It feels so good to come off such a nice weekend. The weather was decent (it rained Saturday, but with the rain came a cooling relief from the humidity and much too warm temperatures we were having) and it feels like autumn should. Cool. Crisp. Exhilarating. I was quite productive, yet I still feel greatly relaxed and ready to take on the new week. I finished my bridge and also completed painting a couple of more figures for the pond scene. I had to re-cut a couple of pieces because when I initially stack cut them four layers high, on two of the lamp posts the bottom layers slightly shifted and ruined the cuts. I also needed to change the design in one of the characters, as I found it to be a little bit weak and wanted to strengthen. The good thing about repainting the two remaining sets I have here is finding flaws such as this and perfecting the pattern for others to do. When I initially designed the set, I didn’t know which direction I was heading with it so there may have been some things that I didn’t consider.
My friend, Rick from Iowa did a test cut of the entire set to quote me a price on mass production of the pieces to distribute to the painters. When I cut the set the first time, I timed myself and it came to about 5 hours. Rick accomplished cutting all the pieces in a total of 2.5 hours with no breaks. He cut them stacked two levels high, as I had four layers. He is however, not the average cutter. In the scroll sawing world, they call him ‘the animal’ because he can cut so quickly and accurately. He used to work for Better Homes and Garden’s group (Meredith publishing) and cut ornaments for their ornament issues for several years. The ornaments he cut totaled in the tens of thousands, I am sure. He cut pieces for a former designer, JoAnn Lockwood, who had a Noah’s Ark locket that was the ark hallowed out and had a swivel top on it and contained 10 small animals inside. Rick boasts cutting over 3000 of these for JoAnn. If you would like to see all the work he does, his site is www.scrollsaws.com. He has dozens of pages of tutorials and videos on lathes and scroll saws, as he is also very adept in lathe work. There are tool reviews too, as he was a tester for Delta and several other big companies and helped them design some of their current tools. I think it is an interesting site if you have the time to look. He is amazing.
In any case, Rick helped me decide that it wasn’t prudent for me to hand-cut these sets to offer. I am now in the process of looking into laser cutting. This is the part that I have a lot of trouble with because of the uncertainty of the number of sets that will be needed. My editor is talking about advertising this set in five magazines – the original Christmas 365 magazine, as well as the two painting magazines, a craft one and our own scroll saw magazine. Four of the five magazines are mainly read by others who do not necessarily scroll saw, so offering the finished set will be essential. However, knowing the number of interested people is a guessing game and I need to find someone or some place that is willing to provide the pieces at a decent price whether I need 10 sets or 1000. I found one online place which does this for a flat rate which includes shipping to both Canada and the United States, as the pieces will be distributed by a colleague in the US, and that may be a possibility. I need to speak with them more though and cement things down and get some actual quotes before I can make the decision. The article which first presents the set reaches the readers mid-November and I need to have my ducks in order by then.
Besides working on that today, I need to get the new product pictures to the wholesaler for their next catalog. I have ten new items and my partner has eleven since the last deadline so I have to get all the submission materials and photographs in order. It would be wonderful if all the items are accepted, but alas, many of mine are Christmas themed and I am not sure she will accept holiday things at this point. This catalog is geared for late winter and early spring and although she keeps some holiday stuff in there, she may not want that much. I don’t mind though, because it will get me ahead of the game for next year. I have a couple of candle trays that I am in the process of drawing that will fit the post-winter criteria so I will try to get them in there anyway.
So that will keep me busy most of the day. I am anxiously waiting for my Dremel bits to arrive, and hopefully they will be here today so I can get going on my shoe carving. Even though I have a full plate today, I can’t wait to sneak an hour or so of carving in the mix and learning something new. I want to make some carved jewelry eventually out of the numerous beautiful scraps of exotic hardwoods that I am accumulating, but I want to learn some technique first. Just something for later on.
As I started writing this morning, I noticed a orange glow outside. I looked up and saw a beautiful sunrise and I had to try to capture it with a picture. It looks pretty good and I thought I would share it with you.
|From Everday Stuff|
How can it not be a great week if it is already starting out with such beauty? I hope you all have a great day!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"