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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #508: We Dodged a Bullet - The Storm Missed Us

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 10-31-2011 02:24 PM 4160 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 507: Computer Gremlins - Just In Time for Halloween! Part 508 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 509: Pause. Enjoy. Carry On. »

Good morning to all of you today! Here we are the last day of October already. October is just about my favorite month of the year. I love everything about it – the beautiful trees, the cool weather and the final few warm days that are interspersed throughout the month.

It appears we dodged a bullet yesterday here in Nova Scotia. Across the Bay of Funday in New England I understand that many places had their first snow of the year. Some of my friends had up to 24” (and pictures to prove it!!!) I live right across the water from them and while it was a bit warm here to snow, we had our share of wind and ‘chunky rain’.

Time to put the Mustang in storage. :(

This morning people at the gym we all talking about the long power outages yesterday. Some still didn’t have power. While we had it flicker once and go out, the rest of the day it was stable and stayed on. I felt a great deal of security in the fact that not only was everything backed up completely on my computer and also on an external hard drive (that we disconnected) but I also had made DVD’s of my pattern files so they were completely safe. The tedious work of cleaning up files and reorganizing really paid off. We felt pretty good about it.

The majority of the day was spent entertaining, as Keith’s parents came over to celebrate his birthday, which is today. His mom made a wonderful Rappie Pie, which is a traditional Acadian dish made of grated potatoes, onions and chicken. His parents live right across from the ocean and were without power so they brought the food here to cook. She also made him a blueberry pie (his favorite). It was a nice afternoon/evening of visiting, eating and we even watched a couple of good movies. It felt so out of character for us to be here and not working, but it also felt good. I suppose everyone needs a break every now and again. The cats were also happy with new faces and were very entertaining. All in all it was a good day.

So today I plan on writing the new newsletter which will announce the new sales and products on the site. We had spent the past few days setting up some new features on the web site. Some of them were internal changes so that the main search engines would see the content of the site as being more relevant and therefore raising our ranking. Those changes won’t be noticed. But we also added a couple of features to make things better for our customers.

One of the things that I am a bit excited about is that we now offer gift cards to be purchased from the site. I think this is a very cool feature and I don’t know why I hadn’t thought about it before. Many of our customers are retired and have just about ‘everything’ they need, and this is a way for family members and loved ones to be able to get them something they would want and still be able to pick and choose for themselves.

We set up the site so that the cards are purchased like a regular product. There are three different values available – $15, $25 and $50, and they can use the entire amount on a single purchase, or even just a portion of it and keep a running balance. There is even a place on the Gift Card Page where they could enter in the card code and see exactly how much their balance is. They can use it on anything on the site, including pens, prints, note cards, patterns and kits. When they order it they receive a PDF download that sends them a certificate that they can print out and include in a card. I think it is pretty cool.

I am not sure how many people will take advantage of this program, but I like being able to offer it as an option. Many times people are looking for last minute gifts to fill in and I think that someone who scroll saws regularly and likes our designs would enjoy receiving something like this. I suppose only time will tell.

I really enjoy the many aspects that go along with the business. There is such a variety of tasks and things that need to be done on a daily basis, it is always exciting and interesting to see what comes my way. Even when things aren’t always perfect, there is always much more good than bad involved in the day to day routine. Although I realize that having your own business isn’t for everyone, I sure do enjoy it myself.

So I had better get to it. I hope you all have a frightfully good day today! Don’t let the goblins get you!

Photo by kimballstock.com

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



8 comments so far

View ShopTinker's profile

ShopTinker

881 posts in 1492 days


#1 posted 10-31-2011 04:01 PM

Gift cards are a great idea. I love gift cards. I always use them to buy something that I want, that I don’t really need, that I couldn’t justify buying for myself.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7151 posts in 2027 days


#2 posted 10-31-2011 05:56 PM

well you might have missed the snow this time, but its coming,,,time to batten down the hatches..boy the blueberry pie sure got to me, and the other pie too…chicken and potato’s with onion…..wow, i think its now going to be on my to do list as far as culinary feats to be accomplished…yes…for sure…so it sounds like your busy with everything , have a great day and happy birthday to you Keith…...its a wonderful day…......grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Rick13403's profile

Rick13403

215 posts in 2228 days


#3 posted 10-31-2011 06:26 PM

Hi Sheila, Here in central New York we also dodged the bullet! No rain or snow, just some clouds. I too like the idea of gift cards, I just have to get the Toler on your site. And Happy Birthday to you Keith.
Rick

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 - www.thescrollerandtoler.com

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7835 posts in 1643 days


#4 posted 11-01-2011 03:02 AM

Hi, guys – It has been a busy day. Getting the newsletter out and doing other birthday festivities. I am glad you like the gift card idea. I hope others do too. Getting everything to work well was another lesson in computers, but all is up and running and ready to go. I love getting them too because I use them to indulge on stuff I wouldn’t otherwise get for myself. They are lots of fun.

The rappie pie was great. We had leftovers today. It sure is a treat to have it and Keith’s mom makes it the BEST!

Spent the day fine tuning the computers and stuff like that. Tomorrow I should be ready to draw some new stuff. I feel like I don’t get as much time as I need to do that. I am going to turn in early I think and get an early start tomorrow. Have a great night! :)

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 Steven Davis's profile

Steven Davis

112 posts in 1638 days


#5 posted 11-02-2011 12:03 AM

Sheila -

Do you mail out the gift card or certificate? People MAY (or not) want something to print out or give to the recipient.

Great idea!

Steve

-- Steven Davis - see me at http://www.playnoevil.com/ and http://www.stelgames.com/

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7835 posts in 1643 days


#6 posted 11-02-2011 12:10 AM

Hi, Steve! How are you doing?

The gift card is immediately available for the customer to download and print out. It will look like this:

I kind of wish I had more control as to how it would look because I would make it look a little better, but it is decent enough and something that the customer can hand to the recipient.

Of course I can print and mail one to customers who like printed patterns. I am still thinking on how I can offer a better version.

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 Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7882 posts in 2776 days


#7 posted 11-02-2011 12:50 AM

Sheila,
“I kind of wish I had more control as to how it would look because I would make it look a little better”


Why don’t you have control of it?

Can the Downloaded file be a JPG image file?

If so, can you upload THAT JPG image file to the website so IT can be the file downloaded by your customer?

Just curious…

EDIT: OK, I see the amount is there… I guess you are using some special Gift Card software / Service… and you cannot do it… Makes sense… It should have a few more options so it can be tailored more to what you like… BUT…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7835 posts in 1643 days


#8 posted 11-02-2011 01:03 AM

Yep, Joe. The site generates the picture like I showed you here. I am going to do just that – create a JPEG and convert it to a PDF and then I will email it to the customer just like I do their regular pattern files. That way I can customize it with say a Christmas Theme or a Birthday Theme and make it with nice fonts and backgrounds. It will look much nicer. But first we just wanted to get it up and running.

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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