Thoughout my life, I have practiced and somewhat mastered the art of finding good in most anything. Even when something bad occurs, I have myself trained to try to find a positive slant in it. Some people call this 'optimism' and I suppose that is as good a word as any to describe my attitude toward life. I think it is a good habit to follow, as looking for something positive in a even a not-so-good situation often changes our entire disposition and more often than not, we surprise ourselves and things have a better outcome than anticipated. This view always encourages hope and while everything may not turn out how we initially anticipated, it usually isn't as bad as one would think. I like being that way.
Last week was a difficult one for me. Learning that the magazine I worked with for over 17 years was folding was quite a blow for me emotionally, not to mention the larger implications. In many ways, things felt surreal, as if it didn't really happen. While I was going about my normal routine of creating and designing, there was always the thought in the back of my mind of doing 'this' for the magazine or doing 'that' for the magazine. Then I would realize that that chapter of my life is over and reality would once again hit.
The most concrete evidence of this was Monday when I received all of my projects that were slated to be published back. As I opened the short note my editor Deb had written, I once again felt a wave of sadness come over me. We were really done. Time to think ahead.
But I did realize that only that one chapter had been completed. It had run its course and it was time to look into other things. Thankfully, I had not limited myself to one avenue, as Kieth and I have been exploring many different venues for our designs and knowing that many of them had been in place for some time, it somehow softened the blow that was just dealt. It showed us first hand the importance of diversifying our small business. It has been a great deal of work to do so, but is certainly paying off. So on we go from here.
On the good side, the projects that were slated to be published no longer are on hold for us. We are able to put them on our site immediately, without having to wait for them to run their course with the magazine. This includes things such as my SLD475 Nevermore Plaque that so many of you inquired about:
I am finishing up the pattern packet today, but you can pre-order it now on the site. (I will send the packet along a bit later in the day.)
Keith also made this adorable "SLDK388 10 Filigree Fun in the Sun" Ornament set, which can offer many decorating possiblities.
Another ornament set the created was the SLDK389 - 14 Simple Halloween Ornaments. These will also have many fun decorative uses for the upcoming Halloween season.
I spent the day finishing up my packet on the standing reindeer that I previewed yesterday. (SLD476 - Standing Reindeer Set 1)
I am very proud of the pattern. While I was creating the pattern, I thought about just how much I learned over the years by working with the magazine and being published. The pattern includes 18 step-by-step photos and explains the process so that even someone who is beginning woodworking can easily understand how to create the project successfully. It is nice to feel such a sense of pride not only in the finished project, but also the instructions. I think that writing instructions is just as important as the designs themselves, as what we are doing is in essence, teaching on paper.
I plan to make another set of two additional reindeer, as well as a sleigh to add to this set. That way the customer can make two of each pose of reindeer and have a wonderful little vignette to display under the tree, on a mantle or anywhere. I also thought as a 'bonus' pattern, for those who bought the other pieces, I would offer a free single reindeer with a bulbous nose (for Rudolph!) to lead the group. It will be a fun project to complete and I should have the rest of the pieces finished up for the next update – with plenty of time to make them for holiday gifts.
Keith has another Christmas design as well. This nice and simple plaque that would be a great seller at craft sales. (SLDK387)
And finally, we decided that we are going to be offering an ongoing "$2 Special pattern" that will be regularly swapped out. The first pattern we are offering will be Keith's SLDK214 Trick or Treat Spider Plaque.
It is a fun and cute plaque and we hope everyone will like it and give it a try.
We have several other projects that were slated for the magazine as well, but we will be presenting them in the next several weeks, as we do future updates.
I am sending out the Newsletter later on today, as soon as I am done with the instructions for the "Nevermore" plaque. If you would like to sign up for the monthly newsletter, you can do so on our Mailing List page. Lots of customers who don't get a chance to read my blog every day like to receive the newsletter to see what we have new. Besides – I don't always get the chance to show all of Keith's new designs here on my blog and they are always in the newsletter. We also offer special coupon codes from time to time for our mailing list customers only.
I hope you all like the new items. Both Keith and I have several more in the works. We are both optimistic that through word of mouth and other social media that people will find out about us and continue to support us and our little business. We both thank you all for that support as well.
It is beautiful and sunny out today. Summer isn't quite over just yet. Hopefully in the next couple of days I will get a chance to perhaps visit the beach. It has been a hectic summer so far and the weather hasn't cooperated much. Soon the winter cold will be here again.
I wish you all a wonderful Wednesday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"