My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #646: Busy Days

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 03-20-2012 11:26 AM 1109 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 645: Evaluating My Accomplishments Part 646 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 647: Old Habits are Difficult to Break »

As I write this morning, I don’t know if I have many exciting things to talk about. I don’t know if that is good or bad. Truth is, I have been incredibly busy, but it is doing things that would be considered somewhat ‘routine’ and it kind of feels as if I have been writing about watching water come to a boil or something equally fascinating.

I am in the final stages of preparing the pieces to be sent out to the Artist’s Club. I made great progress yesterday in the final preparation of the three sets of ornaments. While they looked ‘done’ for the pattern packets, there were several things that I needed to do to finish preparing them before I could send them on their way.

One thing was that I hadn’t painted the backs or even the edges of some of them. When you tole paint ornaments and such, it is typical for you to wrap the base color(s) around and also paint the edges so they match. While this was quite easy to do for the pumpkins, it was a bit more time consuming to do so on the boots, as there were many colors that came up to the edge on those pieces.

I am sure every designer has his/her own process. And for myself, when I am designing painting projects, I apply kind of a trial and error method to determine which colors I will ultimately use. This means a lot of back and forth with things so sometimes I don’t initially wrap the colors over the edges in the process. This was the case with the boots. While I was able to scan in the pieces for the pattern pictures, which did not require me to have the sides of the pieces painted, since they needed to be sent out you would see how it was now necessary for me to do so. It meant pulling all the colors and picking around for a while and getting things done.

I also needed to paint the backs and apply several coats of varnish on everything, as well as drill small holes for hanging. I had asked and it was preferred that the pieces that I provide in the kits had small hanging holes drilled for those who didn’t have the equipment and wanted to hang them. If they chose to use the ornaments as magnets, there was the option of wood filler, which was easier for non- woodworkers to use than to find a drill press and do the holes themselves. It made sense.

All these small details took the bulk of the day. The rest was filled with doing errands and other parts of the business like answering emails and ordering the bags and wood for the kits. Before I knew it, the day was gone. (Again!)

Today I need to finish proof reading the patterns one final time before sending them out. I am hoping to have the box on its way tomorrow, and a huge burden will be off of me. I can then look to other designing (some scroll saw patterns) and getting other things done like the compiling the pattern for the calendar project, as I received my issue of the magazine with the third part yesterday and I need to make up the packet so I can not only sell it on my site, but submit it to the wholesalers, too. In the article I mentioned that I would be having additional overlay pieces for the calendars with themes such as birthdays, horses and other things like that. I had better get going on those add-on packs so that customers who come to visit will be able to find them there.

Oh, and my next project for the magazine is almost due too. :)

On top of that, I thought of another series of painted ornaments for the holiday season to submit to Artist’s club. Their next catalog deadline will be upon me in a couple of months and I am sure it will come before the blink of an eye. That part of my business (the painting part) is not only something I like to do and have been wanting to do for years, but is also a good boost for my income – especially in the slower summer months. I don’t want that opportunity to get away from me.

Today we are going to Bear River, as Kieth has to meet with the owner of the shop there so he can purchase some pens. Last year, we didn’t approach him until August, which was nearing the end of the season. The owner (Rob) wanted him to come early in the season so that he could purchase pens from Keith outright instead of on consignment (good for Keith!) He said he much preferred to do business that way. The shop doesn’t open until May, but Rob contacted Keith and said he wanted to meet now, so meet we will. We are also going to stop in Digby and see about getting some glass tops cut for our new dressers. With the cats walking on the low one, it is the smart thing to do to protect our investment. We already see that there is a slight mark from one of them who must have slipped when jumping up on it to look out the window. They are slick and I don’t believe in declawing animals. We put a towel on it in the mean time, but the sooner the glass can be placed on it, the better we feel.

So all in all there is plenty to do. I have been debating as to whether or not to take a couple of days off here and there with writing. I may do so, but I am not sure. I planned on doing so today, but as you can see things just came out. As I have stated before, writing here does help me plan out my day. I think it is a good habit that I have and it does really help me keep focused and keep track of what I need to do. I just hope that the reading isn’t getting too boring on the days when I am doing run of the mill stuff. But that is how any job is and I would be lying to you if I said that every day was filled with excitement. Besides – reading here is optional and while I love hearing from many of you each day when you comment, I certainly understand that everyone is busy.

So if I miss posting a day or so in the next by and by, I hope you understand. While I can usually find a good story or something entertaining to write about, there may be a day or so when I won’t be able to and I may skip. But it is a difficult habit to break (as you can see) and chances are that I will be here after all, perhaps more briefly than what you are used to.

In any case, I am staying busy and (mostly) keeping out of trouble. And I am having fun in the process. What can be better than that?

I wish you all a wonderful Tuesday! (Happy first day of SPRING!)

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

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