A Kid in a Candy Store

The title of this post just about explains the way I feel about my creative life these days. I have so many exciting avenues to explore artistically, I sometimes get stifled because I don’t know which path to take first. It is easy for me to get overwhelmed by things if I am not careful. When that happens, I find that I accomplish little, as things tend to get muddled up in my mind and I tend to shut down a bit. But over the years, I have been figuring out ways to avoid that.

The beginning of summer is typically a slow time for our business. I think the reason behind that after a long winter and usually cool or rainy spring, people can’t wait to get outside to do things. Kids are out of school. Gardens need to be planted. Cars need to be detailed, and there are lots of fun gatherings and events that people have been dreaming about during the cold summer months. No wonder they don’t want to stay in and craft.

I used to worry around this time of year. Evil thoughts that plague me as a designer would creep into my head . . .

“Are my customers gone for good?”

“Did they get their fill of our designs?”

“Will this be the end of my business?”

All of the above things would keep running through my head during this time of year. Not only was it depressing, but also debilitating and killed my creativity. After all – who would want to keep working hard on something if we thought that it would soon be going ‘the way of the dinosaurs’, as Keith’s mom would say?

But after over 20 years of making a living off of designing, I have learned that this just isn’t the case. This ‘lull’ is normal and cyclical, and in a few weeks, as people begin looking forward towards the fall and holiday seasons, they also start planning on designs and things start picking up again. Usually with a fury.

So lately, I have taken this slow time to not only develop designs for the future of my business, but also for myself and my home. Usually, I find that those two entities are one in the same, as my friends and customers don’t always create for others, but for themselves as well. This opens up a floodgate of fun ideas and projects that I am able to share with you all. All in the name of creating.

Two weeks ago when the lull started hitting me, I decided to do a makeover in our main bathroom. We moved into our home about two years ago, and it is a long-term rental for us. We have lovely landlords who allow us to change whatever we choose to make the place feel like our ‘home’. We hope that what we have done has improved the property, and I think that it has. It certainly is fun to put our own take on things and makes our environment pleasant and comfortable.

Our bathroom was done in shades of grey. While I liked it, I had envisioned a ‘sea life’ theme there and wanted to use my favorite color palette – aqua – to give it a brighter and lighter look. Here is a photo of the how it started:

629-wm-bathroom-1

The main thing that was not really nice was the brown vanity cabinet. It was chipped and dark and looked pretty rugged – especially in a small room.

We added a bit of light aqua paint to the walls, and I used some wonderful DecoArt Outdoor Living paint for the vanity in a darker, contrasting aqua. I chose the Outdoor Living paint because it was made for moist environments and would stand up to the wear in the bathroom. Here is a photo of the result:

629-wm-bathroom-2

Quite a difference, isn’t it?  Amazing what a little change of color can do.

I still have some things that I want to do, and I will show you each element individually, but since it would make for a LONG blog post, I am just giving an overview today. I promise to come back and show what I used to decorate:

629-wm-bathroom-3

This is over the shower. I painted this 19″ super-sized whale (that doesn’t look too big here) and made a pattern, too (http://www.tolepaintingdesigns.com/product/SLDP281)

629-wm-bathroom-4

I even tried my hand at “pouring” paint using DecoArt paint pouring mediums:

629-wm-wave-pour

I love my wave, and I will be dedicating a blog to how I did it and how I will be finishing it when it is dry.  I have some other great ideas for the bathroom project and will be showing them as well.

In other directions, I finally changed my home decorations from ‘spring’ to ‘summer’.  I redecorated my “All Season Tree” with a cute, beach theme:

629-wm-tree

Including making a new ornament set similar to the whale above of fun Sea Creatures! (Pattern and kit are available on my website: www.tolepaintingdesigns.com)

629-wm-tree-2

It really makes my home fun!
My studio was also given a facelift. I changed my magnetic board near my desk to include my favorite things:

629-wm-board

And I changed over my shelf vignette:

629-wm-studio

I will probably ‘tweak’ it as I make new stuff. But for now, it looks summery and wonderful. 🙂

I even brought some of my old mohair teddy bears that I designed many years ago:

629-wm-bears

I had always thought of using them for props to make some cute paintings, and I think I will do that. I have about 10-15 bears left from my bear-making days and I hope to paint them all in different seasonal scenes. This nautical pair has always been one of my favorites, and the little mummy bear is “out” because I am going to use him for a Halloween painting packet. So much fun!

Finally (although – not really finally!)  are the embroidery projects that I am creating.

629-wm-pins

I so need to finish up the kits and packets for these two designs and then go on to the 100’s of others that I have in my head.

Can you see why I get overwhelmed??

Add to this that I am doing more clubs with Amy Mogish (www.classicamyjoanne.com), more wood cutting for wonderful designers such as Cynthia Erekson, France Quirion, Christy Hartman, Barb Bunsey, etc., etc., PLUS my own designs, and you can imagine how excited I am!

Not to mention my OWN designs! 🙂

It is going to be one heck of a year for me!  It has been already!

If you want to come and see things develop on a daily basis and have a Facebook account, you can join my group “Let’s Paint with Sheila Landry” on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/paintwithsheila/) It has turned out to be a wonderful group and you can ask questions, display your own art, and most important – share your love of creating and make wonderful friends.

I am sorry this got so long, I hope to show some of these projects in detail in the next weeks and blog more often. Feel free to follow me here on WordPress, as I will mainly be posting here.

Have a great day and a great weekend ahead!

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