Yesterday I was able to finish the little cardinal earrings that I needed to get done. They came out cute, and were not very hard to do at all. I had lost the pattern that I used several years ago and had to redraw them, but since they are so simple and so small, there wasn’t the need for lots of detail so things moved very quickly. They are tiny (only about an inch each) and I made them of 1/8” Baltic birch plywood. I used an eye screw as a hanger for them and now only need to attach the earring hook onto them. I can’t seem to locate where I had stored the little bag of earring hooks that I had though, so it may mean a trip to the store.
Here is a pic of them finished:
Bernie and Ellen talked about coming down to pick them up, as they are going to see his sister later in the week, but I think I would be better off mailing the set to them. It should only take a day, and it is quite slick out there. Our friend Lee wound up sliding off the road yesterday on his way home from work. As we understand it, both he and the car are fine, but for the $2 postage it would cost to mail these, I think it would be best so not to have Bernie and Ellen make the extra trip.
I also finished my paperwork and submission forms for both Loew-Cornell paint brushes and DecoArt paints. I am enrolled in designer programs for both companies. The programs are set up for designers such as myself so that we try and promote their products. The companies realize that if we publish a project and recommend and use their products, others will want to also. If we mention the products by name in our publications, we receive small compensation from the company. I have been involved with both of these companies for years.
As with my DeWalt saw (which I receive no compensation for endorsing), I really only use one brand of paint brushes and one brand of paint. I have used the same brush line ever since I started painting and I do believe that it is the best line on the market. As with tools, the caliber of brushes does make a difference.
As far as the paint goes, when I first started painting and getting my projects published, I was approached by the two main painting companies. Both gave me full sets of their paint to try and use (over 300 colors each) and one company in particular was interested in me. Many designers flipped back and forth and published using both brands of paint, but just like I don’t like going to different magazines for reasons of loyalty, I didn’t flip back and forth between paints. I published exclusively using Delta paints for over ten years. It was nothing against DecoArt, but Delta had simply talked to me first and I was already familiar with their palette, as I had used them when I was learning.
Since I moved here to Canada though, there were several years when I was unable to focus my time on painting. I did go to my weekly painting class in Bear River, but that was more of a personal thing and I wasn’t painting to be published or for my business. Over the past few years though, I found it more and more difficult to find the Delta products. I noticed that they stopped advertising altogether in the painting magazines and when I called their customer service regarding finding products or with questions, I had little success in finding answers. I was very disappointed.
Last summer when I first thought of my skating pond set, I made the decision to switch brands of paint and work with DecoArt. My set of paints was still in my storage back in Chicago, and had been there for six years. I didn’t know if they were even any good anymore. I contacted my good friend who was good enough to find the paints among my many storage boxes and she checked them out and yes, they were indeed good. She packed them up and sent them here to me. As I went through them, I found that only a handful of them were not usable and the rest were fine. I contacted the representative from DecoArt who was happy to enroll me in their program and immediately sent me a wonderful box of samples of all kinds of paints, mediums and finishes. It was as if Christmas came early. I not only got a supply of the newest colors of the main acrylics, but several different lines of paints to paint on glass, fabric, plastic, etc. There were several different mediums such as crackle, stucco, and so forth and several different finishes from antiquing to metallic and other things that I can apply to my woodworking designs too. The Staining and Antiquing medium was among the new items that I tried on the candle trays and I absolutely love it. There are many other mediums that I will be using in future projects that will make them fun and interesting.
It was a big thing to switch brands, as I had to get to know the colors by name all over again. I am very happy that I made the change though, as since then when I have questions about anything, I am able to get definitive answers quickly, and so are my customers.
I like endorsing products that I believe in. I think that by doing so, it gives my customers some confidence that when they try to make one of my designs, they will achieve good results. There have been many times when someone contacts me and they are having problems with things, and I find that they are using inferior products. And it isn’t necessarily that they are using cheaper products – just inferior ones. Paying more money doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best product. My saw is a great example of that. I just love the DeWalt.
In any case, I do take endorsing products very seriously. If others are looking up to me for advice, I want to be absolutely sure that I am giving them the best advice available. I don’t just recommend a product because someone would pay me to do so. I have to believe in it myself. I want everyone to be successful when working on one of my designs. That is the most important thing for me.
So today I may try to do some videos. It is quite gloomy out and still sleeting snow, but I think I will give it a shot. I want to make some short cutting and painting videos available, as there seemed to be lots of interest in them. I think it will be fun.
Have a great day!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"