My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1405: Site (almost!) Updated

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 09-18-2014 11:48 AM 1726 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1404: Still Writing Instructions Part 1405 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1406: More New Things - Time for a Little Break »

Yesterday turned out to be a crazy/busy day, with a few unexpected twists.  Those of you who read regularly know how much I love my three beautiful cats (Richard, Pancakes and Coco) and how much they are part of my everyday life. Like most pet owners, I consider them my 'fur babies' and they are wonderfully special to me.

Lately though, Coco (my beautiful black long-haired girl) has been feeling under the weather. She has been vomiting more than usual (long haired cats in the autumn tend to be sick more because of losing their coats) and I was beginning to worry. She is a large cat to begin with, but I was sure she was losing a good deal of weight and the frequency of her getting sick was alarming. So I made an appointment and had to take her in yesterday morning.

Living in the country does have its disadvantages, but sometimes it isn't the most convenient. The vet that I trust is in Yarmouth, which is about a 45 minute drive away. It isn't too bad, but it definitely takes a big chunk out of your day to have to go visit.

We took Coco in the morning, and to make a long story short, she had to stay there until the afternoon. The vet wanted to get some samples from her for testing, as she did lose a lot of weight (almost two pounds in less than two months) and he wanted to do some preliminary tests to rule out some things, as she looked good and besides the frequent vomiting, was energetic and social and otherwise seemed happy. But that meant that we would have to leave her and return later on, meaning another trip back and forth.

In between we did some errands while we were in town, and we returned home to try to catch up before we had to head back. Without getting into too many particulars, she is doing a little better, but we still have to wait and see and do some more testing. But for now, things have settled and things are somewhat looking up. We are happy we made the decision to take her in. 

I had intended on finishing my two pattern packets yesterday, but besides the physical running around of yesterday, I was somewhat emotionally exhausted. Leaving Coco there for the day and going over all the scenarios in my mind of what the problem may be was a bit taxing on me. By the time we had her back home and with us it was already dinner time. I do admit I was quite exhausted.

But Keith and I worked for a couple of hours to get our site updated. It did help us get our minds off of things and we should have everything pretty much finished by the end of the day today. We will also be sending out a newsletter to our subscribers, so if you are on our mailing list, be looking out for it later on today. 

I will give a brief overview of what we have new here today, for those who do not subscribe:

First off – we changed our free scroll saw pattern.  This is part of my SLD434- 3 Damask Songbirds Scroll Saw Plaque set.

We thought it would be a nice way for you to try some pretty Damask style scroll sawing. You can go to the link for the free download. We hope you enjoy it and like the way we create our patterns. I also have a free hummingbird box pattern on the same page for the painting followers. This design can be painted on just about anything and also gives you all a sample of how I create my patterns. Each free pattern is up for a limited time, so if you like them, please take advantage of them while they are there. 

As for 'new' items, Keith has some wonderful new items that you may like:

First off there is this SLDK394 Gothic Welcome or "Go Away" plaque pattern. I showed this sign earlier last week and the response was great! It has two options for lettering – the "Welcome" that you see here, or for those of you who like to be a bit humorous – "Go Away"!  

You can see many other of our popular Halloween scroll saw and painting patterns on our Pattern Specials page. There is still plenty of time left to create and display these spooky projects! 

Another great new pattern from Keith is this SLDK393 Live, Love and Laugh plaque set.

Keith's word art plaques have been very popular, and we hope you all enjoy this set as well. They can be done separately, but look wonderful together as a vignette as shown. You get all three plaques in one pattern set, too. 

As for me . . .

I have been spending the last week or so working on some painting patterns. I have loved working with Margot Clark's MUD texture medium and I can see lots of new ways to incorporate it into both my woodworking projects as well as my painting projects. Yesterday, I finished up the pattern for this SLDP226 MUD Autumn Leaves Painting Pattern

There are six differently shaped leaves included, and they can be used in a variety of ways. I am also offering the WOOD KIT (SLDPK226)  which will include a set of 12 wood leaf pieces (two of each shape). I have really been happy that so many new people are coming to us as a wood source, as I enjoy cutting wood as much as I enjoy painting it and it really adds another dimension to our business. The hardest thing was figuring out how to fairly charge shipping, as you can imagine how different sized pieces and wood sets can vary in size and weight. But Keith has been working overtime and he thinks he has it just about right so that everything is how it should be. We always do our best to keep our costs to a minimum, but with shipping so high, it can be a challenge. We still try to give you the best value for your money and products that we are proud to put our name on. It may sound corny, but it is how we feel. 

Finally, I am finishing up the pattern today for the cool SLDP225 Witch Boots that I showed last week:

The response that I received on them was incredible, and I have been doing my best to develop not only a wonderfully comprehensive pattern, but also wood kits that will include the boots, wheels and even the little "charms" that makes these pieces so special. Later on today, Keith will be putting the product up for pre-order. I will be writing my newsletter first and then finishing up the pattern and I should be able to start mailing it out by tonight or tomorrow the latest. I will certainly announce it again in tomorrow's blog when it is available, but I realize that some want to order it immediately so I don't think they will mind a half a day or so delay. I think it will be worth it, as the pattern is full of step by step photos for not only the painting and MUD techniques that I used here, but also the assembly. There are several different techniques covered in this little project, and when looked at as one step at a time, even a beginner can make them with fantastic results. 

So that is the plan for today. I really want to thank you all for the huge amount of support you all have shown us lately. Our mailing list has been growing by leaps and bounds and we are very excited about the direction that the business is heading. We thank you for your comments and suggestions as well. It feels so good to have so many wonderful customers and followers that we can call 'friends'.  

Today is another beautiful autumn day on the Meteghan river! After this site update, I am going to spend the weekend cutting some orders out as well as transforming my all season tree from a beach theme to a Halloween theme. While I have a small place here, the little decorating that I do really does make an impact. A small item here or there to remind me of the season makes it wonderful and "homey".  

I hope you all have a wonderful day as well! Happy Thursday to you all! 

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

2 comments so far

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

4180 posts in 2410 days

#1 posted 09-18-2014 03:08 PM

Hi Sheila and Keith, I do hope Coco returns to full health. I’m a cat person and we raised our kids with cats. One pair of sisters was especially memorable but it’s a long story.
Your new stuff looks fabulous. I don’t know how you keep coming up with stuff! And just to encourage those who take the now free damask pattern, it cuts easily and is a very showy piece. It is enough eye catcher that in an otherwise dead show, we sold one.
I’m working on the most recent patterns I’ve purchased from you and am enjoying cutting the “Divine Night” Christmas box. Six 3D ornaments were a blast.
Out of curiosity and borrowing from band saw technology I made a temporary blade support from a piece of brass screwed to the “foot” of the saw. I was surprised how much that helps keep the cut true in thick material, stacked or solid. I like it enough that I think I will design a more permanent one using tiny ball bearings that won’t wear so quickly. I cut at motor speeds adjusted so the blade does not get hot in the material, and skip tooth blades are the cats meow in thick material and last forever it seems. Sharp turning technique has to be adjusted because the blade can’t twist. It’s all an experiment to see what’s out there.
In the process, I discovered that with the tension off, setting the foot in place and locked firmly just touching the top of the material, the just right amount of foot pressure is applied when the blade is tensioned on my saw (30”). It reminded me of running a sewing machine! In all the years of sawing I’ve never experienced a successful hold down until now. It really did work!

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL Now there's a face that would stop a clock! And seriously mess with small watches.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9237 posts in 3096 days

#2 posted 09-19-2014 11:49 AM

That sounds interesting, Dan. I hope you blog about it and let everyone know your findings. It find there are often ways to simplify and unify the processes that we do over and over. It is always interesting hearing what someone else discovered. :)

Thanks for letting me know. I hope you have a great weekend ahead. Coco is still stable as of Friday morning, and hopefully she will recover fully. She is such a lovely friend.

Take care, Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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