Is it Monday already? This past weekend just seemed to fly by even more quickly than usual. I didn’t post yesterday because there was really nothing interesting or out of the ordinary that I had to talk about. The pile of pieces that I showed the other day was doubled and Keith and I finished cutting the 160 dozen ornaments. (That’s almost 2000 for those who are counting – in two days!) What a great team we make! They are accurate, too, as both of us have the highest standards.
Someone had mentioned about if we ‘mis-cut’ going at that speed and I will tell you honestly – in the two days of cutting, I discarded two pieces. Since we were cutting the pieces stacked four high, that meant I lost eight pieces in total. But we allow for that, and that is why we cut 160 dozen when only 150 dozen were ordered. While the pieces that I rejected were probably “usable” and only off by about the width of a blade, knowing that we have those extras in the production run really helps me maintain the high standard that we have. Although we are cutting lots of kits, I try to look at each kit as an individual order and consider that they will be sold to individual people. I want every single piece to be the best I can make, and if there is even a small question as to whether the piece is good or not, I get rid of it. It is just the way I am. To Keith and I there is only one level of work – our best – and if we don’t meet those standards, out it goes.
We finished right around dinner time Saturday night and spent the evening first doing a deep cleaning and then what was left of it relaxing. One thing good about cutting this way is that re really tidy everything up before and after we do things. Before we cut, we remove just about anything that is out on the counters, ect. You would swear we were moving! Fortunately we don’t typically have lots of ‘nick-knacks’ and dust gathering pieces. The counters are pretty much bare and that makes it very easy to clean up after we are finished. I even threw an old sheet over my little tree just to keep it dust free, and we keep the vacuum right there and clean up between batches as we work. It really helps things a lot and it only takes us about half an hour to clean up everything when we are done. The nice thing is when we are finished, our place here is cleaner than when we started. :)
For this run, we decided to try using the stick on full sheet labels. I first printed the designs on the labels and they were very easy to just trim down, peel off and stick on the prepared boards. It was much faster and much less mess (and more reliable) than the spray glue method we had been using in the past. We used 80 full sheet labels for this job, which cost us about $25 or so, which wasn’t too bad considering that it would have taken probably two cans of spray glue in addition to a couple more hours of our time to apply them. I found that sticking them as we cut gave a good chance for me to walk around and stretch between each piece, and it was fast and easy.
One thing that I do need to mention about the labels was that the adhesive on the ones I used was pretty healthy and I needed to “de-stick” them a bit before applying them to ensure that they would remove quickly and easily. To do this, I simply stuck them on my leg after removing the backing and then peeled them off and stuck them on the wood. There was enough dust on my leg to tone them down just enough to come off easily. When I began, it took probably two or three times sticking on my leg and pulling it up, but that worked fine too. By applying them one at a time as needed, it gave my pants a little chance to get dusty enough that only one stick was necessary. I know this isn’t really “high tech” but it worked well and beat the heck out of fighting with the spray glue. I really was happy with the results.
Yesterday we still had to drill and finish packaging the kits. Keith did the drilling and I did much of the packaging. We did have a dinner engagement, so it forced us to quit somewhere around five pm. We were somewhat slow starting yesterday and while Keith was finished with drilling, I still had about 2/3 of the packaging to do. But I found that by stopping, I really felt TIRED! Sometimes stopping and sitting after working so much does that to me. By the time we got home later in the evening, I was just too pooped to finish up and I was going to finish this morning. I went to bed before Keith and later on when I got up for a drink of water, I saw that he had finished packaging up the kits for me! What a guy! (I always said I have the BEST partner in the world!) So they are ready to go out the door this morning! (YAY!)
All in all we did a pretty good job of this order. We really do have it down to a science. It is amazing how much work we can accomplish when working together!
So now it is time to turn back to the eight projects I have been developing! I apologize for the interruption in them, but the other work just had to be done too. This week should be very exciting as I see each of the projects get finished up one by one.
But for today, there is just one more interruption. We received the call from our accountant in Yarmouth that our taxes are ready to pick up. That means that we need to take some time to head there to get them. We also have some errands that we need to do there so we want to get them all done at once. But I think the sooner we get that done the better. After all, there is only one week left to get my US taxes in and I want to have them done as soon as possible and behind me.
So it is one more day of running. Then I will be able to focus on the projects and completing them all. I am just as anxious as you all are to see them finished up. It will feel really nice to have them under my belt too.
With that said – I had better get at it. Since I don’t have a good picture of my work, I’ll leave you with this:
Happy Monday! Be kind. Be creative.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"