I think having a good attitude really makes a difference. It is amazing how having a positive outlook and mindset can turn even a bad situation into something positive. My past couple of days are a good example of that.
Earlier this week I had a spelling error in one of the pieces that I had cut. I have been working toward some important deadlines and designing several different projects at once. While I like to be busy, I will be honest in saying that I have been a bit overwhelmed by trying to get everything done.
Now some of you may say that the reason the error occurred was because I was hurrying. Actually, I don’t think that is the case at all. Truth being told, I really thought that the word “divnine” was spelled d-e-v-i-n-e. I believe that even if I had all the time in the world to do the project, I still would have made the error and not have caught it. If it wasn’t pointed out by someone else, then it would have gotten through the cracks.
I sometimes debate with myself whether or not to put my stuff out here before it is ready to sell or to be published. While I like to show you all what I have been working hard on, I also like to have things be a bit of a surprise when I unveil them on the site. Kind of like a ‘grand opening’ with all of our new designs.
But since we work here pretty much to ourselves (Keith and I) I find that the feedback from you all is really helpful and important. There have been many instances where I have greatly appreciated the input from my readers here. Many of you don’t even scroll saw, but you have knowledge of woodworking and your expertise lies in other areas of woodworking offers many important suggestions and ideas that can be applied to scroll sawing projects.
Many of you are painters and don’t concern yourself with the scroll sawing part at all, but you are also creative individuals who have some wonderful thoughts of your own to offer.
And some of you are friendly observers, who give an entirely different perspective altogether, and let me know just what you “like”.
You are all very important and very welcome friends. And you all help me make better designs by your daily thoughts, encouragement and input.
Yesterday on Facebook, I saw some posts from a couple of my favorite painting designers. While I don’t have a lot of time to paint other people’s designs, I do ‘collect’ patterns and pattern books and have done others’ designs in the past. It is always nice to create others’ patterns because it seems I always learn something new from them. Since I don’t have a painting group to attend, I find that more so than ever it is nice to look into online classes and projects.
One of the designers had posted a ‘teaser’ picture of something that she was working on that wasn’t quite finished yet. I absolutely loved the design and if it were available, I would have ordered it on the spot. I went to her site to see if it was there yet, and it was not, but I made a mental note to be sure to check back and as soon as it is I will be ordering it.
At one point while going through this, I thought to myself “So this is how my own customers feel when I show something on my blog!” It is funny, but the shoe was definitely on the other foot and it was the first time that I realized how my customers felt about me showing my ‘sneak peeks’ of my projects.
I don’t think it was bad at all.
Each time I show a new project, I do get several emails where people ask when the projects will be available. Most of the time it is soon after I show them, but when I am doing things for the magazine, it sometimes runs into several months.
I have debated as to whether I should even preview these items, but after yesterday, I do think that it is a good thing to do. As with the design that I saw yesterday from the painting designer, I hope that my customers will look forward to the release date on these pieces and enjoy the anticipation. Better yet – maybe they will decide to subscribe to the magazine so that they can get the designs even sooner.
While subscribing to magazines may seem like it costs a bit more, at $20 – $30 for a year subscription they are really getting a great value. That goes for the painting magazines, too. Not only does it help the magazines stay in business, but they offer a great venue for designers such as myself to reach people we wouldn’t ordinarily reach with our designs. Most woodworking or painting packets cost anywhere from $5 on the low end to $7.95 or more for the more involved patterns. These are very reasonable costs considering the time and work that go into making a pattern packet, but as you can see, even one issue of the magazines, which usually offer 15 or more projects, could easily justify the cost of the subscription. The prices that I mentioned for patterns didn’t include shipping fees, which the magazine subscription does include, and that alone may be worth the cost of the subscription.
Even if you only like one or two projects in a given issue, over the run of the year, chances are that you able to find enough projects to make it worth your while. Not to mention the great informative articles on techniques and new product reviews and other valuable resources that may be of interest. You also are introduced to many new designers that are just starting out and whose work you otherwise may not be able to enjoy. There are lots of benefits.
I don’t mean to get on a soap box on this subject, and I know that there are many online resources available that are replacing print magazines, but I find that many of them are not permanent, and when I have wanted to go back to them for reference later on, they are no longer available or difficult to locate. To me, there is nothing better than having a print library that I can reference and have as a permanent resource. Besides, I love sitting in bed and going through my old issues of magazines. It is something that I enjoy a great deal.
With that said, I am still going to preview my projects that are going to be published, as well as the ones going directly to my site for sale. I hope you all understand this and if you are really anxious about getting the patterns, consider subscribing to the magazines.
Yesterday I finished cutting the new ornament set for the Creative Woodworks and Crafts holiday issue. Once again, I used keys as a theme. I love the many possibilities that using keys have to offer, and I can see why there are so popular in the painting venues. I find that scrolling them was a great deal of fun, and I will be creating many more key sets in the future for lots of great home decoration projects.
This set depicts the nativity. There are 12 keys in all, and they include the holy family, the kings, a shepherd, an angel and even a sheep and a camel. To round it out, I even added a dove and the Christmas star.
My set is made from a beautiful piece of bird’s eye maple. I used wood that was about 3/8” thick. I usually use wood that is a bit thinner for ornaments, but I wanted these to be a bit more substantial.
I finished them by my usual mineral oil, which I allowed to set overnight, and I plan to use spray lacquer over them. I have a couple of things that I am going to do to finish them off today, so stay tuned and you will see them finished later on. I think they will look really cool, and they were a lot of fun to cut. This is the type of scroll work that I love. It isn’t difficult, but lots of fun.
I plan on cutting the box (again!) today. I have double checked my spelling and I did make a couple of adjustments on the pattern and I think it will look really nice.
I hope you enjoy seeing my little previews here. I always appreciate your comments and suggestions, but most of all, I hope it inspires you to do something wonderfully creative yourself. It is a fun way to spend the day!
Happy Thursday to you all!
-- 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"