Well folks, its kind of the same old story. We’ve all heard the saying that “no news is good news” and I am happy to report that this is the case. It doesn’t make for very interesting blog reading, but it makes for a very, very happy Scrollgirl.
We are at T-minus two days and all seems to be going well. As we get down to the nitty-gritty, there are still no disasters and it appears that everything is going as planned. Yesterday, upon inspecting the little skating pond set that I am bringing to display, I realized that I was short a bridge. I had given some of the sets away and it appears that I had gotten lazy and never made that last bridge and gave my own away. No biggie though. I whipped one up in about an hour in between doing everything else and all is well with the skating world again.
I printed out labels with my information and stuck them on each of the individual scroll saw blade samples that we are going to be passing out. I figured that anything that we give out should have my information on it so that at a later date people will be reminded how to get in touch with me. Just good PR I think. I also printed out business cards – lots of them – to distribute at the show.
The bulk of what we are bringing is paperwork it seems. We have two boxes of printed out patterns, as well as 200 full catalogs and 500 double-sided flyers which highlight some of our most recent projects – just in case the catalogs run out. After all, the catalogs are available for free download on the site and the flyer directs customers there. I realize that some people want to take home information from shows like this such as catalogs while others would prefer only small items like the business cards or flyers.
We are going to bring only one of the printers and ink systems with – just in case there is a run on a certain pattern or patterns and we need to replenish our stock. I have over 400 patterns on the site and it was impossible to print out copies of everything. We decided to print 10 copies of each of the newer patterns and best sellers and leave it at that. That was still a lot of patterns.
Then there is the projects. Deciding what to bring was not easy. We tried to bring a variety of different styles of scroll work and projects. Of course, I brought some of the candle trays. I think I will have only a couple of them set up at the table though. There are baskets and plaques – some with traditional scroll work, some with segmentation, some that are self-framing. And also there are ornaments of all different varieties. These projects will do double-duty as props for my lectures, as I will show the many different types of things you can accomplish on the scroll saw, as well as several different techniques.
Fortunately, these things are all pretty flat (except the baskets) and take up little room. Since most of the class supplies are already shipped and waiting at Jean’s house, we don’t have as big a load as you would think. Here is the pile of boxes so far:
That’s Coco sitting on the boxes. The cats are taking turns sitting on or around the boxes, much like they are guarding them for me.
We got the suitcases out of storage yesterday too. It appears that all of these boxes will fit in the back of the car, leaving nearly the entire trunk for the suitcases, printer and perhaps the laptop. I have a small nice suitcase and a matching duffel type bag to go with it, as well as a small carry on for toiletries. That should do fine. As I said, I am not a clothes horse at all and besides – the less clothing I bring, the more room for wood and tools. :) Sometimes you just have to compromise.
With two more full days left, I think I am on top of things pretty well. Today I want to go over everything that I need to transfer from my main computer to the laptop. Everything is networked here so it is like one big database and I am quite spoiled in the fact that if something isn’t on the computer that I am using at the time, I can easily access it through the network. That won’t be the case once I leave though so I had better be sure that my files are all loaded up. I want to burn some music, too so I have some updated stuff for the five plus days of driving. It is funny though how even on our long road trips we use the sound system so little. But it will be good to have anyway.
I also want to go through every box and make a list for when we cross the border. I found that if we are organized and well-prepared, they tend to be much easier on you. I am going to number the boxes and list what is in each one and if needed I can present that to the customs agent when passing through. That will also help us stay organized at the show and it will be a great way to do the final check on the way out the door. It will be a good thing all around.
So all is well and good. I may even have time to do a final sweep and cleaning of the house before I go so that I can come home to a clean place. After three weeks on the road, the last thing I want to do is come home to a mess that I will need to clean. (Most of the guys won’t understand that, but the ladies will. Sorry to sound sexist!)
I realize that these past couple of weeks haven’t probably been the most exciting for you to read about. But sometimes in business you just need to take the time to lay a good foundation – mundane as it may seem – to insure that what you build on top of it is solid. Preparing for this trip has been all-consuming for the past several weeks for me. In the ‘old days’ I would have been pushing myself to do extra projects that I could bring with and dazzle people with at the show. But this time around, that hasn’t even been a consideration.
Have I become lazy? I don’t think so. I think I am finally learning to have confidence in what I am at the moment. I think the time to dazzle people will be after I return, after I am exposed to all these new techniques and people and as Jeannie said yesterday – I am filled with “creative overload”. In the past I would have in the last week started “just one more project” and would in all probability been scrambling to get it finished as I was walking out the door. But somehow I don’t see the need to do that. What I have here with me now is what got people’s attention in the first place. I am proud of what I have accomplished in the past year or so and I believe it accurately depicts my capabilities. I find that I am comfortable in my place in life and I will do OK. As Popeye says – “I yam what I yam”.
It is a good feeling to be in this frame of mind. Instead of being frazzled or worried or nervous, it leaves me calm and excited about all the opportunity that waits for me. I can honestly say that I have never approached a show with this mindset before and it feels incredible to be able to do so. Perhaps I am maturing after all. Instead of worrying about what can go wrong, I have learned to anticipate all the wonderful possibilities.
If we shall take the good we find, asking no questions, we shall have heaping measures. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Have a beautiful Sunday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"