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My Journey as a Creative Designer

I encourage comments from everyone!  Due to software restrictions, all comments need to be approved before showing.  I will check several times a day to approve comments and answer questions.  Enjoy the posts! This blog is cross-posted in several locations. If you wish to see my older blog posts, they are all archived at http://lumberjocks.com/scrollgirl/blog

Another week has passed and lots of new things are happening here at Sheila Landry Designs. Unfortunately, most of the things that we are doing don't make very good blog material. It is hard to document some of the day-to-day activities without putting everyone asleep. 

But trust me - I think it will be worth it for everyone. . . 

As many of you know, while I began my business and website (nearly 20 years ago) as a means to offer mostly scroll saw patterns to woodworkers, I had learned to scroll saw because I wanted to make my own surfaces for painting. I have always had a love of many types of art and I refuse to believe that we can only follow one artistic path at a time. However, when offered a position as Contributing Editor to Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine, I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to expand my scroll saw knowledge as well as introduce the woodworking people to some 'light' painting. 

Many of the projects that I have had published in the magazine(s) have offered some instructions as to how to add some color to wood projects. While I know that this is something that some woodworkers view as taboo, being the 'rebel' that I am, it left me undaunted. I still kept trying all the way until the magazine folded a couple of years ago. 

Since taking on Keith Fenton as a partner, I felt that he has been a great asset to the company. Not only on a personal level but also his attention to detail and expert knowledge of computers made him one of the best partners that I could have chosen for many reasons. We have been working together for over eight years now and because of his contributions on so many levels, our company is doing better than ever. We are very grateful to you all as well and feel very fortunate.

But growing sometimes requires changes.

Our site has over 600 products on it right now. With two distinct branches of pattern types -  scroll sawing and decorative painting - we find that many of our customers get confused and find it difficult to find just what we want. We are always sorry when some of our painting customers order scroll saw patterns thinking they are getting the cut wood pieces. Even though we try to be as clear as we can in our descriptions, we find that it is sometimes hard to distinguish between which wood pieces are available as cut pieces for painting and those which are only available as patterns. It causes a lot of distress for us and it takes time and energy to correct orders that were done in error. Not to mention the disappointment that we give our customers. We want everyone to have a positive experience here on our site and we want them to be happy. 

So what is the answer? 

For several years now, Keith has mentioned that perhaps it is time to split the site into two separate entities. I initially had thought it was unnecessary, but lately, I have changed my mind. 

This past year has shown an amazing amount of growth on the painting side of the site. More and more customers are coming to the site looking for wood pieces to paint as well as new patterns and kits that I create. It is getting to the point where there are so many new products in this area that it is no longer wise for us to tuck them into a couple of tabs on the main site. They need to have a place of their own so that when people arrive at them, they can easily navigate just to the products they are searching for - whether it be my own designs and kits, wood pieces for other artist's projects, or even generic wood pieces that are versatile and can be just for just about anything. As usual, there are so many options!

Fortunately, a couple of years ago I had the foresight to purchase the domain name of "tolepaintingdesigns.com". Since I had always had the intention of expanding the painting side of my business, I saw this domain name was on the block and thought it would be a good idea to hold on to it 'just because.' Right now, if you type in "www.tolepaintingdesigns.com" it will take you to the Painting tabs on my regular Sheila Landry Designs website. But once we get things moved and fully functional and migrated, it will take you to the new website that will look something like this:



Not only will this unclutter the main Sheila Landry Designs website, but it will keep the painting items organized better and easier to find. I think it will be awesome and I hope you all do as well. 

This is a huge task, as you can imagine. Getting the 'guts' of both sites to function well is something that will take a good deal of time on both our parts. Keith will be doing most of the main work, but I will be helping as much as I can to tweak products, write descriptions and do other things that I am able to do. We hope that it will be worth it for all of us in the end, and result in less confusion and better ability to find everything and have a positive experience when you come and visit us. I will copy my blog posts on both sites, so they will both have the same content as far as the blog is concerned. We still have to figure out the Newsletter issues. Since we have both painters and woodworking on our mailing list, we may have to have the painting followers re-subscribe to the newsletter on the new site. We are still figuring it out. 

I ask that you be patient with us during this time. Receiving your orders won't be disrupted at all and you shouldn't notice any changes until the new site is unveiled. I will certainly announce that in later posts. 

Until then, Keith and I will be pretty much 'business as usual'.  We will bring new patterns to you as time permits and as I mentioned, still be filling orders as normal. 

With that said, I wanted to let you know about a new pattern that is available for our woodworking followers. Keith created these beautiful Gothic Inspired Ornaments for you all to enjoy (SLDK732)



Not only would these be wonderful and elegant for Christmas decorating, but I think they would also look lovely on a Gothic Halloween tree or even a general tree that has classic ornament shapes. The designs are beautiful and while they may not be the easiest designs to cut, they will certainly be worth the time and effort. I hope you like them. 

Another item that was added to the website over the weekend was the accessory kit for my dowel tree that goes with Amy Mogish's Ornament Club. (You can click on the link to get more information about it.) 

Amy took my basic Dowel Tree (SLDPK159A)



. . . and she added her magic touch to a custom accessory kit I made for her club (SLDPK159C)



To make this "Spooktacular" display piece:



The tree is shown here with the ornaments from her Classic Halloween Ornie Club on them. There is still plenty of time to join the club if you are thinking about it. There are LOTS of fun perks for joining and we give lots of support and have fun painting together and showing our ornaments at our Facebook Group Page.

You can join the Facebook Group whether or not you are painting the project. It is fun to watch others and encourage each other as we create our "Boo-ti-ful" ornaments and trees! Come and join us! 

Well, that should do it for today. I have already been out and about and I have orders to get to the post office and new things to work on. I am in the process of getting together my embroidery kits for my shell projects this week too and will have that up in my Etsy shop soon. 

I wish you all a great day and a great week ahead. Thank you all for helping our company grow!

Happy Monday to you! 



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