I must say that I am feeling a bit relieved today. There seemed to be a lot of little things piling up yesterday and I think it was getting to me a bit. Sometimes it is the small things that can add up and create anxiety. Each one of these things in itself was not really that big, but thinking about them all at once began to overwhelm me.
When I realized that stuff was getting to me, I sat down, made a list and began checking things off one by one as I accomplished what I needed to do. By the end of the day, I felt much better.
Days like that don’t happen often, but it seems that sometimes the little things can pile up and before you know it, you are forgetting something or missing something that you need to do. I find the best way to deal with them is to take a breath and get better organized. I find that taking the time to sit down and make a list is well worth the time, because it allows me to think about the task at hand rather than worrying about what I may be forgetting to do.
I finally got my box packed up to ship out to the magazine today. That is always such a daunting task, so it seems. Packaging up delicate fretwork and sending it into the postal system (AND expecting it to arrive in tact) is something that has taken me years of practice to figure out. I think I have the process down now, but that was only after learning things the hard way.
Last year I even wrote an article on packaging and shipping, although my editor has yet to run it in the magazine. (I need to remind him of it – another thing to add to the list!) There are definitely ways to minimize damage when shipping and when I implement them, I am fairly successful at getting things to their destination in good shape. Nothing is worse than hearing that my hard work was damaged in shipping.
With that out of the way, I needed to call a couple of customers and get some orders out. I always like talking to customers, as more times than not I hear of their latest ventures in regards to woodworking and which projects they are making. This feedback is valuable to me because it not only tells me what is going over well with people, but also what people may be looking for in the future. Many times when talking to my customers, I find that by the time our conversation is done, I have made another friend. It is a really good part of my business.
Keith spent the day working on getting his new lathe set up. I am trying to talk him into doing a tool gloat on it, but I think he wants to wait until everything is in place to do so. He is very meticulous about things and I am sure that once he has built the stand and the cabinet to store it in, he will be happy to share.
I can say from my own observation that I am quite impressed with it. It is just about the size of the new scroll saw and it runs very quiet. It is a General International variable speed maxi-lathe vs+ (model 25-200 M1). I can’t believe how smooth and quiet it runs. He has only tried it out on the floor in the corner of the kitchen, but honestly the scroll saw makes more noise than it does.
I know the kitchen isn’t an optimal place to do lathe work, but we have all smooth laminate flooring and he was working in the far corner away from the counters and stove and such and after about two minutes with “the monster” (the shop vac) everything was clean. He only turned a couple of things, but I think for the time being at least, it is very workable and will be OK.
Dennis asked me to sneak a picture of him at the lathe, so I did:
He spent the day preparing some pen blanks of plain maple and getting his new tools in order. He made a nice slimline pen, which I think is awesome and then we even drilled out some blanks on the scroll saw to fill with epoxy that was tinted with acrylic paint to experiment and see how they would come out. Keith tried a couple of crosses and I of course did a cat. The epoxy is drying so we won’t be able to turn them until later today or tomorrow. I promise to show them to you all.
He also tried turning a small hollow bowl, which looks like a finger bowl for the kitties:
I think it is really cute and it made me happy to see Keith so happy and excited. He set up several pen blanks to work on today and I think we have created a monster! With his being so particular and detail-minded, I can only imagine the beautiful things that he will create in the future. It will be fun to see for sure.
And finally . . .
I was thrilled when last night right before retiring I tried the site and it actually worked. Hallelujah!!! Now I can spend the next couple of days preparing the update for it. With being gone the beginning of April, I didn’t update it last month at all. I have a couple of new items to post and I want to change the free pattern too. I also want to change the sales so that my customers can stay interested during the warmer months.
Much to do . . . much to do!
It looks like it is going to be another nice day outside, although it is a bit overcast. I bar-b-qued yesterday for the first time of the year and made some great ribs on the grill. I am ready for some summer cooking and the outdoors. The only negative about things are the bugs are also enjoying the nice weather. Time to get out the bug spray. I remember last year someone told me about something you can hook on your belt, but I haven’t been able to locate it yet. Please PM me if you remember this or have any information regarding it, as I would like to get one. :)
I hope to accomplish a lot today. I have more ideas for different projects and need to get moving on them. It looks to be a busy day. I hope you all have a great one!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"