t isn't often that I say I am "swamped". Usually I am pretty darn organized and really on top of things. But there are times when there comes a burst of activity with my little business and I have to regain my composure.
This is NOT a negative by any means! I look at it as very much the opposite – especially at this time of year which is typically quite slow. It is an early indicator of things to come and helps us get ready for the busy autumn and holiday season. I am already excited thinking about it! Both Keith and I have some new things in store for you all that will really be FUN to make!
You will just have to 'stay tuned'!
Yesterday was both fun and full! I began my day with a wonderful phone visit with my daughter (which is why I didn't blog). I miss her so much living so far from her, but fortunately it is wonderful that she calls and we talk often and I can still feel that I am an important part of her life. I love hearing what she is up to and I am very proud of her accomplishments. She works nights so between that and the two hour time difference between us, it isn't always easy to find a time when both of us can chat. Yet we both make the effort and not too much time passes between calls. It was a great way to begin my day.
I had a sudden flurry of wood orders to cut as well yesterday. I had posted some of my new patterns on ETSY as well as in my painting groups and I am happy to say that word is getting "out" that I do some wood cutting. Since I hadn't submitted to Artist's Club this last round, our usual supplemental income for the summer will rely on personal orders. This is fine with me, as I love doing things of that nature. Mixing things up is fun and I love being able to provide a service for those who need it.
My biggest concern is that shipping costs are climbing, but since I only charge what I have to pay, people are very understanding and don't feel that we are trying to 'gouge' them. It is just part of the picture and everyone realizes that costs are rising.
Cutting production stuff is relaxing to me and it keeps my skills sharp. I am happy cutting one or two days per week and it also gives me a nice chance to work with customers on a one to one basis. It is all good.
Yesterday was my designated cutting day, and I really accomplished a lot in a short time frame:
I still have some light sanding to do today, but for the most part, I completed several orders.
Today I am working on clearing up the many emails I have to attend to. I usually answer things within minutes, but I am afraid I have fallen a little behind. I got to many of them this morning before writing, but plan to continue to clear things out throughout the day. I only tell you all of this stuff so that you (hopefully) understand if it takes a few hours for me to reply to you. I really do try to do my best and give each message or phone call the attention it deserves. Besides – I like getting to know my customers and hearing about their projects, etc. It is a great part of the business that I view as a benefit.
I am up against four major deadlines in the next two weeks. Fortunately, the 'thinking parts' of the projects are all in place and mainly what needs to be done is the actual implementation. For me, mapping it out in my head is the most time-consuming part and certainly the most important part. Once that is established, the rest is just creating, and that is FUN! I am sure I will share things with you as I create them.
So I will wrap things up this morning and get to the tasks at hand. But before I go, I wanted to share some photos with you that a customer sent in. Brian Becker used Keith's SLDK224 Self-Framing Cross pattern for a basis for a beautiful wedding plaque he created.
Here is his results:
I really think it came out beautiful!
Both Keith and I receive emails all the time from people asking if they can alter our patterns for their own purpose. We always love to see what others do with our designs and how they use them to springboard their own ideas. Seeing things like this really makes us both happy and I thought it would be so inspirational to others. I want to thank Brain for sharing his beautiful plaque with us. :)
Although these past few days have been really busy, I found myself not overwhelmed, but very happy that I have the life I have. I have so many wonderful things that I am grateful for and I am reminded of them all throughout my day. I thank everyone who supports both Keith and myself in all the ways that you do. Not just by buying patterns, but by the encouragement and friendships that you all have offered to us. We really do appreciate it.
With all that said, it is time to get my day moving. I have a pile of wood to pack and prepare to go out in the mail today. I also need to start on my next painting designs which has a deadline of early next week. It will be fun to see that come to life, as I have been planning it for weeks.
I wish you all a wonderful day today. I hope you find some joy in what you do and the people around you.
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"