My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #187: Endorsements

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 12-07-2010 03:05 PM 5194 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 186: First Snow of the Year Part 187 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 188: Three New Videos! »

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!

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

9 comments so far

View William's profile


9950 posts in 2898 days

#1 posted 12-07-2010 05:37 PM

I had to laugh when I read that you had lost the little bag with the ear ring hooks in it. I used to lose little bags of things like that. I had an idea though. I drink a lot of coffee. So I started saving my coffee cans. I store everything in sections, like screws, nails, hardware, etc., in the coffee cans, in their little bags. That way, I can at least locate the general area in which the bag is lost, in it’s coffee can.
Do you have any idea how many different “sections” you can come up with for various small parts and supplies?
Did you know that it is also possible to have so many of a certain “section” (screws, nails, hardware), to have two and even three cans of them?
Now I never lose those little bags. I do, however, misplace whole coffee cans full of certain type items grouped together in a coffee can.


View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4183 days

#2 posted 12-07-2010 06:00 PM

I, too, am starting to negotiate formal endorsement deals. I only endorse what I actually use and recommend.
Sometimes, if there is more than one contender, I’ll make a business relation decision, then pick one and remain loyal. My wife claims that I’ve selected endorsements based upon the free advert tee-shirts, hats, and aprons. :)

I’ll be teaching a series of wood finishing workshops with a national store chain in 2011.
Also, I’ve signed up several artisan centers for teaching gigs.

Keep on bloggin’...

-- 温故知新

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2976 days

#3 posted 12-07-2010 07:39 PM

Hi, William:
I just returned from mailing out the little earrings. My first stop before the post office however, was the little store near us that has a really nice craft and jewelry section. I bought a pair of ear wires there and gave up the search. I am thinking that the ear wires I have are in storage somewhere, but I have some of my stuff stored in Digby and some at a friend’s house about 15 minutes from me. It just wasn’t worth rifling through everything.

I have had many comments from people that say they admire my organization. For me, it is a matter of survival. (lol) I have some nice little containers from Lee Valley tools that hold much of my hardware that I need for my small projects. But since I don’t make jewelry very much, I am thinking those items are “somewhere else”. I also use the plastic boxes which hold embroidery thread for little beads and stuff. They are great, stack up and don’t take much space up.

Hobomonk: I am like you. I stick with ONE company and I think I am very loyal. There used to be a lot of painters that published work using both kinds of paint. To me, that only forced customers to also purchase both lines of paint, which would be quite expensive. There are color conversion charts, but it was difficult to find exact matches on some and many involved mixing colors, which is tough when working with acrylics because they dry so quickly. I was very loyal to the first company I was with for over 10 years. But as I saw both their quality and customer service decrease, I didn’t feel good working with the products anymore. It was a big decision to switch, and I am happy I did. DecoArt couldn’t be more helpful or have a better range or fun products. And just about anyone can get them (they even have online ordering!)

Congratulations on your workshops and teaching gigs. I am sure it will be fun! You will have to blog some of your classes and let us know how you do! :)


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

View tdv's profile


1188 posts in 3126 days

#4 posted 12-07-2010 09:05 PM

They’re brilliant earrings Shiela make great little presents my two daughters-in-law are making jewellery at the minute I’ll show them your little cardinals ( probably get myself another job)
We currently have 18” of snow I don’t know what’s happening to British weather we’re supposed to be famous for rain
Best regards

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3171 days

#5 posted 12-08-2010 12:53 AM

thats a cute little set Sheila :-) you realy know your paint and brusches
since you can make it so detailed in this scala
now i can understand why she wanted a pair

take care

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2976 days

#6 posted 12-08-2010 12:58 AM

Thanks guys! I didn’t feel that I could get too detailed with the small size they were – they would probably fit in Martyn’s tiny box! They only took about an hour to paint and were a lot of fun to do! :)


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

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2944 days

#7 posted 12-08-2010 01:11 PM

Love the earrings, Sheila. You should come up with an entire set of different bird earrings as a pattern set. I’ll bet they’d sell if they’re half as cute as these. However, I’d find a smaller hanger if possible, as that ring screw kinda stands out.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2976 days

#8 posted 12-08-2010 01:51 PM

Good point, Paul. I did have the screw flat so I could scan them on the scanner bed, but I am sure that smaller ones are available and I will get some of those in the future. That’s a great idea about making a little pattern packet. They are very fast and easy to paint. It goes to show that sometimes simpler is really better. :)


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

View tdv's profile


1188 posts in 3126 days

#9 posted 12-09-2010 11:00 AM

Sheila It’s really hard to size those rings from the picture I sort of agree with Tiny they look a bit chunky but if the earrings are only an inch long that makes the rings about 1/8” diameter so quite tiny, Tiny, if you see what I mean. I guess you could always use silver jewellers wire as they do on commercial ones (At this point let me make it clear I know nothing about earrings nor have I ever worn them despite press allegations) Anyway Sheila still think they are a neat project

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

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