Friday, October 16, 2015

My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1637: Becoming 'Real'

I am finding that it is remaining darker for a longer period of time each morning when I awake. I have been up for over an hour, started my second cup of coffee, and have already been visited by all three of my cats this morning. (Pancakes is still here on my lap and Richard asleep at my feet, curled up in a ball on his little pillow with a blanket wrapped around him. I can hear him snoring quietly. It is so peaceful) The sun is just beginning to illuminate the eastern sky. This morning it is a light shade of grey with darker grey clouds drifting by. The trees still look dark in the foreground, and most of them still have their leaves, although as you drive across the countryside you now see a variety of colors, as I described the other day. It is really beautiful.

Many that I know don’t like this longer period of darkness. Some see it as depressing. I really don’t mind it though, and I dare say that I find comfort in it. On the morning side it represents my coveted ‘quiet time’. I love these hours of writing with no interruptions by the light of my 'all-season’ tree. Although I admit to you all that this summer it has remained naked except for the warm white lights. I had intended to dress it for summer and then for Halloween, but time (once again) escaped me. There was work to be done and it was not a priority. I am not always as organized as some seem to think I am. (Let’s keep that our little secret!) In the next few days, I should be as “caught up” as I can be. I always plan probably ten projects ahead of where I am, but as far as deadlines go, they will all be met and it will be one of those rare times when I can take a breath and 'think’. That would be a splendid time to rotate out the few decorations here in my home, but with Halloween just a couple of weeks away, I may just go for a 'autumn’ theme and leave Halloween to next year. Worse things could happen. 

Besides the lingering darkness of the morning, it has been getting dark earlier as well. To some that is also depressing, but to me, it brings back fond memories from my childhood, growing up on the south side of Chicago. After school we would walk the several blocks to the Gage Park field house and enjoy a variety of after school activities such as dance lessons or open gym or sport games. These activities were free and they were available every day from 4pm until about 5 or 5:30. After the lessons we would walk home with our friends – usually in the darkness – and I would remember the glow of the lights on the city streets and how much I loved it. There was something wonderful about the night. I always liked it. As we got closer to Christmas, sometimes my friends and I would sing songs from our school chorus group or Christmas carol along the way. Back then you would knock on someone’s door and just start singing. They would give each of us a nickle or a dime (probably to get rid of us) and that was the way we earned money to buy our own presents for our family members. It was a good way to earn some extra money back then in the early 70’s. I smile to myself now just thinking about it. 

So the darkness doesn’t really bother me. I am glad, because even if it did, there is not much I could do about it. I have learned as I get older that it is wasted energy to get upset over things that are out of our control. It just isn’t worth the thought. 

Yesterday we completed the update to our website. I don’t know if you receive our newsletter, but if you do, you should have it by now. We changed the sales products and added another plaque pattern that Keith created:

Keith’s SLDK619 - Joy to the World plaque pattern is the third in his sectional Christmas carol series. They have been very well-received so far and we appreciate everyone’s kind comments on our work. 

My plans for today and tomorrow are to finish up the three mice ornaments that I showed yesterday. I am re-painting them today so that I can take step-by-step photos for the pattern and then I will be creating the pattern itself. I find that this is the best way for me to do patterns of this type, as I am able to 'fine tune’ the design the second time around. It is all part of the process. 

Other than that, I may take Sunday to actually 'decorate’ my home a bit for autumn. It is my favorite season, and I don’t want to let it pass by. I would also like to take a walk or two over the weekend in the nearby woods. The colors are beautiful now and it would be a pleasure to see them and clear my head.

Then back to designing.

It is hard to believe that October is already half way over. The pages of the calendar turn much more quickly than they used to it seems. While I want to stay productive, I also want to remember to take time to enjoy this season that I love so much. It would be a shame to work right through it without taking notice.

After my post the other day regarding “evolving”, I saw a quote from one of my favorite childhood stores – The Velveteen Rabbit.

It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand. -Margery Williams – The Velveteen Rabbit

I read the quote and I thought how it applied to what I was talking about that day. How we change and evolve. Perhaps it is part of finding our 'real’ selves. Perhaps it only happens later in life, when we have experienced many hardships and are a little 'shabby’ and 'worn’. 

If that is the case, I am well on my way. :)

I wish you all a splendid weekend.  

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