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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. Since I have last posted, we have had Richard in and out of the emergency hospital twice. Both times he was also near death. We got him home on New Year's Eve and since then have watched him slowly recover. We are cautiously optimistic. Only time will tell.
As you can imagine, this took a great deal out of me. Not only was I mourning for Pancakes, but now worried about Rich. Under these circumstances, there was no way that I could function normally beyond doing the everyday tasks that were required to keep the business growing. I know most of you understand. Our pets are an important part of our lives and we love them like our own children.
I wish to thank you all again for your kind support and friendships during this time. I also want to thank you for your patience. I had many orders for both patterns and wood surfaces from friends who were very patient in receiving them - especially the wood pieces. While I usually aim to get my wood orders out in one or two days, it has taken me slightly longer. Between the holidays and the chaos of having to bring a sick kitty to the vet several times and the worry, I just couldn't keep up. But everyone was great and understanding and there were notes of support and care. I can't tell you how much that meant to me. We are a small, personal business and those of you who have been around a while know we do our best to do our best. But we are also 'human' and things happen to use just as they do to you and your family. Thank you for understanding that. We appreciate it so much.
So things are 'better' and we are once again moving in a good direction. I have taken the past week to reorganize and plan the new directions that I want to take the business in 2017. I am once again feeling good and excited about things and hopefully, we will have lots of fun projects and inspiration for all of you to enjoy. I will do my best.
We are going to be sending out our first newsletter of the year later on today. I will show a quick preview of all the new things that will be added to the site for those of you who aren't on our mailing list. I hope you consider joining it, as we will be trying to send a newsletter every other week or so to showcase all that is new. You can join by going to the Mailing List tab on our site. We don't share your information with anyone and don't SPAM you. We just like to keep you informed in case you don't read my blog.
To start off with, Keith has some new plaques for you all to enjoy. The first two were requests from customers that he thought would be something that everyone would enjoy. His SLDK703 US Army Special Forces and SLDK702 US Army Infantry plaque patterns are both in his ever-popular word-in-word style.
Both of these designs are nice for those of you with military customers or families.
The third design from Keith is also a word-in-word plaque pattern, but with an added twist.
The SLDK704 Bless this House With Love and Laughter plaque pattern includes the two versions of the plaque shown - one in the traditional style and the other with the decorative header and footer. I really like the detail of the header and footer design. I think it adds to the plaque and that little accent really makes a nice difference. Both are really nice.
As for myself, I have some new painting patterns that I am now able to release. These have been previously released as online publications, but now I am able to sell the patterns on my own site. I actually have a new scroll saw pattern that I designed early in December. I even cut out all the pieces. I only need to paint them and make the pattern up and I should have that coming soon. Please don't lose faith in me. I have lots of new ideas for scrolling and painting patterns as well. My goal this year is to add to both venues on a regular basis. I know I can do it!
The first "new" painting pattern that will be available on my site is my SLDP253 Pumpkin with Winter Roses pattern.
This is a lovely project to have out all winter long. The pretty rose design can easily be transferred to just about any surface. I could see this on trays, boxes, or plates. I actually have a full-length video for this project that I will be posting to my YouTube Channel in the next few days. It walks you through the full process of painting these fun and easy roses. I plan on posting many more of my instructional videos in the near future. I hope you subscribe to my channel so you can get notified when new material is available.
The next new project pattern that will be posted with this update is my SLDP254 Winter Bunny Snowflake Ornament pattern.
This beautiful step-by-step pattern is full of color photographs to help you create this adorable winter ornament. For the project, I used my own SLDPK140 Snowflake Bevel-Cut Ornaments (SLDPK140) and some beautiful Aurora Borealis hot-fix rhinestones from Rhinestone Canada. I also added some beautiful snowflake charm embellishments that really finished the ornament off nicely. The charms are available on my Embellishments Page of my site. I really loved the look of this and plan on doing some winter bird ornaments later on this week that will have the same 'feel' as these. I think you will enjoy them.
The extra 'embellishments' have been very popular so far, and I just received a large shipment of new things to offer you from my supplier. Poor Keith has to add them all onto the site, but I promise - they will be worth it. I am so thrilled with the variety and high quality of these pieces and whether you do woodworking or painting, they make lovely accents at a very reasonable price that will really make your projects stand out. Here is a sneak peek of all the new pieces that will be available later on today.
I am adding a variety of hearts, as Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. But hearts are great for weddings, anniversaries, and just about any occasion. The cost for these is really reasonable and I just KNOW you are going to love the quality. I have lots of other themes to add throughout the year as well. I hope you stop by often to see what is new.
My final new project pattern is for these lovely seahorses. (SLDP250 Watercolor Seahorse)
This beautiful pattern is geared for BEGINNERS and is a full lesson, with 37 color step-by-step photos to help even a new watercolor painter achieve success. I guarantee that it is much easier than you would think to create paintings like this. "Just one baby step at a time."
I used Mission Gold watercolors for my sample. I kept the palette to the colors that were available in the starter set that you can get at Art Apprentice Online. While looking up the link, I noticed that the set is ON SALE for a very good price. In researching watercolors before purchasing these, I found out that Mission Gold Watercolors are one of the best brands on the market. They are highly pigmented, have excellent archival qualities, and go a long, long way. If you are thinking of trying out watercolors, this would be a great place to start.
Well, I have certainly not been lost for words this morning. I suppose I had a lot of catching up to do. I am expecting my dust mask to arrive from Lee Valley Tools in the next couple of days and I will blog about that for my followers who cut wood. I made a vow to myself to use a dust mask ALWAYS when I am cutting in the shop. That is something that I have been sadly lax on doing.
I hope you have a good week ahead. We have about a foot and a half of snow here in Nova Scotia. This is the first significant snow of the year. It is supposed to melt within a couple of days, though . . . we will see.
Happy Monday to you all and Happy New Year! May 2017 be your best year yet!
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