One thing about doing the variety of things that I do, I never really run out of new ideas. I enjoy the thought of moving from one style to another and while sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming, for the most part it keeps me longing to work and looking forward to each day and creating something new.
The kitty chalkboard is out the door and on its way to the magazine now. I don’t know why getting things packed up and out the door seems to be so much of a chore, but there are times it does. It is one of those tasks that I seem to put off for days, and then when I finally do get it packed up out, it wasn’t a big deal. I always feel a sense of accomplishment as I watch the truck drive away with one of my projects heading to the magazine. A sense of completion. I think the anxiety and bad feelings from the finality of taping up the box and worrying that I am missing something stem from my earlier days as a designer when I was unsure of myself, and knew that I wouldn’t see the project again for many months. I should be used to it by now though, and I have learned that even if something is forgotten there are easy ways to get materials to the publishers. I need to retrain myself.
After that was done, I focused my effort on making the pattern packet for the bear chalkboard. Since the instructions were similar, I wanted to get it finished while the process was still fresh in my mind. I had also taken step-by-step pictures when I made that project, as it is a good practice to do so. Whether I use them in the actual pattern packet or not, it is a good way to document the steps that I took to create the project and helps me tremendously in instructing others. Since digital photos really cost nothing, taking pictures along the way is something that has become a habit. There have been many times when I didn’t think that photos would be necessary and I was very happy to realize that I took them anyway. I keep a folder with every pattern that I create which contains all the separate elements of the pattern including several versions of the line work, raw photographs, and text. I didn’t used to do this in the beginning, and there have been times when I have wanted to update older patterns and I am unable to do so without recreating them. If I had only been this diligent back in the day, it would have made everything much easier. But we live and learn.
The final pattern for the bear chalkboard has 17 photos included. It is probably a bit of overkill, but I wanted the pattern to be geared even for a beginner so I added in most of what I had. I feel good about the final project though and I am happy with how the pattern came out. I think that even someone new to woodworking will be able to accomplish the project with little trouble.
Keith was also working on several new things yesterday. Not only did he complete a new set of snowflake ornaments, but he also updated the products on the website. His new ornaments are outstanding, and some of the most beautiful fretwork he has created to date. They took anywhere from 3-4 hours to cut each of them out, and they are certainly worth the effort.
There are six in the set and one is more beautiful than the next. He embedded them with crystals and they are really quite elegant. I am very proud to have such a talented partner and it really adds a lot to the dimension of the company. Between the two of us we are able to offer quite a variety of work.
I spent the rest of the day finishing up the primitive pumpkin ornaments that I was painting. I added in the faces on four of them (although all eight are base coated) and only have the other four to finish today.
I am happy with the results so far and it shouldn’t take very long to finish up the other four. I will then be able to make the packet for both the ornaments and the tray that I showed last week, as the pumpkins in both pieces are the same. They should both be nice additions to the painting side of my site.
Once finished with that, I will be sending out another newsletter to our customers letting them know of the update. While doing the newsletter is getting easier, it still takes me a little bit of time to put together. I still am learning to feel comfortable with the software on the site that generates the newsletter. Since we have been doing updates every three to four weeks, it is easier for me to remember how to do it and things go much smoother.
So it is a busy day ahead, and I hope to accomplish a lot. Once this is all behind me, I have some new things that I want to get started on right away. I want to do some hard-core scrolling, and have some new pattern ideas for spring that will include a some decent fretwork. It seems again that I haven’t been at the saw much and I want to work on some things that are a little more in the intermediate bracket. I just have to see how things pan out.
There are so many avenues to choose from, it is difficult to decide what to do first. I think the key is to just take things one at a time and not to allow myself to be overwhelmed. If I look in too many directions at one, I find myself so muddled up I don’t move at all. Whatever path I choose, I am sure it will be fun.
I hope you all have a good day this Tuesday. Be happy and productive.
Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions. – Mark Twain
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"