Thursday, April 10, 2014

Late Weekend Report: It was Busy

The problem with being slow about blogging is that the days start to run into each other.  

Saturday and Sunday we worked on a batch of hard pouches.  We got a couple strips cut for bandoliers, and I meant to do more, but got distracted from cutting out other pieces by figuring out what else we needed for the hard pouches and other things, and didn't get any farther on bandoliers. But at this point I've finished two, am about 3/4 of the way done with a third, and the other 4 are ready to lace up. 

Sunday morning Xap came over and we did inventory. We did all the pouches and most of the other things, but I didn't have the tenacity to sort knitting needles and count each one, or knitting notions, or to go through the conchos. Yes, I'm weak. 

Last week I stopped at an Office Whatsit and picked up some DIY self-stick business card magnets. We already had a package of perforated sheets of business cards, which I used to make labels to stick on the magnets, and labeled the ammo cans as to contents (generally - yarn, knitting needles & notions, tools, etc.). Now we don't have to open every single one to find things. 

Ron's been working on his perl script to automate getting inventory into and out of the point of sale software.  

I thought the small-but-really-annoying crack in my fingertip was getting better, but it got worse again over the weekend. Tuesday morning I picked up some butterfly suture/bandages, and they seem to be working better - smaller and less annoying than band-aids, so I'm wearing them more, and keeping the crack pulled shut, encouraging it to heal. At a doctor's appointment yesterday, a sympathetic nurse also handed me a package of steri-strips. 

Ron's thumb/wrist problems took him to the doctor yesterday (separate appointment, and doctor, than mine, which was a surgery follow-up), where it was pronounced probably arthritis. Do this and that, and see if it helps, and don't wear the thumb brace, it'll probably make things worse.

Had a sinus headache Sunday night/Monday morning, so I stayed home Monday. I . . . kind of got out of control. I was thinking we need more colored pouches (need the final post-inventory inventory list from Ron to be certain), so I started looking through our colored leather, and amassed a good-sized pile.  Some of it was definietely too soft for anything but sewn belt satchels, etc., like these:

Some was iffy, and some was definitely firm enough for "soft" laced pouches like this one:

I decided to start with the garment/upholstery weight.  I ended up with 10 "belt satchels" (the second-smallest size in the picture above), and 10 little tabbed soft pouches (the red and black ones):

The dark pieces on top are inside pockets for the small tabbed pouches, which are cut out of an ugly dark grey. And yes, that is metallic hot pink sticking out of the stack. Yes, I intentionally bought it. Because somebody will like it. There's also some slightly metallic copper, dark teal, a slightly metallic bronze, some red, and one white piece.
Then I moved on to the "iffy" leather. I decided that was probably enough sewn colored pouches, so I decided to double it up with more of the ugly grey (which was super-cheap), and some other extremely cheap stuff. I ended up with a 8  pouches like the white fake-snake one above, and a dozen little square soft pouches:

Barbie purple (which looks more pink in this picture), a nice purple, red, black, and Elrond. 
I hadn't intended cut out that many, but there was an oops with layout on the purple, and the sensible way to fix it was just cut more parts than to throw away the oops part. Then I decided to combine some of the red with black, because red and black always go good together, and when I cut out black pouches, I cut a strip the width I need, and cut however many parts I can out of it, which is more efficient than just cutting one or a few out at a time. So I ended up with extra. Then Ron got home and suggested combining black with purple. So there you have it.

Oh, wait, it ended up being 13 small square soft pouches, for reasons that aren't really important and happened after I counted. 

Robin started lacing for me Monday. He's done belt loops before, and looking at the piles of parts, he decided I needed help. All the pouches that I've got ready now have belt loops, and two-piece soft pouches have their bottom seams done. And last night he learned how to do the side seams on soft pouches (which is the same as lacing a belt loop on, except doing the corner seams).  Last night Ron also fixed a hard pouch that I'd messed up. Fortunately, it was fixable. 

Monday I ordered latches (and rivets). Unfortunately, all the antique nickel latches I wanted were back-ordered. Drat, I wanted to put some on the colored pouches.  I'll use what I have, then default to antique brass. 

Last night and this morning I was considering the piles of cut-out pouches, the number of belt loops I have cut out, and the fact that I've already gone through the scrap pile for anything I could make belt loops out of. Leather prices have gone up, and I couldn't bring myself to cut down the leather I like for belt loops, at least not until I've gotten bigger things out of it. Did some poking around and found single shoulders, which at 5-7 square feet sound good-sized, but are not really big enough to use efficiently for most things we make (decided after buying previously). They will, however, be just fine for belt loops.

I also ordered a grab-bag lot of garment/upholstery leather, at pretty much a Stupidly Cheap price. I'm not expecting any great and wonderful, but it should be just fine for making drawstring bags (ie: dice bags). We're down to only 1 or 2 of the smallest ($5, IIRC) size of those again, and I definitely want to make more for ACen. 

Yes, I know, that's approaching rapidly, and I have a lot of things on the to-do list. Fortunately, Ron's sore thumb shouldn't be a problem when it comes to machine-sewing drawstring bags, and I can probably get him to work on the other machine-sewn pouches, too, even if he isn't up to lacing. 

In other ACen news, the vendor map is up (right-click on the image and open the PDF to zoom in and scroll, IIRC the ctrl-scroll-wheel the website recommends is a pain). The list of vendors and their locations is here. We're right next to Blonde Swan. This could be good, especially for attracting steampunk customers. This could also be a problem, we dropped a not-insignificant amount of money with Blonde Swan last year . . .

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