My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #11: New Days Bring New Ideas

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-13-2010 01:01 PM 4315 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Some Days are Just Frustrating Part 11 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 12: Tying Up Loose Ends »

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. – Eleanor Roosevelt. I read this quote and thought about it for a couple of minutes. It is short and to the point, but full of hope and a sense of adventure. The words are few, but very powerful.

My day yesterday didn’t turn out so badly after all. I think it could have easily gone south, but all in all it was a good day. I learned a lot, got to reflect on some things, and also had an inspiration for another project. So how can that be bad?

Learning to deal with adversity is a very under rated trait, I believe. Let’s face it, we all experience bumps in our road of life nearly every day. Some are little pebbles and some are downright craters. It isn’t the number of bumps we come across that is important, I believe. It’s how we react to and deal with them.

Now yesterday started off very bumpy for me with the internet things going on. As of today, my emails still have not gone out from my site. However, I am far calmer today regarding the issue because yesterday I did something about it. I am not the type to sweep my life’s problems under the rug or hand them over to someone else and let them fix it. It just isn’t my style. Call it impatience or control or whatever you like, but I don’t think it is a bad thing. Many times I have people ask me ‘How do you know how to do so many things?’ and I usually reply ‘Because I learned to do them for myself’. I realize that we can’t do everything ourselves, but my somewhat impatient nature taught me at a young age that by the time you wait for someone else to fix something for you, you can usually fix it yourself. Not only does that alleviate the anxiety of waiting for something, but it also gives a sense of pride and accomplishment in learning a new skill. Thus began my career of being ‘creative’.

My impatience of waiting for my site host to send my emails out caused me to look into the other alternatives I have regarding my site. I probably would have let it go if I were given a reasonable time frame, but with them not being able to give me any promise whatsoever as to when it would be fixed was unacceptable and for me the catalyst which forced me to take things into my own hands.

With the help of my partner, (who I must say took the ‘no mail’ news far better than I did!) we obtained a bulk email program, exported the list of contacts and sent the messages ourselves. We realize that it is a band-aid for now and doesn’t ultimately solve the problem, but it worked for us for now and got things up and going in a good direction for now.

There was however a slight bump in that road too. As we were sending the list of 800 emails, we noticed that after the first hundred or so, the addresses started to show up as being unsent. At first there were a couple of spotty red ‘x’s’ next to the names, but as you went down the list, it soon turned into ALL red ‘x’s’, meaning the emails weren’t sent. What the heck?

So we researched and found that GMail (my mail server) and most other mail accounts limit you to the number of emails you can send at a time and in a day so they can cut down with SPAM. Well, now what? Apparently if you send over 500 emails in a 24 hour period, they can and DO shut down your email account for 24 -72 hours. YIKES! It made sense to me, but I never knew that. So now what? This wasn’t SPAM, as it was 800 people that actively ASKED me to notify them with sales and specials. Do I have to break down my list further and email in batches over several days? What a pain that would be!

So I read some more and I came across what they call Google APPS which was geared more for businesses and I think I am going to have to go that way. Apparently you can get a different type of account that will allow you up to 2000 emails sent per day. The kicker is that is cost I think $50 per year. I am not a cheap person, but like lots of people, money is tight so I am taking this under careful consideration. I even wrote the company for more information – a practice I rarely do because I, myself hate to get all the SPAM crap that comes with asking a mere question, but I felt it was important enough to warrant an email from me and give them my email address and (egad!) my phone number.

I am telling you this story because I realize that there are many small business people here on this list and I try to keep myself informed about these type of things but I must say I was thoroughly shocked when I heard of this limit. The thought of no email account for 24 hours is probably one of the worst punishments that Google could implement on someone like me and certainly got my immediate and full attention. I was pretty proud to see my mailing list growing to over 800. In fact, I want it to grow to 8000 one day (or 80,000 – why aim low?). As a business person growth is a very understandable goal. Little did I know that as that number climbed, I was heading closer and closer to the abyss in the Google SPAM department’s eyes! So take heed fellow businesses! Look at your business and mail server and READ and LEARN its limitations. (Remember – Knowledge IS Power!) I will keep you posted on the issue and let you know what my ultimate action will be when I make that decision, so stayed tuned.

The rest of the day went pretty well. I got out of here for a couple of hours and had some things that needed attending to and the change of scenery did wonders. I had some work to do in a house that was located overlooking the ocean and although I wasn’t quite on the beach, I was close enough to bask in its serenity and beauty. (I am planning a get away for next weekend. A road trip, if you will. The first of the year and one that I feel I have earned. It will just be for a day, and I don’t know where I am going yet, but it is something to work toward the entire week and look forward to. I am excited just thinking about it!)

After returning home, I had some maintenance on my mailing list again and did some computer work. This time, though, there was no anxiety and it actually felt great to ‘clean house’ on my computer. When that was done, I began researching the next project that I will be creating. My next several projects will be geared toward Christmas again, as the catalog cutoff dates are usually sometime in July. The magazine cutoffs for the Christmas projects were late April so it just seems that I finished Christmas things. But as I told you earlier, they took four of my projects for publication so my Christmas projects are few. I did put a few new ornament sets up on the site with the new renovation of it and they are already selling well, so I had better get moving in that direction and do some more. I do feel excited and rejuvenated and raring to go. The projects will be nothing like Martyn’s wonderful “Impossible Challenge”, but they will be fun to do all the same.

So with that, I will get to it. Thanks for all the support you all have given me. My new favorite past time is to browse through the site and see what everyone is up to and what they are saying. I find the scope of the work absolutely incredible, from the beautiful duck inlay head board in the project section yesterday to the awesome photography that “tyskkvinna” has on her site to everything in between. I have been on other sites before, but never have I seen the wonderful scope of talent, as well as the personal friendship and caring for each other that I see here. It really is a great place.

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

2 comments so far

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3062 days

#1 posted 06-13-2010 03:01 PM

Sheila, I’m flattered but you really should think better of your own work. We all have out stregths and weeknesses.
I suppose the other thing is about learning. I find that a big part of this is learning how not to do things. So I wouldn’t feel to bad about the mail problems. Now you have a better idea of how to tackle IT (pun intended).

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3012 days

#2 posted 06-13-2010 04:22 PM

google apps are the way to go :)

and thank you – I have to agree, I find all of the talent here so inspirational!

-- Lis - Michigan - -

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