As our small business gets larger and becomes more diverse, we are continually making changes – small and large – to accommodate expansion and keep everything running as smoothly as possible. This is one of those things that often goes by unnoticed by our customers but takes a great deal of time to accomplish. If we didn’t do it, however, things would appear sloppy and awkward and it would be terribly difficult to find the things we have to offer. Our website would be a mess.
I give a great deal of credit to my partner Keith. While my head races in twenty-three directions of things to design, he is the true organizing force behind Sheila Landry Designs and struggles to present our ideas in a logical and organized fashion. His attention to detail and “consistency” is something that I have never encountered previously. He truly is the reason that everything on our site looks so nice and is presented so beautifully. While our website is built on a template that can sometimes be rather restricting, Keith has the knowledge and expertise to override many of the restrictions that come with that and make our site and your experience here easy and pleasant. I am very grateful to him.
I constantly drive him crazy with ideas that I come up with. It is seldom that I create a design without wanting to offer several variations to my customers. This is due to my contact with so many people, I realize that everyone is different and may have different uses for the designs that I create. I like to offer options so that people can apply my work to whatever they were thinking. I believe that diversity in a design adds to its value. I know Keith agrees, but sometimes it is hard to present the many variations without confusing people. It is definitely a skill that is learned over time and I believe that Keith has it down to a science.
Several years ago, I purchased the domain name of “www.tolepaintingdesigns.com”. Back when I got it, I was just beginning to re-enter the decorative painting world as a designer. I thought that it would be a good thing to have if I were to change or expand my venue from scroll saw and woodworking designs to decorative painting designs. For the past several years, as my presence in the painting world has grown, Keith and I have considered splitting up our website and having two sites – one for woodworking and one for decorative painting. This way when one came to our site, they would immediately be in a comfortable place and it would (in theory) be simpler for everyone. But two sites means double the work and expense in many ways. Things like the blog here would need to be copied to both and it would be hard to pick and choose on many issues which side of the equation to keep a certain topic or item. Many things overlap still and we all know that just because we are a woodworker or a painter, doesn’t mean that is the only scope of creativity that we enjoy. I think there are many advantages to having things in one place, and so does Keith. so for now, we are keeping it to one site, but we did a bit of work (mostly on Keith’s part) that more clearly defines each aspect of our business – the woodworking and the painting sides – and hopefully made things a bit clearer to you – our visitors and customers. We hope you agree that these changes make things better, easier and clearer to you all.
For those of you who are our woodworking customers, things will stay pretty much the same. If you go to www.sheilalandrydesigns.com, you will land on the woodworking home page and see all of our latest designs displayed. On the left sidebar, all of the scroll saw categories are listed. There are also categories like Pattern Specials, Free Patterns & Resources, this Blog, and so forth at the top of the page. That has remained the same.
It is our painting followers that will see the biggest change.
If you use the URL of www.tolepaintingdesigns.com, you will arrive directly on the Painting Patterns Home page. (You can also get to this page by the large button at the top of the main Scroll Saw Patterns Home page.) Once you are on the Painting Home page (or any of the Painting sub-pages) the sidebar changes to the painting categories such as Painting Patterns, Painting Surfaces, Embellishments, etc.
The Patterns page is quite straightforward and self-explanatory. The Painting Surfaces page is completely re-vamped. The first section is completely dedicated to surfaces that I have created and offer for other artists, and then under that, there is a section for “General Purpose Wood Kits”. These are surfaces designed by myself that can not only be used with many of my patterns but are also waiting for you to apply your own creative flair to them to use them for anything your heart desires.
The Painting Patterns page has probably gone under the most drastic change. Now, by clicking on each specific pattern, you are not only brought to the pattern description, but there is a table under the main pattern product that shows the available surfaces, Combos, and Super-Combos available that go with that pattern. This, we feel, will make it incredibly easy for you all to get everything you need for creating your project.
Some may want only the pattern, and that is great. Others want the wood, charms and other pieces available and no longer will have to go hunt for them on our site. Others may be looking only for a surface from a particular designer. With the new layout, we think this will make things much easier and clearer for everyone. (Thank you, Keith!)
We hope you give us feedback as to our new layout and let us know what you think. We are quite excited about it.
We are sending a newsletter out later today letting our regular customers know of these changes. If you haven’t done so already, I invite you to sign up for our Mailing List to receive our newsletter. It is sent out about twice a month – give or take – and showcases our new patterns, new sales, and updates we are offering. We even offer special discount codes from time to time for our subscribers only. We never share your information or spam you. It is a good way to keep up with our new patterns and designs.
Now for my new designs . . .
Today I am finishing up my patterns for my three new owl series that I call “Owl at the Moon”. I spent the past several days re-painting these designs so I can take step-by-step photos for the patterns. Each pattern packet will have over 30 step-by-step photos and the owls will come in three sizes – Ornaments, stand-ups, and an extra small size which will fit in my SLDP141 Round Pumpkin Bevel-Cut Ornament surfaces. I also am including background instructions so that the little owls can be painted on any surface you choose. (See where the “variation” issue comes in! 😉 )
The three owls that I have are SLDP257 – Broom Hilda:
And SLDP259 “The Count”:
I am finishing up writing the patterns today and they should ship out or email out on Wednesday. But all the wood and kits are up on the site and ready to order.
As I mentioned, there is a newsletter that is going out today as well. Keith has his three new patterns:
And his SLDK720 Professional Grandparents plaque pattern set:
I think they all will make lovely projects.
Thanks for putting up with such a long blog. I was going to write earlier this week, but many times while Keith was changing things and moving things around, we didn’t want to publish our site because things weren’t done. We finally went “live” yesterday and we hope that you find these changes helpful and make things nice and easy for you. Your feedback is always appreciated.
I will be writing for most of the day. Then I will be moving on to new things in the next day or so. I hope to blog more frequently as I have many projects that I want to share with you all.
Until then – Happy Tuesday to you all!