Sometimes no matter how much you get done in a day, it doesn't seem like enough. I know I am not alone in this way of thinking because I see many of my friends are going through the same thing. One of the best parts about having so many creative friends is that we all can relate to each other in terms of "deadlines" and "getting things done". It seems from August until the end of the year so many people are frantically creating for holiday shows, craft fairs and the upcoming holiday season. I find this not only exciting, but also inspirational. I am constantly amazed at the wonderful talents and creativity of so many people. I especially love seeing my own customers use not only my ideas, but those of other designers and how they put all the projects together.
What has kept me busy as well has been cutting some wood surfaces for the painting friends that I have made. I find myself at the scroll saw much more than usual, and it truly gives me a chance to enjoy the woodworking side of my work. Some people would think that it would get boring to cut the same shaped pieces over and over, but I find that it is not the case with me. I have such a wonderful environment that it is truly a pleasure to do my work. My saw is a wonderful piece of machinery and everything here is set up in a clean and organized way. Many times I just put on my cordless headphones and some of my favorite music and I simply get lost in the moment. It is quite a pleasant way to make a living.
As I mentioned the other day, I also look at each piece individually and think of the person that I am creating it for. While I know that there may be 'cheaper' sources out there, I try to make my wood pieces the nicest that I can, and I carefully create each piece with that in mind. In the past few weeks that I have been doing more cutting and providing more surfaces, I have had countless notes and letters from my customers who receive them as to how nice they are. It boggles my mind to think that they would take the time to write and tell me, but it is – as they say – PRICELESS and to me it is worth more than anything to know I did a good job and they were happy.
I mention this not to brag. but to let all my fellow artists and creators know that there ARE people that are looking for QUALITY – and they don't mind spending a little more to get it. I see so many of my fellow designers and woodworkers get discouraged because there is so much cheap garbage that is being sold from China or other overseas countries and while many people settle for dollar store quality merchandise, there are still many more who are tired of 'cheap' and are looking for 'quality'. Sometimes you just have to be patient and let your work speak for itself. It may only take one or two people who are happy with your items to start spreading the word and soon you will earn a reputation that will grow your business quicker than you can imagine.
I believe the trick (if you can call it that) is to always do your best and stay focused on yourself. I find that if I am looking from side to side at what 'others' are doing, it distracts me from looking ahead. I would prefer to keep focused on moving forward in a positive direction rather than spending time worrying about what everyone else is up to. I set my own standards for myself and that is good enough for me. it keeps me focused and productive and also keeps me somewhat unique.
With that said, I have a lot in front of me today so I am going to get busy.
Yesterday I continued working on the next set of pull toy stand ups and ornaments for my next Painting With Friends pattern which is inspired by Terrye French. I showed you the first four pull toys that I designed last week:
The response from them was incredible!
But things got kind of busy and I wasn't able to continue working on them until late yesterday. While I didn't get them all finished, I did get another piece almost done.
I still want to add a little more to this guy, and I will probably do so when I am completely done with the set of eight pieces.
My hopes for today are to finish the remaining three pieces with this round of preliminary painting so I can create the pattern packet by the end of the week. Since I have had several people ask if I am planning on doing ornaments of these pieces, I think that besides the stand-ups I will offer a 1/8" ornament set of wood as well. That way people will be able to hang these darling toys on their trees or in a wreath, or even on the refrigerator as magnets for the kids to 'play' with. (I love ornaments!)
My thinking is that I will wind up taking "Pre-Orders" for the pattern and the wood pieces, as I know Keith has several new things for the update and we need to get it done. I am sure that I should have everything ready to ship by next Monday so the pre-order would only be for a few days. I had polled the girls in one of my large painting groups and most – if not ALL – said that they never minded pre-ordering things. So perhaps I will give it a try.
Well – that's about all for today. I have to hop to it if I am going to finish up these pieces today. It looks beautiful out with the sun shining nicely. It's very cool though and winter is definitely not far off.
I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday! Happy creating 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"