now, and running a business from here has been a bit challenging to say the least.
  109. Sometimes I think I am my own worst enemy. There are times - especially when I am designing - that I am very, very hard on myself and just not happy with the way things are going. As a result, the things I do often take a great deal of time for me to complete. I wind up changing things and re-doing them several times before I even show them to you all. There are even times when these projects are scrapped and put in a drawer or completely discarded. Although I am happy to say that doesn't happen often, it does occur.
  110. There are a few things we can be certain of in this world. We have all heard the saying that "the only thing that we can be sure of is death and taxes", but as I get older, I find that something in that quote was left out. . . change.

    While some of us are uncomfortable with change, others thrive on it. I am not sure where my feelings lie in this equation, but I think they are somewhere in the middle.

    Change can be scary, as many times change is accompanied by the 'unknown'.
  111. I have so many wonderful plans ahead of me!  

    As I dream about our new, larger home as well as my very own studio, my head is filled with more ideas than ever. While I am proud of the way we made our business work while living in and working out of a small, one bedroom place, I can't help but feel wonderful that the time here will soon be behind me and both Keith and I will be able to spread our wings and really FLY!

    I am hoping that I am not deluding myself into thinking that with more room comes more hours in the day.
  112. OK.  It may appear that I have been 'slacking'. 

    Between cutting mountains of ornaments, having a cold/flu for a couple of weeks, and having some family things to take care of, it may seem that I have somewhat fallen out of the habit of posting here each day.

    There may be some merit to that, as it is no secret that I haven't been here every day as I have for the last several years, but that doesn't really mean that I am not creating. I just try my best to keep my posts here relevant to some sort of creating and I fear that showing piles of cut ornaments over and over may bore some of you.
  113. I am writing quick today because there is much to do. I am finishing up some new orders that came in yesterday and trying to get them out by tomorrow. I will be absent from social media for a few days because we will be heading out of town for a couple of days while Keith's mom has her knee surgery. We will try to stop in when we can, and orders may be delayed a bit longer than usual, but I know that you all understand. We should return by the end of the week and everything will once again be 'normal'.
  114. I hope you had a good weekend. Here in Nova Scotia, we are finally seeing some lasting signs of spring. While it is still cool out, it has been pleasant and sunny, and I dare say that the snow is behind us and I don't expect we will see any additional snow until late autumn. (You all know what an optimist I am though!) 

    I had a full weekend myself. It felt good to focus and accomplish as much as I did. I a large order, as well as some smaller ones that I have been working on and over Friday and Saturday I got just about everything cut (for the moment!) When I look at the pile in front of me, I am pretty pleased with it.
  115. A usual, my life has been quite busy. I suppose that is the result of having so many creative interests. I often am asked how I come up with my ideas and if I ever get 'dry' where I feel that I am against the wall. In all honesty, I do have my lulls in certain areas of my design work, but since I have so many avenues that I actively pursue, there is rarely, if ever a time when I feel that I have 'nothing to do' creatively. If I am feeling especially uncreative - which rarely occurs - I hop on Pinterest or jump into an online class to advance my learning techniques.
  116. Yesterday was one of those days when I felt as if I was running in circles. It wasn't bad at all, but there were just a lot of things on our plates and we were trying to accomplish a great deal in what seemed like a short amount of time.

    I know I said that our newsletter would go out by last evening, but we just didn't get that far. There was too much to do and by the time we got everything on the site, I was too tired and it was just too late.

    But all is not lost. Today is another day.
  117. I am running late today because I got distracted. I don't believe I mentioned it here in my blog, but in a couple of months we are moving into a much bigger place. Most of you who follow me here in social media know that for the past seven years, we have been living and running our business out of a one bedroom apartment. While it is clean and nice and we have used our storage to the utmost efficiency, we both decided that it is getting too hard to do so with our business growing the way it is and it is time to move to a bigger place.
  118. When I last posted on Friday, I spoke of being filled with self-doubt. Even though I have had many successes in things that I have tried to accomplish, most of them did not come easily. I don't for one second think that only happens to me. I have always looked upon humans as being an iceberg. We only see a small portion of their makeup and below the surface there is a vast part of them that only the individual can know about and understand. Within that part lies the struggles and victories; the failures and accomplishments; the experiences, feelings and knowledge that is the dictating core of each of our own personality.
  119. As an artist, I am filled with self-doubt.

    I am not saying that to gain your pity or sympathy, or to fish for compliments, but I truly feel that way. It isn't that I don't like or enjoy what I create. Most of the time, I am pretty satisfied with my accomplishments. The longer that I do this (create and design) the more I understand that there are very, very few people who are able to pick up a certain type of media and create a "masterpiece" with little effort. As with most things in this life, excellence is the result of many hours, days and months of practice and education.
  120. I did a funny thing yesterday. I wrote a blog in the morning and while I posted it on Lumberjocks (the woodworking site) I forgot to post it on my own site, Facebook, or any of the other places that I usually share it.  I suppose I am not quite back to 'normal' after all! 

    I am finding that getting back into stride is a little bit more of a process than I would have thought. It seems that sometimes once our general routine is changed or suspended, it isn't always easy to go back to how things were.
  121. "Things happen for a reason." 

    I have heard that saying for probably most of my life. I used to think it was something people just said to placate others when things weren't going as they had planned, but the older I get, the more that I feel that perhaps there is some merit to it after all. Maybe it is that I just want it to be that way, so that in my mind I can organize and make sense of things that cause chaos in our lives. It is hard to tell. 

    These past few weeks have certainly been different for me.
  122. I'm Baaaaaack!  

    While I felt the break was much-needed, I can't tell you how good it feels to be back to a routine again. I don't think I had a time in the six years that I have been writing when I had so much time off. I certainly haven't been as sick as I was these past few weeks.  It seems as if the entire month of March was a blur of cold remedies, doctors and naps. It is so out of character for me! But I am glad to say that I feel pretty safe in saying "I am on the other side of this" and pretty much back to normal.
  123. It seems like forever since I have blogged here.  After posting nearly every day for over six years, having two weeks off can feel like an eternity. At least to me it does. 

    The past week or so I have been busy resting. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, and in my case it definitely is. It takes a bit of effort for me to do 'nothing.' Because I am usually running at full throttle, I find it very difficult to find the 'off' button as far as being active. But for these past couple of weeks, I have had little choice, as whatever illness I acquired has been particularly draining and I have had little energy or ambition to do much of anything at all.
  124. These last couple of weeks have been kind of a blur. What started with Keith's being 'man sick' (our term for when he gets ill - which isn't often) had spread to me and even the cats have had their sick moments. I suppose it was probably time, as we both hadn't had any real illnesses in  what seems like years. Perhaps it was due to the mild on-again-off-again winter we have been experiencing. Maybe there just wasn't enough of a hard freeze to kill everything off that usually gets killed off by the cold.
  125. I try to keep my posts here positive and I think I am successful in doing that for these six years that I have been writing.  But sometimes life just throws us a curve ball and we have to take a step back from things. I haven't written this week because I have been down with a cold/flu. I have had lots of nice messages and notes from my readers wondering what was up, as they are used to me blogging nearly every day. I just wanted to explain to you all why I am not here. 

    I went to the doctor on Wednesday and she thought it was more of a flu virus that could take several weeks to pass.
  126. I read somewhere yesterday on  Facebook that 'resting isn't wasting time - it is your body repairing itself.' (If it is on Facebook - it must be true, right? ;) ) I tried to take that to heart because I actually accomplished very little yesterday. I kind of spent the day milling around. 

    When Keith went to do the daily errands of going to the store and post office, I found myself fighting to keep my eyes open. I hadn't really slept very much the previous night and I gave in to having a mid-afternoon nap.
  127. The past couple of days have had me down with a cold. It hasn't been a terrible cold, but enough to make me tired and move a lot slower than I would like to do. Fortunately, it has come at a time when things are slowing down a little for me. While there is never a 'good' time for being sick, I am glad this wasn't a month or so ago when I was in the midst of cutting the hundreds of ornaments that have been ordered from me.  (I always try to look on the positive side of things.
  128. Am I getting lazy?  It seems that I haven't finished posting my blogs as early as I usually do lately. I have been sleeping in a little later than usual these past couple of days because I feel that I am getting a slight cold. Keith has had the start of it all weekend and we jokingly call it "Man Sick" because we know that no illness that a woman could ever have could be so terrible so it deserved its own name. But now it seems that the Man Sickness has come to me and I am going to do my best to fight it off.
  129. Sometimes I feel as if I have triplets. In a way, I do. (Or even quadruplets or quintuplets - depending on how you look at it!) There are just so many aspects of creating that I enjoy, that it is difficult to stick to only one medium.  I love painting and drawing, but I also love embroidery and woodworking as well. Then there are paper craft and even sewing. I have so many ideas that cross over into other areas that it is hard to decide which ones I want to do at any given moment. I want to do them ALL! 

    I suppose there could be worse habits .
  130. Oh - I seem to be so late at getting to my blogs these days! I find that I wind up spending the mornings visiting my artistic friends' pages and seeing what they posted through the night. That usually takes me away to other places and gives me MORE ideas of new things to create. It is a vicious circle! ;) 

    I spent the day yesterday finishing up drawing my new patterns for the scroll saw projects I am making and I actually got MOST of them cut out. With all the errands and stuff that I had to do (office work, etc.
  131. It is hard to believe that it is MARCH already! Here in Nova Scotia, it is definitely coming 'in like a lamb' as we have sunshine and warm temperatures and a slight breeze. It really feels good to have the windows opened and allow the fresh air inside. Even if we do see another spot of winter, I am grateful for these little breaks. It is a nice indication of what is yet to come. 

    I spent yesterday working on some new designs as well as finishing up my "Day 3" of my Lynne Andrews' 12 Days of Christmas pattern.
  132. I am always looking for more time, it seems. Once every four years my wish comes true - we get an extra day to do things. Today is leap day and many consider it an 'extra' day. I will gladly take it!

    This year has been so busy from the start for me. I can't believe that we are through the first two months already. Time is certainly moving quickly - even more so than usual. I suppose it helps that I sit here on this February 29th with my window open slightly. I am enjoying the fresh air that is being brought in and the beautiful sunny morning.
  133. I am going to keep my post short today. (I know - I always say that!) I had planned on doing some drawing yesterday, but we kind of changed plans and that didn't really happen. I never really mind when things change up like that, as a little bit of being spontaneous is good for us. Many times things are even better than we anticipated. I think that was the case here. 

    We decided to invite Keith's mom over at the last minute, as we always enjoy her visit. It was a dreary and stormy day outside and it was nice to have some company.
  134. After a less than wonderful morning yesterday dealing with Google Images, I was able to finish the day off on a positive note. Apparently, Picasa (the place that hosts my online images for my blog posts here) has been taken over by Google. I realize this happened some time ago, but I recently received a notice that the change over would be completed some time in early May. Since the hundreds of images that I post here on the blog are linked to those Picasa files, I thought it was time for me to start using the Google Images interface and learn my way about.
  135. There is definitely a difference in taking down time when you own your own business. While some may think that being self-employed allows you to take time off more than when you have a 'real job', I am finding that actually the opposite probably carries a bit more truth.  

    As our business grows, so does our responsibility towards it. The process of filling orders, preparing packages for mailing and the other day-to-day tasks multiply quickly as we obtain more customers. It only makes sense.
  136. As usual, the weekend went by much too quickly. We had a 'visiting day' on Friday, and I had earmarked Saturday for cutting orders. Sunday was to be my day to 'relax', but that didn't really happen. (It never really does!)  I am not complaining though, as I did accomplish a lot and I was able to spend the latter part of the evening finishing up my Panel 1 on my latest embroidery project. 

    So much is going on lately in my life it seems. The growth of our business is really becoming more and more evident as each day/week/month passes.
  137. Today is going to be one of those posts where everything comes together at once. I guess that is typical when I do projects such as what I just completed. It seemed like I was here, there and everywhere and then suddenly - "BAM" (that's for you, Mary! ;) )  everything falls together nicely! 

    Well- sort of, anyway! (If it were only that easy!) 

    We managed to get everything completed and up on the site yesterday. I was proud because I even had my pattern packet finished BEFORE the update.
  138. I took the day off  from 'social media' yesterday for the most part because I was on a roll. I was in the process of finishing up sanding and packaging several wood orders that I wanted to get to the post by the time the truck came for pickup in the afternoon. (Check!)  I was also doing some drawing for a wonderful fellow designer and I wanted to get some things to her so she could get on with her own designing. She is creating some rubber stamps of her drawings and I am helping her out with the graphics.
  139. I feel like I have been on the 'slow train' lately. I am not sure exactly why that is. It seems like I am doing something from the time I get up in the morning until the time I go to sleep. 

    The days are passing much quicker than I would like them to. I look up at the clock and first it it mid-afternoon, then dinner time and then nearly midnight. How can time pass so quickly?  I don't remember it being like that in the past. 

    Perhaps it is that my head is thinking up new things much faster than my hands can make them.
  140. I am a sucker for nostalgia. It seems the older I get, the more I enjoy seeing things that remind me of  'days gone by'. It isn't as if I want to live in the past, but I think that those old fashioned items bring back many of the memories that I associate with them.  Memories of people and places and perhaps times when I had a bit less responsibility and life (for me, anyway) was a little simpler. It is somewhat comforting seeing these things and remembering. 

    The other day when I was at a Winners store near me, I saw (and ultimately purchased) a foil-covered Easter Bunny piece.
  141. These past few weeks have been quite busy. While I have always been pretty busy and had several things on the go at once, it seems that lately things have taken on a different 'tone' of busy. It is hard to describe. It is just a different 'feel' as to the things that have demanded my time. It is exciting and I will admit a little bit scary at the same time. When I take the time to actually asses things and consider what is going on, I realize that these new demands are just part of a growing business.
  142. Winter has finally arrived here in Nova Scotia. For the past two months, I think everyone around us here has held their breath and waited for the inevitable freezing temperatures, wind and snow. But up until yesterday, their dread has been pretty much unfounded. 

    Oh, we have had some snow and ice, but nothing to really complain about. A few inches here and there. A few storms that brushed by us and missed us by a whisker. Nothing that really lasted for more than a couple of days. Whatever accumulation we had would soon disappear and pale in comparison to the mountains of snow that was piled on us last year.
  143. My goodness! What a fun and productive weekend I had. I think I must be a little crazy because it seems the more directions I am going in at once, the more things I want to do. It may sound 'corny' but I feel so, so fortunate to be able to work doing something I love every single day. You must all think I am kidding when I say I can't wait to wake up and get started each day, but that is truly the case.

    On Saturday night, I probably only slept for a couple of hours because my head was so busy thinking of new ideas, I couldn't shut it down.
  144. With another week coming to a close, it is (once again!) amazing how quickly time seems to pass. Again this week was extremely busy, and my status of being 'caught up' was very short-lived. Being on top of all my orders lasted about six hours, and soon I had more orders to fill. I was thrilled with this, as it is what I have been working towards for many, many years. It is just sometimes hard to keep up.

    I have always had the mindset of getting things out as quickly as I possibly can.
  145. After Monday night's power outage, things got back to normal rather quickly. I spent the next day finishing up the outstanding orders that I had and getting everything boxed up and ready to ship out the door. I worked at a very relaxed pace and enjoyed packaging everything up. Among the orders was another one of my SLDPK238 Halloween Haunted Carousel kits, which is one of my favorite things to sell. I think of the people who are receiving the items and I really do take a lot of care and pride in the quality of what I am providing them.
  146. 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.
  147. It is hard to believe that the first month of the year is under our belts already. It seems like it was just December only a few days ago! Here in Nova Scotia, we have been (so far!) spared the fierce winter that we have become used to experiencing. Oh - we have had some snow, but it is nothing like what we experienced last year where we had storm after storm. I remember driving to Halifax at the end of April and still seeing small, stubborn piles of snow that did not want to seem to die. It was a brutal year for sure.
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