I had a very busy weekend and I took a couple of days off of blogging. It wasn’t that I was being lazy, but probably just the opposite – I had so much to do that I wanted to get going early.
Most of what I kept me busy was probably nothing that I felt was interesting to you all. Keith’s auntie is still visiting so on Saturday I had both her and Keith’s mom over for a nice dinner and visit. We don’t entertain often, and it was nice for me to cook a good meal (Greek style chick breast shish-ka-bob and teriyaki filet mignon shish-ka-bobs with some good trimmings) We also had some wonderful cake that Keith’s auntie had made. We had a great evening and even watched a couple of good movies as well. I don’t often take time completely off and it was a nice change for me to do so.
On Sunday, I spent pretty much of the day at the scroll saw cutting some special orders and making up some kits that were ordered and replenishing my stock. I have had several painters order wood from me and I really enjoy being a “woodworker” for the day and cutting pieces for them to paint. One of the reasons that I got involved in scroll sawing in the first place was because I needed to have wood cut for me to paint. My friend Cari and I each got our own scroll saws and we rather blindly learned the basics, using free cut-offs from our local lumber yard. We used to like to show the guys there how we could turn their garbage into something wonderful – before it was fashionable to do so!
I like to cut pieces for people because I know how difficult it can be to find a good woodcutter. Even if one finds wood that is cut by a laser, the burned edges are rather unattractive. Besides, the laser cutters are very limited in thickness and most suppliers don’t offer extras such as routed edges. It is a nice part of my business that is slowly growing and I thoroughly enjoy spending a day or so a week doing this type of work. I take a lot of care in providing the nicest pieces I can for people and so far they all seem very happy.
The only downfall on providing wood is the shipping costs, but I try to charge only actual shipping and most people do understand that whether they are located in the USA or Canada, the costs are rising and there isn’t much around them. Most still seem to think it is worth it for something custom cut and realize that is part of the cost.
A cool thing happened over the weekend as well that I would like to share with you . . .
I had an inquiry from a customer who asked me where I purchased my pre-tied little bows that I used for my SLDK445 - 12 Traditional Damask ornaments.
Even though I didn’t use pre-made bows for my pattern, I tried to locate a source for some. One reason why I like communicating with customers so much is because there are times that I don’t realize that something like tying a bow would be a hardship for some of them. Many people have problems with their dexterity due to arthritis or other issues and I was happy that this was brought to my attention because it not only helps me understand things better when I design, but it also helps me find sources that are useful to not only myself, but my customers as well.
At first when I searched, I found a couple of places on Ebay that had pre-tied small bows. But the selection was very limited and they were located in the Orient, which meant that the delivery time would be rather long and communication would possibly be difficult.
I turned to Etsy to see what was there. I have had some wonderful experiences with Etsy shops. It seems to me that there is really good communication from the sellers and I find that I am supporting home businesses and entrepreneurs and I have had pretty good luck with both the quality of the items that I have purchased there as well as the service.
I found this wonderful store called Ravenwood Treasures that had many colors of the perfect sized bows for a very reasonable price. They only charged $3.50 for FIFTY small bows! The cost to ship them was reasonable as well. (I think $2.50 for the first item and .50 with subsequent items). To me – that is a great find! Just think of all the time it would take for you to tie those 50 bows! Not to mention the cramped fingers! She had many colors as well, including a beautiful RED that would be perfectly suitable for these ornaments.
In addition, I noticed that she offered amazing embossed card stock for note cards. Those of you who read know that I am a sucker for pretty things filled with color – and this card stock just caught my eye. I happened to be in the market for some note cards because I love to send special little “surprises” to many of my friends and customers and I go through quite a lot of them. The stock could be easily used over some plain white note cards, and they have white embossed cards for use over colors as well. (Anna – are you reading??) This Christmas I received the most beautiful note card from Anna here at Lumberjocks, in which she scrolled one of Keith’s SLDK233 Filigree Bell Ornaments in card stock and MADE a lovely card! She even used some hot-fix rhinestones to embellish it. It looked AMAZING!
I can see so many applications for this! :)
I went to order up some of the embossed card stock, and I noticed that Canada wasn’t on the list of places that she shipped. I wrote a quick note asking if she would consider doing so and I got a very quick and affirmative response. That is what I LOVE about Etsy merchants. I have always found them to be helpful and easy to reach. I had read the reviews for this shop and every one of the people who wrote was very happy with the service. I feel that hearing from others like this really helps us know we are dealing with a quality seller. My items are going to be shipped right away, and I encourage you to visit this shop. (Tell her I mentioned her here if you do! I want her to know that her great service is very appreciated!)
To make a long story short, I have some wonderful plans for these cards. I am very thrilled with the service and I will keep you all posted as to what I am going to make with my card stock. (What FUN I am going to have!)
Today I am going to be setting up and beginning another wholesale wood order for Artist’s Club. On Friday we received an order for lots of kits of the little SLD212 Summertime Strokework Bunnies.
(Now wouldn’t some nice little pre-made bows look wonderful on them??)
As usual – it is all FUN! So many ways to be creative!
With that all said – it is time for me to start another wonderful week! I have lots of fun things in store, and I can’t wait to begin them. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well and I hope that you are beginning to see signs of spring like I am here in Nova Scotia. Before long we will be done with winter. I think even I am ready.
Have a great day and try to do something fun and creative. You will be amazed at how good it will make you feel!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"