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My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #18: The Road Trip Did Wonders! I Can't Wait to Get Moving!

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-21-2010 12:54 PM 3593 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 17: Hittin' the Road! Part 18 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 19: It Isn't Finished Until It's "Finished" »

Well, after taking the day on Saturday and trying to get some random things around here done on Sunday, its back to some full force work for me. The road trip was really nice. We couldn’t have picked a better day. It was bright and sunny and there was one point in the afternoon where we actually had to put the top up on the car because it was so warm. That’s highly unusual for Nova Scotia and it was one of the hottest days I can remember in the six years I have been here.

Perhaps it was because we went into the valley. It seems like even if you drive only five minutes from the coast, you notice a great change in temperature. I like the warm though so I really loved it. I must be like a lizard. The sun does wonders. I really needed this change of pace, even if it was for a day.

We left by 8am and went to a nice little place for breakfast in Weymouth, about 20 minutes north of here. I should have taken more pictures because Weymouth is a beautiful little town. I guess after driving around I realize that most places are ‘beautiful little towns’. Since I grew up in the Chicago area, there is really a lot of cement and commotion and noise and most smaller towns are quite appealing to me. Any place with water, grass and quiet is a treat for me.

We stayed off the main road as much as we could, taking Route 1 instead of the highway 101. It is so scenic with all the farms and houses and the little towns we passed through had beautiful fretwork and architecture. I promise the next time I do a day trip I will take more house pictures so you can see the wonderful woodworking. I guess that once you work with wood and build things, you notice things like that. It is the same with my painting. I look at things thinking how I would paint them and how I would reproduce the colors and effects. It is fun because my partner is newer to scrollsawing and I like when he points out how something looks or was made. I know it affects him too.

I have some pictures of the trip and landscape if you are interested. I think this link should work:

http://picasaweb.google.ca/sheilalandrydesigns/DayTripJune20?feat=directlink

Many people like to see different areas and landscapes. I think it is fun to see where others live. We stumbled on an old car show and that was really fun. We didn’t spent too much time there, but got a nice look at some beauties. We didn’t make it as far as Halifax because we took the slow road, so we didn’t really get to the wood store, but we were able to go to Home Depot and snoop around a bit. On the way home, we took the less-traveled path along the ocean. I had gone that way once when I first came here, and it was pretty nice. You had to wind on some dirt roads though, as there isn’t really a highway going right along the coast, but it gave us the opportunity to see some really cool stuff.

It was good to get away for the day. I think we all need that every once in a while. I am raring to go today and I hope to accomplish a lot. I have a list of things to do and really want to put a dent in it.

On a woodworking note, I have a friend who owns a touristy-type shop and wants me to put some stuff in there. I have been going through my prototypes and having to price things and I will tell you it is the most difficult thing I have done. When I make stuff for the magazine or patterns, once they are photographed I usually just give them away as gifts or put them in a box somewhere. The stuff for the magazine I need to send off and I get it back in six months or so. I just received a box of several Christmas items from last year a month or so ago. I think I am going to put these things in the shop, but I never know what to price them. I think the shop will take from 25 – 40 per cent The woman who owns the shop is a sweetheart and a friend and I trust her completely. I just don’t know how to calculate the price. Part of me just wants to get rid of the stuff, because it will just get banged up any way. It would be nice to get a little money for it though for some extra (to buy more wood!)

I used to go to the Farmer’s Market in Annapolis Royal on Saturdays and sell it there. But that was when I lived closer in Digby and the ocean air ruined some of the backing cards and note cards that I make from my paintings. There were many days when storms would come up suddenly and we would be rushing to pack up and get things out of the elements. The mornings usually had fog and were misty too and it wasn’t good for either my paintings or woodworking. I really don’t like outdoor shows, unless you get lucky with the weather.

I kind of feel the items already served their purpose, because once the photos were taken for the articles or pattern packets, I didn’t need them. I continue to make some money off of the packets whether the items is with me or not so I don’t really need it. It will be good to downsize and get rid of some of the stuff.

I also used to make little pins like I have been posting in my gallery. They are made from scraps of wood and are a bit labor intensive, but not too bad. I sold them for about $15 each at the market, but at the store I am not sure how much I would have to ask to get for them. The Ebony and Holly whale is really cool and since the hump back whale is native to this area, it should be a good seller. I have a piece of Ebony that is about one foot by 3 inches by 3/4” thick which I have taken slices off of to make the whale pins. The piece cost me almost $40, but I can get lots of pins from it. The Holly was quite expensive too, but is such a creamy white it is perfect for the whale belly. I am debating whether to make some more of them for the shop and see how they go.

Here is a picture of the whale:

From Scroll Saw Shaped Jewelry

I love the natural colors of the wood.

Do any of you sell in stores or shops? I would love to hear from you if you do. I would love to hear how it works for you. Somehow for me, I feel my time is better spent designing, but I also like doing ‘hands on’ stuff too. For those of you who have followed this blog, you can see that I just don’t get as much time actually working with wood as I wish. There are so many other aspects of the job that need to be addressed! I realize I make so little at doing the pins and stuff that it can’t really be considered a good source of income for me. I have to fight the urge to do them though, and unless I can find a high end gallery in Halifax or a place that will tolerate a good price, I need to stay focused on what I have to do to earn a living.

I also need to finish the three frames I showed last week. I started applying an oil finish on them and I purchased a can of spray lacquer. If any of you finishing experts out there have time to tell tell me, please advise me as to if that will be sufficient. I am not great with finishes and would like to learn more.

Well, that’s it for today. I promised myself there would be no fooling around and I would accomplish a lot. I’m going to put on my ‘professional hat’ and get to it! I hope you all have a HAPPY MONDAY! :)

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



6 comments so far

View tyskkvinna's profile

tyskkvinna

1310 posts in 2452 days


#1 posted 06-21-2010 02:37 PM

I would be willing to pay up to $30 for the whale pin, especially if it came with a little notecard explaining what ebony and holly are and why they are expensive. (And that it isn’t just dyed/painted wood making them that colour!)

You could probably get more from them, maybe up to $50, if they are in the right market. Not sure if that is the right market or not, as I haven’t been there. :-)

As far as selling the stuff that you’ve already used, you may as well just price it to sell. Since you’ve technically already made money from it, it’s not really a pressure thing. I would try to not undercut any other similar works, because that’s just in poor practise.

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9041 posts in 2386 days


#2 posted 06-21-2010 02:50 PM

Thanks, Lis – that is just the kind of feedback I need. I don’t know what the market wants and I am with you 100% on the ‘already did and am making money from it’ thoughts on the prototypes. :) I would love to price up the pins a bit and then maybe they would be worth my time to make a few a week. I think by lowering the price, we tend to de-value our work. There was one scroll saw guy who used to work with the magazine that did an article on pricing. If it didn’t sell at a show or fair, he would raise the price. He said many times this would work. He did portrait style scroll sawing and his pieces sold at $300 and up each (he stack cut about 4 deep at a time). That would be a fair price.

Thanks for the input a lot. :) I do have classy little cards that I put them on (remember, I love computer graphics!) and I think they look nice and professional. Just saying they were made by a ‘Nova Scotia Artist’ is a good selling point around here. Tourists want local art. Maybe I will start them at $25 or so just to see. As I said, the lady who runs the shop is sweet and she won’t mind me testing the waters.

Sheila

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

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3043 days


#3 posted 06-21-2010 08:10 PM

Seems like a good value to me too.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 2581 days


#4 posted 06-22-2010 12:22 AM

sorry Sheila I can´t help you there …...(don´t know the market)....too far away

glad to hear you had a good day in the sun …......get more like this…..
better yet , full weekends

take care
Dennis

View MrsN's profile

MrsN

975 posts in 2992 days


#5 posted 06-22-2010 03:33 AM

I think you have a price that would be reasonable for the pins. You might even get more if the shops are touristy and you can get an impulse buy. You might want to make a few and experiment with the price. Set the price and see if they sell really quickly you may be able to raise the prices.

-- ----- www.KNWoodworking.com ----- --

View Handi75's profile

Handi75

371 posts in 2940 days


#6 posted 10-27-2010 05:48 PM

Shelia,

You mentioned trying to sale at $25.00 Dollars. You ought to price a little higher and then make a Deal. So Say price is 30 Bucks. And if the customer says Well That seems a little Steap, then you say, Well I tell ya what. I can go down to 25 or something like that, as long as you Sell 2 of them at 25 bucks, you already got the money you Shelled out for the Ebony + Some.

As far as Selling stuff. The items I scroll out, I sale to Local customers by word of mouth and I also sale on Etsy, or try to lol. It’s a Place for Handmade Items Only. And it’s cheap to list your items.

I tend to list my Prices a little low because most of the items I scroll are from Plywood and not hardwood, so I don’t think I can get as much as i would if it was hardwood so I price lower for ply.

Handi

-- Jimmy "Handi" Warner, http://www.facebook.com/HandisWorkshop, http://www.facebook.com/HandisCreations, Twitter: @Handisworkshop, @HandisCreations

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