It was a pretty decent day yesterday. The sun was shining and it was warm and not too hot out and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. I spent the early part of the day working on the pattern packet for one of the two new patterns. While it is not what I call difficult work, it does take a lot of time to migrate the photos, text and patterns into one place. The pattern is going to be another large one – approximately 15 pages, and it will have nearly 40 color photographs included.
I tried to make one that was not quite as large, bit it proved to be nearly impossible. I feel that painting patterns need step by step pictures so that the newcomers can understand completely what is going on. Just showing the final pieces would probably work fine for someone who is experienced, but I am afraid it would leave some of the people that are just starting out in the dark. Since I want this to be a project that can be enjoyed by everyone, I have geared the instructions to someone with very little experience, thus making the photos necessary.
Keith has challenged me to let him have the pattern when I am done and he proclaims that he will be able to shave off a page or two, without compromising the quality of the pattern. While I don’t think that it is possible, I figure that I have nothing to lose so I am letting him take on the challenge. I found that being open to other ways of looking at things is many time beneficial to me and helps me to understand that there are several correct ways to do things. By considering what others are thinking, it helps to make the final product the absolute best it can be. That is a very good thing. So I am going to see what he comes up with and if it is indeed an improvement on my version of the pattern, then why not go with it? That way everyone will benefit.
I had a very uplifting email yesterday from a customer. She is from California and in the last couple of weeks she ordered several of the painting kits that I am offering. She was concerned because of the length of time it took for them to arrive at her place, but unfortunately that is out of my control. You have heard me speak of Canada Post before and it usually isn’t very complimentary. They are expensive and take quite a while to get things to the destination. Once the US postal service joins in, it only adds to the mix. It is virtually impossible to track something once it is sent out, and even if I do pay the extra cost for tracking a package, as soon as it crosses the border, Canada Post washes their hands of it. Neither Canada Post or the USPS take responsibility for packages that are missing in action and if they don’t blame each other, they can always put the blame on “customs.”
It can be very frustrating when a customer orders a product and has to wait a long time to receive it. When I receive an order, it is usually on its way the same day or the latest the following day. I realize that – especially if it is leaving Canada – that reaching its destination could take up to two weeks. I do tell customers this, but many are used to the two to three day Priority Service in the US and don’t see the reason for the delays. (Frankly, I don’t either, but they are there.)
Anyway, I had sent the kits out immediately after ordering them. As we approached the two week mark and they still hadn’t arrived, I was beginning to worry. Finally on Saturday, I received an email that they indeed did arrive and all was well. The second order wasn’t there yet, but it was sent a couple of days later so I still have hope.
What really was nice that yesterday, the day after receiving the kit, the customer sent me a photograph of what she painted, along with a nice note stating how much she enjoyed the pattern and pieces. I was just thrilled:
It was such a great feeling to see others enjoying my patterns and having fun with my ideas. It really fueled me on to make my patterns the best I possibly could make them. I know that may sound corny, but it is really how I feel.
Today I will be finishing the first pattern and moving on to the second. I still have about half a day of printing the witch hats patterns, so the new ones will be ready just in time. I should be receiving my second ink system today (the one I ordered to go with the new printers) so if I were so inclined, I could even hook up two printers and have two going at once. For now though, I don’t think I will do that. It is good enough for me to have the new printers fresh in the box for when the old one finally does give out. I had to stop it and clean the printer heads the other day, as one of the colors wasn’t coming out right, but since then it has once again printed hundreds of flawless copies. I don’t want to dispose of it before I need to, so as long as it is working, I will keep things as they are.
We are also ready to cut the second hundred kits today. Keith got a jump on them yesterday, and they all have the patterns applied and are ready to go. He already cut 16 of them while I was writing yesterday, so we only need 84 more to finish this set.
Working as a team really makes a good difference with big jobs like that. Nothing is nearly as intimidating when you have someone to share the load with you. I can realistically see getting these shipped out by next Monday. While it will be a busy week, it will be a very productive one, and that is good.
My thumb is feeling better today. It really did kind of ache yesterday and I think if I did cut, I would have aggravated it even more. I can put moderate pressure on it and not feel any pain, so I should be OK to cut. I may stop at the store and buy some rubber gloves so I can cut the end of the finger out and tape it on my thumb to protect it from the dust. While it is healed closed, it still wouldn’t hurt to have a bit of protection over it. Better safe than sorry.
So it is going to be a full week ahead of us. But that isn’t ever a problem. We had a nice dinner last night at Kieth’s parents house for Father’s Day and had a great relaxing evening. Keith’s mom showed me yet another fun computer game that I could play at night to unwind. She always finds the best ones! It is hard to believe that she only began using the computer a year ago. Now she loves it and enjoys Skyp-ing with her sisters and playing games and lots of other stuff. It is good to see that she enjoys it so much. The only problem is that she shows me all the cool games that are available and gets me hooked on them. I do like them at night to unwind after a day’s work. I could think of worse addictions.
Have a great Monday everyone. I hope you all feel refreshed after the weekend and have a wonderful week ahead.
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"