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Creatively Speaking - Scroll Saw, Decorative Painting, and Beyond

 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! If you wish to see my older blog posts, they are archived at http://lumberjocks.com/scrollgirl/blog

Scroll Saw, Painting and Designing Blog

Scroll Saw, Painting and Designing Blog

  1. I am having trouble these past few days writing. I don't know if I am overwhelmed or overworked or a little bit of both. I am not mentioning this to complain - rather to explain. 

    It is funny how a designers' mind works. 

    One minute we are flooded with so many ideas that we don't know what to do first and the next minute we sometimes don't know where to start. We get so muddled up that we find ourselves rather 'stuck'. How can that be?

    I don't think that I am the only one who goes through this type of thing.
  2. Most of you all know that I am a morning person. Any time after 5am is a good time for me to get up and start my day. I love the morning quiet and I feel like I accomplish lots of work during that calm time of the day. Give me a cup of coffee, a cat or two on my lap, my computer and I am good to go! 

    Because of this, I try to stop working some time before 9pm. While that sounds like a long day to some, you all have to remember that I really love what I do and most of the time it doesn't even feel like 'work' to me.
  3. I must admit that I awakened today feeling a bit overwhelmed. As I thought of all the things I need to accomplish today, I sit here this morning at my computer wondering how I will ever get everything done. I even considered not writing here today, but since I haven't written in the past two days I really didn't want to miss again. After all - I think that by putting my thoughts into writing each morning, it really helps keep me organized and grounded and sharpens my focus on what I need to accomplish each day.
  4. I am often asked how I can keep coming up with new and different ideas. When I think about it, I realize that it isn't really a conscious thing that I do. Actually, it seems that when I try the hardest to think of something to design, it tends to be when I have the most difficulty thinking of something that I really can get excited about. It is funny how that works. 

    Lately it seems that I have more ideas then I have time. For a designer, that is a good thing. While we sometimes feel that we are accomplishing very little of the things that we set out to do, it is nice to have the sense of security that we feel when we have some ideas in reserve - just for those days when we aren't feeling very inspired.
  5. Lately we have been trying to keep updating our site about every two weeks. It seems with the holiday season approaching, we have lots of new things and we don't like to overwhelm everyone with too many new choices at a time. I guess it is a good problem to have. 

    Since I do more painting things, they tend to take a little longer to complete than the scrolling patterns that I do. And even when I do scroll pieces, I like to offer different 'versions' so that our customers can choose which one suits their own taste and the market they are selling to.
  6. With the holidays quickly approaching, I can see all of my creative friends kicking things into high gear. Many people are not only doing items for craft shows, but also for thie own holiday gift giving. I find that more people are looking to make gifts rather then buy them from the store. This is great news for designers and crafters alike, as not only does it keep us busy, but it helps perpetuate our hobbies and small businesses as well. 

    Yesterday I didn't get as much as I would have liked to get done (what else is new?!) and I promised myself that I am going to be really focused today.
  7. Sometimes no matter how much you get done in a day, it doesn't seem like enough. I know I am not alone in this way of thinking because I see many of my friends are going through the same thing. One of the best parts about having so many creative friends is that we all can relate to each other in terms of "deadlines" and "getting things done". It seems from August until the end of the year so many people are frantically creating for holiday shows, craft fairs and the upcoming holiday season.
  8. Once again we are here on a Monday.

    I have always loved Monday's, as they represent a fresh start to a new week and the promise of endless possibilities awaiting! I have always viewed Monday with enthusiasm and joy - even when I worked at other jobs outside my home or attended school. I suppose I always felt that every day - no matter what day of the week it was - would only be what we make of it, and I have always chosen to make it the best day I could. I don't see that ever changing.
  9. It seemed like as good a time as any. We have been so busy lately that it is sometimes difficult to pick a good time for us to take a day off. But as I finished my post yesterday and the sun came up, I could see that it was promising to be a nice day and I took advantage of the moment. I jumped in the shower and awoke Keith and asked him if he wanted to take a 'spontaneous day trip' with me. He had mentioned more than once about taking a drive through the countryside to see the beautiful autumn leaves.
  10. The past few weeks, I have really lived up to my name "Scrollgirl". It seems I have spent more time than ever at the scroll saw. But that is a good thing, right? It goes to show me that it may very well be possible to be able to design both woodworking and painting patterns and keep things in balance. 

    It helps tremendously having a partner like Keith. He is so talented and when I meander over to the painting side of things for  a while, he is always busy keeping our scrolling followers happy by creating new designs.
  11. I know that I haven't been blogging as regularly as usual. There have been some things going on that have just sort of gotten in the way. Part of it was because I have been fighting a cold and it has taken its toll on me a little. I don't have my usual energy and I have been working at a slower pace and sometimes I feel like it is best to get to my daily tasks rather then take the time to write about them. 

    I speak often about how busy we have become, and I certainly appreciate that.
  12. Yesterday was a wonderful and relaxing day for me.  Not only did we have the pleasure of Keith's mom's company all day, but she brought with all the remains of our Thanksgiving dinner from Sunday. Talk about a treat! :)

    I truly love turkey dinners and I am not the type of person that gets tired of it easily. Since our families are a much smaller these days, creating an entire meal usually means lots and lots of leftovers. Some may complain about that, but not me! I can think of a variety of different ways to have it over and over again - or even 'straight up'.
  13. Have you ever tried to do several things at once?  I feel that is how my day went yesterday. I was doing some drawing, sanding some orders to go out and I even began painting my new Painting With Friends design (inspired by Terrye French) that promises to be a really fun and cute project. I actually didn't know which direction to head first. 

    Keith was also busy, as he headed to the lumber yard and spent the afternoon and evening at our friend Bernie's shop planing and dressing wood.
  14. After celebrating Thanksgiving the past two days here in Canada, I feel refreshed and ready to get back to some serious designing. Even though it is still the early part of October, I know how quickly this time of year seems to pass as we busy ourselves for the upcoming holiday season. I am always amazed at how the pace seems to pick up this time of year and time passes even quicker than usual. 

    It is sometimes difficult for me because I always seem to have so many different ideas that I want to develop and there is never time to even scrape the surface for most of them.
  15. For the last couple of days I have been fighting a cold, so I think it is time for me to take a little 'breather'. I was happy to get the site update done the other day and yesterday we had a really pronominal response from everyone. I can honestly say that nothing feels as good as working hard to make our projects and seeing how much others enjoy them. The excited responses we received from everyone meant more to both Keith and I than anything. It was - as they say - PRICELESS! 

    I actually slept in this morning until 7:30.
  16. Today's blog will just be a short announcement that all the new patterns are available on our site. I have received lots of emails from those of you asking when they would be ready, and they all are at this time. 

    We added several new patterns to the site and we are very proud of them. There are some holiday patterns, as well as some for general occasions. Keith's SLDK396 Self-Framing Love Always plaque pattern would be great for a wedding gift, anniversary, or any time you just want to say "I love you.
  17. I kept myself pretty busy yesterday finishing up the new projects that I created for the site update. Today I will be writing the instructions for them and hopefully getting a newsletter out either later on tonight or early tomorrow. We have been trying to send out a newsletter every other week or so, as we feel that time frame is comfortable for our customers and is a good goal to complete our next round of designs. Now that we don't have Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine to think about and we feel we can devote more time to our website.
  18. Yesterday I had a little change of plans. While I had intended to finish up the Gothic Bat Pillar Candle holders, I kind of got side tracked and decided to do some more cutting instead.  I had not added to my regular candle trays in quite a while - even though I have many more ideas, and when I created the pillar candle holders, I also thought that a similar design would translate to a candle tray as well. So the other morning when I was up early I decided to draw up a designs, as well as another design for Thanksgiving and here is what I came up with.
  19. After another beautiful autumn weekend here in Nova Scotia, I am ready to start a brand new week. I had a very productive couple of days, as I was able to draw up two new candle tray patterns and work on my new project that I had shown you all on Friday. I also had several sizable wood orders which will be shipped out today so I spent much of the afternoon yesterday at the scroll saw. It's all good. 

    I really enjoy providing wood for people. While it does take me away from designing a bit, I find myself thinking about my designs and planning the next ones while I am cutting and sanding.
  20. As many of you know - I love to support fellow artists. As someone who designs and crafts, I really can appreciate the time and talent that goes into a hand-created piece. For the next several weeks I want to dedicate my Saturday blog to someone I have met in the creative world whom I want to share with you. 

    Today is another clay artist. His name is Ryan MacLeod and he is the founder and owner of his company MacLeod Dragons.
  21. Did I mention that October is my favorite month of the year?

    I love the cool, crisp weather and the warm and rich colors of autumn. Living here in Nova Scotia, we have an abundance of hard wood trees that paint our countryside with a beautiful array of fall colors. Just now, they are really starting to change color. As I look across the river, I can see green, yellow, pink and orange. It is that perfect time of year when the leaves are still on the trees, but displaying a vibrant palette.
  22. It is hard to believe that we are beginning a new month already! September seemed to pass by so quickly, and before we know it, we will be into the holiday season. It has been such a busy month for us here, and I am sure that is why the time flew by so fast. It seems that I have been going non-stop and one day just bleeds into the next. 

    I am not complaining at all though, as I have been very happy that there have been so many opportunities ahead. After the closing of the magazine, I must admit that I was a bit worried as to what the future would have in store for us.
  23. Many of you who read know about my little "all season" tree. It is a tall and slim tree that I keep up all year round and change the decorations to coordinate with the season. Even though we live in a small place, it is nice to have such a wonderful little tree to brighten things up and decorate with different things. Since Keith and I are always designing new ornaments and things, I never run short of things to adorn it with. In fact - I don't think I have ever had it look exactly the same twice.
  24. This weekend was splendid!  I finally was caught up enough to do some things around the house that I have been meaning to do for quite a while. My little 'all season tree' is now beautifully decorated in a cute, Halloween theme (you will have to come back tomorrow to see that - I have too many photos to show today!) and not only did I do some major cleaning, but I cooked a great Sunday dinner and I plowed through a fairly large pile of "UFO's" and got them all pretty much completed.
  25. Many of you know how much I love and respect other designers and hand made items. Be it painted, wood, glass or just about anything in between, I have always been drawn to others who love to create finished projects to sell. One of the (many) wonderful things that I find in my daily travels on the internet and on Facebook is that there certainly is no shortage of talent in our world, and no matter what taste you have or which season you are shopping for, there is a great wealth of styles and designers to choose from.
  26. These past several weeks have been increasingly busy. Part of me feels a bit bad because I have been missing my blog from time to time, but for the most part, I am thrilled that I am so busy. After all - this is what I have worked for all of these years. I would be a fool if I complained. 

    As we enter the last weekend of September, I once again sit in wonder as to how quickly time seems to pass. Wasn't it just the other day that we were welcoming the first day of summer? It all seems to have passed in the blink of an eye.
  27. After a very busy day yesterday, I got a very early start this morning. 

    I can't say that it happened because I am overly ambitious or anything so noble as that, but my dear cat Coco decided at 4:15 that I had enough sleep and it was high time I get up and feed her a decent meal. She chose to quietly but persistently scrape at my closed bedroom door until I finally gave in and decided to get up. After all - it was close to my usual time of waking. Close enough that I knew I wouldn't be able to get back to sleep again.
  28. I suppose I need to reevaluate my definition of the meaning of having 'time off'. While I had a wonderful weekend, I had intended to take a couple of "me" days and just putz around the house here and do some things completely for myself. I also wanted to catch up on a couple of things like bringing out the autumn decorations (we don't have many, but I like them anyway) and changing my all season tree to a cool Halloween theme. After all, we are now into the last week of September.
  29. Yesterday was another full and busy day.  Not only did we finish updating our site, but I finished creating my pattern packet as well for the SLDP225 MUD Witches Boots



    It may sound silly to many, but I am really proud of not only the design, but also the pattern packet itself.
  30. Yesterday turned out to be a crazy/busy day, with a few unexpected twists.  Those of you who read regularly know how much I love my three beautiful cats (Richard, Pancakes and Coco) and how much they are part of my everyday life. Like most pet owners, I consider them my 'fur babies' and they are wonderfully special to me.

    Lately though, Coco (my beautiful black long-haired girl) has been feeling under the weather. She has been vomiting more than usual (long haired cats in the autumn tend to be sick more because of losing their coats) and I was beginning to worry.
  31. I had quite a busy day yesterday. It was one of those days when I had planned to have a quiet day of writing instructions for my two latest designs so that we can do a site update tomorrow (Wednesday).  

    It has been a fabulous week. I truly can't believe how nice things are going. It seems that all the 'feelers' that I put out in the past several months and all the seeds that I have planted are really beginning to pay off. And there are many more things that I have planned as well.
  32. Today's blog post may be a little different than what I normally write. A couple of things occurred this weekend that made me think a little (sometimes a dangerous thing!) and I spent some time pondering things and I feel that my conclusions may be worth sharing. 

    The first incident occurred on Saturday. I received a hateful, nasty, spiteful letter from someone who was angry at me for not leaving the free patterns up on my site for infinity. Apparently she had found some old links that were no longer good from years ago (you all know how cyber-space is - once it is up there, it is floating around "forever") and she was quite cross with me because I had at some point, removed the free patterns that she wanted.
  33. Those of you who know me know that my favorite season is quickly approaching. While I enjoy summer and even winter, I always think that autumn is the best time of year. I love the warm days and cool nights. I love the colors and crispness in the air. I also love seeing the beautiful foliage and colors that the season brings.

    I have many fond memories of this time of year. I always enjoyed school, as it was once again an opportunity to reconnect with friends that I missed seeing over the summer.
  34. I need to start off today by thanking all of you for the wonderful comments and responses on my witch boot project that I posted yesterday. I was really overwhelmed by the many, many kind comments and inquiries as to when the patterns and kits will be available. I plan on spending the weekend working on writing up the patterns and figuring out the cost of the kits so that I can charge a fair price that will make everyone happy. 

    Of course, the biggest cost will be the shipping. My boots were made from 3/4" MDF and while they are not really what I consider large, they will definitely weigh over 200gr and much of the cost will be for shipping.
  35. I had an incredibly busy but rewarding day yesterday. I missed writing here, not because I had nothing to show, but because I had an early dentists appointment and had to be out of the house really early. I never realize the time that it takes to write here every day (between preparing the photos, posting and the actual writing) until I need to get a post done in a hurry. It just doesn't happen. So I thought that I would just skip a day and catch up today.  

    I am happy to say that I emerged from the dentists' office unscathed.
  36. I can't tell you all how many times when people see something new that I have done, they immediately say to me "That was easy for you." 

    While I appreciate that others think that creating nice things is not difficult for me, I can't help but think of all the hours of unseen work and schooling that I have invested in myself to get to this point. I have always maintained that every new project teaches me something, and some of them are really a new adventure. Especially when working with a new product or technique (or both!) and exploring the properties and limitations of it, and the fun, new opportunities that it can offer.
  37. Here in Nova Scotia, we had what turned out to be a fabulous weekend. While Saturday was a bit foggy and rainy, it was the perfect day to stay in and draw. I had fun 'playing' with my new tablet that I showed in the previous entry, and the more I worked it it, the more I fell in love with it. It really makes drawing and being on the computer a pleasure. (As if I NEED anything to entice me to be on the computer longer!) 

    The results of my day of work was pretty impressive. At least to myself.
  38. Technology can always be seen as a two sided sword. 



    On one hand, it brings the world closer by offering instant communication from one side of the globe to another. People are now able to have video calls real time, text information instantly, and have the opportunity to learn, explore and experience more of our wonderful world than ever before.

  39. While yesterday seemed like a LONG day in more ways than one (long stories - never mind!) at the end of the day when things were all said and done, I was able to sit back and look at the accomplishments and feel pretty good about things. 

    There are some times when I really feel as if I move slow with things. I paint slow. I draw slow. I design slow. But as I look at all the projects that I have finished up, I can honestly look back with a sense of pride that what I have done is something that I feel good about.
  40. I will keep things short here today because I have writing to do. I know I promised that the reindeer and sleigh pattern would be ready today, and it may be later on, but I probably won't really have everything done, including the site update, until tomorrow (Thursday). 

    Sometimes things just take longer than expected. 

    I will say though that the pattern will really be a nice one. I spent the day yesterday working on the 26 step-by-step photos that I will include with it.
  41. I took the day to do some catching up on things around the house. After the previous few days of working, I needed to do some things like tidying up things and some cooking. My neighbors had given me some zucchini and Keith's mom some fresh blueberries, so I made some bread with them. I think they came out nice, but they were almost too moist. Although are certainly edible. 

    It seems that summer is going to go out with a bang this year. While it was overcast and windy, it was quite dreary and muggy outside.
  42. I spent the day yesterday finishing up the remaining three poses of reindeer for my reindeer and sleigh vignette. Now all I need to do is assemble the two additional deer pattern packets and also the sleigh packet and I will be good to go. I had estimated that the sanding and assembly of the three deer would take half the day, and I planned to take the other half to kind of coast and do some things around the house, or some of my personal creating, but as usual I grossly underestimated myself and wound up gluing the last antlers into place sometime around 8:30.
  43. Sometimes good planning really does pay off. I am not saying that everything went 'without a hitch', but in the end, the build on my new Christmas sleigh worked out pretty well. I am really pleased with it. 

    When 'building' three dimensional pieces such as these, to me it seems like there is so much more involved than just cutting fretwork. While the fretwork design is a really important part of the piece, on something like this, it is just that - a part - and getting the pieces to work together can be the biggest challenge.
  44. I thought I did pretty well yesterday. Besides getting a lot of little things done, I made pretty good progress on my new sleigh. I found a really nice piece of cherry to cut the main part of the sleigh, and I am going to use walnut for the runners. I think that the contrast will look good. 

    By the time I finished all the drawing up and got everything prepped for cutting and did all my errands, it was later in the afternoon. Sometimes just 'every day stuff' takes a little time to complete.
  45. I have to admit that the past couple of weeks have not been easy. Please understand that I am NOT whining about things, but I haven't been feeling my usual self and as a designer, that affects just about everything that I do. 

    The closing of the magazines has really taken a toll on me. It is getting better each day, but I feel as if I would be lying to you all if I put on a front when I wrote here each day and acted as if I wasn't affected. After all, for nearly seventeen years I did so much with the magazine in the back of my mind.
  46. We all get them every once in a while. A day we consider to be 'perfect'.

    I am sure that description can very greatly from individual to individual, depending on peoples' goals, likes and taste. I think it even varies from day to day for everyone, as our lives and seasons are ever-changing as well.

    As I mentioned yesterday, I had an early eye doctor appointment that I had completely forgotten about. I had thought I posted the date in my Google Calendar, but apparently I did not, as the phone call from the office which confirms the next days' appointment took me completely by surprise.
  47. Yesterday afternoon I received a phone call to remind me that I had an eye doctors' appointment in Digby this morning.  I must be getting old because I completely forgot about it. I also thought I set my Google reminders to remind me, but I guess I forgot that as well, or I did it wrong. 

    In any case, I have to skeedaddle out of here today and it is supposed to be a beautiful and sunny day here in Nova Scotia. My sweetie thought it would be a great day to play "hookie" and it didn't take much convincing for me to agree.
  48. It is hard to believe that another Monday is upon us. What I find even more difficult to digest is that it is the final week of August. It seems as if summer has just began and at least here in Nova Scotia, there were only a few days that I would consider to be 'hot'. 

    But as I awake in the morning, I notice that it is darker each day. This morning when I got up the sun was barely peeking over the horizon. I know that soon it will be completely dark, and I will once again need a light on while I have my morning coffee.
  49. I had kind of a 'catch up' day yesterday. With all that had been going on lately and with getting the new patterns up on the site, I was beginning to feel a bit frazzled. So many things to do and so many directions to head. I didn't know what to do first. 

    I find that if I don't give myself a little break from things, I really start to feel it. Then I wind up running in circles and becoming overwhelmed. 

    After doing my usual chores, I decided to pick up a paint brush and work on some ornaments I began last week.
  50. I felt really good about things yesterday. After spending the day putting together the SLD475 Nevermore pattern packet and completing the newsletter and latest site update, I felt I finally could take a breath. It was around dinnertime by then, and after the roller coaster that we had been on for the past couple of weeks, it felt good to be (at least for the moment) caught up and allow myself to just 'be'.
  51. Thoughout my life, I have practiced and somewhat mastered the art of finding good in most anything. Even when something bad occurs, I have myself trained to try to find a positive slant in it. Some people call this 'optimism' and I suppose that is as good a word as any to describe my attitude toward life. I think it is a good habit to follow, as looking for something positive in a even a not-so-good situation often changes our entire disposition and more often than not, we surprise ourselves and things have a better outcome than anticipated.
  52. I am happy that last week is behind me. I can honestly say that it wasn't one of my 'favorite' weeks. It only confirmed my own beliefs that negativity and controversy can really take its toll on someone. For the first time since I could remember, I wasn't really excited about my work. I think when things really began to sink in, I realized the full scope of the events of the week and the implications for the future. I found it difficult to find my motivation, even though I still have many ideas that I want to see come to reality.
  53. I can't tell you all how GOOD it feels to be back at work and productive again. With being gone for our little trip and then catching up and then all the things that were going on last week, I felt like I accomplished very little.The ideas are here, it is just a matter of  sitting down and concentrating long enough to actually DO them. 

    I speak with many people who experience the same thing, so I don't feel like it is "only me" that this happens to. I find one of the most difficult things is recognizing the fine line between caring for ones' self by taking some down time every now and then to being outright distracted.
  54. As we find ourselves on Friday already, I  am once again in awe of how another week has passed so quickly. I can honestly say that this has not been one of my 'favorite' weeks, as there were several things that happened over the past several days that were not very positive.


    I missed writing for a couple of days because I found myself in somewhat of a state of 'limbo' and I didn't feel that I accomplished as much as I would have liked.
  55. Good morning to you all. I didn't get as much done as I intended yesterday. I have some ideas that I am working on, but there were simply too many distractions for me to make headway.

    I spent most of the day reading and discussing the closing of Creative Woodworks and Crafts and all of the All American Crafts publications. (Paintworks, Paint-It, Wood Turning Designs, Carving, Create and Decorate, etc.) While I mentioned in my post yesterday that I wanted to just move forward, I realized that doing so was not as easy as I would have thought.
  56. I was glad to finally be able to go to bed last night. There are times when the best part of some days are when they are over. As difficult as it was for me though, I realize that others had it much harder. I found no comfort in that thought, but it did keep me from settling into feeling sorry for myself or worrying about what will come next. After all - how could I allow myself that indulgence while there were still so many options available? I simply didn't.

    They say that people show their true character in times of trouble.
  57. Writing today's blog post is something that I have not been looking forward to doing. I like my posts here to be positive and up beat, and it is difficult for me to feel that way after receiving the news that I heard over the weekend. However, since word got out, I have been receiving many notes and emails and I feel that the best way to answer them all is to post about things here, so I will do my best to do so and share the information that I have on the matter and also some thoughts on the situation so everyone can better understand what has happened.
  58. I honestly don't know what is with me these days. Last week we were away for five days, and it has taken me almost a full week to catch up with things. I am finally nearing the 'bottom' of my email box and getting everything answered and caught up. Soon I will be able to move forward onto new designs. 

    I have some ideas as to what I want to do next, but they aren't quite 'there' yet. By that, I mean that I am not quite clear in the direction that I am heading with them and therefore a bit stuck.
  59. Yesterday I had mentioned that I was going to spend the day getting caught up on some paperwork. I did spend a couple of hours in the morning doing that, but as so often happens, later on in the day I got somewhat distracted and wound up spending the day doing an entirely different type of project. Such is life . . . 

    I had mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Keith was in the process of building a new speaker/amplifier system for our home. While we already had a really awesome system that he built before we met, he had wanted to raise things to an even higher level.
  60. It is hard to believe that it is Thursday already. I honestly don't know what happened to this past week. It is difficult for me to understand how quickly time can pass, and just when I think it couldn't move any quicker, it seem to accelerate to an even greater speed.

    I can finally say that I am pretty much caught up with things. While we only were gone for four days, it seems to have taken the next several days to get caught up again. I think it shows me just how busy I can be on a daily basis.
  61. The day was so busy yesterday, and I am still catching up on orders and things today. While it is fun to take a break, I always worry about the pile of work that will await me when I return home. I suppose it is a good sign though, and our little business is doing OK. I am very grateful and happy for that, as it took us a long time to get here and we still have a long way to go.

    Today I want to highlight some beautiful painting items that I received from a woman in one of my painting groups on Facebook.
  62. After nearly a week long getaway to beautiful Prince Edward Island, we have returned home feeling refreshed and more excited than ever about our work.  What an incredible time we had! This has been probably one of the longest times I spent away from writing here on my blog since I began it over four years ago. I know I needed the break, but I truly missed the daily correspondence with you - my wonderfully creative readers. It made me realize just how much I enjoy chatting with you all both on the forums and through private messages.
  63. Today's post will be somewhat quick!  I wanted to let you all know that I won't be posting much for the next several days. Keith and I decided to take some time to explore beautiful Nova Scotia as well as Prince Edward Island. We haven't been away since October and last summer we missed taking our annual exploration trip so we felt like now was the best time to go. I pretty much met all of my deadlines and while there is still stuff that I want to do, there will ALWAYS be things to do so I figured if I didn't go now, we may miss the chance.
  64. OK. Only two. But you are here reading so I got your attention. 

    Today will I will show you the final photos of the scroll sawn version of my "Nevermore" plaque. I finished it up yesterday, and it is heading out to New Jersey this morning to be published in the November issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine, which will come out in September. That will give those of you who want to make it  plenty of time. 

    I am pleased with how it came out, but I still couldn't quite decide on whether the ebony raven was better than making a birch one and using stain on it.
  65. Another busy weekend has come and gone. The speed that time passes continues to amaze me. I must be busy.

    It is cool here this morning, with just a bit of rain. After the past few days which were rather warm and sticky, I am happy for the change. Although our weather here in Nova Scotia seems very mild in when I hear about how hot it has been in other places. I feel very fortunate.

    I made some progress on my "Nevermore" plaque yesterday. I didn't quite complete it, but it will be done today.
  66. I made good progress on my scrolled version of the "Nevermore" plaque although it did not come without its challenges. It was nothing that I couldn't overcome, but it took some real thought to sort some of the process out in my mind and make it work how I intended. But after spending the day laying things out and finally getting the chance to cut the pieces at the scroll saw, I am fairly happy with the results. Below is a photograph of where it sits as I write this morning:

  67. It is probably no secret to any of you that not only do I create scroll saw patterns and projects for a living, but I also create painting  patterns. I have always felt that the two fields were closely related, as when I first began painting I very quickly found a need to learn to cut my own wood so I could have a good supply of things to paint. I have always been one to learn to do things for myself. Perhaps it was because I was impatient or because I was always changing the painting patterns that I purchased and therefore had a need to have some custom wood cut.
  68. I can't even begin to tell you all how excited I am about this product. Even though it has been around for a while (I have had some in my arsenal of paints and mediums for years!) I had never taken the time to play around with it and try it out. I have used crackle finishes many times before, but usually I am looking for a more 'rustic' or 'country' look and my go to product was DecoArt Weathered Wood. I love that product, and I had even  made a video showing how I applied it, as it was not only effective, but it was fun (and SATISFYING!) to see the paint cracking right before your eyes.
  69. I always have a great feeling as I see the Purolator man driving away after a pickup. Usually it means that I just completed a project and it is on its way to the publisher.  That's always a feeling of relief for me, as more times than not I am coming from dealing with the nerves that accompany submitting to the magazines. Yesterday was no exception.

    While I still have some writing to do on the ornaments that I showed yesterday, I wanted to take a day that was a bit 'unstructured' and relax a bit.
  70. I had another busy day yesterday. I had to take my kitty Coco to the vet yesterday to get a little bump on her paw checked out. Fortunately, it turned out to be nothing and she is fine. I was kind of worried that she would have to go through surgery or something like that to get it removed, but the vet said it wasn't a concern.  I am sure Coco was happy as well, but she still wasn't thrilled with the ride to the vet and back (about 45 minutes each way). She was just thrilled to be home again and in her familiar surroundings.
  71. Yesterday was busy from dawn to dusk - and beyond! 

    I am thrilled to say that the ornaments that I drew up over the weekend were accepted for Scroll Saw Woodworking and Crafts holiday issue of the magazine. I am really excited about this, because I haven't done much work with them and I hope to become a regular contributor. Last year I had one of my candle trays in that publication, and I have been trying to remind myself to submit to them regularly, but I often let the time slip passed without doing so.
  72. I was able to finish up my drawing yesterday. Whether or not I was able to squeak the project in under the deadline for submissions remains to be seen. I honestly was not sure of the cutoff date, but in some ways (to me, anyway) it didn't really matter. Either way I wanted to create these designs. Either way I win. 

    As time goes by and and I do what I do longer and longer, I have discovered that there are a world of options open for me. I used to get rather tense about deadlines and things like that.
  73. It seems like it has been a long time since I made a scroll saw design.  It also seems like it has been a while since I painted. Or even embroidered on my 'off hours' for that matter. While I know this isn't really the case, I find myself wondering "what actually am I accomplishing each day" and find myself scratching my head. 

    I know that things have been getting done. I suppose that like with anything, when you really enjoy doing something, it seems like a long time in between the chances you actually get to work on them.
  74. I will start off today by thanking everyone for all the kind thoughts and notes and sharing their memories of Dirk with me. I found myself reminiscing about so many wonderful people, places and times and I found much comfort in that. I thought of things that I hadn't thought of in years, and I believe that is just how Dirk would have wanted everyone to remember him. I am sure that is how we will heal. 

    I must admit that I had very little ambition yesterday. Those of you who know me and read often know that isn't my usual state of mind.
  75. It is with great sadness that I write my post today. Last night I received the news that one of my good friends and fellow woodworking designers had passed away. 

    Dirk Boelman was not only an incredible designer. He was a much loved and respected friend. From the moment you met him, he was one of those kind of people that made you feel as if you had known him all of your life. Both he and his wife Karen always greeted you with smiles and a warm embrace. 

    I met Dirk and Karen when I first began working with Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine - over fifteen years ago.
  76. I am happy to say that I had a wonderful day yesterday. I was able to get my emails under control early on and I did have a chance to work on the Tracy Moreau seahorse design that I had shown you all in yesterday's post. We also had the bonus of Keith's mom coming to visit, as well as a pop-in visit from our friends Bernie and Ellen. Keith's mom makes the best potato salad in the world and she brought some to share for dinner. We caught up on chatting and she did her needlework while I had a great time painting Tracy's design.
  77. I have to smile to myself when I think about yesterday.

    I do so because the way that the day turned out for me. It wasn't bad, mind you, but it was totally NOT what I intended it to be.

    I had worked so hard over the weekend on my "Nevermore" painting pattern. I had finished  painting the design sometime Saturday I think and I had committed myself to finishing up the pattern by Sunday. 

    Normally, this would not be a huge or difficult task, but the pattern is headed for an online magazine called
  78. I have always loved reading Edgar Allen Poe stories. From as far back as I remember, he has been one of my favorites. I loved the depth of emotion he wrote with and the feelings that reading his works evoke. He was certainly a gifted author.

    I often talk about all the ideas that live in my head. As a designer, I feel very fortunate to have that because it wasn't very long ago when I remember struggling to think of new things to create that would be both unique and exciting. But lately, that hasn't seemed to be an issue with me.
  79. What a wonderfully positive day I had yesterday. I really appreciated all the wonderful comments that you all made and sent regarding my new painting design that I am creating for the August issue of Interactive Artist Magazine. This is my first project with them, and I wanted it to be something special.  I already had a couple of offers to purchase the piece and many inquiries regarding the pattern.  

    Because this piece will be published, I won't have the rights to it until December.

  80. Yesterday, I feel as if I really accomplished a great deal. After several days of thinking through my next painting project, I slowly and carefully began actually creating it. 

    From outward appearances it may seem that things just spill out onto the board and fall into place. But with projects such as this, I needed to think of things in layers, carefully considering where each element was going to be placed. 

    From the first photo, you would think that the moon would be the central focus of the painting.
  81. As I sit here this morning and wonder what I am going to write about, I can't help but think about how quickly time is passing. Here we are already in the meat of July. While the calendar indicates that summer is just beginning, I am already starting to see many people posting projects for the fall and winter season.  I don't think this is a bad thing, as I myself am working ahead toward autumn and even Christmas projects. I think it is necessary to stay ahead of things and have a healthy autumn and holiday season for the business.
  82. Yesterday was a rather mish-mosh day where I was pulled in many directions. There was still a great deal of catching up to do after the power outage of the weekend, and although I know I am very fortunate to only have that to deal with, it still takes a great deal of time.

    I am also having computer issues, where either something is configured improperly or something is not functioning properly. Both Keith and myself spent several hours trying to pinpoint the issue, as we can't quite see if it is a hardware or software issue.
  83. Today's blog is going to be a bit shorter than what you are used to (I promise!)  I am still getting back on my feet and I spent the day yesterday finishing catching up with things and beginning work on my new project. This project is a Halloween themed item and it is really going to be cool (I hope!) It is more of a painting project, but I also think that I am going to make a scroll sawn version of it as well, as I think it will appeal to the scrollers and adapt well to an all wood presentation without paint.
  84. I suppose I spoke too soon on Saturday. After all the cries of "wolf" continually from the weather channels, we had really become accustomed to not paying much heed to their dire warnings of impending doom. Since Keith and I don't even get 'regular TV' we only had heard about the storm from others. I checked the map on Friday to see Arthur's progress and it appeared to hit land and be winding down. Surely by the time it reached Nova Scotia, it would be minimal. 

    I suppose I was wrong.
  85. Even though I know it isn't the case, it seems like a long, long time since I have been drawing and designing. I think that so much occurs in between different types of things that I do (drawing, cutting, painting) that it only appears to me that it has been a while. It was only last week that I finished up my Chalky Finish (or not!) Beach Ornaments.
  86. I had a very busy day yesterday. I was surprised and thrilled at the response to the posting of my new patterns and surfaces in my ETSY shop. I also had several orders for wood pieces from other sources - including people that bought my wood kits from Artist's club previously and are looking for more. It is great to see that my long term thinking on this is working out. So much of owning and being successful business is thinking ahead and making decisions that are going to help the business farther down the road.
  87. It isn't often that I say I am "swamped". Usually I am pretty darn organized and really on top of things. But there are times when there comes a burst of activity with my little business and I have to regain my composure.

    This is NOT a negative by any means! I look at it as very much the opposite - especially at this time of year which is typically quite slow. It is an early indicator of things to come and helps us get ready for the busy autumn and holiday season. I am already excited thinking about it! Both Keith and I have some new things in store for you all that will really be FUN to make! 

    You will just have to 'stay tuned'! 

    Yesterday was both fun and full! I began my day with a wonderful phone visit with my daughter (which is why I didn't blog).
  88. No one  likes to fail. I don't think anyone in their right mind would go into something or try something with the hope of failing. It just wouldn't make sense. 

    Yet - like it or not, failure is a real part of our everyday lives, and try as we may, failing from time to time is something that is usually unavoidable. 

    Failure is an important part of the learning process. Many scholars and scientists know that without experiencing some form of failure, it is nearly impossible to learn something new.
  89. Today's post will be rather short. I spent the day yesterday writing the pattern packets for the little sea life ornaments. I created two packets - one which uses the regular painting methods and the other using Margot Clark's MUD texture paste.  I will be adding both patterns and the wood piece kits to my Etsy site later on today. I will have it on my Sheila Landry Designs site with the next update.
  90. "Why a Christmas tree in summer?" you may ask.  (My neighbor Lee just asked me this yesterday!)

    "It's NOT a Christmas tree." I replied "It's an 'All Season' tree. And it makes me happy ALL YEAR LONG."

    Isn't that what life is all about? Isn't that the focus of ALL of our lives?

    Living well and being happy. Seeing those we love smile. Enjoying what every beautiful day brings our way. 

    These are goals that most of us strive to achieve every day.
  91. It was a truly lovely day here in Nova Scotia. As I sat on the deck eating my lunch with Pancakes and Keith, Keith mentioned that soon we needed to go take a day trip to the beach. I thought about it for about half a second and said to him "Let's go now!" and he readily agreed. There was no time like the present and both of us were kind of in between projects. I know better than to wait for when I am doing 'nothing' because that may be years on the horizon. 

    We packed up a few things and within minutes we were on the road in his little Miata with the top down driving along the coast.
  92. I spent the day yesterday refining the ornaments that I showed you in yesterday's blog. Those of you who have come to know me realize that I just can't do things one way. Keith often teases me because I think of so many variations of many of the different designs that I create, but when I think of several versions of doing things, it is hard for me to only make ONE - so I make them ALL! :)

    I know it takes longer to do and I don't really think it matters. Even after they are finished, it is hard for me to decide which are my favorites.
  93. Even though I was born and raised in the Midwest, I always loved the sea. From the time I was very young and took field trips with my class to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, to when I was a teen reading romance novels that were set in small seaside towns or villages, I dreamed of someday living near the ocean. 

    After many years and what seems like several lifetimes, I have come to realize my dream. I now live in a small town on the Eastern coast of Nova Scotia, and the ocean is only about a mile away.
  94. I am really running late this morning because my internet was down until just now. I didn't think that I would be able to write a blog at all. But obviously, it is back up (at least for now!) so I will try to do a quick blog to let you all know about the updates on the site. 

    In addition to the new "Life is Better at the Beach" and "Life is Better at the Lake" plaques that I mentioned in yesterday's post, we have some other new things for you all to enjoy.
  95. Lately it seems like we are updating things quite a bit. In reality, we are still keeping to our "about twice a month" schedule of sending out our newsletter and updating the website. In between we must be working more than we realize. 

    Not only are we updating the website today, but Keith is also working on adding all of our new products to our catalog. The last time we updated that was in autumn, and we like to do that at least twice a year. While neither Keith nor myself thought we had a lot to add, in reality we each had over 30 new items.
  96. I am getting back to normal, whatever that is. The last couple of days were really kind of a pain. (literally!) However, I can't really complain because with the muscle relaxer pills I was taking, it was all manageable. I only need to be careful. 

    I was going to try to not take them today, but this morning just sitting was bothering me quite a bit. So on to Plan B it is and I will try to take them as far apart as possible. The important thing is that I do feel better and I am on the mend.
  97. It appears that I will be down for a couple of days. 

    On Wednesday, after the gym, it seems I pulled a muscle in my lower back. It kind of threw me for a loop.

    I am much too busy doing things to have something like this take me down. So many ideas! So many projects to develop! As I said on my Facebook page - when is a GOOD time to have this happen?

    But happen it did and for the next few days I need to really switch it to low gear and take is slow. That is so against my grain!

    As we get older, we need to consider things that perhaps we haven't considered before.
  98. As a designer I feel that I am always learning something new. With so many new products available, it is always fun and exciting for me to learn different ways to be creative. Many times just seeing a new product will spur things for me. But other times I learn from others, and then put my own spin on things to make them work for my own purposes. 

    I think it is important to continually take classes and seek out new information. No matter how accomplished an artist is, I think there is always the opportunity to learn more from others.
  99. As we begin another week, there is something that I want to mention to you all. For the past couple of weeks, I have taken a day or two off from blogging on the weekend. This isn't because I have had nothing to do or wasn't busy, but rather because I have have been very productive - usually so much so that I have been using my morning time to get a head start on things. 

    This isn't a bad thing. I rather think it is good. I have had several inquiries as to why I am not posting every day from those of you who are concerned and I wanted to let you know that it is nothing to be worried about and it is just something that I feel will help me stay on top of things and be more productive.
  100. I actually "behaved" yesterday and stayed focused on writing my pattern.I don't know why it is so difficult to write instructions sometimes. It isn't that I don't know what to say or remember what I did. It is more so that I get so PICKY with things and there are times when writing the instructions actually takes me longer than making the project itself. But in the end, I am very proud of the pattern packets that I produce. I think that even someone who is new to painting would do OK with them and hopefully learn something in the process.


  101. Did you ever have those days when you set out to do a number of things, and when the day is finished you figure out that you accomplished a very small percentage of them, even though you were busy all day? 

    That was the way I could best describe yesterday. 

    I really don't quite understand what happened. I started out well. Got moving early, and somewhere along the way I just kind of got 'lost' with doing things other than I intended. Before I knew it - it was getting dark.
  102. Yesterday was a rather dull and dreary day. I know it is part of spring, and that we need rain in order for our world to function, but I found myself feeling 'blah' nonetheless.  I am certain that another factor to my somber mood was seeing the three Mounties from nearby New Brunswick were being laid to rest. It was a violent week in both Canada and the United States and it was hard not to feel pretty down about the state of our world. I will never understand the senseless violence that occurs in our world.
  103. It felt really good to be back in the swing of things. Yesterday I was feeling much better about everything and I made wonderful progress on my next "Painting With Friends" pattern. In fact, I finished the painting part of the design completely.

    Many people ask me how the "Painting With Friends" program works. I thought that I would give a bit of an explanation again because of the many recent inquiries I have received.

    Painting With Friends is the name that a group of artists works and publishes under.
  104. After an unprecedented three days off of blogging, I am back. I say "unprecedented" because in the four plus years since I began writing, I don't think that I ever skipped three days in a row while I was still home here and not on the road or away. Writing has become a morning ritual for me - as many of you know - and while it felt rather 'strange' not communicating with you all each morning, I believe it was a much needed break from my regular routine and something I felt necessary - at least for a couple of days.
  105. Lately I have felt a bit unfocused. I am not worried about that really, as this seems to happen to me from time to time and usually passes after a bit. I don't particularly like the feeling though. It usually occurs when I have many different things going on at once in different directions and I tend to get 'stuck' along the way as to which way I want to proceed first. I used to worry about it a bit, but now I have come to recognize it as just being a 'creative overload' and I know that if I just let it be and back off a bit, things seem to fall into place and I am right back to being productive again.
  106. There are times when I feel that I am not accomplishing all I set out to do.  It seems that there are times when one project or another is not coming together quickly enough, and I feel that I could be doing more.  But then there are other times when I look at the new things that we are continually adding to our website and I feel a bit better about things. When the final tally is made, we see the site growing nearly every day and we are adding several new things per month, including patterns, wood pieces for the painters and articles.
  107. Today's post is going to be really quick. I spent the bulk of the weekend working on finishing up my three projects for the holiday issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine and it needs to be shipped out today.  I had a great time making these three projects and I think that they will be well-received. 

    I do feel like i just ran a marathon though, and I will look forward to a little break.  Since I am already posting late today, I will get right down to business .
  108. I was really pleased with the progress that I made yesterday. It is hard to believe though that this is the last day of May already and that we will be moving into the summer months. While the winter was long, it seems that spring was comparatively short.

    Our trees across the road along the river are now all filled in with thick, green leaves. The pond down the road is not only host to a Canadian goose family, but also a mallard duck family as well. I love going by and seeing the parents followed by the line of young.
  109. As another week comes to a close, I once again marvel at just how quickly time passes.  Can it be Friday already?  Can it be the last week of May?  We are already through five months of the year and summer is just starting to arrive here in Nova Scotia.  The trees are really trying to green up, but some still only have buds on them.  I think they just may need a little bit of time.  

    Time. 

    We could all use some more of that!  

    Looking back on what I accomplished this past week, I am a bit confused.
  110. With all the cleaning and organizing, you can imagine that I have been a bit distracted.  In between boxes and sorting, I have been working on some of my newest designs for Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine's holiday issue. 

    The holiday issue is one of my favorite, as it comes out in late August and kicks off the fall and holiday season.  While some may find it odd to be making snowmen, nativities and Santa's before summer even has taken its hold, after working for the magazine for over fifteen years it has become a natural part of my life and the way I look at it, it "keeps Christmas in my heart" all year long!  

    Perhaps that is why being a designer is such a happy job.
  111. I did get to work on my projects yesterday, but we also worked on the second of the three large closets that we are reorganizing and I must say that I am somewhat amazed at how quickly things fell into place.  When we awoke in the morning, we never imagined that we would be completely finished with "Phase 2" of our organizational project, and I must say we are very pleased with the results. 

    The closet we worked on was the third of the three along our hallway wall.  It had several shelves and a small cabinet built in.
  112. Can we EVER have too much storage space?

    I sincerely doubt it.  As a woodworker/painter/crafter, there always seems to be an endless amount of supplies and materials that we need to have at hand.  Some of us are more conservative than others. We only buy exactly what we need to complete each project and have little build-up of 'extras.'

    But as a designer, I am very far from that description.  If I like a certain product, medium or even type of wood, I like to have it on hand when inspiration strikes so that I can just pull it out and get started.
  113. Things here are still in an upheaval and although we are making  progress, there is not much of interest to show.  Today I will (hopefully) finish up my drawing and start cutting my projects for the magazine articles. I feel as if I have been progressing very slowly on that front and I need to focus and move forward.  

    Keith has done most of the work regarding the shelving.  So far it is looking wonderful.  He is shaping the shelves so that we can make maximum use of the space in the closet, and I think it is really looking good.
  114. Organization to me is like Pandora's box.  Once you begin one thing, it causes a 'domino effect' whereas you need to move on to the next (and the next, and the next.)  It all starts with a single idea. Then when that idea is implemented and completed, the overflow of that idea continues and grows like a cancer throughout your entire environment. 

    I don't think that this is all bad. In fact, it is probably a good thing. For once you start to achieve successful organization in one area of your home or life, in comparison the rest of things seem cluttered and in disarray and the mere act of sorting causes a ripple effect felt throughout the whole house.
  115. You would think that the last thing that I want or need to do is to take on more projects.  

    Being a designer, my day to day existence is filled with projects and the process of creating things.  I work in many different medias ranging from wood to painting and now even to textiles and needlework. There are times when I feel a bit overwhelmed by all that I have on my plate. Why, on Earth would I choose to try to do even more?

    I believe the answer can be summed up in one word - creativity.
  116. I can't tell you all how much good taking some time off last weekend did for me.  Not only did I get some things organized, but I also allowed myself to do some things that I really enjoyed.  It isn't that I don't enjoy my life every day. I love what I do and I say it often because I know I am fortunate to have a job where I actually look forward to getting up each morning so I can start my day and work.  I am not saying it is perfect, but it is pretty darn close.  

    I had so many wonderful new ideas that I began developing yesterday!  I am channeling my thoughts into Christmas and holiday time, as my projects for Creative Woodworks and Crafts Holiday Issue are going to be due very shortly.
  117. It seems kind of ironic that while taking some time "off" I accomplished more than I have in a long time.  Funny how it sometimes works out that way. 

    Last week I was feeling rather "blah" about things.  I didn't think that it was anything serious, as I know we all get that way sometimes, but I didn't like it at all.  It wasn't that I had run out of ideas - in fact I think I have more ideas than ever - but I was really having trouble focusing on one thing at a time and it was hard to make some real progress doing anything.
  118. This week has been rather strange. 

    I can't quite put my finger on it, but it didn't have the usual 'flow'.  It seems that I was fluttering from here to there and while I was accomplishing some things, I don't quite feel that I was as organized as I could be and therefore not as efficient.  
    My writings here have felt strange as well. I feel as if I have been all over the place work-wise, so reporting to you all each day only exemplifies that I am not in a place where I want to be work wise and makes me wonder what is up.
  119. I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately, as it just seems that there is always so much to do and the time just passes too quickly. Even though I get up early in the morning, I find that before I know it, it is mid-afternoon and then dinner time and then darkness. I always enjoy being busy, as it means that our little business is thriving.  I never seem to run out of ideas and my 'to do' list keeps growing longer with each passing day. There are days when I feel on top of things, and there are some days when I do not.
  120. The past several days have been a whirlwind.  I don't know if it is busier than usual or if I am slowing down. Sometimes it is just too hard to tell.  There are days that I feel as if I am a circus performer that is spinning ten plates at once and hoping that none of them fall.  

    I don't think that this is an altogether BAD thing.  Nearly all the things that I am doing are good.  Keith and I are preparing for another site update and besides finishing up the instructions for the new patterns that I am putting up, I have been working on answering emails and filling orders for wood pieces.
  121. Yesterday was a pretty good day. Being "Mother's Day" meant that it was full of emotion. Perhaps it was just that I am more connected with people through places such as Facebook that I realize that so many people have stories to tell. Perhaps it is just because I am getting older and more aware of how fragile human life and happiness is.  Or maybe because this is the first year I am a 'grandmother' that my awareness of the day is heightened.  In any case, I spent the day reading and smiling and appreciating my own children and families - whether they are related through blood or friendship.
  122. I spent most of the day yesterday working on some orders for wood pieces that I want to ship on Monday.  Even though it is labor-intensive, I like that part of my job, as it allows me to be a 'woodworker'.  People think that because I design woodworking patterns that I spend most of my days in the shop. Actually, it seems that the actual cutting time I get is probably closer to 10 to 15% of my work time - if that.  I realize this is in part because I also design painting patterns and also lately have been spending part of my evenings (when time allows) learning needlework and embroidery.
  123. It is amazing how far behind one can get by just getting away for a day or so!  I have no regrets though and I hope to spend the day finishing getting caught up and back to working 'normally.'  

    I spent the day yesterday cleaning and organizing things.  It is funny how even getting a few new things for the house can trigger an entire avalanche of events to sort and reorganize.  My bedding and door mat arrived via FedEx just after noon (less than 24 hours from when I purchased it!) and I was anxious to set everything up.
  124. Sometimes the best 'vacations' are those that are done spur of the moment.  

    When I went outside to take the trash to the curb for pickup early Wednesday morning, I could already tell that the day was going to be beautiful. The sun was shining and the early morning mist was beginning to lift and after the long, cold winter it was a day when I just wanted to be outside.  The time was now. 

    Keith and I had spoken of taking a short driving trip.  He had got his Miata out of storage a few weeks ago and even though the weather was not cooperating much these past few weeks, we wanted more than ever to take a couple of days and just 'go'.
  125. Yesterday was a wonderful and beautiful day and it looks as though today will be the same.   I think that spring has FINALLY arrived in Nova Scotia.  

    I love the quiet of the early mornings.  As I crossed the road to go to the trash bin and bring it to the side of the road for pickup, I could hear the birds happily singing as well as the river rushing by. The sun was warm and the air was cool and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. I know I live in an amazing place when even taking the trash out is so enjoyable.
  126. Today I am doing some cutting for the topper for my banners and writing the patterns packet, so I really don't have much of my own work to show you. However, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to share a video with you that my friend Leldon Maxcy just made on how to cut inlay pieces for scroll sawn ornaments.

    I have known Leldon for probably about 15 years.  That's pretty long considering how young he is!  I met him at a woodworking show when he was only a teenager.
  127. In some ways it was a good weekend, in others it was not so good.  I suppose though that is 'life' and many say that in order to truly appreciate the good things that happen, we need to experience some things that aren't so good as well.  I suppose. 

    I had some very sad news come to me over the weekend about two of my friends that I met through my work and writings here.  One friend was a woodworker.  We became friends on Facebook a couple of years ago and I used to play Scrabble with him from time to time.
  128. What a beautiful day by the river it was yesterday!   It was the kind of day that we typically think of as 'spring' but actually only occurrs once in a while.  The sun shone brightly all day long and the air was calm and warm.  You didn't even need a jacket really.  It was the type of day we all have been waiting for during the long, cold winter.  I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was happy that I felt much better as well. Whatever got hold of me on Friday seemed to have passed just as quickly as it arrived.
  129. I was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday and not quite myself. It was nothing to worry about, and I think it was just a passing thing as today I feel much more 'normal'.  Fortunately, it doesn't happen often, as I accomplished very little in the way of work.  I suppose though that a good rest was needed as it seemed to have done the trick and today should be a great day. 

    As a result, I have no progress reports on what I am working on.  I guess that goes along with being self-employed.
  130. I woke up to a dense fog this morning.  I hope it means that it is finally getting warmer. Our weather here in Nova Scotia has still been pretty dull and rainy. But I suppose I should be happy that it isn't snow. Even I have had enough of that. 

    It felt odd to be 'caught up' with everything. It isn't that I don't have anything to do - as I have lots of new ideas that I am anxious to work on - but with nothing really pressing, I find that sometimes it stymies me as to which way to head.
  131. It always feels so good when I finish accomplishing my deadlines.  Whether self-imposed or work that I have to get done for others, I try to treat them with equal importance and prioritize them accordingly. 

    Lately it seems that I have been spinning many different plates.  I know some of you who know me don't see that as being very unusual - and it reality it is not - but sometimes it just kind of gets to me when there isn't a break for a while.  

    I think that part of it comes from having so many ideas and wanting to do them all at once.
  132. I was happy to get so much done yesterday. With a bit of concentration, I was able to complete both my article for the magazine as well as the instructions for the five note cards that I showed here yesterday. The courier came and picked up the package early in the afternoon and the items are on their way to be published.

  133. My goodness I had FUN yesterday!

  134. The weekend turned out to be incredibly productive. I love when that happens. What started out as a bottleneck of cluttered ideas that had me in a muddle soon began to flow in a good direction. By taking some time and sorting through them and considering them one at a time, I was able to move things forward in an orderly manner.

  135. I am feeling a bit better about things today than I was yesterday. It helped to write about it in the morning and it put me on a path that was positive and productive. Sometimes just ‘talking’ about things – whether it be in written form or spoken – helps us more than we know.

  136. I awoke this morning right before 6 am. I was surprised because it was already beginning to get light out and I thought I had slept quite late. I realize that at this time of year, it is typical for the sun to come up early, but somehow it doesn’t seem to fit because it is still so cold outside.

  137. Today’s post will be pretty short. I spent yesterday and plan on spending today finishing up my drawings for my eight new patterns, as well as working on some new stuff for my next magazine project. Since most of it is writing, I don’t have very much to show you without just putting line work up here.

  138. What a whirl wind day yesterday was! I honestly didn’t stop moving until about 9:30pm, after beginning my day at about 6. With many thanks for Steve Good who posted about his contest for two people to win a copy of Keith’s and my new booklet – 

  139. Many of you may have already heard about Steve Good’s blog. For several years now, Steve puts out a blog nearly every day to promote scroll sawing. In fact, it is because of Steve that I began my own blog on the Lumberjocks.com site and now have nearly 1300 entries.

  140. A couple of months back, I began working on something that kind of got side tracked.

    We all have projects like that.

  141. I took the day off of writing yesterday because I wanted to really make a dent in the new projects that I have been working on. Sometimes I find myself getting lost in the ‘social media’ part of the day and it leads me down a path that sometimes may not be very productive.

  142. It has now been over twenty years since I first began scroll sawing. (I know! I don’t really FEEL like I am THAT OLD!) Even as I sat here to write that number down, I had to count a couple of times to make sure my number was correct. It seems like only yesterday when I hit the fifteen year mark, and now that the years have climbed into the twenties, it amazes me even more.

  143. Yesterday I spent the day writing our bi-monthly newsletter and sending it out to our customers. We have been doing pretty well with gaining new subscribers as out business continues to grow. We are also happy that we seem to be figuring out how to send a proper newsletter so that the mail servers don’t view it as SPAM and block it.

  144. It was a very tumultuous night here in Nova Scotia. I don’t think I heard wind like that in all the years that I had been living here. At least it was warm though, as we heard that nearly everyone located west of us was once again experiencing snow. I fully expected to wake up to more snow on the ground, but it is still very warm and raining.

  145. Yesterday I showed the new “Paris” plaque that I designed. I really enjoyed making it and I loved the simplicity of the design as well as the pretty fretwork frame. I really appreciated the nice comments that were made regarding it, as I always try to make something that is both fun to make as well as appealing.

  146. I found that I needed a couple of days to catch up with things. As our little business grows, with that growth comes a need to spend more time on the administration duties. I am not complaining about this at all, as I realize that it is part of the process and I am happy that so many people are interested and asking questions and learning.

  147. I almost didn’t write today. It was just one of those (fortunately rare) days when I wasn’t sure if I would have anything wonderful or inspirational to show or say. But I missed writing yesterday and I think that in some ways my not writing contributed to the ‘blah’ way I was feeling.

  148. Among other things, I finished my little bunny ornaments up yesterday. They were pretty much done yesterday, save for the fact that I needed to apply hangers to them so I could use them on my little ‘all season’ tree for the spring. I must admit – I sometimes get lax with keeping my tree decorated for the season.

  149. Well, I am finally in the home stretch of making my decoupage bunny ornaments. It isn’t that they were difficult or complicated to make, but there has been so many things that have come up in between that needed my attention that they have been sitting on the sidelines, patiently waiting for me to finish them.

  150. It’s funny how I have gotten into the habit of writing here every day. As I am approaching my fourth anniversary of starting my blog, I think of all the time and energy that I put into posting each morning here and it boggles my mind. If someone were to approach me four years ago and tell me that this was my ‘assignment’, I don’t think that I could have pulled it off.

  151. The weekend seemed to go by in a whirlwind. Finally it appears that we are getting above freezing temperatures and that the warmer weather may be here to stay. While it rained all day on Saturday, it was beautiful and bright and sunny and it looks as if today may be the same.

  152. I had quite a full day yesterday. However, I have no new pictures of my project to show you. For yesterday was one of those ‘maintenance’ days where I needed to get some everyday things done, take a breath and catch up with life.

  153. I don’t know why, but I think the long, cold winter has me longing for spring. Today is the first day of the week that the sun is shining, and there is not a cloud in the sky. While there is still a touch of frost on the grass, I find myself being grateful for each day that passes with no snow.

  154. Today’s post will be a short one. I was really thrilled that so many people commented on yesterday’s blog where I posted the “test” kitties using beautiful paper that I printed myself and 

  155. I’ll start off by saying that I am running late today. After getting up at 4am yesterday, I stayed up until after midnight and I guess something had to give because I didn’t get my butt out of bed until nearly 8am this morning! For me, that may as well be noon.

  156. It’s funny how even though we weren’t able to make the trip to Saratoga Springs, I still feel like I was falling behind with things. I think that all the planning and packing and anticipation of leaving home for a week really took a toll on me.

  157. Today is going to be a busy day. I spent my Sunday catching up on some things that I neglected. I was also researching some new designing possibilities which I am very excited about.

    There is so many new and exciting ways to create! The internet really opens a whole world of possibilities for us as far as creating.

  158. I must admit that I was feeling a bit low over the events of the past week. After all the build up and excitement of getting to see people and to teach – not to mention all the work that Keith and I did for the class – it was very disappointing for both of us when things just worked out in a way where we couldn’t make our trip.

  159. After the last couple of days of chaos, it seems as if things are settling down. Richard is looking a bit better, and acting a bit more like himself. I think the medicine is starting to kick in and he has been able to catch up on his rest and recuperate from his ordeal.

  160. Some things were just not meant to be.

    There are times in our lives when we have to make decisions that we don’t care to make.

  161. I thought it would be funny to name my blog with a term that has been thrown around here a lot these past few days. It seems the meteorologists needed to create new words to describe the storm that is soon upon us, as there apparently were not sufficient choices in the 1,025,109.

  162. Yesterday was not the best day. I will admit that.

    However – the day served an important purpose, as it was a glimpse for me as to how things could be if I permitted it to be so.

  163. There is a reason that I don’t have TV. I simply don’t like it. I don’t like turning it on and seeing the ‘voice of doom’ tell of what may be and attempt to frighten people into doing something or not doing something or well – just scare them.

  164. I must admit, I am not the best of traveling. While I like seeing other places and meeting new people, I find that prior to travelling I begin to feel rather anxious. After all, I like my home a great deal and I like the comfort of my daily ‘routine’ and the thought of changing that is rather unsettling.

  165. I reached a wonderful milestone yesterday. What may not seem to be a large deal to many, is huge to me. With only six days left until Keith and I head to Saratoga Springs, New York to teach at the Northeastern Woodworkers Showcase, I can look at what I need to be done and consider myself “ready.

  166. Since I am going to be spending the day writing, I thought I would share some photos of some of the beautiful ideas that my friend Anna had regarding one of our patterns. I always love to see what others do with our patterns, and Anna has always been adventurous and embraced many of the ideas that I have shown here in the blog as well as developed many of her own.

  167. I had a very full day yesterday, but I did manage to achieve my goal of finishing up the other two versions of the Hare Herb Garden Markers pattern that will be featured in the June issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine. I am very happy with the results, although it didn’t happen without hitting a couple of stumbling blocks and figuring out the processes that I used.

  168. OK – Now you all have that song going through your head. It was hard not to think of it all the while I was making this project.

    I don’t know what it is with me and bunnies lately, but I just have a lot of “bunny” ideas that I am thinking about.

  169. I had thought that I would be able to take a day off today and do some things that aren’t work-related, but after an email from my editor at Creative Woodworks and Crafts, I realized that it wasn’t going to happen. I had mixed up my schedule for what is going to be published, and I need to have my next project in the mail by Monday so it can make it to the magazine offices on time.

  170. We finally got our site updated yesterday. I say that with just a touch of exasperation because it seems like getting to this point took much, much longer than it should.

    It hasn’t been because I wasn’t working – as a matter of fact, I don’t think I have had a minute to ‘goof off’ in over a week! I think it was more that there has just been a lot of things going on and there have been many tasks that take time and needed my attention.

  171. I am off to a late start this morning so I will keep this short. It wasn’t that I slept in or anything like that, but I was going through my mail and reading and surfing the web and learning new things. I do that every morning before I come here to write.

  172. The majority of the day yesterday was spent organizing. I know that isn’t much fun to write about but so many times I am asked how I stay so organized and I want you all to understand that it doesn’t just ‘happen’ and it takes a lot of time to keep things in order.

  173. After taking a couple of days off from writing, I find it is time to get back to it. I was feeling a bit poorly this past weekend and I didn’t accomplish a great deal. I don’t get sick often, and I can’t even say if this was something that I would refer to ‘illness’ or perhaps it was just being tired.

  174. Well – I spent the day yesterday finishing up the other version of the little cookie cutter animal basket that I showed you a couple of days ago.

  175. I missed posting yesterday because I didn’t really feel that I had anything unusual or interesting to talk about . Things here have been really busy and I find that some days I just don’t have a lot of new information to share. I am coming up on four years of writing here now (I had to check – I thought it was only three!) and while I have many, many new readers, I sometimes feel that I am being redundant when I tell of the ‘routine’ things that I did on the previous day.

  176. Good day to you all.

    It had come to my attention that the links for many of the videos in my Lumberjocks online scroll saw class entries were missing.

  177. I woke up this morning to bright sunshine. I think it is a good indication as to how the day will be. I have so many ‘irons on the fire’ that I need to watch myself so that I can keep on a good track and accomplish as much as I can. So many times if I have a lot on the go, I get overwhelmed and find myself spinning my wheels in place trying to decide which direction to head first.

  178. I had a good and busy weekend. Even though we had some (more) snow delivered to our area, I made good use of my time indoors and made headway on my new designs and spent a couple of hours each night doing some needlework.

  179. I had a good day yesterday, working on a couple of different things at once. I have several new designs that I have been thinking about and trying to figure out which one to do first is sometimes the most difficult part of the process. 
    I find myself going round and round about each one and it finally gets to a point where I realize it and just stop and pick one and jump in and draw.

  180. Yesterday turned out to be what I would call an ‘organizational day’. Besides the normal chores around the house, I cleaned up my computer files and did some planning on the next projects. Our next batch of lumber had arrived at Bernie’s, so Keith took the trip to Digby and spent the morning cutting it into 10×10 pieces so we could continue to work on the second half of our kit order this weekend.

  181. Just when I thought that my hundreds of little summertime bunnies would bring with them the warmer weather, I awoke this morning to another four inch or so blanket of snow. Perhaps they are ‘snow bunnies’!

  182. Yesterday we had a wonderfully productive day. It had been a while since we had to do a large wholesale order, and I must admit that it was actually a lot of fun to do some ‘production type’ scroll sawing again.

  183. As I awoke today, a faint light already began illuminating the early morning sky. At first I was somewhat aggravated at myself, for I have a great deal to accomplish today and I had planned to get an early start. It has been several months since I had daylight when I first arose, but as I looked at the clock and saw that it wasn’t as late as I expected, I relaxed.

  184. I had a very busy weekend and I took a couple of days off of blogging. It wasn’t that I was being lazy, but probably just the opposite – I had so much to do that I wanted to get going early.

  185. Once again, I need to just do a quick blog today. I have been working on my computer all morning and it is already getting late. Today’s work will include typing up and sending out a newsletter announcing our new patterns and kits that are going to be available on the site.

  186. Today’s post will be quick like yesterday’s. I have been feverishly working on getting my new pattern packets ready for the site update (well – maybe not feverishly, but hard anyway!) I finished my little Easter egg tray pattern yesterday and it took most of the day to create the packet.

  187. PostIt appears that we have another layer of snow this morning. Winter surely seems to be having its fun with us all, doesn’t it?

    I have read so many complaints about the weather these past several weeks and I can’t help to think back to a few months ago when instead of complaining about the cold and snow, people were unhappy with the heat.

  188. Today I find myself looking for some interesting things to post about. Once again I find myself in the ‘writing phase’ of designing and I fear that there is not much exciting news to tell. There are many exciting thoughts floating around in my head though, so I am still enthusiastic and excited, but I don’t think there is much that I have to show you at this point.

  189. Most of you know that I am addicted to color. I love so many different color palettes and combinations that it is hard to pick a favorite. I suppose it depends on what mood I am in, but I love designing using beautiful ranges of colors from soft pastels to colors with great intensity.

  190. I woke up this morning to yet another round of snow. This time, it is accompanied by wind and you can barely see across the road to the river. I would almost call it a ‘blizzard’.

    This winter seems particularly brutal for many people, but at least for us here in Nova Scotia, we have had breaks of warmth and even rain in between the winter storms which continue to melt things down to bare pavement.

  191. I am running very late today because as I was going through my morning mail we lost power for a bit. I was rather surprised because even though we had rain last night, this morning is sunny and calm and actually looks like it will be a very nice day. Go figure . . .

  192. For those of you who have great intentions of getting certain tasks done, only to have “life” get in your way – you are not alone.

    For the past several days my goal has been to draw my next design so that I could get it cut and on the site.

  193. It has been a busy couple of days and I have spent them trying to catch up. I have wanted to start drawing my new design, but I haven’t had the chance to do that. There have been so many ‘miscellaneous’ things to do with the business that I just haven’t had the chance.

  194. One of Keith’s hard drives took its last spin it seems. And while we were planning a full backup within the next couple of days, this tragic event encouraged us to do so immediately. It has been since SEPTEMBER since we did FULL backups on our systems, and you could imagine how much information was added since then.

  195. I can’t believe that after getting up on time, it seems I am already running late! (It is just after 8am as I am writing, and so much to do today!) I spent the morning catching up on emails and so forth, as I took a day (partially) away from the computer yesterday to have a little break and accomplish some things.

  196. Today is going to be a very busy, but fun day! I worked yesterday on my new project and got much of the base things done on it and today is the “fun” part of letting my brushes fly and make it into something special. I hope to have things close to being ‘finished’ by the end of the day – at least to a certain point.

  197. I got started on a new projects yesterday. This one is going to be fun.

    The project is mainly geared for painters, but will be suitable for everyone.

  198. I must admit, I didn’t get any drawing done yesterday. We had sent out a newsletter on Tuesday and things were pretty busy for most of the day.

    Mind you – I am not complaining! It is really a great feeling to have such a positive response to an update.

  199. Today I am going to sound like an advertisement I fear, but Keith and I spent the majority of the day updating our website again and adding on the new designs we have to offer. Even though I sometimes feel like I am not accomplishing very much, I was very pleased to see all the new designs together.

  200. PoIt seems that we just did an update to the site a short time ago, but we have several new patterns and are adding them in today. I spent yesterday preparing them and getting my own ready for posting and Keith was doing the same.

    Today I will spend the day writing the newsletter, and then I will be moving on to begin designing some new scroll sawing projects.

  201. Is there really such a thing?

    I think I know many people who feel the way that I feel.