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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1135: Some Significant Site Updates

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 09-24-2013 11:04 AM 1087 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1134: Getting Back to Routine Part 1135 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 1136: Attitude and Gratitude »

I felt like a lot was accomplished yesterday. Sometimes Mondays are days filled with small tasks and odds and ends and this Monday was no different. Add to that Keith being a bit under the weather still and it makes for a full day. He is getting better though, and we both appreciate your kind thoughts for him. So far I feel good and I am at the point of willing myself to stay healthy, which (mock me if you will) has worked in the past. Mind over matter as they say.

Even though we had a site update only a couple of weeks ago, we have so many new patterns to offer that we feel it is time to do another. We used to update it only every three weeks or so, but lately we have had so many new patterns that it has been necessary to do so more often. We don’t think that our customers mind however, as we have received a lot of positive feedback about the site and our newsletter. For those of you who wish to join our mailing list to receive our newsletter, the link to that page on the site it here: http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com/mailing-list

Yesterday, we added a key feature on our site which we feel will be helpful to those of you who are looking for a timely seasonal pattern. Since our site now has over 500 patterns on it, we feel that it is important to keep them organized and categorized so that it is easy to find things. But so many of our designs are unique and it is difficult for us to sometimes put them in the “right” category. Some fit into more than one category as well, which makes thing even trickier. You all would not believe the amount of cross referencing that Keith has done on the site! I must admit that he does most of that type of work for us, and I think he does an outstanding job.

But over the past couple of weeks, I have had customers come to me to ask about a particular pattern and even I had trouble finding it on the site. The categories on the site aren’t always cut and dry as to certain types of designs and sometimes it is hard to figure out which category a particular design falls into.

There is a Pattern Search feature located on the upper right corner of the site to help you find what you may be looking for. If you click on it, you are able to put in key words like “Halloween” or “Deer” to find specific types of patterns you may be seeking:

But people don’t always know exactly what they are looking for and sometimes they don’t realize it is there, so we came up with another idea.

What we have done is added a section on the home page called “Seasonal Showcase.” If you scroll down the home page a little bit, you will see it under the “New Scrolling and Painting Patterns” section of the page.

What we are planning to do, is to showcase as many of the seasonal patterns that we can think of – old and new – to fit the particular season that we are in. We find that because we create patterns at such a fast pace, many times seasonal patterns have a short lifespan on the home page and then once shuffled back into their category, they are forgotten or not seen. Many times we are required to hold seasonal patterns due to the fact that we had them published and need to wait until the rights to sell them fall back in our laps. By the time this happens, it is sometimes too close to the holiday for others to want to use them this year. By the time the next year comes around, there are so many new patterns that we forget to bring these other designs back to the foreground and they are somewhat lost in the shuffle of designs. We hope this will help alleviate that problem from occurring.

We also have many new customers who haven’t seen any of our designs and we would like to make it as easy as possible for them to see all we have to offer. We realize that as we keep making patterns, the quantity of patterns will increase and we want to insure that we are making it as easy as possible for everyone to find what they have in mind. We hope this helps address that issue.

Keeping up with and maintaining a website is a huge task. While I spend part of each day blogging here and answering many emails and questions, Keith spends part of each day working on the site. (Sometimes he spends HOURS on it!) No matter how you look at it, having a nice looking, smoothly functioning site that is easy to navigate and showcases our work in a professional and organized manner can be a really daunting task. It certainly doesn’t just “happen” and there is no way that spending a good amount of time keeping it updated, fresh and exciting can be avoided.

It is fun and exciting for both Keith and I to watch our little company grow. We often receive questions from people that ask us things like “how do you set up your site” or “how do you make your patterns.” When I receive these questions, it is very difficult for me to answer something that is so broad. The best I can do is tell people that they need to research and study what is available and then apply it to their own business and implement it. There is no quick or easy way to accomplish these things.

When I think back on it though, I realize that to the outside world we must make it look easy. For the most part, in the past several years we have had very few issues with our website, and it has run without a hitch. Our feedback from our customers is usually very positive and we make it both easy and secure to order from us and pay in a variety of ways. We deliver our patterns very quickly and we try to be there to answer questions as soon as we possibly can. And our customers have expressed their appreciation for our efforts.

There are times when I think I should be making more patterns. I look back at the year and I see the actual number of new designs that I offer and I think that I could have done better. But then I look at the quality of the work that we put forth and the feedback we receive from others and the quality of our site and I don’t think that I would have it any other way. For two people finding their way in a world of large companies and corporations, we are very happy with our growth. Word is getting out about us and we are making our mark in both the wood working world as well as the painting world.

We must be doing something right. :)

We both thank all of our followers and our customers for all of your support and encouragement. You always make us want to do even better.

Have a great Tuesday!

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"



12 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4146 posts in 1543 days


#1 posted 09-24-2013 11:31 AM

Morning Sheila,
you have both been extra busy, I’ve been lurking the past week and love all the new patterns, especially the cats.
So I thought I should stop and say hello to You Keith and the felines.
Nice crisp fresh morning here on the Doon but rain is imminent. Go figure as I have the pond to recoat. :)

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)

7748 posts in 1607 days


#2 posted 09-24-2013 11:36 AM

Good morning, Jamie! I have been thinking about you and hoping you are doing well. How do you recoat a pond? I am assuming it is a synthetic one? It is cloudy and breezy here today. I made a nice roast beef yesterday and it felt like autumn. Perhaps Shepherd’s Pie is in the near future with the leftovers. ;) I also made some zucchini brownies (yes – you read that right) because I had a huge zucchini that I got from the Farmer’s Market and used half of it to make two loaves of Zucchini/Carrot bread and still had half of it left. The brownies are supposed to be “good” for you and they actually are pretty nice. A bit more cake-y rather than fudge-y, but you use cocoa powder in them so they are (of course) good tasting. Nothing wrong with cocoa!

In any case, I wish you a great day today. I hope you get your pond work done before the rain comes. Thanks for stopping by!

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Belg1960's profile

Belg1960

808 posts in 1752 days


#3 posted 09-24-2013 11:48 AM

Sheila, you guys did a great job on the new site updates. I have to say that I think many people will not see the pattern search where its located. It should be on the line with the other tabs, like free patterns, seasonal patterns and in the same text.

One quick question about printing your free Halloween pattern, is there a way to print just the design? I hate wasting ink on the pics of your other wonderful pics on the page.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7748 posts in 1607 days


#4 posted 09-24-2013 11:54 AM

Thank you Pat and thanks for the suggestion on the placement of the Search Box. Keith and I did realize that it may not always be seen. Part of the issue is that our site is on a template from the hosting site and we can’t always change the location of things as we would want to do. But I will talk to him about it today. (He is the “I.T. Guy”!)

As far as printing the patterns, there is usually a printer dialog box when you cue up your stuff to print. Most of them offer a “Page range” option where you can only print the pages you need. So if you open the pattern in say Acrobat, and cue up printing (Control or Command + P or File-Print) you should receive a screen that gives you several options such as Print Quality, Page Range, etc. Just fill in the pages you want to print and print away! I know all printers have different dialog boxes, but they all should have the option to print only the pages you want.

I hope this helps. :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Belg1960's profile

Belg1960

808 posts in 1752 days


#5 posted 09-24-2013 12:14 PM

Your welcome Sheila.
Unfortunately when working with a pdf I want to limit my printing to less than a whole page. On pg 5 of this http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com/files/437434/uploaded/sheilalandrydesigns-free-pattern-sample.pdf I would like to print just the key/spider pattern, you can call me a tightwad now but I hate wasting anything. LOL

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7748 posts in 1607 days


#6 posted 09-24-2013 12:19 PM

No, I don’t think you are a tightwad. I don’t know of any way to print a partial page though. I will definitely keep that in mind when creating new patterns. We just don’t like to see so much ‘wasted space’ on the pages and we use our free giveaway patterns to showcase our other products. I hope you don’t mind that. :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Belg1960's profile

Belg1960

808 posts in 1752 days


#7 posted 09-24-2013 12:24 PM

Not at all Sheila, it makes great sense to advertise wherever possible. Got to make a living.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View Belg1960's profile

Belg1960

808 posts in 1752 days


#8 posted 09-24-2013 12:52 PM

Ok I was sent a link to how to do this and it works really great. It also says that you can manipulate the size of the highlighted portion as well. Hope this is helpful. I think I might add this to the forum as a seperate thread as well.
http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/adobe/ht/printportionpdf.htm

Sheila, tell Keith I’m sorry for thinking it was you responding in PM. Just saw Sheila designs…. and assumed!!!

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7748 posts in 1607 days


#9 posted 09-24-2013 12:58 PM

No problem Pat! We sit about 3 feet from each other all day and frequently answer for each other. (Yet – we still LIKE each other! LOL) He was happy to help you out. Like I said – he is the go to I. T. (Internet Technology) Guy! I am the P. R. (Public Relations) Girl. Although we do switch rolls every now and again to mix it up (and confuse people!) ;)

Thank you for the link to print a portion of the page. I am sure it will prove to be helpful for others.

Have a great day!

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Celticscroller's profile

Celticscroller

826 posts in 760 days


#10 posted 09-24-2013 04:42 PM

Good morning Sheila. I really like the new seasonal showcase section of your webpage. It does bring to the fore some of the older patterns. I saw some of the segmented patterns e.g “Welcome to the Nut House” which I had forgotten about. I’m looking forward to seeing the Christmas seasonal section to see what I’ve missed!
A cloudy day here today but it will be sunny later.
Enjoy the day

-- Anna http://richmondcarvers.com/

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7748 posts in 1607 days


#11 posted 09-24-2013 04:59 PM

Good morning to you Anna! Rain here today, but nice and cool! Just how I like it.

I am glad you like the new feature. I also found myself saying “Oh! I forgot about that!” when I saw some patterns. We have some nice designs that just missed the cut of the season and we have lots of new customers every day so I thought it would be a good chance to show them in one place. Hopefully it will allow more people to see them. :)

Thanks as always for your input. I hope you have a great day today!

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Roger's profile

Roger

14855 posts in 1491 days


#12 posted 09-25-2013 12:25 AM

Git-er-done, girl…......scrollgirl, that is.. :)

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

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