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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. For someone that likes things neatly in order, that isn't really a good thing, although perhaps it was something that was necessary for me to stop and take a breath and cope.
The landslide began in early December. Losing Pancakes so suddenly shook me to the core. I still don't know why it hit me so hard. After all, I am an adult and lost people and pets before. Perhaps it was that it was so unexpected and I felt that I was blindsided by it. We think that those we love are safe and sound here with us, but we never know what the next day really has in store for us, do we? To say I was "unprepared" was a gross understatement. I suppose when I knew he was going into exploratory surgery, I should have prepared part of my head for the worst. But I chose not to do that. He was still young and at only nine years old the youngest cat I ever lost. Things weren't supposed to happen the way they did.
Then, while I was still reeling from that, my other cat Richard became gravely ill. Since my nerves were already raw, I found myself wondering if this world could be so cruel as to take two of my beloved companions from me one after the other? Surely that wouldn't be the case! But the rest of December was spent nursing him back to health and going through the trauma of bringing him into emergency not once, but twice to save his life. The roller-coaster of emotions those weeks again took their toll on Keith and I both psychologically and physiologically. I think we were both physically and emotionally drained, even though it was supposed to be the "merriest time of the year."
It is no wonder that we have both been fighting colds and flu for the past several weeks. First me, then Keith and now me with another round of things. It has been a long haul and I am not surprised that my body had revolted. Between the stress of everything and the sadness, it is no wonder we are volatile to being sick.
So I spent the first month of the new year 'getting by' and more or less doing what I had to do to push the pile.
Surprisingly, I was able to accomplish some things. I had some new painting designs that were really well-received and Keith also had some new patterns that did well. I was able to fill the many orders for wood pieces that I had in a semi-timely manner. Sometimes things were a little slower, but I am just about caught up now and happy about that. People were so darn nice about it, knowing that I wasn't 100% that it made me just want to do things better. It is funny how positive reinforcement encourages us to want to do better, isn't it? The nicer they were, the quicker I wanted to get things out. We actually wound up with January being one of our best months ever on the site, and I find myself scratching my head this February 1st and wondering how in the heck that could have happened. I suppose throwing myself into my work happened more often than I thought. I truly am grateful to all of you, our customers, for supporting us. It helps to know that you all appreciate what we do here. (Again - the positive reinforcement!)
Today I woke up early again. After two months of sleeping when I can and getting later starts to my day, it actually felt GOOD to get up on the early side of the morning again. My cold isn't gone, but I did notice an 'improvement' today. I am still taking medicine, but I have a feeling it is finally on its way out. Life is getting back to 'normal'. I am healing.
The purpose of this post is both for your benefit as well as for my own. I find that I am a person of "habit" and I want to kick-start myself into getting back in the habit of writing again. I always maintained that my blogging helped me as much as it did others. It seemed that I accomplished more simply by mapping out my plans each morning, no matter how brief or mundane they were. It helped me set my goals for the day, and become accountable to myself. It has really helped me maintain the self-discipline needed to succeed in owning my own business. While I needed a bit of a break during these tumultuous times, I think it is about time that I get back into things. It just feels like the time to do so. Life goes on.
So what is on today's agenda?
I am going to spend the bulk of the day packing up the many orders that I completed cutting out the past several days. Surprisingly, that should take most of the day for me to do. I say "surprisingly" because one wouldn't think I need to tally that part of time that it takes to pack and label boxes, write out customs forms, and process them at the post office. As the business grows, I realize that larger chunks of time need to be dedicated to this part of the day. I need to consider that as part of the 'job' and respect it. Otherwise, I will always be off in my estimations of time that it takes for me to do things. I mention this because I realize that many of you who read also own your own businesses. This part of the day will grow as you become more successful. They can't be ignored.
I then want to start my "Day 11" ornaments from my 12 days project from Lynne Andrews. We still have many people in our Facebook group who need to continue with the project and I want to be there for them not only to help them but to let them know that we all get side tracked and that is OK. I am so close to finishing my six sets and I don't want to fall down at the finish line.
My near-future goals are many. I actually have a new and fun scroll saw project that I have drawn and cut out that is waiting to be completed. All I have to do is assemble it and do the pattern. It is something that I think many will enjoy and use. I was working on it when Pancakes died and it has been hard to go back to it, but I am nearly ready.
For my painting followers, I have many new things on the horizon - both as collaborations with other designers and on my own. I only ask that you come back to read and see what I am up to. I think you will enjoy seeing the many things I have in mind.
And I need to do some things with embroidery, too . . .
As you can see, I am feeling much more positive and moving in a better direction. I know I will get back into the habit of posting daily again. It may just take a little time. For those of you who are new to reading, I hope you learn a lot and enjoy the journey with me. For those of you who have been with me for a while, you know what I am capable of doing. I appreciate your patience with me these past several weeks and promise some fun, new adventures await. I enjoy your thoughts and input and truly treasure the friendships I have made through my posts here.
For now, I will show a couple of designs that you may like to see from our site. With Valentines Day approaching, I chose some pretty heart ornament patterns that we have available. First, there is Keith's Filigree Heart ornament pattern (SLDK205)
Then there is my own design of these pretty Damask style heart ornaments (SLD521)
Both patterns are fun and would make lovely gifts for your sweetheart this Valentine's day.
Thank you again to all my friends and followers. I can't wait to share our new thoughts and ideas with you all.
Have a great Wednesday!
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