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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. I have even been able to sit with my embroidery in the evening to wind down. It is a relief to see this happening, as I was beginning to wonder if I would ever feel the same again. Little by little the 'pink cloud' is returning and along with that, my optimism. I am learning that experiencing illness and death is part of life, and it only serves to help me appreciate the good days even more. It is easy to be optimistic when things are going well. But much more difficult to do so when things are not so good. That is when we need to reach inside ourselves and try to focus on the things we do feel good about in our lives and embrace them with all we have. It helps pull us through our darkest days.
I finished up my SLDP256 Winter Songbird Mittens project yesterday. The last time I showed them to you, the main painting was done on them and they looked nice, but I knew I wanted to add some other touches to make them look even better. I had a vision in my mind as to how I pictured these, and they were close, but not quite there. It was fun to put the final touches on them and see them come to life.
My friend Vera was a great encouragement for this project. I had mentioned to her that I was thinking of painting some winter birds and she was probably my biggest cheerleader. She "gently" kept reminding me to get moving on them whenever we talked or posted on Facebook, and it was just the push I needed to indeed get moving and get something accomplished. Good friends are like that. They know when to push and when to back off.
I had many winter animal and bird ideas for these mittens, but for this first set I chose the English Robin:
And a Cardinal:
I thought this trio would make a beautiful combination for a set of lovely little mittens. I have several other ideas for animals and birds and may expand on it later, but for now, this is a nice representation of how I pictured the project.
Since my last photos, I decided to add some metallic silver shading around the oval frame of the mitten. You can't see in the photo, but I also did this to the sides of the pieces. I then painted two coats of DecoArt Glamour Dust paint in Silver over these areas to look like sparkly silver sugar. The effect is subtle, but in person, they are really beautiful. (I used all the beautiful DecoArt Americana paints for this project.) I then used some silver wire for the hanger, along with a couple of pretty silver metal charms. I added a glass snowflake aurora borealis charm for a beautiful glimmer and finished the mittens off with a white boa cuff.
I had debated on whether to use the boa on my mitten or not. I didn't want it to overpower the design. But when I considered painting a fur cuff on the edge, I knew it just wouldn't have the same impact as the feathered boa does. I did have to trim my boa a little bit to shorten the feathers. That worked fine and while it was a little messy, it vacuumed up very quickly. The result is a fun piece, which is filled with textures and interest. The striking contrast of the birds against the soft backgrounds allows them to still be the center of attention, even with all the embellishments. I am happy with the project.
Today I will be writing the instructions. In order to do this properly, I will be painting the mittens again so I can take step-by-step photos for the pattern. I really believe that anyone can do this project successfully - even if they are a newer painter. I also plan on offering a 'kit' for this project which will include the pattern, wood pieces, wire, and charms. I decided not to include the boa in the kit because they are available very cheaply on Amazon or in local fabric stores. It would be cheaper and easier for people to get those themselves.
So that is my plan for today. Keith also has been working on some new patterns and put a new scroll saw pattern up on the site last night:
It is an addition to his "Self-Framing Leaf Bordered" series and it is (as you can see) a Howling Wolf (SLDK244) He is also working on another project and we should have that up on the site by the update later on this weekend. We hope you all enjoy it.
After what seems like an eternity of 'time off' at our busy season, it feels great to be productive again. While working doesn't remove all the sadness in my heart of late, it does help me put things in a good perspective. If I focus on the positive things in my life, they will certainly remind me that I have much to be grateful for. I can't forget that.
Have a wonderful Thursday.
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