Yesterday was another full and busy day. Not only did we finish updating our site, but I finished creating my pattern packet as well for the SLDP225 MUD Witches Boots.
It may sound silly to many, but I am really proud of not only the design, but also the pattern packet itself. I truly feel it was one of my best efforts and was quite an accomplishment for me to make.
It isn't that the project is particularly difficult. As a matter of fact, I believe it is very easy. But between the two boots there are several different (easy) techniques that are 'taught' and I wanted to make sure that I broke everything down so that even new people will be able to follow and understand the process. It sometimes takes a bit longer to present things in a simplified manner.
If I learned anything from my 17+ years of working with the magazines, I learned that taking photographs along the way when creating something new is essential. I look back now and I wonder how I ever got along without digital photography. I remember in my early days of designing, I used to have to go get film, set everything up (and hope that things like lighting and settings on the camera were correct) and then after taking the pictures, drive to the drug store and pay extra to get the 'one hour service' to get the photographs back. If I were lucky, they were usable for my patterns or instructions. More so though, they needed to be re-shot, as I was not the best of photographers.
Even if they were acceptable, I then had to scan them into the computer and readjust them there. I was always a bit disappointed that they didn't look as nice on my paper when I printed them out as they did on the screen. I knew little of adjustments such as levels, hue/saturation, etc., and I had no idea what calibrating my computer screen to my printer output was.
Yes – things were a lot harder.
Now when I do a new design, my digital camera is never far. Since the magazines that I work for usually wanted step-by-step photos, I am in the habit of clicking away with every step I take. It is not out of the ordinary for me to wind up with several hundred photos for a single project.
But I find that this is a good thing, as not only does it offer more for my customers to see when I am creating the pattern, but since the photos are in chronological order, they also remind me of the order of the steps that I took to achieve the final results. This is a tremendous help – especially when I am working on more than one project at a time. It is like a storyboard and helps me recreate the instructions properly and in the right order.
Thank goodness for technology!
My witch boot pattern would have been a lot more difficult to create without photos. I spent the day yesterday choosing which pictures were needed and setting up the pattern. The pattern turned out to be a small 'book' – as it consists of over 60 photos on 20 pages. While that sounds like it would then be a complicated pattern, it really is not. I made sure to show all the MUD flowers that were used in the process as step-by-steps so that even those brand new to using it could easily follow along. That process alone accounted for probably more than half the photos. But the 'baby step' instructions are what will help people to learn and understand, and I believe it will be used as a reference for future projects. So I consider it successful.
I also managed to write the newsletter yesterday, so if you subscribe, you should have received it. We have had some customers who subscribe not get their copy because of security settings on their email program and we try to make sure that everyone who subscribes has us listed as a 'safe sender'. We do pretty well though considering the volume of emails that are sent. Only a small percentage gets bounced back.
I had not mentioned another one of Kieth's beautiful projects that was newly added to the site yesterday. At the last minute, he added a new set of ornaments (SLDK395 - 10 Filigree Christmas Tree Ornaments) shown below:
It is a lovely set and it is done in his wonderful 'filigree' style that is so popular. Already it is a huge hit, and we only added it late yesterday afternoon.
I am going to lay low for a day or two I decided. For the last month or so, I have really been pushing hard. I have be very proud of what I have accomplished, and I have many more wonderful designs planned. I have several new opportunities that have been offered to me as well and I want to take a breath and prepare for them so that I can still offer the high quality of work that you all are used to from me.
I told Keith last night that I planned on taking the weekend 'off'. He just laughed at me and told me that it was impossible – I would never do that. When thinking about it a bit, I realized that he was probably right, as I have lots of cutting and lots of kits to create that I want to have ready to ship on Monday.
I think about the word "off" and what it means to me and I realize that it is probably not the same definition that most people have of the word. For me, I think by taking time "off" means that I remove the pressure that I put on myself each day to get certain things done. I want to take a couple of days just to catch up with things around here and 'play' and do what I like to do. Oddly enough – I am looking forward to cutting the wood for the kits, so that won't really be like work to me. I also want to re-decorate my "all season tree" and make it look nice for Halloween. I figure I only have six weeks to enjoy that theme, and after that between Halloween and Christmas I will decorate it for autumn. I want to bake and maybe cook some soup and embroider and paint some personal things that I have been working on for myself and my family and friends. And maybe go for a walk or two. And of course, I will be here to fill orders and answer questions.
When I write it down, it looks a bit 'busy' after all. But it is doing things I love to do, so I think that is OK. I am just the type of person that enjoys doing things, and sit idle would not be fun for me. Besides – they say if you love your job you never work a day in your life. I honestly think I fall into that category.
It is a beautiful, beautiful morning again here along the river. I have a light blanket on my lap and a couple of cats as well as I type. I am sipping my coffee with just a touch of pumpkin flavoring in it and thinking about what a good life I have. I look forward to enjoying it as much as I can, as every day is only as good as we make it.
Have an incredible Friday and weekend!
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." – Albert Einstein
I have some new designs in mind that I will be working on soon, but not until Monday.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"