As we come to the end of July and begin our journey into the month of August, it (once again) makes me realize just how quickly time can pass.
I have always looked at the coming of August as a time to enjoy a few last weeks of summer and begin preparing for the autumn and cooler weather to follow. Growing up in the Chicago area meant that by the second or third week of the month it was time to seriously think about and begin preparing for the upcoming school year. Orientations were held so that we could pick up our schedules for the upcoming semester and begin planning for the academic year ahead. If we (or our children in the next generation) were involved in any type of sports or extracurricular clubs or activities, it was the time to begin gathering, practicing, and participating. Even though summer was not ‘officially’ over until later in September, for our own practical purposes, it was coming to a close.
As an ’empty-nester’ living in Nova Scotia, in some ways, August brings a bit of a different feel.
The warmer weather seemed to arrive particularly late this year, and even though much of the United States and other areas around Canada have been experiencing weather that was quite hot, here it has been pleasant and moderate this path month. It seems that summer has just arrived.
My job as a pattern designer has taught me that seasons have no boundaries. I think nothing at all about painting snow scenes and Santas during the hot, summer days, or painting Easter bunnies and chicks during a brutal January snowstorm. Displacing holidays has become a way of life for me and no matter what the calendar shows or what the temperature is outside when I feel inspired to paint Christmas, or autumn or Halloween, I feel justified in doing so. After all, the season is always just around the corner.
For designers, the closing of July means the beginning of what is for many of us our busiest season – fall and the holidays. Since many of our followers purchase our designs to create for craft shows and gifts, there has to be enough time for them to create them. You can never start creating for these seasons too early.
My own head has been on a “Halloween” theme for a while now. Just before we moved, I had a long list of autumn, Halloween, and Christmas projects that I wanted to create for the upcoming year. While I realize that I never am able to clear that list and get to the bottom of it, the two months that it took to move and get settled here in our new place definitely took its toll. I went from being way ahead of the game to being only “OK” in the blink of an eye. But there is still time left and whatever doesn’t get done this year means I am ahead for the next. (If I could only live long enough to finish ALL the projects that I am thinking of doing!) There is little to do but forge ahead.
One of my favorite things to do is to work with other designers. I believe that collaborations bring together the best elements of being self-employed and also feeling a sense of community in the painting and crafting world. While some may not understand this (I am often asked why I promote other designers, who some feel are ‘the competition’) I am from the school that by working with other like-minded creators, we not only enjoy our work more, but our creations are many times better than we could have ever imagined. I believe that when we find someone that we enjoy working with and ‘connect’ with on a creative level, the result can be magical. I am fortunate to have this relationship with several of my designing counterparts.
These past few weeks can really attest to the above statement, as I have been working with several amazing designers on different things that all seem to be coming to fruition at once. It is very exciting. Besides creating my own designs, I have been working behind the scenes with several others and I would like to show you what we are up to. I think you will be excited as well.
I’ll begin where I left off in my last post – with showing a Debbie Mishima project. I painted her “Mermaid Kisses and Starfish Wishes” pattern that was in the June 2019 issue of Painting Ezine.
I painted the design on my own wood surface for my ocean-themed bathroom, and I had many requests for the large, flat, shell surface. I added the product on my website here:
This surface would be useful for just about any summer, nautical, or ocean scene. (You can access Debbie’s Etsy store and see her other patterns here: Country Hearts by Deb.) She has so many wonderful designs you won’t know which to choose first!
My next “partner in crime” is Amy Mogish. Amy and I had partnered up a couple of years ago and I have provided the surfaces for several of her adorable painting clubs and series. We are working on a new series now (which will be revealed soon!) but last week I helped her with the graphics for her new RUBBER STAMP COLLECTION that she will be unveiling soon!
The above is just a rough sample of some of the drawings for the TEN new stamps that Amy will have! I know she is excited and we both have lots of fun ideas as to how to use these adorable stamps in creating. You can see all of Amy’s work and read her blog at her Classic Amy Joanne website here: https://classicamyjoanne.com
Aren’t they amazing? It makes me feel so good to see how others use my wood pieces. These are absolutely lovely and I am so thrilled with seeing them!
And finally, I am working with the very talented Sharon Cook and cutting some of the wood pieces for her cute and fun designs. I had purchased this adorable “I Miss My Mummy” pattern a couple of years ago and had intended to paint it and I am just getting to mine now.
When I showed the kit in my “Let’s Paint with Sheila Landry” Facebook group, I received many requests for the surfaces.
I sized it down (to 10″ tall) and made TWO versions of the project – a standing one (SLDPK747 – complete with base, overlay pieces and wire) http://www.tolepaintingdesigns.com/product/SLDPK747
And a separate kit of thinner wood so you can hang the piece on the wall or in a wreath – again with the overlay pieces and wire included. (SLDPK748 – Miss My Mummy Hanging Version)
I even made a short video showing the pieces which will give a better idea of the size and all that is included. You can see it on my YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/dYUf_eld_cQ
You can see ALL of Sharon’s fun patterns at her Etsy store, Sharon Cook Creations. I will be cutting the wood for her Reindeer (Hangin’ With the Herd) and other designs soon.
And finally, I have several upcoming projects that I will be showing very soon, both with other designers and my own designs. I give you a hint of what I am working on next in my above video. But that is all I will share now.
My partner Keith has not been idle either. He has a new plaque pattern that I think is both touching and beautiful.
The SLDK847 – Your Wings Were Ready plaque pattern is now available on our scroll saw website here: http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com/product/SLDK847
I think it is just lovely.
Today I will be continuing to work on my new design. I hope to report in more frequently, as I always say, and I really do think that I am settling down enough to do so. I tend to get too far ahead of myself and then feel overwhelmed when blogging here. I will try to keep up better.
I hope you enjoy seeing these projects. I am very fortunate to have so many wonderful and talented friends. It sure makes my job a lot more fun.
What more could I ask for?