Yesterday my day started off as many days do, but by the time I went to sleep, it had snowballed into a day that was very full and somewhat exciting. It just goes to show that we never know what will come along and no matter where we are in our lives – good or bad – things are constantly changing. But that makes our lives exciting, doesn’t it?
I find I am my happiest when I am my busiest. There is part of me that likes the comfort of ‘routine’ and knowing what to expect, but let’s face it – following the same pattern day after day can be “uninspiring.” I like when a little twist is thrown at me for good measure, as it keeps me alert and thinking. And that is a good thing.
When I started out the day, my main goal was to get out my newsletter and announce my new pattern. That seemed simple enough and I envisioned myself having the bulk of the day to just kind of do ‘whatever.’ But little by little the tides changed and things came up that changed my focus from relax mode to busy. And it didn’t stop until almost midnight when I went to bed.
While I could have allowed things to overwhelm me, I had the presence of mind to take a breath and look at things one step at a time. Calmly and rationally. And one by one I ticked things off of my list and I was able to go to bed with a clear head that everything was fine. And I slept really good.
As I said, much of the things were positive in nature, not trouble at all. Many of the things were small issues that are just part of my everyday life and business, and just needed a minute or two of my attention. But I think when I began to feel overwhelmed was when I looked at all of them at one time and as I did that, everything looked pretty formidable. I think that is a problem that many of us have. We look at everything at once instead of dealing with things in steps (which is how we need to deal with them anyway) and we defeat ourselves before we even begin the battle. I was rather proud of myself for recognizing my own state of mind and being able to step back and digest things one at a time – as they should be. It pulled me out of the abyss that I was falling into and helped me solve everything rather painlessly.
I am not going to share every detail with you on the day, as much of it was just routine stuff that happens when you have your own business. There were however some significant things that were big enough to share here that you may get a kick out of or cheer me on.
The first big thing was my blunder with my new patterns. As I sit here this morning, I am still baffled as to how it happened. I am not particularly proud of it, but I know that some of you have made mistakes and I see you beating yourself over the head about them and I just want to share that it happens to everyone. (Even someone like me who has proofreaders!) While it wasn’t tragic, as it was caught early, it was nonetheless jarring to me and a bit embarrassing, but it is fixed now and that is what matters. Hopefully the quality of the designs will outshine my mistake and I will be remembered by what is now instead of the issue.
What happened was that on two of the four new Damask patterns that I released yesterday, somehow in the line work the frames got mixed up with two of the patterns and in the line drawings the butterflies had the hummingbird frames and vice versa. I had a long time customer and friend point this out to me after purchasing his patterns which was about three hours after announcing them in my newsletter and selling about eight sets.
Needless to say I was HORRIFIED to see the mistake. Although to be honest, I still can’t figure out how it happened. All four designs are kept in separate files and somehow I must have saved over the wrong one or in the wrong place. With looking at these Damask motifs, you really have to study them to see that they are all different. The bottom line was that the line work didn’t match the pictures of the plaques.
Now I KNOW that they did at one time, as how else would I have been able to cut them. But something must have happened between last Thursday and Monday that switched the files. It baffles me.
But the important thing is that it is fixed now and I re-sent everyone who ordered the designs the updated versions.
Crisis avoided. (Sort of)
I suppose that looking at all of those similar designs didn’t register in my brain that they were different. A big THANKS to my customer for alerting me of the error so I could quickly fix it before things got too far. I am very grateful. I don’t think it was because I was too busy or doing too much either, because I did take my time and had absolute quiet when proofreading. I think that the designs were just so similar, and after drawing them and looking at them for over a week, I failed to see the discrepancy. I just have to try to be more watchful.
On other, unrelated news, it appears that I am going into a new venture on the painting side of my business. Since working with the Artist’s Club and other painting projects, I have found a good amount of growth in that part of my business. While I love doing scroll saw patterns, you all know that I love painting as well. I think that by working in both fields it gives me a wider spectrum of designing possibilities, as I sometimes am able to mix the two together at some point and I think it is great for both.
While I love to paint and think that I am a ‘decent’ painter, I find that I am still developing my skills as a cartoon-type painter. While I can paint realistic paintings from photos without much of a problem, I find that doing cute and whimsical painting projects (like my 12 Days of Christmas Ornaments) can be a bit of a challenge:
While I do like these, and I am proud of them, I do feel that I have a way to go in the designing department with this type of project. And I like doing them so I want to do more.
In my Facebook travels and through other sources, I have become of a group of painters called Terrye French - Painting With Friends. The group was started by Terrye, who is a wonderfully talented and prolific artist. Terrye supplies her “Friends” with inspirational line drawings, and they do their thing with them and work their magic on them and turn them into wonderful painting patterns. Everyone benefits because Terrye is a bottomless source of amazing talent and each design takes on the personality of the designer finishing it. It is a wonderfully positive group filled with positive energy and oh so much talent!
Terrye put out word on Facebook that she is looking for some more “Friends” to join her group and I thought it would be something that may fit into my life nicely. I had already got to know many of the girls through my Facebook page and I found them to be wonderfully supportive of each other and painting in general. Everyone in the group seemed to be happy with the arrangement and because of that the group is thriving. I decided to put in an application and I found out last night that I am ACCEPTED and I will be part the “Painting with Friends”! I am very excited and thrilled about this.
The best part about it is that we are able to take on only the work we feel we can accomplish. I can do anywhere from five to fifty designs for the group in a year, and it won’t interfere in any way with my own personal designing. Terrye is so talented and I found myself looking at the site and wanting to paint this and that and that one too and I was wondering where I would be able to justify the time to do all of this. But now, being part of the team will allow me to have fun with her designs (I change most designs to suit my own taste anyway!) and continue to advance my own business as well.
The arrangement is fair and reasonable and it benefits everyone involved. I am very fortunate to be a part of this.
I will certainly keep you all updated with how things go. This is a great example of how designers can work together to promote themselves and their art.
With that said, I will close for today. I know this is a longer post, but as I said it was a full day! I wish you all a happy Wednesday and I hope to have some more fun things to talk about tomorrow.
Have a great day!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"