Sunday, July 29, 2012

Instructions & Signage

Spent much of yesterday running around doing MuseCon-related errands. Much much running around. I also finished the instruction sets last night, exported to PDFs, and uploaded to FedEx/Kinko's for printing.

With both Ron and I missing the fact that the belt pouch instructions were entitled "Basic Hand-Stitched Book Cover". D'oh! I decided I'm not getting them re-printed, but I have corrected the InDesign and PDF files.

This morning started out with the excitement of a skunked dog, as nattered about on G+. I'm not sure if the house is finally aired out, or if I've only become inured to the smell. Anyway, the skunk smell did not exactly make for a pleasant working environment. And I'm getting pretty tired of the fan noise.

Got most of the signage done - although there may be some changes once Programming gets me any last updates in the next day or two. But I don't expect anything major. Also still need to do signage for the private music sessions.

Besides doing signage today I made bread for Con Suite, quiche for us, and lamb roast on top of spuds and onions for dinner, and did dishes. Several times.

The bread was actually easy - we bought balls of frozen pizza dough at GFS yesterday. Thawed three in the 'fridge, and today I flattened it out, spread it with cheese, rolled it up, let it rise, and baked. Then we ate one of the loaves for lunch. Oops. We had to test it, yeah, that's our excuse! It was good.

The quiche was also fairly easy - I used frozen pie crusts (annoyingly sweet, but easy), and pre-scrambled eggs, also from GFS. And shredding three kinds of cheese for the bread and quiche (why three kinds? Using up stuff in the 'fridge, of course) is easy with a food processor. So now we have breakfast/lunch food for this week.

Ron and Robin took the EZ-Ups and road cases out of the trailer, and built (and loaded into the trailer) a pseudo-dance-floor for the flamenco class - instead of one thick sheet of plywood it's two thinner sheets strategically cut for ease of transport, ready to be screwed back together.

And to finish up this rambling babbling natter, here's a picture of Pippin, in an appropriate pose:
(yes, that's Elrond butt in the lower right corner)

Friday, July 27, 2012

More MuseCon Madness

Yes, MuseCon is eating my life at the moment, why do you ask?

Finished formatting the belt pouch directions last night, including conversion of the pictures to black and white and dropping in the B&W versions. The pouch directions ended up being 5 pages, which vaguely offends me, as it leaves the whole back of one sheet of paper free. This, I realize, is a somewhat silly thing to be hung up about.

Later today I need to proofread the pouch directions, then tonight export all the directions, etc. to PDF, upload to FedEx/Kinko's, and get them printed. Yes, there are cheaper printers out there, but FedEx will do.

Not sure if I'll start work on the update insert sheet tonight, or not.

At some point tonight or early tomorrow morning the ability to order the sewing tool kit gets turned off, and probably tomorrow morning I'll run over to the Leather Factory store and pick up any additional sewing kits I need, +1 to be safe. Unless they don't have any in stock, in which case I have a backup ordering plan.

Still need to put holes in pouch parts and install the studs. Maybe we can do that tonight, since it's shouldn't be too hot. And dye the few things I need to dye black.

Signage this weekend.

For a while this morning there were questions and flurrying around about how to prevent a class being cancelled. Upon further investigation the issue turned out to be technical, and the Blinkie Overlords have been invoked to intercede with recalcitrant electronics.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Must keep writing, must keep writing...

Book cover directions done.

Keychain directions done.

Belt pouch directions

Hoo, boy. Yeah, these are much harder. I took the other directions, annotated the heck out of them, and drafted a bunch more verbiage. This evening I've been working on formatting (and some re-writing) them.

The directions for the book cover and the keychains each are two pages, with the whole thing pretty much running from beginning to end. For the belt pouch I've broken the general directions out - things like marking stitching lines, marking stitch locations, and how to sew. It turns out that I'm not going to be happy just referring to the Ron Ross tutorial for sewing instructions, I'm putting in my own, too.

I've gotten all the general instructions/discussion formatted, and the specific instructions for the belt loop. I've also done the discussion about cutting out if you're not working from the kit with pre-cut pieces.

Left to go is getting the gusset ready and sewn in. Which would be the end, but...

Yeah, I can't leave well enough alone. I've got alternate instructions for another way to do the gusset.

And currently I've dropped in the color pictures, so I need to go back and convert them to greyscale, so I can just print the instructions black and white. It isn't a hard task, it's just another thing to do. before I can stick a fork in it and call it done.

Hopefully I can finish the instructions tomorrow and Friday nights, leaving me Saturday and Sunday to do signage, update the grid for printing, and make the update sheet to hand out with the program book.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tangible Accomplishments! And Some Intangible

I have actual accomplishments to report! Yay!

The MuseCon program book did get to the printer before my drop-dead deadline, and then a revised copy went off the next day when I realized I'd forgotten something important, but still before the drop-dead deadline. This is why the plan is not to wait until the drop-dead deadline to get things to the printer!

Will have to do an insert/update sheet. There's been some changes/additions to Programming, new staff, and a vendor added.

Ron and I cleaned up some more vintage travel posters/labels for use as room schedule signs. I have to go through and decide which ones I'm going to re-use, and which new ones I'm going to use.

Saturday I cut out a bunch of the pouches for our leatherworking class. I've decided I'm going to lay out the piles of parts and tell the people to pick the colors they like, they can mix and match. I have several times as many pouches as we have pre-registrations for, but Ron pointed out that I can sew them up and sell them. I do still need to put the studs on the fronts and punch the slotted holes in the flaps, but that's only an evening's work.

Yesterday I cut out book covers. I need to dye a couple black, and then those are ready to go. Nobody has pre-registered to do a book cover, but see above on finishing/selling.

Yesterday I also cleaned up the dining room a bit, mostly gathering up all the junk/scraps that had piled up on the floor. It made a difference, though.

Saturday and yesterday I worked on formatting for print a hand-sewing tutorial another leatherworker, Ron Ross, has on his website, and has made available for others to use.

I've gotten a first draft of the instructions for the book covers done, and added all the I can think of that someone might need to the pouch pattern. Writing instructions is hard - I don't have instructions for any of my own stuff, just a pile of patterns, which have various cryptic markings that probably wouldn't make sense to most people. I started with the book cover instructions because I figured it would be easier to write than the pouch.

Ron asked if I was going to do written instructions for the keychains. I hadn't planned to (didn't have any when I did the class last year), but he has a point that it would mostly be just edits to the book cover instructions. So I might as well.

Supposed to be disgustingly hot again today, so I'll probably retreat to the bedroom tonight and work on instructions - coming up with words is more amenable to my smaller laptop screen than working on signage, which I really like the two big monitors for.

That reminds me, a week-ish ago Robin got Ron's slightly smaller LCD monitor, to replace his almost-dead monitor, and Ron got a new monitor, which is the same size as the iMac display, and which also has better color capacity (the old one isn't awful, but it did not match the iMac). Wow, lots of screen real estate!

I let Pippin into the dining room this weekend while working out there. At first he was very interested in the dog-food bins, but he's apparently decided he won't be able to get into them. He's mostly ignored the leather on the floor, but approves of the dog beds I had evicted in the kitchen. I still don't entirely trust him (and need to put the gate back up in the doorway), but am cautiously optimistic that he won't be worse than any of the other dogs.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Status Report

As you may have surmised, the weekend wasn't exactly as productive as it could have been, although the MuseCon program book did provide distraction on Friday.

The program book is thiiiis for from being done.

I think I created the 2013 ad on Sunday morning, after finally getting the Dover image book/CD I was waiting for, in Saturday's mail.

Sunday Ron made the artwork for the cover and T-shirts. Last night I put in all the proofreading edits Betsey, Xap, and I had found. I also decided that I'm not afraid of white space, the one or two spots where I maybe could drop in filler art could just stay white.

Tonight I'll export print-quality PDFs from InDesign, and then create the ID packages, which include all the fonts and images used in predictable locations, and upload to the printer.

Did do a little bit of leatherworking on Sunday, making a new collar for Pippin.

Still haven't heard back from the fall gaming convention at CoD. At this point I'm not holding my breath.

I'll probably slack off the rest of this week, but then I need to start working on schedule signage for the MuseCon programming rooms. I plan on doing 11" x 17" color signs, one per day per room, again. I need to look at what posters, etc. we've cleaned up (and removed words from) since last year, and decide what I want to use for each room.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Not a Replacement, but...

This is Pippin. He's about 35 lbs, appears to be a small Siberian Husky, or big Alaskan Klee Kai. He's 4, has one blue eye and one brown. He also is on meds for epilepsy.

I think Eowyn would approve, huskies don't like to be only dogs.

On the way home he was going to taste his leash, and he's attempted to help himself to one of the chunks of shearling we use for dusting the TV screen. The gate is up to keep him out of the dining room for now, we'll have to work on teaching him that leather is not for dogs.

Goodbye, Eowyn

Eowyn went for one last ride yesterday, with a stop for a McMuffin. Needless to say, much unhappiness.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Program Book Death March

In today's episode of The Program Book Death March:

The Grid. Formatted, squished, squeezed, squashed, and put in the book.

Grid construction interrupted by unexpected Drobo shutdown. Hopefully it was just bitching about the heat, not on a death march itself. Only minor work lost, continued from laptop's local drive.

Note to self: synch machines when venture downstairs again.

Icons put with each programming item description.

Item numbers assigned, put in grid, and scribbled on paper copy of description section.

Butt tired.

Artwork things discussed.

Not done:


Fix Special Guests page.

Covers/2013 ad/hotel map.

Compared to some books, this death march isn't actually too deathly. Sunday I didn't start until the afternoon,I've quit at reasonable times every day, and I ignored the text Monday and Tuesday (actually necessary for proofreading). And I think I may be done for today.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Progressive Progress

Heard back about the SCA event. Some bad news - have to be packed up and out Saturday night (by, IIRC, 11 pm? Or was that when the room closes?), so I'll have to pack up and pack the trailer solo, since I expect Ron (and Robin) to be busy with concerts, etc. Saturday night at Windy. But I'll manage.

The people/company that are in charge of the gaming convention to be held at the College of DuPage in the fall still have not responded to my e-mail, or the voice mail message I left them on Friday. This is not encouraging.

Spent most of the day Saturday working on the MuseCon program book, getting the Programming descriptions into their final format and into place in the book. Spent about half of yesterday doing the first proofreading pass. The book isn't done, but I declared it ready for proofreading by others.

This week I need to proofread some more, do the grid, decide on and drop in filler art, and put the icons in for each Programming item, and create the cover.

The biggest job is the grid. I always face a question with programming grids - bring the Excel spreadsheet into InDesign and re-format that six ways to Sunday, or start from scratch. Putting the icons with the various class/workshop/panel descriptions is just lots of copy-pasting. Tedious, but simple.

For the covers I'm having issues with art for the front cover and back-cover ad for next year. Today I formulated and took steps toward a backup plan for the art for the 2013 ad. Considering options for the front cover. The inside covers are the hotel map, which is pretty much copied from previous years, and the Capricon ad, which I have.

I may take tonight off, since I figure I'll probably spend most of Wednesday working on the grid. No, not a fun and exciting way to spend Independence Day, but it's also a job I can do in the air-conditioning. May also go see Brave, on Wednesday or one of these evenings, since we didn't get out to see it this weekend.

So, that was the weekend.