Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yay for Silver Sharpies!

The first batch of pens I found at Hobby Lobby yielded a silver paint marker. It probably would have worked, but in the next aisle I found Sharpies in light colors and silver, and another brand of silver gel pens, all less expensive than the paint markers.

The very-fine-point peach Sharpie didn't show up on black. The gel pens show up, but are smear-prone. But the fine-point silver Sharpie 2-pack, those are the winners. As long as I remember not to bear down and smoosh the tip they're fine enough, don't smear, and not outrageously priced. I'll have to go back with black to cover the silver in some areas, but that's a fair tradeoff for being able to *SEE* my lines. I may check around for ultra-fine-point Sharpies in silver, but I won't be upset if I don't find any.

I am *such* an idiot

For the last mumble years I've been struggling, more or less, with soft black leather with a pebbled (textured) finish - it's murder to make markings on that show up. This morning I was having a particularly hard time, and kvetching about it. Sprout pointed out that Dick Blick has paint markers in colors like white and silver.

The absolute brilliance of this suggestion took a couple minutes to sink in, but now the leather is set aside until we take Sprout to karate and go to Hobby Lobby to see what they have.

BTW, we did get space for the Midrealm Coronation/40th Anniversary celebration next Saturday. Only one spot, so it'll be belts, and basic pouches.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Schedule Update

So, the only two things on the schedule are tentative. Here's why:

I've been seeing stuff about the Midrealm 40th year celebration and fall Coronation for a while, but either didn't process, or deliberately ignored it. Finally today I looked up the details, and found out that merchants will not be in Ida Noyes Hall (Grey Gargoyles' usual site) - Ida Noyes Hall is beautiful from a visual perspective, but I hate it for merchanting. We've had a bad string of luck there - street level parking requiring steps to get into the building because the ground-level parking was closed, bad room choices within the building, a tiny elevator that broke too often for my sanity. When we had a couple 24" by 48" tables and only one small cartload of bins, it was do-able. Not so any more. So I gave up. Midrealm 40th is in another building, with good access, it sounds like, and could be a very well-attended event, especially by non-locals. Unfortunately, it's also filled. But we're second on the wait-list.

It doesn't look like the Boar's Head merchant space is filled yet, sending off my paperwork tonight. It's a haul, but generally worth it.

Not on the schedule:
  • Fall Crown Tourney is in Peoria mid-October. 3 hours is pushing it for day-tripping.
  • All Souls, by Vanished Woods, is quite local, and even though its the weekend before WindyCon, would be doable given how close it is and only one day. But I bailed on it last year or the year before - merchants were in the basement with only a teeny-tiny elevator (I suppose it meets ADA requirements, if the weelchair-bound aren't claustrophobic!)

  • 12th Night, by Tree-Girt-Sea, January 16th. Irish-American Heritage Center, Chicago. IIRC the merchants are usually on the second floor, but the elevators are said to be trustworthy.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fox Hunt Aftermath

Let's see, where was I . . .

Oh yes, Fox Hunt Recap, interrupted by eye infection. Back on meds for that.

On the way home, I had an attack of "What did we sell?" This happens when you sell a little bit of a lot of things - no big holes appear in the tables, nothing really impresses you as selling well that day, and the end result can be a (pleasant) surprise when you total up the numbers for the day.

I haven't done the books for Fox Hunt yet, but it appears that it was a little bit of many things - more pouches and belts that anything else (of course) but also a pair of bracers, a couple belt frogs, some alpaca, and several bits of hardware (more than usual, that one I did notice).

A bunch of people took Sharon's business cards, I expect a couple lace-knitting pattern sales to result in the next week or two - not from us, I always tell customers to buy directly from Sharon if they're going to be buying in the future.

Bins have been procured for repacking belts. Currently we have belts in three bins - the "One of Everything" bin, a bin of black, and a bin of brown. The problem is that we have so many styles, and three shades of brown, that finding things in the largish bins has become a royal pain. Sprout declared this at the dog show, and we decided the best solution would be to break the belts up into shallower bins (other merchandise can go on top), re-packing to be done at Fox Hunt, when we'd be into the belts anyway.

Well, that didn't quite happen. Sprout stayed home, we didn't take the big trailer, and I didn't feel like trying to get extra bins there and back in the truck. But Sunday afternoon we picked up a half-dozen of the shallower bins (I really should buy stock in Rubbermaid...), and we'll probably do the repacking this weekend, along with inventorying belts.

My inventory of pouches, etc. stays pretty accurate; last time I think there was only loss/gain of one or two pouches after mumble years when I compared what I really had to paper. But belts need that paper vs. reality check more often - at least once a year. And that means completely unloading all the belt bins, and physically checking hardware, sizes, and counting. Repacking all the belts is the sensible time to do so. Not to mention that I'm not sure when I last did so . . .

Hardware (rings, dees, and buckles used mostly on belts) also needs frequent inventory, but that stuff lives in the house, so its easier to do. But I probably should do another pass through that, since I should have some momentum built up from doing the belts.