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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #390: Lots of Little Things Accomplished

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 07-04-2011 01:02 PM 3053 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 389: Growing Pains Part 390 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 391: Finishing Some Things and Starting Others »

It’s going to storm here today, it seems. It actually looks quite gloomy. That’s OK though, as I have lots of indoor things to do today and being inside will help me stay on them and get them done. Although it is a holiday in the US, it is a pretty normal Monday here in Canada. I wonder if there will be any mail yet, as it is quite slow in getting back up and running.

I had a really good day yesterday. I cleaned up a lot of odds and ends and got things set up for the 72 skating pond sets that I need to cut. The setting up part is not my favorite. I have sheets of 30” x 30” 1/8” Baltic Birch plywood that I am using for the figures. I worked the pieces out on the computer so that I could fit 20 sets of figures on each piece. This leaves a 6” wide strip down the side for extras or to use later. I am going to be cutting the pond pieces stacked four high so I will actually be cutting four sets at once. By setting things up this way, I will come out of it with 80 sets, which gives me some extra either to start on the next batch when ordered or to fill in where pieces may not be perfect.

Setting up and the initial rip cutting of this was not what I call ‘fun.’ The sheets, as I said, are 30” square and the throat of my saw is only 21”. This means that you have to cut in as far as you can, back out and cut from the other side. It isn’t really that hard, but with going through four sheets of that size. it can be tricky. Especially if you need to maneuver around little arms and legs. But I just took my time and I am ready to go.

Now I have 20 little sections like this:

With a thickness of this:

It is far less intimidating to me to have things set up this way. Now, when I have an hour or so in between things I can just grab a piece and do some cutting and before I know it I will be done. I plan on getting these done by the end of next week and even though I realize that I will need to take a full day or so to complete the job, chipping away at it here and there will make it far less tedious and I am sure it will go quickly. In the mean time, I will begin printing out the written material to go with the pieces. I also need to order the bags to package the sets in today. They come from Ontario and usually get here in a couple of days, but with the mail still recovering from the strike, I don’t want to take any chances and I want to get things moving on getting the bags here.

As far as my wholesalers go, my photographs are due to her tomorrow. She is going to get what I have done and that just has to be enough. I have two candle trays to write the instructions packets on and I will be doing that today also. And the instructions for the Halloween Kitty Pull Toy. After completing that, it will be time for another site update. This time I want to change the free pattern that I am offering, and I also need to change the sales page. I haven’t decided what to offer there, but I will figure out something.

I am planning on posting the introduction to the class either tomorrow or Wednesday too. I have been working on how I am going to present things to everyone so that everyone can follow along. I am going to err on the side of going slower so that people can get on board and also so we don’t lose anyone who is new to it, so the people with a bit of experience need to bear with me. Besides, everyone has jobs and families other projects they are working on and I want this to be something that everyone can make a little time per week from and really learn something. Some lessons will be more time-consuming than others naturally, but that is the great things about the way we are going to do things here. It will offer a great deal of flexibility and will be easy to jump in at any time. Also, everything will be there so if people do have other commitments or fall behind, it will be easy to catch up. I will be doing an entirely separate blog which will be just the class, so keep an eye out for it.

Well, that should be enough stuff to do to keep me out of trouble for the day I think. I also have a painting project that I am working on and want to spend a little time on. I have been meaning to get to it for a couple of days now.

I really had a good couple of days. Yesterday I was able to do most of the set up for the pond stuff on the deck. The sun was shining and it was breezy and not hot and beautiful out. We started walking again too, and I had forgotten how much I missed that. It is amazing how taking an hour to just walk can clear your head. MsDebbie – you were right. We can’t forget to make time for that in our lives. I even sat on the deck with Pancakes for an hour and made some new kitty toys for ‘the gang’. I hand sew simple little felt mice and stuff them with a bell and catnip. Their tails are of pipe cleaners that I bend in a spiral and they are the ‘ultimate toys’ for them. I made one for my three and one for Lee’s bunch (my neighbor who has five cats) and one for my partner’s parents’ cat Lacie. I had given her one for Christmas a year and a half ago and she still has it and plays with it every day. It looks like it went through a meat grinder though. I have been meaning to make new toys for quite some time, but hadn’t taken the time to do so. It felt good and made nine cats very happy. :)

Happy 4th to my American friends! And happy Monday to everyone! I hope you all have a fun and safe day.

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



6 comments so far

View KnotCurser's profile

KnotCurser

1836 posts in 1726 days


#1 posted 07-04-2011 06:40 PM

Sheila,

I’m sure I missed something, but why in the world are you doing 72 sets of your skating pond sets?

Just curious….......

-bob

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: rrww@rhoadesclan.com / www.rhoadesclan.com

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7665 posts in 1577 days


#2 posted 07-04-2011 07:00 PM

Hi, Bob:
I am very fortunate that a very reputable decorative painting pattern and supply source (the Artist's Club) took my Skating Pong Vignette set for distribution. They scaled it down to five pieces, in addition to the pond and the full written instruction packet. I will be supplying them with both the pieces and the patterns. The pond scene will debut in their late summer catalog and their initial order was for 72 sets. They have quite a large following, and hopefully, this will lead to more good things. :) My first order from them needs to be in Ohio, which is their distribution center, by August 8th. I am very excited and pleased with this. If it goes over well, it could lead to more things of that type. :)

Sheila

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

View stevebuk's profile

stevebuk

57 posts in 1341 days


#3 posted 07-04-2011 11:04 PM

will you be cutting anymore sets of skaters before they ask for them, or will you cut on a ‘need them now ’ basis.
I should imagine its quite difficult cutting the points on the skates using plywood, it has to be quite solid and no voids in it, would you consider MDF or 3/4 inch pine as they are to be painted anyway.

Catch you later..

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7665 posts in 1577 days


#4 posted 07-05-2011 12:58 AM

Hi, Steve:

They really aren’t that bad to cut from plywood. I only use Baltic birch and a high grade of it at that. There are no voids in the pieces I use. The plywood that I use is only 1/8” thick. It is still about 3-4 ply though so it is quite sturdy and really is good for the curly tips of the blades and such. The way the pieces are put onto the stands, anything thicker than 1/8” would be a bit cumbersome. Plus for shipping, the 1/8” is ideal. I just stack four layers so I can cut four sets at a time. The cutting goes a little slower, but I gain because I am still doing four at a time.

As far as orders go, I am doing 72 sets as per their order. If they sell out and need more, I will hear from them. I don’t know their lead in time or how quickly they would need more sets if they run out. My friend Leldon in Alabama will cut for me if I get in a bind. That would be a good problem. They shouldn’t be too difficult to cut now that they are all set up. It will be good for filling in on those days when I only have an hour here or there to fill.

Sheila :)

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

View rance's profile

rance

4132 posts in 1818 days


#5 posted 07-12-2011 05:50 AM

>“Setting up and the initial rip cutting of this was not what I call ‘fun.’ The sheets, as I said, are 30” square and the throat of my saw is only 21”. This means that you have to cut in as far as you can, back out and cut from the other side. “

Have you considered twisting a blade 90 degrees and cutting from the side? It would save you from backing out after going half way through. One possible drawback to this might be with the sideways pressure on the scrollsaw arm might not be good for the saw.
- – - – -
As for your 70 sets. I’d say this is a prime example where a small cnc machine would be the solution. Oh, but then it wouldn’t be hand-cut. But I have to ask, with these kind of orders, is hand-cut really what the end customer is looking for? Maybe if you were building onsies for folks for sale or as gifts, but with 70, does it really matter? And if they are ultimately being painted, then a laser cutter/engraver becomes another alternative.

Then bringing myself back to reality, I realize you are “ScrollGirl”, not “LaserGirl” or “CNC-Girl”. Sheila, maybe you could explain some of this to me. Maybe I don’t understand your audience, or scrollsawing.

The last couple of posts have been really enlightening. Thanks for sharing yourself with us all.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7665 posts in 1577 days


#6 posted 07-12-2011 03:05 PM

Hi, Rance -

I would love to be called ‘laser-girl’ if I had the means to get a laser cutter. You are correct in saying that the 70+ skater’s sets are a prime example of why I would love to own a laser. After the initial designing, the thrill of seeing that design come to life fades somewhat quickly. Especially when I sell the design for production.

Production is still somewhat of a necessity for me right now. It helps pay the bills. In my perfect pink-cloud world, one day I will have a laser cutter to continue producing the blanks for the painting designs I create and market. Then I could spend all of my time drawing and cutting the prototypes and making one of a kind pieces. But that is a little down the lane for me now.

I do have prices on laser cutting these sets for me so that if I get swamped with orders for them, I will be able to handle them without taking much of my designing time. But for right now, I still appreciate the extra income that they provide for me and they are well worth my time. At least I am learning to price so that I can make a fair wage when cutting these out. That is something that I have only learned to do recently.

I am not above lasers or CNC machines. Hopefully one day I will win the lottery or stumble into some money or have one of my paintings sell for several thousands of dollars and be able to find one. Until then, I will do what I can here and enjoy the journey.

Thanks for your nice comment. :)

Sheila

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

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