It has been a crazy/busy couple of weeks here. (Crazier and busier than usual, that is!) With finishing up my "Scary-Go-Round" Haunted Carousel and finding someone to do the work on my car, the days are just going by faster than ever. I want to note though that I am not complaining, but rather excited about it. All the while in the background, the regular day-to-day tasks of our business keep rolling along. It is a wonderful time for us.
I feel sometimes like I am spinning several plates at once. I am working on the pattern for the large carousel project (it is coming along nicely) and I have been busy purchasing and preparing the supplies for the many pre-ordered full kits that I will be making in the next week or so. Keith has been really helpful in that area, as my car is in Halifax getting the work done on it. I have also been filling orders from the website and cutting and shipping painting surfaces for my painting followers. I am thrilled that the orders are increasing in that department, as I really enjoy cutting and this gives me that chance to do so. I always try to get the orders out within a day of when I receive them. I know that my customers appreciate it a lot. I know when I order something, I am always anxious to get it as quickly as possible. I really enjoy that part of the business.
Yes – there is always something fun for me to do every single day.
Yesterday, I divided the day up and accomplished several of the above mentioned tasks. I spent the morning writing and working on the photos for my carousel pattern. I then laid out the patterns for my own cutting of the kit pieces, as I have all the wood here on hand. And finally, in the late afternoon and evening, I spent some time at the scroll saw cutting out orders and adding to my stock for future orders.
I had quite a few orders for my SLDPK223 Victorian Skates Wood Kit for my upcoming Art Play Date Class that I will be teaching:
I am also providing the wood surfaces for my friend Kerry Anderson, who's Art Play Date 2015 project is a set of three holiday keys (SLDPK121 Holiday Key Trio)
I just love Kerry's painting style and I am very pleased that I am able to provide her wood surface. This is a great opportunity for those who are participating in the course to purchase both surfaces at once and save a little on shipping.
Since I had several of each kit ordered, I decided to get a little ahead of my game and cut some additional sets for my 'stock'. At one point though, I was having some trouble with my Excalibur scroll saw. It seemed the blades were not holding tight in the clamps and I kept losing and breaking blades:
It was very frustrating to say the least. When Keith heard me grumbling about it, he asked me if I had changed the blade clamp grips lately. We were having this issue about a month ago and I had called Ray at Seyco to find out what his thoughts were. Apparently the blade clamp grips were worn and all I needed to do was change the grips. That made sense because after using the saw for over two years, I would imagine that they were getting quite worn.
Ray explained to me that there was only a thin layer of hardened metal at the ends of these clamp grips. While sanding them lightly would increase the grip for the time being, it wouldn't take much to sand through the hardened tips and expose the softer metal, which would cause the grips to fail again – only this time more quickly.
The simple answer is to replace just those two small grip pieces and I would be good to go for quite a while.
Ray offers a kit to do this on his site here (scroll down the page a little.)
The cost is minimal and it only took about five minutes to do.
I had thought that when we received the kit we change them, but Keith had thought I did it and I thought he did it, so apparently I was still working with the worn parts. No wonder I was having trouble.
After we made the switch, I was able to finish up quickly. My order will go out this morning and I have a nice little stock of kits ready to ship.
I hope to start shipping the carousel kits by next week. I then have some ideas for some scroll saw patterns and additional painting patterns that I want to create. (I bet my scroll saw people thought I forgot about them!) There is just so much to do!
Keith is working on a new series of what will be 100 patterns. I don't want to say anything else just yet about it, but I think that they will be really popular.
We really appreciate how much support we have had from both the scrolling and painting communities. While our days are long and we work hard, it is always fun to be able to do something that we love doing, and we thank you all for that.
It is another beautiful and cloudless day here in Nova Scotia. Although the air is cool, I find the brisk mornings give way to wonderfully warm afternoons these days. Once again my dear cat Pancakes and I are able to spend some time on our deck. Yesterday, while Keith was bar-b-que-ing dinner, I had all three cats join me out there to enjoy the sun and fresh air while we watched him cook. I suppose I really missed these warm days. Sometimes the simplest things make us the happiest.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend ahead. I am not sure if I will post over the weekend, as I plan to be writing and working. If I think of anything interesting to share, I certainly will. Otherwise – have a great time and enjoy your days. I hope you have warmth and sunshine!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"