Since last week’s blog post, it has been quite busy. (That is a good thing!) I find that the most difficult part of writing here is not to get overwhelmed because it seems that I have so many different things that I would like to share. I used to blog nearly every day, but the time it takes me to do so just doesn’t seem to allow me that luxury. I loved to start each morning by writing down my thoughts of not only what I plan to create in the future, but also what I looked forward to accomplishing each day.
In a way, it was much like a public journal. It also helped me because there was part of me that felt if I wrote my intentions down each day and put it ‘out here’ for everyone to see, it made me accountable not only to myself, but to everyone else as well. It was a great tool when I was feeling that I needed a bit of extra motivation or direction for my business.
But as time passed and the business gained momentum, the excitement I felt with making new projects not only designed by myself, but with other artists and friends was more than enough to keep me moving. My little business has grown a lot since then and at this point it seems that the biggest problem I have (if you can even call it that) is to keep things workable to a point where I don’t become overwhelmed. I don’t wake up asking myself, “What do I do today?” but rather, “What do I do FIRST today?” it is a great place for me to be.
I am always grateful for my fellow designers who want to work with me and allow me to cut and distribute wood kits for their beautiful designs. The reason that I even do what I do is because of my love of painting, and even though I design my own projects and patterns, I also have a deep passion for painting projects designed by others. The entire reason I began working on the scroll saw in the first place was to cut wood pieces for myself to paint projects designed by others. I know the feeling of finding something you want to paint and not being able to find the surface you want to paint it on. The popular saying of “Necessity breeds invention” can be applied here. And while I may not have ‘invented’ scroll sawing wood for painting on, having the ability to cut any shape I choose just adds to the fun of painting for me.
As the every-changing art industry runs through its normal cycles, I see a need for someone who can provide this service on a more intimate level. While the ‘big box’ stores like Michael’s and even the dollar stores have pieces that are suitable for painting, there are very few companies that provide custom wood cutting services at reasonable prices. It isn’t really feasible for them to do so. That is where little businesses like ours come in handy.
It doesn’t take huge orders to keep me busy. Since I am only one person, I am very happy spending a couple of days a week up in the shop with my audiobooks and my sound-cancelling headphones listening to stories while I cut. (I have ‘read’ 47 books so far this year while working up in the shop!) It is a nice way to create what I call ‘future heirlooms’ and I love that I have a somewhat personal relationship with my customers. It is the best job I could ever have.
Along with cutting my own original pieces, I also enjoy cutting wood for other designers. Earlier this year, I began working with a wonderful artist from Italy named Alessio Meggiato. I had seen some of his adorable gnome designs and wanted to paint them. They were uncomplicated, colorful and most of all – cute! Just looking at them makes me smile.
Alessio sells his own laser-cut pieces, but since he lives in Italy, it is quite expensive for him to ship wood pieces to North America. While it is easy to create patterns that can be distributed all over the world as PDF files, it isn’t so easy to do so with wood. Since I wanted to make these myself, and I knew that those who follow me in my “Let’s Paint (and CREATE!) with Sheila Landry” group on Facebook would also want the wood pieces, I approached Alessio and asked if he would like me to provide wood pieces for this side of the Atlantic. The rest (as they say) is history.
Since the beginning of this year, Alessio and I have developed a nice relationship. He is a wonderfully prolific designer and has new projects being released frequently. Like myself, I see him painting and promoting others in the painting world and overall, he isn’t only talented, but also a really nice gentleman. It is a pleasure to work with him.
In the past several months, his little Gnome Army has grown quite rapidly. He now has 15 different Gnomes to choose from, with more in the works:
Each pattern has two different versions of the Gnomes. There is a larger ornament size and a smaller lapel pin size, and the two figures are slightly different from each other. Here is an example of the Sorcerer Gnomes that I painted from his pattern so you can see the difference:
Alessio has also been generous enough to offer two of his patterns for FREE which I have posted on the “Free Patterns and Resources” page of my website.
The first being an adorable, layered Welcome Sign featuring one of his gnomes:
The second being a versatile ornament design called “Waffle Mania” in which the technique can be used on just about any surface you with – although I have a couple of wonderful ornament kits which would work perfectly with it.
And there is so much more to come! 🙂
Alessio uses easily available DecoArt paints and specialty paints to all that magical touch to his beautiful designs.
The “Waffle Mania” pattern uses stencils to create the texture, and I found two trusted sources for them here in North America.
You can use the Diamond Lattice Border Stencil shown here from Cupboard Distributing (aka CD Wood):
Or, you can visit Tracy Moreau (another talented designer that I have collaborated with – I will be featuring her work soon!) and use her M2-43 Regiment of Squares Stencil shown here:
All in all, there is a lot to be excited about regarding Alessio. I recently helped him proofread a couple of patterns that will be available in upcoming online painting magazines and as usual, his designs are beautiful. I sometimes help him proofread his patterns, as his main language is Italian and he translates his patterns through Google Translate and it isn’t always optimal. I enjoy helping bring his designs to English-speaking artists.
I hope you like meeting some of the talented designers that I am so grateful to be working with. I firmly believe that we all have our own unique style and that working together to support painting and art not only makes our lives a lot more fun, but makes our world a lot prettier as well. I hope you all agree.
Until next time. . .