My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #280: Good Days/Busy Days

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 03-10-2011 02:27 PM 3894 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 279: Planning is Part of the Fun! Part 280 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 281: Sad News »

It is just after seven AM and already we have both printers humming away happily. For the past couple of days we have been busy printing out catalogs and patterns and other material to take with us for the show. Everything is going pretty smoothly, with one small exception, and we should be finished with the bulk of the printing today.

We are having minor trouble with one of the ink systems, as we have after a bit of playing around figured out that we must have used an older bottle of ink in refilling the system. The one color (magenta) seems to keep clogging the printer head and periodically needs to be cleaned. We know it is the ink because when we tried switching the system to the other printer, the same thing happened after a while.

Fortunately, we figured out how to clean the heads without too much problem. The Canon printers have a removable printer head assembly and it is fairly easy to pop out the cartridges and the head assembly and simply soak it for a few minutes to loosen it up. We read online that you can use Windex to clean the printer heads and we just set it in a shallow dish with about a quarter of an inch of Windex for a bit and then wipe it off and it is ready to go for another couple of hours.

Unfortunately we had just refilled the entire system right before we narrowed the problem down to the ink and it is pretty near impossible to drain the system once filled, so we are going to use it this way to print the catalogs – which use a lot of ink – until the new system arrives and we run this ink out. It is well worth the effort we feel. The entire new system is only $59.00 filled with free shipping which is less than the cost of two sets of cartridges and we just thought it would be better to start fresh.

Apparently all printer ink has a shelf life of about two years. It has been almost that long since I originally purchased the system and who knows how old the ink was then. From now on, when I order additional bottles, I am going to place a date on them and use them in the order that I get them. Also, I am not going to order too many bottles at a time, as I don’t really use all that much unless it is at a time like this when printing a lot of stuff at once. In any case, we are still much better off than having to buy cartridges. I would never be able to print this quantity at a reasonable cost using store bought cartridges. The cost would just be too high.

Amazingly enough, the quality of the printing remains simply flawless. And I mean flawless. There isn’t a smudge, streak or broken line on the pages. They are perfect. When it works, it works well. I continue to be impressed by these little Canon printers. It certainly makes our patterns look professional and allows us to include several color photographs in each one without costing us much more to print. Several years ago that would have been impossible, with color printing costing as much as fifty cents per page. That was one of the reasons that I stopped designing decorative painting patterns. I couldn’t afford to produce the packets at a reasonable cost.

We even learned how to print duplex pages. The printer actually prints one side, sucks the paper back in and flips it over to do the other side. It is quite amazing when you see it happen. Me and the cats are fascinated. We use a higher grade heavier paper and print our catalogs in this way. That way we are only using ten pieces of paper for them instead of 20 and it looks awesome.

I do love technology and all the advances that are made daily.

As for today, I am in the process of re-painting the two shell ornaments that I will be teaching for the class. I am painting about five of each, partly for practice and partly so that the students will have finished pieces to look at during the class. I want to be completely sure of myself and by repainting the pieces several times, I know that I will be able to teach them with ease. It probably isn’t necessary, but it will give me a better sense of confidence in what I am doing. It will also give me the chance to get better used to the new paint brushes that I have. Like most things, different brushes work slightly differently and I want to become as familiar as I can with them before using them in front of a lot of people. I think it is a good thing.

I am still waiting to hear on when they are shipping my saw. I have set tomorrow as a deadline to follow up on that, as well as other things that need following up on. When I last spoke to them about getting it, they said that it would be shipped out of General International in Ontario and they were finishing up the details regarding it. But seeing as I have only a week left after this week, I really need to see what is up with it.

Worst case scenario is that I won’t get it in time to take with me. Honestly, that won’t break my heart because it will be one less (big) thing to try to fit into the Mustang. There will be plenty of saws at the show to use and I honestly don’t have to have my own there with me. However, I don’t want them to try to have it delivered when I am not here for three weeks. Usually a shipping company will only hold things for a short time and then they get sent back. I can see that happening if it arrives after we leave. The saw may wind up having more miles on it than we will. I think I will need to talk to him tomorrow and really make sure that I can pin down a shipping date.

The last big piece of the puzzle that I have is obtaining the brushes for the classes. I am still waiting to hear from two different companies regarding supporting me for the class. One company has higher end and more expensive paint brushes and the other has much more reasonably priced brushes which are geared for the everyday painter. Having used both lines of brushes, I can honestly say that they are both good and I like them both. The lower priced ones are surprisingly excellent in their performance and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them for anyone. I have been using them myself and like them very much and the cost is about 1/3 of what the higher end brushes cost. However, the more expensive brushes are also quite nice and if you have the extra money to spend, they are a good, quality product and will also give great performance. Both are good choices and I will be happy if I am able to get either for the classes.

If neither company decides that they are able to help out, then I will still have time to get brushes on my own. So it isn’t really a big deal. I would just like to be able to cross that off the list too.

So little by little everything is falling into place. After these pieces are painted, the only big thing I need to do is to finalize my presentations for the big show. I have everything pretty much outlined and I want to create some handouts which I can pass out after class which will cover all the material that I went over in the lectures. That way people will not have to take notes. I also want to include some simple patterns in it for people to practice the ideas I will speak of and some photographs. Somewhat like a little booklet. My goal is to have every person walk away from that lecture knowing a little something more than the did before they walked in.

I woke up this morning with a feeling that something good would happen today. What? I don’t know. It may be something big and it may be something small. But it was a funny feeling that I had that is still with me. I like when that happens.

If we shall take the good we find, asking no questions, we shall have heaping measures. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hope you have a fun day!

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

6 comments so far

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2910 days

#1 posted 03-10-2011 03:34 PM

Sounds like you got this think under control Sheila. Good for you!

Hope you have a ton of fun teaching and traveling. As one who has “been there and done that” I know both can be a ball or a bother. Hope yours avoids the latter.

If you have an extra copy of that brochure you’re printing out… (big silly grin)

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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2942 days

#2 posted 03-10-2011 03:42 PM

I know it will be fun no matter what. The brochure is going to be the predecessor to my scroll sawing book or booklet that I wrote of many months ago. I haven’t forgotten about it, I just have had most of my days filled. This is a great opportunity to map it out and then use the feedback I get from the classes to refine it and hopefully get something put together that I can offer to my customers. Who knows? I could possibly market it on a larger scale eventually. It certainly seems that people are interested. I think it is a good investment of time.

I feel surprisingly relaxed and am looking forward to this great adventure! I am not sure why, but I’ll take it! :)


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

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2860 days

#3 posted 03-10-2011 03:53 PM

And to think I still haven’t gotten a single buisness card/brochure designed, nor printed. And my dad is a printer/publisher and would do it for me for free if I just got him the working copy. ho hum.

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2826 days

#4 posted 03-10-2011 04:31 PM

well, if you’ve bought a ticket…......... I hope you hit the lottery!

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View stevebuk's profile


57 posts in 2706 days

#5 posted 03-10-2011 11:49 PM

you could always send the saw to me sheila, i’ll look after it for you until your return. On a serious note, i would appreciate a review of it as i am thinking about buying it here as they now sell them.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2942 days

#6 posted 03-11-2011 12:07 PM

Thanks everyone! :)


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

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