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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #974: A Wonderfully Productive Weekend

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 511 days ago 1495 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 973: Busy Weekend Ahead Part 974 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 975: Changing Seasons »

What a great weekend I had! I have been rather muddled because I have so many loose ends that I need to tie up and while I don’t mind working on more than one thing at a time, I think things were just getting to me a bit.

My laundry list of work last week included taxes, two small projects for my site, finishing up the project for the magazine, writing an article for the magazine, and making a short video to accompany it. In addition to that, I had a couple of issues that were going on with my computer, and I needed to attend to that, which meant making a full backup of everything that was on it in case of disaster. Needless to say, I wasn’t sleeping great thinking of all that could go wrong.

After our appointment with the accountant on Thursday, I thought of several ways that I could improve the way I kept my books and records. As our business grows, not only does it become more complicated, but it also become more imperative that we really keep track of what is going on. Besides the fact that I file taxes in two different countries, with two different sets of laws, I also need to keep meticulous records as to what I am paying Keith and all the additional expenses that go with working from two countries. I am not saying that it is difficult to do, but starting out right and setting up good spread sheets is something that is really important. Especially since we are now adding our sales of Ebay into the mix.

Ebay sales complicate things a great deal, as there are the Ebay fees as well as the Paypal fees that are deducted. Then there is shipping. And it doesn’t help that a buyers Ebay ID and their Paypal ID can be different. And the fact that sometimes the Ebay buyer doesn’t necessarily pay for the transaction on the same day. While some of the payments are instant, that isn’t always the case. And since I accept Paypal through my website as well as process Ebay payments through Paypal, it can get mighty confusing. I need to stay on top of things or it will easily get away from me.

But I think I have things set up now where I will be able to keep good track of everything and be able to log everything accurately. I have never felt that I was great at numbers and this is something that is certainly a challenge to me. But I feel good about my new system and I think it will make things really easy in the long run.

The computer issue was weighing heavily on my also. There were a couple of damaged files in my Windows 7 operating system that were preventing me from getting the proper updated that I needed. My son has worked with computers all of his life. Besides being head of technology for the Joliet Police Department, he also has his own computer hosting/repair business called Iceberg Computers. When I noticed problems I naturally went to him for advice and after spending some time last week troubleshooting my computer, he decided that it needed to do what is called a ‘non-destructive reformat’ in which all the Windows files are replaced, yet all my programs and preferences stayed intact.

I had done this before when I was running WindowsX XP, but I had not known that there was an option to do this for Windows 7. While Phil told me his success rate was 100% with doing this type of repair, I still was nervous about it. If it failed it would mean that I would have to start from scratch and re-install all of my programs (there are many) and preferences (there are many more) and more or less set up my entire computer again.

Everything was backed up, so I wasn’t worried about losing anything, but I didn’t want to spend the time re-loading everything if something went wrong. But things went seamlessly. While the repair took a couple of hours, everything worked fine and by evening I was back in good shape with all my Windows files clean and in order.

What helped was that Phil has the technology to work on my computer from his own home. I signed into his site and he was able to access my computer through it as if he was right here with me. While I had this occur a couple years back when I had a Dell computer and needed support, seeing him work in it from my own living room was pretty impressive. It sure made things easier for everyone! I think the most difficult thing was for me to leave my computer alone all day while it was being worked on. But it was a good chance to work on my article and do some off line things.

Yesterday I had some quiet time here, as Keith was gone for the afternoon. I decided to shoot a video to go along with the article that I am writing for Creative Woodworks and Crafts on embellishing projects with rhinestones. My editor loved the “America!” video and loved the idea that when I write an article that I could reference my videos to our readers. I have had many requests for me to show the process of applying the hot fix rhinestones to a project, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to do so.

The link to the video is here:

It is much shorter than the one last week, but since the process is very simple, I think it still gets the point across. I am still nervous when doing the videos, but hopefully if I do more of them I will get over it. This time I saved it in the proper aspect ratio so I only had to upload it once. (Score one for me!) I think it is a nice addition to my video library, and I hope my editor likes it too.

I could go on about the projects that I worked on, but I will show them as I complete them later in the week. This morning I need to pack a box up to send out to the magazine with both my own and Kieth’s latest projects in it. So I will stop here for today.

I feel great that everything is in order. Not only my computer, but also my books and filing system. The past couple of weeks have been somewhat stressful because I felt as if I was working all the time but not accomplishing much. But setting up these systems was a very good use of my time, as it frees me to do what I love to do – create and design. My idea book is filled with new projects for the future and I look forward to seeing each one come to life.

I wish you all a great Monday! Have fun and try to do something you enjoy!

-- 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"



13 comments so far

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

1474 posts in 835 days


#1 posted 511 days ago

Hi Sheila. I’m glad you’re off to an “organized” start today! And yes it sure is nice to have a techie in the family. I’m fortunate to have three, each with their own area of expertise.
I’m using GNU-cash for keeping my company records. It is an open source double entry accounting system that accommodates different currencies for different accounts if needed, though I’ve not used it that way yet. It is free and performs all the accumulation and accounting functions required including taxes of various sorts. Its reporting is flexible so you can set up reports you need that are not found in the standard set. It is also one of the few remaining softwares that work off line. Spreadsheet accounting sucks and is labor intensive and prone to error (because there are few if any checks and balances). In addition it is not secure if used on an online computer, even if you password the file.
If you look at the store page of my web site, http://kragerwoodworking.weebly.com/store.html you will see that I have added a new feature. I now am prepared to accept BitCoin as payment. It has all the advantages of instant payment, totally secure and verifiable free transactions. If you need to exchange to a different currency like USD or CD, then you will have to set up an account for such exchanges with some place like MtGox. That is not a trivial process because of the verifications of identity required, but once done, then exchange transactions are trivial and cost free. Beats PayPal and credit cards all silly. Click on my button and read what a customer will do to initiate a purchase from me. It’s a lot more complicated in words than it really is. To learn more, just google “bitcoin”. It just might work well for you. ???
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7483 posts in 1521 days


#2 posted 511 days ago

Thank you Dan. I will definitely check it out. I appreciate the tips very much. :)

Sheila

-- 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"

View Celticscroller's profile

Celticscroller

744 posts in 674 days


#3 posted 510 days ago

Good morning Sheila. Great video! I agree that Rhinestone Canada is a very good company to work with. I placed my second order towards the end of last week and I’m betting I’ll have it today or tomorrow. The rhinestones and the studs work well, not only on finished wood but also cardstock, fabric and leather. When I’m cutting out fretwork as I’m currently doing with Keith’s butterflies, I always add a couple of layers of cardstock sandwiched between two layers of wood. I then not only have great ornaments but also a decoration for some birthday/anything cards.
Spring has arrived! Sunshine and mild temperatures today. May be a gardening day!

-- Anna http://richmondcarvers.com/

View Jamie Speirs's profile (online now)

Jamie Speirs

4091 posts in 1457 days


#4 posted 510 days ago

Sheila those wee beads are great and a super tutorial.
My Mum would have loved that applicator.
Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7483 posts in 1521 days


#5 posted 510 days ago

Hi, Anna and Jamie! Anna – I love your idea of cutting with card stock layered in between. What a great way to get more out of your time at the saw!

I am happy you both enjoyed the video. I really love working with these hot fix stones. They are so easy and fun! The cats are going to be hiding so I don’t make them sparkle too! :)

I have to stop myself from putting sparkle on everything!!

Sheila

-- 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"

View MrsN's profile

MrsN

939 posts in 2127 days


#6 posted 510 days ago

I loved the video, It really shows how simple it is to add a little sparkle. It is also amazing just how much more intersting the projects look with a little sparkle. The happy birthday sign was cool, but awesome with a little sparkle. The eggs you showed were nice, but awesome with some sparkle.
Keep up the great work!

-- ----- www.KNWoodworking.com ----- --

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7483 posts in 1521 days


#7 posted 510 days ago

What amazes me most is how strong the glue is. They are really, really set on there in a matter of 5-10 seconds. I feel like a kid with a new toy! I can’t wait to do some Christmas projects with these! So much fun ahead! :D Thank you very much Katie! :)

Sheila

-- 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"

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1716 days


#8 posted 510 days ago

thats cat is in for a naughty night I´m sure it blinked to me across the atlantic … :-)
its great to be busy ain´t it for me its all about I got the old job back
and had to jumb in with 13-15 hours working days and nothing is like it was 1 year ago :-(
so nothing can be done on the rutine.. the rest of the week I´m going to take the hostpitaltour
to the other side with patients that need to be transported forth and back to the island
and have to learn two new how to do the job ….. yah its great to be busy …. LOL

have a great evening :-)
Dennis

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7483 posts in 1521 days


#9 posted 510 days ago

Hi, Dennis! It is good to hear from you! I have been thinking about you guys and just haven’t had the chance to write. How is our little Silke doing? I hope she is feeling back to her happy self.

I am glad you are working but sorry to hear how busy it is for you! Sometimes it is feast or famine! Myself – I just can’t seem to catch up sometimes even if I work from morning until night. I like being busy, but I haven’t had as much time to design and do woodworking and painting as I would like. But I tell myself I will just do my best and that will have to be good enough.

I hope your time gets better soon. Thank you for stopping by and saying ‘hi’. My best to you and your family!

Sheila

-- 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"

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1716 days


#10 posted 510 days ago

Silke seems to be alright with the situation allthough it sometimes gives her
a little pain the first ½hour after I have turned the screws in her mouth
but she looks forward to sunday when if all goes well the streching of the jaws should be over
and then it will take 6-8 weeks to heal
other than that she seems to be her old self with all her humor intact …. :-)

I gess to start on a new or old job is hard for every one untill some rutine is gathered
between the ears … lol

take care
Dennis

View Roger's profile

Roger

14146 posts in 1405 days


#11 posted 510 days ago

Very flashy Sheila. Really makes your gr8 stuff, gr8er. :) Actually, I think your projects and creations are fantastic! and that’s the truthhhhhhhh. Nice video btw.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7483 posts in 1521 days


#12 posted 510 days ago

Reminded me of this Roger:

I was trying to remember what this design reminded me of. It just came to me when I saw your comment – I don’t know why. I had this music book in my teens. I loved Elton John. My favorite musician for many years. I suppose he had more influence on me than I had realized. No wonder I like sparkles! :)

Sheila

-- 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"

View Roger's profile

Roger

14146 posts in 1405 days


#13 posted 509 days ago

Wow! An LP that looks like it was well played.. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

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