Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1806: Rescuing the Rabbit

As we arrive on this final day of November, we realize that Christmas and the holidays are right around the corner. Once again, I am in awe of how quickly time passes. It seems like just last week I was working on my glass pumpkin and teaching video for the November ToleTown project, and here I am with another project (and video) due. It all seemed to happen in a blink of an eye. 

But happen, it did, and as time marches brutally forward, we have no choice but to fall into line and try to do what we are able before the holidays are upon us. It is time, once again, to shift those projects that were intended to be completed by the holidays on to the list for ‘next year’ and do the best we can to complete as much as possible. It has become somewhat of a routine in my life these past years, with ideas far exceeding the timeframe that I have to implement them. 

No worries for me, though, as it creates quite a wonderful safety net of ideas for the upcoming year. I am fortunate to have developed the habit of writing the good ideas down, and my lists are long for just about every season. Naturally, they are also fluid, as new (and sometimes better) ideas are added as they are thought of. Because of this, in the rare moment that I draw a blank as to what to work on next, I have several good choices to pick from. I call it my “job security." 

As for now, however, I have the task of completing my project for the ToleTown online community. For those who are not familiar, it is an online site which (for a small membership fee) offers patterns, videos and an entire support community for decorative painting. I have been a member of their design team for a couple of years now and a member of the community for over a decade. I really find it to be a nice place for all who enjoy painting. It is a pleasure to do projects for their members. 

As I showed you last time, I had a little bit of trouble this time around with the ornament that I was making for my class. I couldn’t wrap my head around the process to achieve the look I wanted, and it became quite a disaster. By the time I called it quits on Sunday night, I was pretty discouraged. My bunny looked awful! 

But by walking away from it and taking some time to think about things, I believe I have the problem solved. I had lots of cutting to do on Monday and I thought it was best to allow the ornament to 'rest’ a bit, as well as my head. By the time I returned to working on it yesterday, I had fresh eyes and a fresh thought process as to how I could achieve what I was thinking in the first place. Things actually went pretty smooth and it seemed that the time away eliminated all of the anxiety that I had felt regarding this project the night before. I was on my way. 

Before long, the little bunny came together and actually looks a lot better. It didn’t even take very long to make him 'cute’ again. I was able to finish him up and I think he looks good:

Now this is more what I had envisioned at the beginning! A cute little winter rabbit! While I can see some small refinements that I would like to do on him, for the most part, I consider him done. I will spend today recreating him a couple of times and shooting the instructional video of me doing so. I think he will be a fun class for the ToleTown community. 

I think the moral of the story is that we shouldn’t really give up on something – no matter how bad we think it is. sometimes walking away from things for a while allows us to refocus and forget all of the anxiety that we experienced regarding a certain  project and when we come back with fresh eyes and a clear mind, we are able to accomplish what we wanted to do in the first place. I hope you all keep this in mind when things don’t quite go your way when you are trying something new. It is a good lesson in patience (with yourself) and learning. 

Right now I am very happy and proud of him and have him hanging right next to my desk. I think he will stay there all winter. I am even thinking of making some 'friends’ for him to create a set. (I’ll add it to the list!)

I also spent some time decorating my home last night. As I mentioned before, having a larger place means that there is plenty of room for the things that I couldn’t display previously. I actually have very little stuff to show because I gave most of it away, knowing that there was no room in our small apartment to either store things or show them off. But now things are different. 

I found my Skating Pond Vignette (SLDP103) that I designed several years ago. I actually made three of the larger sets but gave two of them away. I almost gave my third one away as well, but something told me to keep it. I am really glad I did! I thought it would look perfect sitting up on the sideboard in our dining area. And it does! 

I had an extra pedestal from a cake plate that I had where the top had broken. I thought that would make a wonderful 'ice pond’. I covered the insert with aluminum foil for the ice and also added a sheer, iridescent fabric that looked like small scratches in the ice made by the skates (you can’t see that part well from the photo, but it is there!) 

I then went to the dollar store and purchased a set of 20 LED battery operated lights. I put them under the 'snow’ carpet (also from the dollar store) and it makes a wonderful, lighted winter wonderland scene. It looks just lovely in the dark with the only illumination coming from the snow. I think I will leave it up all winter. :)  

I did have a large tree that went with the set, but I can’t seem to find it. I will have to make another one in my spare time. (I’ll add that to my list, too!) But for now, it looks just wonderful as it is. It is truly a fun project and I remember that I even built the little foot bridge. I have a full pattern available to make the scene if you are interested and want to follow the product link. 

All in all, it was a good day. I also cut some more projects out at the saw for customers and for some upcoming designs. I have lots of great things in the works that I can’t wait to share. 

Today, as I mentioned, I will be working on the video. Then on to my next new woodworking project (it is already cut out, but needs to be put together) and then more painting stuff. In between, I will finish up the Sloth picture as well as my Day 10 of my 12 Days of Christmas project. Then … (well – you get the point!)  I don’t think I will run out of things to do anytime soon. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing this little rabbit being 'rescued’ and that you remember that when you make a mess of one of your projects. There is always hope. :) 

Have a wonderful Wednesday! 

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