Once upon a time, I used to blog nearly every day. . .
There was a place called “Lumberjocks” that was a woodworking forum and when you opened an account you were also given access to your own blog. At the time, I was looking to market our scroll saw and woodworking patterns and I thought it would be a nice way to give a bit of insight behind not only creating the designs that we sold but also a peek into the lifestyle of a small business, trying to make it in the huge platform of cyber-space. It was scary to post that first entry, but I figured I had nothing to lose and pushed the “Publish” button with trepidation and put myself ‘out there’ for all to see, support, and critique. There was no turning back.
What began as self-promotion soon became a habit with me. We all know that humans are creatures of habit. We like routine. It is easy to fall into habits – both good and bad – and sometimes hard to break them once we are hooked in. But that is our nature.
I continued to blog almost daily for several years and to the tune of over 1,800 posts. (That is “eighteen hundred” posts!) I felt as if I could go on forever.
But then in 2016, my world changed. We wound up moving and that was chaos for a few months. Then my one kitty passed away suddenly (Pancakes) and my other kitty (Richard) fell gravely ill. The personal struggles I had that year somehow crushed my creativity and I no longer felt the want or need to journal my thoughts on a daily basis. I prided myself on always being upbeat and positive – even in some not-so-optimal circumstances – and I didn’t feel like I was being my genuine self if I were to continue posting positive posts, because I didn’t feel that way. So I let it go by the wayside. (note: you can still read all 1861 blog posts at the Lumberjocks Website: https://www.lumberjocks.com/scrollgirl/blog/series/2820 if you are so inclined.)
Fast forward to 2020:
Time has indeed healed many of the emotional wounds that I have suffered. My family and creative friends and colleagues have brought me through those dark days and back into the light. Of those who reached out to me, some have become real friends. Friends that I will have for the rest of my life. I have developed new friendships with colleagues as well and I truly feel that as a united force, we as designers can not only perpetuate the joy of decorative painting and creating, but we will bring it to a level that far surpasses our expectations. With the capabilities of producing our own videos, online classes and the capabilities of social media platforms, the world is at our feet. I am a firm believer that “we follow where we focus” and I plan to focus on positive things like creating, learning, and sharing.
Our world is troubling and has gone through some changes recently. Since the last blog post only a few weeks ago, it seems that everything is different. Social distancing is a necessity that will be in place for the next several weeks, if not months. I am proud to say that I have seen many of my colleagues and companies I work with (like DecoArt) step up to take care of employees, customers, and fellow creators. There is no shortage of online classes and patterns to choose from – many of them for free or at deep discounts. These may not solve the physical problem that the COVID19 scare brings, but it will help soothe the souls of people and help them escape and fill their thoughts with positive things instead of worrying about what they can’t help with or change. Sometimes I believe that that is the worst part of something like this. Feeling helpless. At least if we are creating something, we are feeling a bit more proactive and it will bring our minds into a positive place – even if it is for a while.
So that brings things back to me and this post. Here is one of the scariest things that I see these days:
The blank page for the blog post can be as frightening as a blank page of paper that we artists look at when starting a project. In a way, I feel that writing is an art. Like my other artwork, it is giving others a look into my thoughts, feelings, and soul. I am ‘putting it out there’ to be accepted, ignored, or rejected. It is more than about selling things to me. It is sharing part of me in hopes that you all find the happiness and joy that I find in creating. It is here for you to be inspired to do something that will make you feel calm, happy, or proud. I want to help you feel good about yourselves. Even if it is only by escaping for a few hours through art.
I have a huge backlog of things to share with you. My lack of keeping up with my posts here only makes the mountain of information larger and harder to climb. So I am planning on trying to just take smaller bites at a time. The goal here will be to make shorter, yet more frequent posts that will mix my own personal thoughts with my creative process and also show you some of the new things that I am working on. I will also include interesting products that I love to use and I will showcase designs by fellow designers that I admire. A little bit of everything.
I am going to kick off this new commitment by inviting you to my Facebook group: Let’s Paint (and CREATE!) with Sheila Landry. It is a place I do visit every day and the group is amazingly friendly, talented and sharing. I check in nearly every day there with a short video or post and I share lots of little ‘extras’ with the group. It is fun, free, and stress-free and I think all of you would like it – whether you create or just like to see some talented, positive people. I hope you stop by.
In closing, I wanted to share that I am offering a new free pattern on my website (http://www.tolepaintingdesigns.com) It is on the Free Pattern & Resources page and is of this lovely Victorian Cones project:
The cones can be created on Roc-Lon fabric as shown (using DecoArt Americana Acrylic paint) or on any surfaces you may have handy. The flowers would even look great on some pretty easter eggs. There is no sign-up required and the pattern can be directly downloaded.
I truly hope to be able to get back in the habit of blogging more often. During these changing times, I find that being creative and sharing things with my creative friends helps calm my soul. I love sharing my thoughts on creative things, and I have really missed that. I hope that with many of you having extra time because of being home that you will consider subscribing to my blog here and stopping in. I would love to hear from you all as well. At times such as these, we can help each other stay positive and creative.
Thanks for reading.
Stay safe and healthy.