Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year's Day and Halfland's First Giveaway

Well, here we are, 2009. Hoping for all good things. I spent the day doing a few prop things. I sawed the handle off of my own wooden kitchen ladle to make a rustic hewn bowl for Rana's kitchen. I used pure liquid beeswax to polish it and her kitchen table which gave it a perfect sheen and brought out the grain patterns beautifully. I liked it so much, I thought to brush the wax on the apples and other vegetables. It really gave a luster that looked more natural than the gloss medium I had used on them before. I'm sold on beeswax more and more.

The little glass chimney arrived yesterday and I thought I'd see if I could make it into Rana's oil lamp. (on left is the new chimney before the base was made.) It took the rest of the day but at least it's nearly done. The chimney is perfect, a realization of a prop dream. I couldn't recreate Rima's oil lamp (as seen in the last post) but I made the best shape I could from pieces on hand here. I had to saw off and hollow out a turned wooden candlestick holder for the base. I fit it with various grommets and drawer pulls that were drilled out to hold the practical LED light inside. The lamp ring was cut off and a small ring was pounded and glued on in its place. I made a smaller wick riser wheel out of a small upholstery tack and metal eyelets. I fitted a box latch to the base's curves as a handle. I painted the LED bulb with yellow/red-tinted diamond glaze. The everything but the chimney and the bulb will be given a rusted iron patina or if I can, a deeply burnished brass.

Get Free: Notes from Halfland's first ever Giveaway
PRIZE UPDATE: Martha and I selected commenter, Dana Noble (no relation to me) for the prize. While all the goals listed in the comments were very worthwhile, Dana's seemed the slam dunk easiest to identify. Martha has already sent her a copy of the book to read. They are scheduling a private email session between them when Dana feels she can get the most benefit from it. (Keep us informed how it goes, guys!) May everyone one complete done finish what they would most like in 2009. Good luck!

Martha painting for her book in the workshop. Martha and I had a blast matching her illustrations to her text in a garden pavilion. Her beautiful finished book.

Do you have a project(s) you'd like to make some tasty progress on?

Last January my friend, Martha Ringer, hired me to produce her first book. It was completed in June under the title, "Complete. Done. Finished. The Joy of Doing, The Freedom When Done." Martha is an in-demand private executive productivity coach and a joy to be around.

We had the most creative and satisfying experience possible making her book together. Many of the beautiful illustrations she made for the book were done here. We spent a full day, near the project's end, in a luscious meditation garden pairing each watercolor illustration to each one page chapter, marveling at how each one seemed to be created for each as though it were planned that way. It wasn't, she just played here with paper and paint and all that beauty just came out. It all just happened to fit with the edited book and made a perfect setting for the gems.

Listening to my radical marketing advice, as soon as the book was printed Martha gave it away on her site freely to anyone. The generosity of this gesture resulted in more sales of the actual book rather than less, surprising everyone but those who understand what's right to do. People who got the book from their bosses, family, or friends wanted to have more copies to give as gifts themselves. People who read the book online saw how good it was and wanted to buy a nicely produced hardcopy to have and hold or give, and so it goes. Martha's halfway through her second printing. My goal for the book was to make it like a little jewel, a treasure, that people could easily read and engage with the wonderful content. Martha believes in the power of Completion, in freeing up mental and physical time and energy to do more. Yet, so many of us linger with projects and goals undone.

Here's where the giveaway comes in. Martha has agreed to give a personal email or interactive 10-minute phone session and a copy of the book to one of the visitors to this blog! You are invited to list a goal or two (or all) of the specific projects you'd love to have actually completed in 2009 in the comments of this post and Martha will pick one to give a expert boost! She's very very good at this and having her support, even for just the initial launch, could be the thing that turns the corner for you. This could be the year where you make the progress your heart so desires. Give it a go, feel free to use the comments to purge your list out of your head. That's bound to be useful in and of itself.

And in the meantime, if you have recently completed something...

Martha has made a little Instant Celebration for you on her homepage Just type in what you completed in the box and you'll see Martha celebrate with you*, which is something she also does very very well and is something that her clients look forward to the most!

(*FREE FREE FREE No sign-ups, no emails, nothing will be kept, it's just FUN!)


  1. Gosh, this was exactly what I needed to read right now. What an inspiration! Thank you!!
    P.S. Halfland still amazes me to the point it's hard for me to even comment on the little miracle creations you endlessly produce - the awe strikes me silent!

  2. For 2009: creating a body of metal jewelry work inspired by native wetlands. How to incorporate recycled/reused materials? Goal to work with almost all green materials.
    Part of proceeds will go to wetland preservation in Iowa, which has experienced a 200yr and 500yr flood in 15 years.

  3. Fantastic!! I'm so glad this is timely, I really didn't know what the reaction would be! Hooray! And Not Scarlett, I can't believe you feel that way about Halfland!? I'm in awe of YOU! So we are mutually awestruck then.

    Dana! Hello and welcome! Your jewelry idea sounds incredible! gogogo! And I had no idea about the severity of the flooding in this country. I think I should pay more attention to what's going on outside small world.

  4. Dana, I checked out your website and wow, your nature inspired jewelry is gorgeous! Well done. I notice our last names are the same, is that how you came across this blog I wonder?

  5. looks like a beautiful book, shelley! you do great work. as for goals for 2009: i want to wrap up loose ends from 2008 and beyond before i commit to any new projects. my past commitments are weighing me down and keeping me from dreaming.

  6. Thank you, gretchin, yes, I'm really happy with Martha's book. It was one of those rare project cases where I genuinely supported the content and was given total creative freedom to design its format to show it off in what I felt was its best possible light.

    gretchin's goal: total 2008 loose end wrap up--check, gotcha.

  7. Just want to wish you a Happy New Year!

  8. Happy New Year, Turvid!

  9. I love that lamp. Great work again Shel.

    I think the thing I'd like to achieve is being more organised with my projects... although, I do wonder if that wouldn't kill creativity a bit.

  10. Thanks, Rich!

    Yes, the ol' order vs. art Q. I liken it to riding a tiger. You want the beast to run freely but you also want to be able to hold on and steer him.

    You? You can do anything.

  11. Anything? That leaves a broad playing field doesn't it. Now I'm even more confused as to what I should do first. hehehe

  12. Brrr! 50F *inside*?!? Does your house not have heat? Or just no insulation?!?

  13. Yep, no heat, no insulation. The outfit I stay in and sleep in looks for all the world like I'm in the arctic.

    Normally California/Los Angeles isn't chilly, or if so only for a day here and there. This has been a cold year. but nothing compared to your area! Holy cow!

    -45C why? how? People live there?

  14. Very nice props Shelley! The detailing is great.

  15. Thank you, Phil!!! Woo!


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