Yesterday was an extremely productive day and I finished both my order for the large snowflake and also my new ornaments. It felt good to get so much accomplished. I don’t think I worked harder than I do on most days, but I actually reached the finish line on two things at almost the same time so there is a great feeling of accomplishment.
Finishing up the snowflake puzzle wasn’t bad at all. I actually made two of them so one is sitting here on the shelf if anyone else decides to order one. I don’t see it selling a lot though because the size makes the shipping cost at least $15 from Canada and I have had to build that into the price of course, charging much more than I feel it is worth. Add to that the hours that it took me to work on it and then the material cost and you can see the problem I have with doing items such as this.
It really is a shame because I feel like I am overcharging the customer, while in reality I am probably making less than minimum wage on it after all is said and done. I think that is part of my discouragement when making it and I am sure it adds to my poor attitude about it. If I were selling it in person, I would probably be selling it for about half of what I do and I would in reality be making more profit on it.
We learned a lot of lessons with doing this project though and I don’t think I will lose much money because I am sure that there are only a few that will pay the price I needed to ask. Since I had to buy an entire sheet of plywood to make it, the next several that are ordered won’t cost me anything material-wise so that will help a bit. I will honestly be amazed if I break even.
But it was exposure and a chance to work with a designer who I admire and respect. It also will get my name out there to others who may have not heard of me before in the painting world and that is not a bad thing either. All in all I have no regrets.
When packaging it up though, I felt kind of bad looking at the piece and thinking what it cost the customer. I made the decision to add a little something ‘extra’ for her in the box. I printed out two small painting patterns – one for the pansy flower pins or magnets and the other for the monarch butterfly pins or magnets and included them with her order. I also printed out a sheet of the shiny magnet for her to play with and try to paint on with the pansy and butterfly patterns on it. Since the patterns are small, a lot of each design fits on the sheet. Besides being a bonus for her, I am going to ask her if she will email me back with her opinion on how she liked painting on them when she is done. That way I will get another point of view from a painter.
I think this added bonus will make it a win/win for both of us here. She will get a little more for her money than she expected, and I will get another point of view which will help me with developing a use for the sheets. Since the patterns cost me practically nothing to print and the magnetic sheet cost is minimal, I think it is a good solution.
As far as the new ornaments go, that was fun and exciting to me to see them come to life. I made a set of six jatoba gingerbread cookie ornaments and I will be offering instructions for people to make them three ways:
1 – Traditional scroll sawing with all the holes and frosting drilled out:
2 – Embellished with silver beads and the frosting only scrolled out:
3 – Embellished and Frosted, using a DecoArt Decorative Snow “Writer” which allows you to make fine lines of snow-tex:
I think they are all fun and cute and by offering all three ways of making them, I can appeal to all levels of adventure. I realize that some of the scrollers want to just cut and be done with it, and I think that the first ornament looks every bit as cute as the embellished ones do. I think by adding a red ribbon that they will be fun and they are quite easy to scroll, making them an ideal project for shows and craft fairs as well as gifts and gift tags.
There are six in the set, but I plan to make another set right away. I first wanted to see how these would come out before making more.
I am going to take different photographs and write the instructions today. I may even make a video of how to decorate them to go with it and see how that goes. I also am again thinking that I will work on an entry for the candy dish contest here on Lumberjocks, as I have an idea that I would like to try.
So it will be a full day for me again. Just how I like it!
Reaching these milestones and checking things off of the list really feels good. It has been a busy, busy time for me and I am thoroughly enjoying what I do. What more could I want?
I wish you all a great day today. Have fun and try to find time to do something creative!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"