Well, I am really happy that one is finally under my belt. the good thing is that I actually had fun finishing up. In looking at the finished project, I don’t know why it was so intimidating to me. Compared to the original set, it is quite pared down and simple. But I still think it has its charms and perhaps it won’t be quite as overwhelming to others as it would be to do the entire set. It is actually kind of nice this size.
On the plus side, pretty much everything went without a hitch. Finishing up the stands was simple and everything fit together perfectly. They are stable and hold the figures nicely. I didn’t even need to finish sand the bottom of them.
I needed to cut the pond piece twice, but that is only because I decided to make it slightly larger. I have a bag supplier here in Canada that has endless sizes of so many bags and packaging items that I am not limited to a certain size and I thought I would give the little skaters a bit of breathing room and a couple more square inches of pond space than I initially planned. The adjustment proved to be just the thing and I think that it will make a nice little vignette that could easily fit on a mantle, under the tree, or be used as a centerpiece on the table. How nice this would look too with a round pond set on a lazy susan. There are many different possibilities.
I took a picture last night of the finished smaller set. Although I will re-shoot it for the pattern packet with some better lighting, at least you will get the jest of it here:
In order to keep the set smaller and as simple as possible, I decided to place snow banks around the pond instead of using the polyester batting. I used the same Sno-Tex that I used for the little bridge and on the base of the figures to do this. It brushes on quite easily, and dries to a hard and durable finish. Since Sno-Tex is needed for the figures anyway, there isn’t an additional cost for the customers, and it looks great.
I may add a light brush-on coating of fine shimmer here and there on the pond and snow. I think it will look more like ice that way. Other than that, it is just about ready to go.
Today’s plan is to do the final write up on the instructions. I don’t find that intimidating at all and think that it will go quickly. There were many minor improvements that I made in making this and I took notes along the was as to how I wanted to change things from the original. It is a chance to make things clearer and easier for people to follow.
I have guarded hopes for this little set to do well. As I said before, if it doesn’t do well through this venue, it won’t do well anywhere. The timing will be perfect too. The catalog which it will be in is due to be out the beginning of September, just as people are starting to think of the holidays and their autumn crafting.
This may sound odd, but I think that I am very happy that the set was pared down to this size. Whether the other pieces ever make it to market or not, I think this is a fine representation and a cute set. I think that if the entire set was offered, it would scare off too many people both with the price and also the amount of work involved in making it. Also, at a cost of approximately $20 for the kit (which is what I am told it will run at) it is much more economical for someone to get it to paint for someone special, or even keep for themselves.
As for me, I am happy that I have the full set. The few that I have made have found very well-deserving homes where hopefully they will be appreciated and cherished for many years to come. They will be even more special I hope.
All in all, it is a very happy ending to this chapter in my designing life. It is as if my job as a designer of this set is complete and now there is nothing to do but sit back and see how it is received. I may sound silly, but in a way, it reminds me of how a film maker or musician must feel when they finally finish a project. There comes a time when they relinquish it to marketing and it is no longer in their control and all they can do is step back and observe.
I have invested a lot of myself in this little set. The cherished memories of my grandparent’s house and their tree and their own little skating pond set with the painted lead figures comes to mind whenever I see this. In a way, I did it for them. Perhaps that is why it was so important for me to have it be seen and be successful. My grandparents are both gone now, but I will always have these good memories of time spent with them on the holidays. Hopefully too, by creating this project for others to make, there will be others that will be able to make their own memories with their own children and grand children that are filled with as much love and happiness as mine are.
It isn’t about the money. It is about bringing happiness and smiles and good feelings to others. (Remember Erwin and Edith’s grand children?) I hope to create stories and memories like they had with their grand children a hundred times over. Nothing compares to that, as far as I am concerned. To me, that is what being a designer is all about.
Have a great day and create something wonderful!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"