I had a wonderful fun and relaxing day yesterday. Although – my idea of ‘relaxing’ may not be what you are used to seeing.
I had an early dentists’ appointment. The tooth he fixed a couple of weeks ago was having some issues and he needed to do an adjustment on it. I do have a great dentist and he always seems to get me in quickly when I need him. This wasn’t an emergency though and I had called a couple of days ago and he was able to see me early yesterday. I was happy but unsure if he would have to freeze the tooth again which would certainly affect my day. He didn’t have to freeze it though and was able to fix things up painlessly without too much disruption to my day.
I got home and did a quick cleaning. Since I live in a small place, it is very easy for even a little ‘clutter’ to add up to chaos. I like to work in a clean environment and feel that I do my best when I do so. Fortunately, I am in the habit of keeping things picked up pretty much and while I won’t go as far as to say it is never messy, it wasn’t too bad of a task.
I was then ready to dig in.
The project of the day was to re-paint the main pieces from the “Snowman Collector” project that I completed a couple of days ago:
I loved how the project came out, but I wanted to re-paint the three snow globes to take some step-by-step photos for the pattern pack. This way, things would be broken into smaller steps so that even newer painters could enjoy and complete the project.
Besides – I thought that offering the wood pieces to make these three snow globes into ornaments on their own would be a wonderful idea. The snow globes are three different sizes and besides the snowies shown here, they could accommodate just about anything you can think of.
I will be offering the pre-cut wood kit for the sign, as well as a pre-cut wood kit for the snow globes which will contain six pieces – two of each size – so people can make ornaments as well.
While this may seem like another “make work” project that Keith sometimes accuses me of doing, there is truly a rhyme and reason behind it.
When I design a new painting projects – in painting it for the first time, I am kind of ‘winging it’. I don’t always have a clear vision as to what colors I am going to use or how the final piece will come out. Because of this, it makes it difficult for me to show some orderly steps in recreating it – which is the entire purpose of the pattern.
Once I paint it and it is to my liking, I like to repaint at least the main part of the design so that I can put things in a logical order and also take some pictures along the way. I find that it is very helpful to those who are newer to painting to have these available, and it is even nice for those who have been painting for a while. That way if they ever want to teach the piece, the steps are for the most part already there.
I always look at my pattern packets as “lessons”. If people want only line work, then they can just take snapshots off the computer for finished projects and go from there. I realize that many people do that, and I found that fighting that battle is a waste of my time. Where there is a will, there is always a way and the energy I would need to spend to combat it would probably just take me away from creating even more. And then, as I have said in the past, all I would need is one customer to post a head on photo of their finished project and all the jig is up. So I try not to think of that and let those who take patterns off of the net in that manner deal with their own conscious.
So what I like to do is make my patterns have more value to my customers than just “line work.” I like to give some tips on techniques and products that they may not know about and guide them through the process – be it a woodworking pattern or a painting one. I also try to keep my costs down so that people think they receive a good value when they buy one of my packets. All of my painting packets include several color pictures which help people achieve the results they want. I have heard over and over from customers who appreciate this, and I am sure it is why our little business is growing.
To me, a huge part of designing is sharing knowledge. It is something that I believe in and I truly strive to do the best job of sharing that I can. It may seem like I am doing a lot of extra or unnecessary work, but I know that when I put a new packet out there, I am offering the best lesson that I can. It is a standard that I set for myself.
Sorry to get off on a tangent, but things like this are very important to me. There are times when I feel that developing a new project and pattern packet take me longer than most people, but when I look back on the results of my work, I am happy with what I see. I am a firm believer in “quality over quantity” and I believe that having high quality work is what will bring my customers back over and over again.
So I spent the day re-painting the little snow globes and taking pictures along the way. It is fun to see the transformation.
It also helps me remember exactly how I did things. When writing the instructions, I often refer to my own photos so I don’t miss any steps.
So that is where we are at today. I have to do some writing and create the packet for this project, as well as another project that I am preparing for our next website update which will be Monday. Even though it seems like we just had one, Keith has four additional pattern and I have I think three to add. Keith is also working on a completely new catalog of our designs, which is a big task in itself. So I suppose we are pretty busy!
I awoke to a light layer of snow here this morning. I saw it coming, as everyone in North America seemed to be talking about the snow and ice they received yesterday. We don’t (I believe) have the ice problem though, and it is pretty and quiet out now.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend planned. It has been such a pleasure to see all my creative friends decorating and making things for the holidays. It seems like everyone is in “elf mode”!
I wish you all a great day today! I hope you accomplish all you want to do, but most importantly, I hope you all have FUN!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"