Monday, October 29, 2012

Quivers and More

I forgot to get any pictures of the deerskins, as mentioned in my last post. Sorry 'bout that.

Saturday morning Ron and I were discussing role-playing gaming and dice, and Ron mentioned wanting a new dice bag, which led to the comment that we could use more of the smallest size drawstring bags, which we sell a couple-three of each event.

That led to a trip to Tandy/Leather Factory to root through the scrap bin. We also got two 3D stamps, but overall we were very restrained.

MuseCon Publicattions design work consumed Saturday afternoon - I made a tech-themed poster and version of the flyer. The poster uses pictures taken at past MuseCons, which meant plowing through a lot of images to find good ones to use.

Ron and Robin had brought one of our 4' long tables in to use for gaming, and Sunday morning I took it over to cut quivers out (more surface area than the Workmate workbenches in the dining room, and more comfortable than working on the floor), since they weren't using it.

I'd intended to cut out 2 medium quivers, one black and one of the new tan bison. I started with the black, and realized after cutting that I'd cut out a small size quiver body. I decided to go ahead and also cut out a medium-size black one. Then I switched to the bison. If you look at the picture of the bison in the previous entry, that's the area I cut the quiver out of.

I considered what was left of the black side I'd started with, and cut out a large black quiver (giving us a set of each of the three sizes in black). That left me with enough to cut belt loops and bottom pieces out of, and some pieces I should be able to get hard pouch backs out of.

After that I marked holes. Lots and lots of holes. The quivers are assembled with half-inch wide strips, and I marked both ends of the lacing slots, around three sides of each quiver body, plus slots on the bottoms and belt loops.

While Ron went to work punching all those holes, I cut pouches out of the leather I got Saturday. I cut out 8 or 9 small drawstring bags, a medium-sized one for Ron, and two soft tabbed pouches (see the last post for a picture of several of those).

I brought tools out to the living room Sunday, and worked there, and Ron did his hole-punching in the living room. We were good and put everything but the anvil away when we were done. It's nice being in the same room as Ron and Robin and being able to kind-of watch TV while working, but it's also nice not having all the tools and everything cluttering up the living room.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bison Leather Pic & Not Much Else

I didn't forget about posting a picture of the bison leather, it just took me a while. Apologies for the quality if you click to embiggen, it looked better on my phone.

This is one end, and despite the fuzziness I think you can see the grain. You can also see the shininess - most leather I buy wouldn't have such bright highlights.

Between things related to Robin's birthday and various forms of housekeeping (more natter on my personal blog if you're interested) almost nothing got done with leather this weekend, other than a bit of work on lacing a couple pouches.

Did get some new leather. Xap called Saturday to ask if we used deerskin, as she was somewhere that had some very pretty pieces. She got two skins, one a really pretty teal or turquoise (I'm never sure where the line is between the two, if one exsists), and a dark green. They should make very pretty soft pouches along the lines of belt satchels and the small soft pouches like these.

In fact, the dark green isn't too far off the green one in that picture, and I'd been wishing I could get some more, because I think a belt satchel in that color combination would be really sharp.

I'll try to remember to get a picture of at least the teal deer tonight.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

We Got Bison Leather!

My tan bison side arrived Monday. Based on the on-line photos I was expecting something in a golden brown neighborhood for "tan", and what I got was more of a medium brown, but that's much better than the dark brown "mocha" side I originally received.

Ron claimed a sample of the bison to test to see if it will absorb water right so he can tool/carve it. Early indications are positive.

Most modern leather for tooling has almost no visible grain. However, looking at the book I got about Arts & Crafts era leather goods, and some old books I've gotten in the last couple weeks, that hasn't always been the case. Those show purses and whatnot made on fairly pebbly-textured leather.

To throw another curve into the whole thing, the bison isn't so much pebbly, as striated. Tooling it could be interesting. Some of the books talk about choosing a design that harmonizes with the grain, and it makes sense when you're looking at a piece of leather that isn't uniform.

I'm also going to have to be more cognizant of the grain when cutting things out. Even on smooth sides one is supposed to pay attention to grain direction for stength and stretch issues, but for things like a pouch flap it can be a less significant issue than other factors. On pebble-grained sides the grain isn't visually directional. On this bison side the grain definitely has direction.

Hmm. Given that the bison will absorb water and can be tooled, that implies it could also be wet-molded. I wonder if that would work with the grain pattern on it. Also, the surface is more glossy than I was expecting (not super-glossy, more not-matte).

I'll try to remember to get a picture tonight so what I've been saying will, hopefully, make more sense.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I Made Things!

Picked up customs forms at the Post Office Friday night, and Saturday morning I handed the beer gut over to the mercies of USPS.

Then we went home and had a cleaning fit. Ron and Robin folded and shifted the floor room, creating more space in the living room. Be still my heart!

On the downside, the cleaning fit also shifted a bunch of stuff out to the dining room. I've put some of it away, still have some to go.

During the cleaning fit I found a bin of pouches. IIRC we brought them in to take pictures of to put them up for sale on Etsy and/or ArtFire, then forgot about them. So they haven't made it to the last few events. Oops. After lunch we took them out to the trailer, I packed them into the bins for Thing 2, then Ron packed ammo boxes and bins into Thing 2. Ammo boxes have been judged a good fit.

Saturday afternoon/evening I worked on hard pouches. We decided to put dees on the back of the larger ones so they can be used as sporrans. I'm going to need more simple/cheap dees soonish. In the process, I tested the limits of the big sewing machine, snapping a needle in the process.

Change of plans, from sewing to rivets. I'm going to need more long double-cap rivets. Four belt pouches ready to lace up by bedtime Saturday.

Yesterday I worked on soft belt pouches, with a break for a MuseCon meeting at the Rolling Meadows public library, which was in turn somewhat interrupted by a tornado watch. Add 5 soft pouches ready to lace, and dye edges on (with permanent marker).

This week I need to work on flyers, etc. for MuseCon. I think the plan is that Ron will do mindless lacing (ie: he gets me to do starts and splices), while I work on design-type stuff.

Got my replacement color chart for linen thread. Did not, however, get the replacement tan bison side yet. Perhaps today.

I need to put more pouches up for sale on Etsy, I think I'll have Ron get pictures and list new ones as I finish them, instead of a repeat of the bin of forgotten pouches issue.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Beer Guts: 1 Down, 1 To Go

Yay! We finished the replacement beer gut last night! Yay!

We didn't have any CA accelerant in the house, so I didn't get any lacing done on replacement beer gut Wednesday night, after gluing the knot in place on the antler peg. But I did get the dee holders stitched down on the old one I'm refurbishing.

Yesterday was . . . exciting. The call of nature woke me up around 4 am, and I hadn't really fallen back asleep when Ron's morning went to hell in a very painful handbasket. Ambulance summoned, trip to ER, CT scan, diagnosis: kidney stone.

I could have made it to work by mid- to late-morning, but by the time we got home, did all the usual getting-ready-in-the-morning things, started dinner in the crock pot, and went to the pharmacy for pain meds for Ron, my stomach said it had had enough, I was staying home, dammit.

So I started lacing up the replacement beer gut.

And restarted . . . and restarted . . . repeat another couple times, IIRC.

I lost count if it was the 4th or 6th start that succeeded. Somewhere in there. Fortunately, once the more-tricky-than-I-realized start with the braid for a peg was done, the actual lacing is pretty much autopilot, so I laced and read and tried to stay awake.

Robin's one class yesterday was mid-afternoon, and Ron was feeling much better by then (ie: stone gone), so Ron and I went to The Container Store after dropping Robin off, and got bins for Thing 2. Did other errands, picked up Robin, and back home.

I declared it time to make the shoulder strap even though I wasn't done with the lacing, since Ron has things to do tonight. Got that done, then I finished the lacing. And there was much rejoicing! Yay!

Started to sew the top edge binding on the beer gut being refurbished, realized that I didn't have to, it wasn't too early to go to bed. Or at least start getting ready.

So I did. Still a bit tired today, but still happy the beer gut is done. It took me much longer to do than it should have. I'll pack it up tonight and see if I can download the customs forms. If not I'll get and fill them out tomorrow at the Post Office, then off it goes down under!

The beer gut being refurbished isn't nagging at me, as it doesn't have any kind of deadline. It'll be done when I finish.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Now the Working Bit

Continuing where we left off yesterday, I finally got back to working on things over the weekend.

I knew I'd be spacy on Monday, so Saturday and Sunday I mostly worked on the replacement beer gut bag to go to New Zealand. It seemed to go slow, in part because although they go together, in some general ways, like the hard belt pouches, there's enough difference that I have to stop and think about where things should go, how big they should be, etc.

While I was working on the new beer gut, I also did a bit of work on the old one that I had ripped apart and am refurbishing. At one point I was using the older one as a template for the newer one, as the older one had shrunk enough that it would nest inside the newer one.

Although I was, indeed, spacy on Monday (Xanax makes dental work much less stressful), I was together enough to do lacing and hand-sewing, so between appointments and other running about I confined myself to working on said lacing/sewing. By Monday evening I had the binding for the opening and the dee holders sewn onto the new beer gut, and was starting to sew the binding onto the opening on the old one. Unti I messed up and had to pull it back off, grumble.

Last night I did a 4-strand round braid section to hold the antler peg onto the new beer gut, and put a turk's head knot around the top of the peg. Then I found out that we don't have any CA (super glue) with a decent applicator. I debated starting to lace the beer gut up before gluing the knot in place, but decided that would be tempting fate, so I put it in a (hopefully) safe place, and will stop for a tube of CA tonight.

Hopefully tonight and tomorrow I can get the new beer gut laced up, make the shoulder strap and put it on Friday, and then Saturday morning I can pack it up, take it to the Post Office and do the international shipping/customs forms dance. I really want to get it done and sent of Saturday morning. Maybe tomorrow night I'll put Ron to work on making the shoulder strap while I lace.

Taking a break from the beer guts, I cut a disc and a ring out of lightweight calf to do a very simple mirror. Unfortunately, they were too small, and we also decided the back piece needs to be thicker, in order to help protect the mirror. But I'd cut the pieces out of almost-scrap, and gotten used to the circle-cutter in the process, so it wasn't a great loss.

Also cut out a couple-few hard pouch backs. Such excitement.

I wanted to cut out a couple quivers, but (1) shopping and the beer guts took more time than expected, and (2) One of the quivers was going to be out of the tan bison that transmogrified into dark brown in transit. So no go.

A week or three ago I got a new grownup picture book, "Artistic Leather of the Arts & Crafts Era", which I'll do more of a review on later. It's given me a couple new ideas. One was the mirrors, the other is a music/document/scroll case or roll.

Googling for pictures of other old music rolls, I found a new, to me, neat way to hold a case closed, involving a more or less ornate metal bar. In a happy coincidence, Modelmaker stopped by last night. Collaboration may happen.

This morning I had the beginnings of an idea for a variation on a hanging pocket using hard pouch fronts. Still not quite clear on the details, must consider some more and discuss with Ron.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Back to Work, and Shopping

I finally got back to working on things this weekend. Yay! We also did some shopping. I think the shopping and related aftermath will about do for this post.

Supplies Shopping

We started the shopping Friday evening, with a trip to Hobby Lobby for smallish mirrors - not tiny ones, but the size you might stick in a purse, once they had a nice leather cover over them. We did pick up some little-bitty mirrors, too, to use for decorations. And while we were there, we got a 10-pound slab of paraffin wax, to use on pouches. Should be set for another mumble years for wax now.

Saturday morning we made a trip to the Tandy/Leather Factory store (including Robin, and also Cookie, who we'd dog-napped on the way). I'd been thinking of getting some colored kid skins, to use as underlays for cutouts, and we wanted to look at some of the new conchos and 3D stamps we'd seen in a flyer.

Turns out they don't have the kid any more. For mirrors I can just dye calf, since the leather doesn't have to flex (alcohol-based dyes dry leather out horribly, water-based not as bad, but still some, and oil-based dyes are challenging to use, so the colored kid was really nice). I can use garment leather for other applications, where thinness isn't quite as necessary.

The exception to being able to dye calf is white. Well, I could use their acrylic "cova colors", but it's white paint, and I might as well just use white plastic as that stuff. They did have a nice pearl white sheep, but I decided we were spending enough without it, and just got green, blue, and red dye.

The dye was the cheap part of the trip. We came home with a boatload of conchos, especially three types of steampunk ones, with moving gears/propellors. I found a few nice buckles in the clearance bin, where Ron also found some stamping tool sets he didn't have. And then I let him loose on the new 3D stamps.

Dick Blick was another stop, after dropping Cookie off at home and Robin at karate. I got a small circle-cutter/beam compass; and we both decided upon looking at a larger ellipse/circle mat-cutter that we did have one already.

Storage Shopping

Saturday night we went to Cabela's. While Ron looked at things that go "bang", I went looking for unused milspec ammo cans. I was distracted by Mom Instinct alerting me to a kidlet who appeared to be wandering on her own, and when she got far enough away from where I first noticed her (why yes, I was following her) I summoned an employee to take charge.

Back to the firearms department, where I finally asked for the ammo cans. Some genius in management decided that they shouldn't be out on the sales floor, so an employee went into the back and got some for me.

The ammo cans are to use in Things 2, for storing yarn and other stringy bits. If we get more of the bins like we use in Thing 1, the ammo cans will fit in the unused space the bins leave. And metal ammo cans, unlike plastic dry boxes, are straight-sided. Plastic boxes typically taper, and that taper means more annoying wasted space.

Next up was finding something for tails, as the ammo cans aren't long/tall enough. Back up front to the fishing section (did I mention that firearms are in back, and I got 2/3-3/4 of the way back to the front following the free-range kid?), which was a washout. Back almost all the way to the back of the store to archery. There we found a nice arrow storage case. Unfortunately, it was cracked. But there were more hiding in back, and appeared in short order.

Utilizing New Storage

Sunday I attacked the bins that had been sitting in the front entryway for a week (on the cold air return, so they needed to move). First, I made muslin liners for the ammo cans, so I wouldn't have to worry about OD paint coming off onto light-colored contents.

The laceweight yarn went in two of the ammo cans, and the un-spun alpaca the other two. I was able to tuck all the knitting needles and the stitch markers in, too. I do need to get some cedar blocks - not that I'm worried about Tiny Creatures, but the ammo cans have a kinda funky smell.

I can see getting more ammo cans, since in the long run I'm looking at another type of lace-weight yarn, and also maybe sock yarn. Mmmm . . . alpaca (blend) sock yarn . . . decadent . . . Ahem. Yes.

The ten tails we have left fit into the arrow case. I did wrap a layer of fabric around them, mostly to keep stray hairy bits contained. There's no extra room, so if we're ever going to have any more than we have now, we'll need another arrow case.

Other Shopping-Related Natter

Ron and Robin have been searching for the ellipse mat-cutter, which Robin also agrees we have, but it hasn't been located yet. The small circle-cutter works fine. Cut parts to put a mirror in, which were too small.

Last week I ordered some colored linen thread, which arrived Wednesday or Thursday, but the color chart I ordered with it was not in the (small) box with the thread. I figured it was coming in an envelope, but it didn't show up Friday or Saturday. Called today, the supplier will mail me (another) one.

The pretty tan bison side I ordered didn't arrive Friday. It had turned into a nice but not-what-I-wanted dark brown bison side. Grump.

The on-line return information is not as clear as it could be, so I called today to ask exactly how the procedure works (as in, are they going to send me a return label, since it was a mistake on their end). The person I talked to asked if it would be OK if he shipped me out a tan side the same size or a little bigger than the brown one, and included a return label with in the box?

Yah, you betcha, eh! I figured I'd have to get a return label, or at least authorization number, send the brown side back, then they'd send me a tan one once they got the brown back. It's so cool when businesses trust customers.

Yeah, I think that's about enough natter for this post. So I'll go on about actually working on things later.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

New & Old Merchandise Analysis

New Merchandise


A couple other people at Maneki Neko Con had fake-fur tails, but we were the only ones with real tails. Ours were in line, price-wise, with similar-sized fake ones (fake ones tended to be longer). One of the two people who bought tails from us said that he liked the swivel, the clip on his other tail (fake, IIRC) was getting stressed where it attached and was likely to break loose soon.

The tails were hung along the top of one of the gridwall sections. Some were a bit of a reach from the front of the table, which discouraged petting. Not sure if that was good or bad.

Yarn, Patterns, and Knitting Needles

The new literature rack works well for patterns. I need to get some foam core and cut props for the uppermost tier, but patterns in the lower tiers won't need them. There isn't enough room on a 24' wide table to put the yarn out in front of the rack, but there may be on a 30" wide table.

Sold a beginner pattern, skein of yarn, and needles to one customer. Didn't get a lot of people looking, but I didn't necessarily expect a lot at an anime con, either.

I probably need to get some strips of velcro for the fabric display boxes - the velcro on the front edge is the hooky parts, so it can catch yarn/fleece.

Need to get more basic patterns from Sharon.

The supplier for the Suri Elegance lace-weight yarn also has "Paca Peds" sock-weight yarn. I may have to get some. It would be so decadent, but probably a good addition. And then I'd need some more needle sizes...

I probably should also pick up another ball-winder and swift to leave with the merchandise so we can wind yarn for customers.

Frogs and Sword Hangers

Sold none, which was a bit disappointing. But, Prairie State College had a pretty strict weapon/weapon-like policy, so very few people had anything weapon like, other than a few toy ray-guns. Fortunately, either the real and campus cops didn't notice our PVC pipe display "sword", or decided it was so obviously a prop as to not worry about. I suspect the latter.

Paracord Bracelets

Sold several of the paracord bracelets we'd gotten from Modelmaker, despite a report of someone else selling paracord bracelets for $2 (vs. the $7 for ours).

Old Merchandise

Pad and Book Covers

Sold the two notepad covers we had, and there was some rejoicing by me. I made them, in hindsight, about the time of the rise of smartphones, etc. They were machine-stitched, which doesn't look as nice as hand-sewing, but I think decline of demand is more a factor of them not selling. I won't be making more, except on commission.

On a related note, book covers have also been pretty slow to move the last couple/few years. I think this is directly attributable to the rise of e-books. E-book reader/tablet covers would be a good replacement, if there was any kind of uniformity of size, which there isn't. Not sure if I'll continue to make paper book covers.

Discontinued Pouches

A while back I decided to stop making the "chamfered" hard pouches, and "hybrid soft" pouches. We sold a couple/few when I first started making them, but they've been dogs for a long time. I've had them marked as on sale for a couple events now, but they're still not selling at the not-increased "sale" price. Debating if I want to cut prices on them a little more.

Another option is to use them when event organizers ask for donations for raffle/auctions. Usually I give a belt and/or small square soft pouch. Since there isn't anything actually wrong with the discontinued pouches, I think it would be reasonable to make donations out of them.


I think I've said this a couple/few times already, but I'm going to make more quivers Real Soon Now, dammit. I have some not-too-heavy black latigo, and somewhere between here and Colorado is a half-bison in a pretty tan. I think I'll make a quiver from each. The only question is completely open-top, or strainer-tops (holes for X arrows, X depending on quiver size).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It followed me home, Mom! Can I keep it?!?

Part 3 in an Occasional Series

Here's a picture taken Sunday afternoon:


If you can't read it, the label on the front near the top edge says "THING 2"

Yes, another jobsite box road case followed us home from Menard's. We've named it Thing 2. The original big yellow road case is now Thing 1 (and has been labeled appropriately).

This time it was a little more planned, at least in as far as we decided on Sunday morning to go buy it, with proceeds from Maneki Neko Con and the SCA event the weekend before.

We got all the merchandise packed away Saturday, but barely. Ron reports that there is no space left in Thing 1. Considering all the pouches in various stages of progress in the dining room, and that I have leather earmarked for making one or more quivers, we bowed to the inevitable.

Our plan was to buy another jobsite box, but when we got to Menard's we discovered that the top case for the big green tool chest on clearance, for about $100 off. We considered, and decided the big yellow one would be more useful. Determined Menard's did have one in stock (the Menard's website claims it's special order only), found a flatbed cart, loaded the box, and got wheels and bolts, etc.

Then we stopped and looked at the green top case on sale again. Then wandered back over to the aisle they're normally in and looked at the one there. After several trips back and forth we determined that the tool chests have been re-designed, and the old ones are on clearance. Waffle waffle. The new version has the advantage of new drawer-latch mechanism and the pull-out tool shelf locks in place, but the top section is different, and it's a bit taller. Ron checked measurements, the new version will fit on older base cabinet.

Either version is heavy and makes for a fairly tall unit. I voiced concerns on weight and center of gravity issues with adding a top case. And as we've proven, the big yellow bins hold a lot. So we decided to stick with just the big yellow bin.

On the way home we determined that the bins are now Thing 1 and Thing 2. We discussed painting them red and blue, but that hasn't happened. Yet.

Robin helped Ron partially un-load the trailer, then Ron spent some time figuring out the best way to re-load incorporating Thing 2. He did come up with a plan, which is likely to be modified next event we go to.

After that we looked at the website for US Cargo Control (.com), where I'd gotten E-track and fittings, and ordered some short (2' long) sections of E-track which were on clearance at about half-off. Also got some more d-ring fittings, and new ratchet locks for some 1" load straps we had with cam locks.

The 1" straps used to hold the concrete form tubes I store leather in together in bunches, until Ron built the carts for the tubes, which work much better than strapping bundles of tubes to shelving units. I'd kept the straps, and so instead of buying and modifying more 2" load straps, we'll just replace the mechanism on the 1" straps, which are plenty strong to restrain smaller things like chairs and the handtruck, and which saves money.

Still working out how we're going to containerize storage within Thing 2. We have vaguely milk-crate-like open-top bins in Thing 1, which make it easier to pack, and help prevent crushing of things within the Thing.

I think if we get some milspec ammunition cans or plastic dry boxes, the tails and yarn can live in Thing 2, which only has two small openings where the lock points are. Rubbermaid bins would also work to keep out any critters that got into the trailer then into Thing 2, but they waste more space with handles. We need to check the inside dimensions of Thing 2, the lengths on the longer tails, and the size of the overall bundles of furry bits and yarn to see what size boxes will work best. Also need to think ahead on how many types/bundles of yarn we ultimately want to expand to, and plan accordingly.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Maneki Neko Con Report

Final Preparations

Friday night on the way home from work I stopped at The Container Store to find something to display yarn in. I ended up with two collapsible fabric boxes by Reisenthel, the people who make the cool fabric and aluminum market baskets. I also got three small collapsible mesh cubes to display knitting needles and possibly small tools in.

The storage boxes I got, btw, are off-white, not khaki. There's a metal frame in each end to hold them open. The Container store had some other fabric basket-like things, but they were too slouchy.

When I got home we made sword hangers, then packed up the tools, and at that point were about ready to go. Ron and Robin had hooked up the trailer before I got home.

Our First Anime Con

We took 53->290->294->80/94 to get to Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, because it was the most direct/fastest route. I should have checked on construction, it was an issue. But we still got there 8:30-ish, which gave us an hour and a half for setup.

The person in charge of vendors was queueing up people to use the driveway next to the loading dock to unload, but thanks to the power of the road cases, we didn't have to deal with that. I think we hurt some gopher brains, though. On the plus side, Taz, who does logistics and operations for various conventions, approved of the road cases.

Vendors were set up in the atrium of the main (only?) building. It was an interesting location. The atrium tile walkways around somewhat irregularly-shaped carpeted island areas (which I think usually contain furniture). The walkways stayed open as walkways, and vendors were on the islands.

Remember last week when I said even vendors who graduated kindergarten still push? Yeah. I'd reserved two spaces, but they'd run out of 8' tables, so we get three 6' tables. No complaints. Our island was roughly triangular in shape, and we were supposed to share it with another vendor (who never showed). We kinda expanded, setting up the gridwall out from one end of the run of tables, and the yellow bin around a corner. But we did leave a good fair half of the island for the neighbors. It was a long stretch to watch, but there were three of us.

We'd set up things to maximize gridwall use, thinking we were going to have trouble getting everything out. The gridwall was full, but I actually had to go back and spread some of the stuff on the tables out, and all the pouches were laying flat. So plenty of room.

The morning and early afternoon were depressingly slow. We sold one tail. We wondered if we'd made a mistake doing the convention. And the sun moved to come in through the windows at the top of the atrium and trying to cook us.

Eventually business picked up. We sold . . . little bits of lots of things, proving that the more we have the more we sell.

Vendors closed at 5:00. We actually got everything into the road cases and bin for stringy bits. The only exception was the tails, and that was on purpose.

We took 80->355->53 home, which was something like 5-7 minutes slower according to Google Maps, but was just generally a better route - no construction, less traffic, no crazy interchanges, yadda yadda.

Got home 8-ish? and went to bed. Ron had been up since 3:30 am, and I hadn't slept the best, either. Xap stayed with us of trying to make the hour-ish drive home.

Even when business was looking dismal we'd decided to do the convention again (if it's held again), since a first year can be really iffy. Next year there should be even more people, and people will know what to expect. I heard that a lot of the attendees had never been to any kind of convention before.

The members of the anime club, however, have been making slave labor of themselves at various cons over the last year or two, learning how to do things. They did a good job. Rooms were spread out, but I'm guessing that wasn't necessarily under their control. There were some other bugs, but nothing that can't be written off to being their first run.

Chicago Heights is a bit of a haul, and while the campus and immediate neighborhood seemed nice enough, that part of the south suburbs has got some rough neighborhoods. So not sure what we'll do if/when Maneki Neko Con goes to a multi-day thing. Cross that bridge when we get to it, most likely.

When looking for sales venues I think we've shown that we can do decently at conventions with a good cosplay contingent - most of our sales at CodCon were to the cosplayers. I don't think we're going to be doing Anime Central any time soon (the cost to get into the ACen dealer's room gives me sticker-shock), but I need to look for smaller events like CodCon and Maneki Neko Con.

Stay Tuned For...

I've gone on long enough, so stay tuned for:
  • Costume Ruminations
  • New Merchandise Analysis
  • Old Merchandise Analysis
  • Costume/Cosplay Reflections
  • . . . and . . .
  • It followed me home, Mom! Can I keep it?!?