It seems like the last few days have been a blur. Like when any holiday weekend occurs, things sometimes tend to be kind of messed up. Here in Canada, we had Thanksgiving on Monday, and many things were closed. But because of circumstances, we celebrated on Keith’s side of the family on Sunday and we went to Bernie and Ellen’s (my ‘Canadian Family’) yesterday. On both days we had wonderful dinners and spent nice days visiting. On the ‘real’ holiday we stayed home and worked It was very nice, but kind of odd and I must admit that yesterday I had trouble remembering what day of the week it even was.
But that is behind us now, and I think it is time to roll up our sleeves and accomplish something. On Monday, I got a lot of fine tuning done on the new pattern, as did Keith. The first time formatting any type of pattern is always a challenge. We like to have things rather consistent, and want our patterns to have a certain look about that so our customers can know what to expect.
There are lots of decisions to make when making something like this. Things like font size and wording on building and painting techniques may get changed many times between the first run and the final copy. One thing that challenges us the most is that we are no longer able to print out copies of the pattern sheet to proof read. In addition to that, many of the instructions are on those sheets, making it a bit harder.
I am used to using a 8.5×11 inch art board in my Illustrator program for all my patterns. Even the larger patterns that we used to do we could print out. We would simply add dashed lines and the pattern would flow over a couple of sheets, and the customer would sometimes have to tape the pieces together after they printed them out.
But when creating pieces that are several feet tall, we are working with an art board that is typically 36 by 48 inches. This means that everything has to be sized accordingly. What may look really small on the screen of my computer is actually quite large when printed. Getting the feel of how things will look when printed will take a bit of time and practice. Even the width of the lines we use to draw is a consideration. We have to remember that our customers are no longer cutting with a scroll saw blade and leaving a kerf the width of a hair, and we need to allow for that when drawing up the design.
We also decided that we were going to change the way we write our text files for the patterns. Since much of the text was on the patterns themselves, we began by doing the writing in the Illustrator program. But while Illustrator has some good abilities for creating text with the graphics, it is quite clumsy to use for any amount of text and we think that it is better done in InDesign, which is a text layout program. We think it will be far easier to format everything in InDesign and then bring it into the Illustrator program in one chunk. It will also be better when we edit it for additional patterns, and much less of a problem with text flow and things like that, as it was a bit of a struggle doing it on the large sheets directly.
It is all a learning process. And seeing things fall into place and having a final product we are proud of is very satisfying.
I learned from Jim this morning that the first of the ghost patterns sold on his Amazon store today! YAY! I am officially in business as a designer of large yard art!
I truly appreciate all the cheers that we received from our friends yesterday. It is nice to know that so many people are behind us and have faith in us. We also feel that this will open a huge new market for our designs and bring our work into the mainstream of woodworking.
I am sure that there will still be many adjustments along the way. As we create more designs, we will certainly learn the best and most efficient way to create these patterns. But we’ve taken the first step, and that was the hardest thing to do. We have so many great ideas and now we can multiply them even more and expand our little company.
We can’t wait to show you all what we have in mind. It is going to be a lot of fun!
Have a great Wednesday!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"