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My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #332: Time For More Designing

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 05-07-2011 12:58 PM 3254 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 331: Still Deciding Part 332 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 333: The Plan »

Boy, the days are just flying by! I can’t believe that another week is done and we are already at Saturday. It truly amazes me how quickly time seems to pass.

Yesterday turned out to be a really good day. I needed to make a trip to Digby to do some things and I got to see some friends that I haven’t seen in a while. I also got to stop at Bernie and Ellen’s and have a short visit with them. As usual, Ellen made a wonderful lunch as soon as she heard I was going to stop by. It was awesome and it is wonderful to have such kind and wonderful friends in my life.

I didn’t return until about 4pm, but there was still enough time to finish getting the site updated and I spent the evening doing that and also getting the newsletter out to my subscribers. I really do like seeing the site updated every month or so, as it looks fresh and new and keeps people interested.

Even though there were only maybe five or six new items this time, it seems as if it is plenty to keep people happy. In making the list of new products, I noticed that the new stuff covered several different types of scroll sawing for my customers to enjoy. There was a portrait style picture, a segmentation, some general fretwork and some painting among other things. I like that. It gives new choices no matter which type of scroll sawing people like.

I woke up to several emails with various questions about both the new items and other things on the site. I like the interaction I have with people like this very much. It makes me feel like I really get to know my customers. I also had a couple of suggestions and requests for patterns that I will be adding to my list of things to make. There is such a variety on that list that I don’t think I will ever get everything done.

I am often asked how I keep coming up with ideas. Between the customer’s suggestions and my own thought process, I suppose I keep pretty busy. I had seen a picture of a metal antique horse toy somewhere and it triggered me to think about the new pattern that I just finished. I don’t even remember where I saw the picture, and once the concept was in my head, I came up with my own version of it. This is probably the best way because I am sure my horse is quite different from the original one that I saw, which will keep it unique in itself. From that one idea, I plan to make similar toy replicas of other animals, such as a giraffe, duck, rabbit and of course cat as well as others. They will all have that nostalgic look with different interesting features.

One thing that I needed to stress however is that the horse should not be used as a toy. I needed to mark it very clearly on both the pattern packet and also on the site that it is only intended for decorative purposes and to keep it out of the reach of small children. It is a shame that I have to do so, but with all the lawsuit crazy people today I suppose a disclaimer was necessary. I have also read debates here on LJ’s and in other forums that discussed how everything from the finish to the wood itself could be considered a hazard. I sometimes wonder what the world is thinking, but I try not to think about that aspect too long. Pretty soon we are not going to be able to sell anything unless we encase it in a glass box! (Oh – I forgot – the glass could break and someone could get cut and sue me for that!!)

In any case, I am going to keep doing what do and count on people to think sensibly about things. I sit here wondering though if there is still such a thing as “common sense?” Hummmmmm . . . . .

So for today, I will be working on the special project for Bernie and also moving on to new stuff. I have decided that for at least the mean time, I am going to add a page on my own site for selling prints of my paintings and note cards and then later on I will have another page for selling the one of a kind prototypes. I may dabble with Etsy in the future and list maybe one or two things to see what the interest will be, but I certainly don’t have the time to set up another site (not to mention to maintain it!) There is only so much one person can do. Besides, why should I pay additional fees when I am already paying fees for one site?

I do again appreciate your thoughts that you shared, both as comments and personal messages. I am doing my best to answer everyone back, and still catching up on that. It is really nice to have such a good variety of feedback and I am grateful to those of you who take the time to do so.

It is sunny and warm out and it looks to be another beautiful day. I can’t wait to get started on things today. :)

You all have a great one!

PS – If you want a good smile, be sure to check out Steve’s video on the iWood. It is truly funny and I think you will enjoy it a lot!

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



3 comments so far

View William's profile

William

9906 posts in 2303 days


#1 posted 05-07-2011 01:36 PM

Sheila, I’m sorry I haven’t commented about your latest blogs. I won’t go into all the details, but it’s been a rough going around here as of late. I have been reading, just not doing much commenting.
I think you should incorporate all of your work into your website. If possible, for every pattern you create, you could offer several options for it. Let’s say you create a candle tray. You make your pattern. You cut several of them to sell to be painted. You paint several of them. You have a packet that offers painting tips and instructions. Ok, then right there is five different things you could sell from this one project. Under the photos of the project could be four offerings, the cut pattern, the unpainted but complete cutting, the complete project already painted, the painting tips and instructions, and an all in one packet that offers the cut pattern, an unpainted sample, and the paint instructions. I don’t know if you actually have all this seperately to offer, but it’s only an idea. If you do, putting all that together in one spot not only offers all options, but streamlines everything so noone has to go elsewhere, for example, to find painting instructions for a particular project. If a person likes a project, then all the options they could possibly want for that project is right there in one convenient place.
Now I don’t know if this is possible, or even what you are looking to do. There are other advantages though. I scroll. I do my own painting or finishing. When looking online for potential projects though, I would love to see what a project looks like completely finished. Also, there have been times that I’ve seen project that if I had seen them completely finished, I would have probably ordered painting or finishing intructions when I ordered the patterns if they’d been offered. I’m not good at painting and tips and instructions would have come in handy if I’d had them. I’m not going looking for them, but if they’d been conveniently offered with the pattern, I would have gladly purchased them.
This opens up a whole other business potential if you could get the supplies and have an inkling to do so. You could offer kits (starter kit I guess you could call them). You could offer however you wished to do it, a couple of small brushes, and small containers of the needed paints. This would allow someone in my situation to obtain the needed supplies to finish one project. I say this because one of the reasons I don’t try more painting is that I don’t want to waste more paints. I have often been in situations where I had to add paint to something. For a small project, I’ll go out and buy quarts of whatever color paint I’m needing. Then whatever amount of paint is left over gets placed on a shelf. More times than not, this paint winds up drying out and going to waste. I hate waste. Therefore, I avoind painting like the plague. If there was a way to get the right amount of paint for a given project (just a little more actually since you can’t predict exact paint usage) then I would probably order that too. Again, just an idea.
As for thought on Etsy and such. I really don’t think that is the sort of venture for someone like you. To me, those kinds of places are more for people who have no other place to sell their wares. As you stated in an earlier entry, they discourage posting your website in the listings. You have a nice site with too much work put into it to not be able to advertise it. That’s really a shame too. It seems to me that sites like Etsy would be thrilled to be in connection with artists of your caliber. At the end of the day though, I guess they want people directed to their site and nowhere else. That way they can be sure to get their cut on anything sold. Keep in mind, I’m not saying it’s not a great site. It’s just not for everybody.
Ok, I’ve gotten long winded as usual. You have a good day.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View patron's profile

patron

13535 posts in 2802 days


#2 posted 05-07-2011 02:05 PM

good morning sheila

happy mom tomorrow

i went to your site
for the first time

WHAT A CANDY STORE !

all the connections worked
i slid in and out without the home page return
guess it’s been fixed

looking forward to the tool use tutorial

YOUR WORK IS EXQUISITE !

keep it up

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View huntter2022's profile

huntter2022

275 posts in 2076 days


#3 posted 05-07-2011 03:59 PM

Ref: “lawsuit crazy people” , I got a paper cut from your paper does that mean I can get some $$$ LOLOLOL I have to agree seem like people are in a sue mood these days. A friend was helping a neighbor out and to save them some money . While doing so he left some tools there and the owner of the house decided he was going to borrow his tools well he got hurt and tried to sue him . He didn’t get anything. But just the cost of lawyers and time going to court and all, is a pain were a pill can’t reach.

I totally agree also about time going by so fast . Half a year is gone , I don’t think we will every have enought time to do what we like so Like you have said I try to make the best of each day . But for me If I was not busy I would be bored .

-- David ; "BE SAFE BE HAPPY" Brockport , NY

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