My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #757: Submission Finished

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 07-09-2012 11:27 AM 1842 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 756: Wonderful Possibilities Part 757 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 758: Thinking Ahead »

It feels odd this morning writing and not being able to show the work that I did over the weekend for the magazine. I am not always good at keeping surprises, especially on such a large scale. I tend to be more like a child and share my own excitement about something new that I am doing. But this time around, I think it is probably best for me to keep things under wraps – at least for a while anyway.

The magazine industry is having a rough go of it. With all the advances in communication and information exchanged offered here on the internet, it puts print magazines at a great disadvantage. People are used to getting information instantly, and if they find that they have to wait from one source, they simply check out the next one on the long list of matches that they type into Google.

I admit that I am much the same. I like the option of having things instantly – especially reading materials and things like that. But in another sense, I do like the look and feel of having a magazine in my lap, while I am leafing through the beautiful color pictures and reading the accompanying articles. Recently I made a trip to the beach and I took several copies of my favorite painting magazines with me to leaf through while relaxing in the sun. While I choose to have my magazines sent to me online, I still ordered all the back copies of them so that I have something tangible to have and hold in my hand. Yes, this cost extra and yes, I probably killed a few trees in my lifetime, but I like them nonetheless and while it is convenient to have things available on our computers, I find it much preferable to turn real pages of the magazines rather than to turn them using Acrobat reader. It is just my own personal thoughts.

My own customers have shown how much they appreciate ‘e patterns’ that I offer. I think of the couple of hundred orders we receive each month from the site, there are usually only a handful that require ‘hard copies’ which are mailed to them. The vast majority of people prefer electronic files which I email to them instantly. I don’t blame them there, as having patterns on the computer is a great way to store and organize them efficiently. Since only the pattern pages require printing to create the project, it is a great and easy way to do things. It also eliminates the need to take the patterns to get them photocopied if you have no scanner and it is easy to produce as many copies as you needed on a demand basis if you are making several of the same project, such as ornaments. Not to mention the savings in producing the patterns and shipping cost as well as the instant gratification of not having to wait for delivery of the patterns. This is especially appreciated by my customers in Australia and Europe.

But for the print magazines, this trend is somewhat troubling. I know that print media demand has greatly declined across the board of late, and I believe that it will continue to do so. Craft and hobby magazines are dropping off at alarming rates and I can only hope that the magazine that I am involved with hangs in there. Already in the decorative painting field they are down to only one two magazines. I have seen several of them be discontinued in recent years and I truly miss them. I think that my biggest ‘collections’ consist of magazines that I have subscribed to over the years. I still enjoy going back through them every once in a while to read or to see what project that were offered. Many are timeless and still enjoyable to do and I don’t ever see myself getting rid of them.

So for now, I will keep my project under wraps. All I can say about it is that I think it is cool and I can’t wait to be able to show you it, once the publication is released. It is a simpler project, as requested by my editor, and in comparison to the bird cage ornaments it was quite easy. But it is a good example of how ‘easy’ can be something that is still quite attractive and I am very proud of it. As I said yesterday, it got me thinking in a certain direction and I hope to produce additional projects along the same line of thinking soon.

Today I will be writing instructions and sending another box on its way. I see that my large wholesale order is scheduled to be delivered today. That will be a huge relief after it was hung up in customs for a week. At least it wasn’t sent back here. That would have been a pain.

As I look outside, it seems like it is going to be a beautiful Monday. The sun is shining and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. When I got up, I needed a blanket on my lap because the air was quite cool, but now that the sun is fully out, it is already warming up quite a bit. Just lovely!

I wish you all a good day and hope you have fun today. Monday’s are always good anyway. I wish you all a happy day!

Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder …” – Henry David Thoreau

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

6 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2833 days

#1 posted 07-09-2012 11:45 AM

I know exactly what you’re sayin Sheila. I too have stacks of many different magazines that I will leaf thru on a rainy day or if I’m lookin for something to jump-start my memory of seeing what I’m thinkin of. I too like having a magazine in my lap instead of this hot laptop also. I know there are plenty o mags suffering from all the free stuff on the internet. I was on a rampage the other day about places charging you extra for videos. Part of me does understand, but, it just seems to me that everywhere you turn someone is tryin ta make a buck. I’m surprised nobody has tried to sell the air we breathe. Have a good day/week

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2949 days

#2 posted 07-09-2012 11:57 AM

Aren’t there “air bars” already, Roger? Or is that just in movies? LOL I know what you mean. I saw your post and it is a double edged sword. We are all getting used to ‘free stuff’ on the internet. As a pattern designer, I still hope that people still think that it is worth it to invest in one of my designs over the free ones. I give free patterns too from time to time, as much as I can, but this is my living and if I don’t make an income, I have to do something else. It is just the way it is. I hope that people will be willing to pay for what Keith and I do and I try to give them a bit more than they get from the free pattern places. We will just have to see how things will work out.

Hope you are cooler today and back in that hammock soon! :)


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

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3065 days

#3 posted 07-09-2012 03:49 PM

I know what you mean about ‘wanting it now’. This is why I got out of the computer industry. These days a thing of beauty is often a joy for a fortnight, not forever. However I feel the old adage of worthwhile things having to be waited for applies here. Instant gratification often leads to undervaluing things.

Regards printed things. Some people, here and elsewhere, have said to me ‘Why don’t you write a book’ about boxmaking that is. Well I’ve thought about it, discussed it with you I seem to remember, and the more I think the more I’m coming down on the side of E-publishing. As long as I can find a non-hackable data format. Won’t make it happen any quicker but at least it cuts out schlepping around publishers and getting rejection notices. Marketing seems to be the only problem but I think I know someone, who’s E-savvy, that does that sort of thing.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Steven Davis's profile

Steven Davis

118 posts in 2944 days

#4 posted 07-09-2012 04:27 PM

Sheila, Martyn -

Don’t worry about hackable, just get your material out in both ebook and print at a good price. There is no data to show that piracy costs you sales. You both have a lot to share and ebooks (both directly and through Amazon and the others) are great ways to share your gifts.

It is not much harder than putting together a Word document or a PDF.

Just let me know when they are coming out!


-- Steven Davis - see me at

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2949 days

#5 posted 07-09-2012 04:45 PM

You know Steve, we are reading all this stuff about SOPA and anti-piracy laws, yet we are still seeing record sales of movie tickets, music and other related items. I believe that you are right when you say that piracy doesn’t cost sales. At least not in the ways the production companies want us to believe.

When I was first with Keith, he was worried about how people could ‘steal’ my patterns from the internet. I realize that it is possible, but I could easily spend a couple of careers trying to prevent it – not leaving me any time to do designing. Just last week when I presented my birdcage ornaments, someone posted pictures of cheap laser cut ones that they got at Hobby Lobby that were similar in design. He said “there are about 10 designs!” as if people would get them and use them for patterns instead of buying my plans for them. Keith was really mad, as he knew that I worked really hard on them. We knew nothing about the cheap laser cut ones (we don’t even have Hobby Lobby or Michael’s near us and I had worked on these for a couple of months off and on) But I got to thinking about it and if someone wants to spend anywhere from .75 to $1.50 each (I am assuming that is what they are selling for) and buy all 10 of them and then take the time to trace them out and make them a workable pattern, then more power to them! My pattern only costs $5.95 and all the work is done. I realize that some people will do that, but then they will probably be the ones that wonder why there are no decent pattern designers left.

My customers know the quality they can expect from my designs. There are occasional errors, as we are only human, but overall the patterns are good solid instructions that help make the project successful. They feel we are worth the money they spend not only for the pattern quality but for the support too. I need to count on that to know that I will still have a job.

As far as the books go, I like the ideas of self-publishing because I do so much writing and use the publishing programs anyway. I have heard so many stories about people who write books and get only a sliver of the royalties after doing 95% of the work. Although, as Steven knows, marketing is a big part of the equation.

Lots to consider, that is for sure! :)


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

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3065 days

#6 posted 07-09-2012 05:51 PM

Thanks for the encouraging outlook Steven.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

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