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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #608: Please, Please Me

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 02-09-2012 11:59 AM 4869 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 607: "And Now For Something Completely Different" Part 608 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 609: A Bit of a Roller Coaster Ride »

I made a great deal of progress yesterday cutting out the little shamrocks. I had some things to do in the morning and didn’t wind up really starting to set up things until just after lunch, so I got a later start than I intended. Still, I was able to cut out all 15 pieces (double stacked) and at least finish with that for the day. I didn’t get to sanding them and oiling them, but I will be doing that today, as well as cutting out the 15 smaller versions which can be used for pendants. Here’s where I am right now:

Everything worked pretty good and only a few small adjustments need to be made. I do think that I will have to do a couple of adjustments on the smaller versions of the ornaments though, as just making them smaller seems to have made a couple areas a bit thin and weak and I want to move some lines around so that the pieces hold together well.

Cutting the whole set took approximately three hours (after set up and drilling.) Since the smaller pendants are all set up and ready to go, I think that it should go pretty easily and probably will take a similar amount of time. The pieces are smaller, but there are the same number of holes so I don’t see it getting done much faster than that. But that should give me the afternoon to sand and oil them and perhaps by tonight I will be able to finish them. In the mean time, I will begin writing and assembling the pattern packet and adjusting the final line work.

I have had several requests from people as to when the packets will be up on the site for sale and I intend to get it there by the weekend. That will leave plenty of time for everyone to ‘play’.

On other thoughts, I had a note from my editor yesterday that he received a letter from a subscriber who was upset with me. Apparently he loved the three part calendar project that is currently appearing in the magazine. Even though I finished the project and sent all the materials to the offices of the magazine, they are still preparing the third and final part for publication, and the second part has just been released. (The second part covered the months from March through July.)

The subscriber was Canadian and was somewhat upset that I had only included overlay pieces which depicted Independence Day which is celebrated in the USA. Canada Day is July 1st and it is as big a deal here in Canada as the 4th of July is in the USA. He wondered why I didn’t include a theme that Canadians can use for July.

I believe when I showed the pieces here several weeks ago, that point was brought up. I do realize that by including an Independence Day theme, I was limiting the appeal to those who live in the USA, but there are other options that will be available. There is a garden theme and a butterfly theme for May and June, and they would certainly be suitable for the summer month of July. I also had decided and stated that I will be making additional add-on packets for specific occasions like Canada Day, and also with other themes like cats, horses and other non-seasonal subjects that others would be interested in.

Since there were already over 20 pattern pieces that were to be published in the magazine, there was only a limited amount of space that they have to provide the patterns, and we thought it would be best to do it this way. I will certainly be able to provide the proper overlays for Canada Day and make them available on the site.

Another factor which I have discussed before was the time factor. When I do projects for the magazine, I am under contract to not sell them projects on my own site until the magazine has been on the stand for a month. This is called ‘first rights’ in the business and is common practice. It makes sense because the magazines don’t want to compete with their designers and they contract to offer their readers the first chance to see the designs in their publications. It is one of the perks of subscribing to the magazine or picking one up on the stand.

When doing a three part project such as this, I feel it made no sense for me to split the pattern up to offer it on my site. While it was never really discussed with myself and the editors, to me it was a ‘given’ that I wouldn’t publish any part of the project until the third and final segment had been published. I am good with that and that is what I have been telling the many customers who have inquired about when the pattern would be available.

I am not going to divide the pattern into three parts, as was done in the magazine. I think that would be a pain in the butt for my customers and confusing to say the least. I am going to offer the calendar topper and twelve months of overlays all in one main packet. At that time, I will also offer additional ‘add on’ patterns at a small cost so that they can pick and choose which themes they would perhaps like to add on to the original set. I think that is the fair and reasonable way to do things and will work best for everyone.

If I were to offer just the add-ons at the site at this time, I think it would be mass confusion for myself and customers who perhaps do not receive the magazine. I thought that waiting until all the dust settled and presenting the project all at once would be the best way. But now I am not sure.

The last thing I want to do is slight my Canadian followers. I only worry that if I do the set for Canada Day, what about the other countries and special holidays that they want? I thought perhaps that I should have the Canada Day pattern ready for those who ask, and send it to them when they inquire, but it is already too late to put an announcement even in the issue with the third and final part to the series, as it has gone to print.

Stuff like this really kind of bothers me. I truly try to be fair to everyone and want everyone to be happy. My favorite analogy for that is the circus performer who spins several plates on the top of sticks, not allowing any to fall. I am happy to have an international audience for my work, but I have to think a bit harder and consider the implications when I am doing something that is geographically targeted such as holidays. I suppose I still have a bit to learn.

So I will think a bit more on this and see what I can come up with to make everyone happy. In the meantime, I will spend the day finishing up these ornaments. My mind is usually pretty deep in thought as I cut and perhaps I will think of an answer to please everyone.

I wish you all a great day too. :)

“They afterwards took me to a dancing saloon where I saw the only rational method of art criticism I have ever come across. Over the piano was printed a notice- ‘Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing his best.’”- Oscar Wilde (Irish Poet, Novelist, Dramatist and Critic, 1854-1900)

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



11 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2818 days


#1 posted 02-09-2012 12:13 PM

You made a decision – based on the information that you had at the time and all of the other factors that you took into consideration. Now you have more information and can use this when you make future decisions. You may still make the same decision or you may make new ones ..it all depends on the circumstances at the time.

No regrets, only new learning curves. :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7665 posts in 1578 days


#2 posted 02-09-2012 12:22 PM

Thanks Debbie for your support. Since I have been here in Canada, I see from this side of the border how things are more complicated. From shipping to exchange fees and taxes and duties on anything from the USA, it is pretty frustrating for Canadians when dealing with a USA dominated market. Keith sees the same thing when purchasing supplies for his pens. Many times special offers and ‘free shipping’ doesn’t apply to Canadians. Then on top of it there are extra fees – sometimes being as much as 25% or more of the price. It makes it very difficult for us here in Canada to do business in the USA. But the choices here in Canada aren’t always there. I truly want to be fair to everyone – both sides of the border and beyond if that is possible. But the bottom line is the magazine’s main audience is American and that is what they will consider most. I believe that if people are a little patient, I will have what they want available to them as soon as I can.

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 flskipper's profile

flskipper

24 posts in 2353 days


#3 posted 02-09-2012 12:23 PM

Sheila: Would you be permitted to put a pic of your calendar topper (using Jan) on your web site now, with a statement, “available in July” or whatever month you are permitted to release the entire packet? You could put a topper for your Canadian friends on there immediately for the month of July. That way the Canadian people would have it now, and might be workable for them and cut down on the confusion.

Just thinking——Skip

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2818 days


#4 posted 02-09-2012 12:31 PM

You really don’t “have” to explain your decisions or justify them to anyone. “But” .. knowing what you know now, perhaps a “Canadian elements coming soon on my website” might be in the future? .. if that would make you feel better?

It is frustrating to be in Canada and to be bombarded with American “stuff” without being able to access it but we get used to it .. that’s the Canadian way, eh? :D

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7665 posts in 1578 days


#5 posted 02-09-2012 12:32 PM

That was one of the things I was considering Skip. I am going to talk to my editor about it today. They also want people happy and I am sure that they are flexible about it in this case. I was thinking of maybe making the Canada Day pieces over the weekend and offering it as a download. I haven’t made it yet because I only finished the project a couple of weeks ago and have been doing other things since. But it shouldn’t take me too long to do one set and have it there for the subscribers to use. The magazine could even link to it from their own website perhaps. That way when the customers inquire, they can direct them to the link. I just have to find time to make it and get it up there. :)

Thanks for the input! 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 Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7665 posts in 1578 days


#6 posted 02-09-2012 12:34 PM

I know, Debbie:
It is true that Canadians are more patient! When I first came here, I felt like a spoiled brat because I wasn’t used to be paying more for stuff like this or doing without. After eight years here, I have kind of mellowed out about it too. It is just part of life when you live here. Like death and taxes. My favorite response to the inequality is “We pay for the scenery.”

;) 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 MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2818 days


#7 posted 02-09-2012 12:51 PM

haha yes… one year, during a cold spell – a very cold spell—my local gas attendant said, “If we didn’t have weather like this EVERYONE would want to live here!”

Enjoying the scenery,
Debbie

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View patron's profile

patron

13034 posts in 1999 days


#8 posted 02-09-2012 12:53 PM

’ i need to go use the outhouse now ,
and think about this .
i’ll get back to you.
please be patient’
abraham lincoln – president

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

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4372 posts in 1694 days


#9 posted 02-09-2012 01:12 PM

Modesty, embarrassment, patience and making do are all British traits. Americans rebelled against these long ago, the Canadians never did.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7732 posts in 2710 days


#10 posted 02-09-2012 05:46 PM

So Many!

... and they’re ALL different!

That’s a lot of cutting!

Very pretty!

-- 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)

7665 posts in 1578 days


#11 posted 02-09-2012 07:31 PM

Thanks, all! The little ones are all cut now. On to finishing them up and making them look presentable! :)

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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