Even though I know it isn't the case, it seems like a long, long time since I have been drawing and designing. I think that so much occurs in between different types of things that I do (drawing, cutting, painting) that it only appears to me that it has been a while. It was only last week that I finished up my Chalky Finish (or not!) Beach Ornaments. Right now the pattern and pieces are only available at my ETSY store . I re-opened my store about a week and a half ago and I think it has proven to be a really good place to immediately post my projects and surfaces in between site updates. The cost is very minimal and it doesn't take much time or effort.
Many of you love to see my 'works in progress' and are anxious to purchase the patterns once they are done. As with these new patterns, they were finished in between site updates and it will probably be another week at least until we update again and include them. I found that the enthusiasm that many of you had was possibly lost in waiting for me to do to the update. Keith likes to do the main work on the site updates because he wants everything to be a certain way. While I feel that if necessary I can update things (I certainly know how to add new products) to our site, Keith is sure to put everything into proper categories, use consistently sized photographs, and all kinds of behind the scenes things that make our site here look as nice as it does. Besides – it is nice for me to pass off that part of the business to him. I feel he does a really beautiful job with it and much better than I can do.
So as another option, I chose to just add stuff to the Etsy site, as everything is pretty much on a template there and it does a good job of getting the new things 'out there' and also has served to bring new people to our business. Many times one would see our products on ETSY and even purchase one and then go to the main site and become a regular customer. Yes – it is a bit more work, but it serves to really be beneficial in presenting our items to 'new eyes'.
Diversification is a real key to small business success I believe. I think that smaller businesses need to appeal to as many new people as possible and try many different avenues until they find what will really support them. Many people don't have the luxury of the time it takes to apply this trial and error philosophy, but I find that expanding into many related areas has helped our business grow. I am very happy with the direction we are heading.
I had quite a productive day yesterday. I finished all of my orders and got them all sent out. That, I felt was a huge accomplishment because I was also able to make several extra wooden pieces to have some stock here for subsequent orders. That way I don't have to stop what I am doing every time wood is ordered and it is really nice to just pull it out of my supply boxes. Because we live in a small place, I don't keep too many extra pieces here. But that is also good in that nothing really goes to waste and I am not over spending on either time nor materials. Everyone wins that way as it helps me keep the prices low.
Today I need to put on my "drawing hat" and really finish mapping out the next painting project. I was invited to submit to an online painting magazine and I am very happy to do so. I already have the design thought through (I do this while I am doing my production work – double duty!) so all I need to do is draw it and paint it and I will be good to go. It will be a Halloween themed project because the online issue I will be contributing to will be the August issue. I am excited about it because it will again bring my work to perhaps some new people who haven't heard of me. It is all good.
I am a little late in posting today because I was trying to get through the large amounts of emails that built up while I was at the saw and sander. I think at one point yesterday I had 170 unopened emails and while not each one required a personal answer, it was a bit overwhelming nonetheless. For those of you who had to wait for a reply – I thank you for your patience. Sometimes I just have to let them build up a little.
We are in the midst of what is left of Hurricane Arthur today. We had predictions of winds up to 129km, but I doubt it will be that bad. It was a bit windy this morning, and it has been raining as well, but it has slowed down and claimed down a great deal here at 9:30am and I really think it will not be much worse. Thank goodness the storm brought some crisp and cool air with it! The past two days were so hot and muggy they were just debilitating. I much prefer the cool. Tomorrow promises to be sunny and warm again. I'll take it!
Finally for today, I wanted to share a wonderful picture that was sent in by a customer, Kevin Colf.
This is Kevin's version of my SLD469 Life is Better at the Lake pattern. He lives in the Fingers Lakes region of New York State and added Keuka Lake instead of the waves. I think it looks great! I love how people personalize my patterns to suit their own needs. It really is cool to see.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Summer is now in full swing so I hope you enjoy it to the fullest.
Happy Saturday to you!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"