Friday, September 17, 2010

Not Quite Day Off

Too many nights up past my bedtime this week makes for a very tired Otter.  Tired enough that I didn't go to work yesterday.  Ron said I could stay home as long as I came up to his office to go out to lunch with him.  Seemed like a plan to me.

After breakfast I checked Google Reader, which is how I follow a bunch of blogs, and found a post with information on a special at an Etsy-alternative,  If mumble people sign up for special deal, they get a Pro account for only $6/month for life, instead of the usual $16/month, and you can cancel any time after the first month. 

This inspired me to take a look at both ArtFire and Etsy.

Etsy is the better-known, at least for me, but does not have a "leather" category, although you can search for "leather".  No monthly fees, they go with a listing fee and percentage.  ArtFire, OTOH, has the flat monthly fee, and there's a link to a "leather" category - I think as what material.  But not as well known.

Well, what the hey, neither of them are exactly expensive, we'll try out both and see where I do better.  OtterNecessities on both, although neither one has anything actually up yet.  I also started the process of getting a GoogleCheckout merchant account, although I'm not sure Google is any less evil-empire-ish than PayPal.  But it's a choice for people that absolutely can't stand PayPal; and I can't blame those that feel that way.

Ron, obviously (?) agreed to this experiment, and made an offhand comment about not doing events.  Not unless on-line business really takes off.

Ron also said he might petition for this very spiffy shooting table ( which we've drooled at before.  The surface is transparent, so you can get diffused lighting from below.  Nor is it outrageously expensive.

Well, something must have been very soft and smooshy inside my head, because I called Calumet, then set off.  After coaxing Eowyn upstairs to her crate: she did not want to wake up and climb up the stairs, dammit.  Shooting table procured, along with two shot bags - those are for something completely different, I've had the shot to make some for a year or two, and decided $10 each for Calumet's were worth mumble month of further failing to find Round Tuits to make my own.

Road construction made the trip down to Oak Brook slow, and was spotty on the trip from there back up to Vernon Hills.  And some back down to Palatine after lunch.  'Nuff said.

The table comes in a nice sturdy carrying bag, with a second lighter-weight bag to contain all the hard bits, which fit inside the rolled-up white semi-flexible tabletop.  The angle of that back bit adjusts, too.  So now Ron's agitating for a ring flash, sigh...

Anyhoo, after I got home I started doing the books from Saturday's event.  Finally, that is.  I'd meant to start them right after checking Google Reader, see way back above.  I hit some snags:
  1. Our cost for the black cartridge pouch (see the relevant SB project posts for pictures).  I'd never figured it out.  
  2. An entry for a "brown belt" in Ron's handwriting.  That . . . covers a lot of territory.
  3. An entry for something unspecified sold with a pouch, in my handwriting.
  4. An entry for a pouch that we sold last year.
#4 I've dealt with a couple times before.  Usually it's an oops in either the tens or ones place, sort the inventory list by price and scan for likely suspects.  It was the tens place, this time.
#3 I decided was a plain black belt, based on price, and the color pouch.
#2 we decided was a havana belt - havana is a brown-brown, the other two are a golden brown and a red/burgundy brown.  Price and memory supplied hardware details.

#1 is still not completely resolved:

Robin and I couldn't find the original pattern, or the photocopy that was cut up for actual use.  We have the pouch made in two colors of brown, at worst, but measuring an assembled pouch is not a fun way to figure costs, especially one that complex.  And we want to make another one.  Aaah, the problem with using Someone Else's pattern.

I checked the Tandy website, but no luck.  It isn't standard Tandy stock, it was something GDI manager Bill carried because he liked it (as I thought).  Sadly, Bill has retired, and when I was last in the new manager is toeing the company line.  Then my google-fu was not helping.  Lots of hits, but all for completed pouches, and the designer's website is really deficient.

Finally, I had the sense to ask Robin to check the other patterns we have by the same designer.  Distributed by Hide Crafters (who I don't normally shop with, since the first few times I tried over a couple/few years I experienced found  not-low prices, when I could even get their website or PDF catalog to work at all).  Success!  I went ahead and ordered the missing pattern, and three more (different) patterns (tries to look innocent).

My logic?  The missing pattern is, at this point, not going to show up unless/until I replace it.  I could prolong the process, but by ordering a new one ASAP I can get on with finding my old one sooner.

Robin suggested that the missing pattern would show up last night.  We explained no, not until the new one ships, at best.  Probably not until the new one arrives and is opened, and maybe not even until it's in use.  If it had shown up last night, I could have called first thing this morning and cancelled the new one.  Murphy's Law does not work that way.

Anyhow, except for the cost of the cartridge pouch, the books for Saturday's event are done.

Back to Etsy and ArtFire, my plan is not to spend much time rooting through merchandise bins.  I think we'll start out with new pouches, etc., as we get them done.  I think I'm going to keep comparable selections on both (some items can be identical - like X-style all-black pouches or belts) for a while and see where the best return comes from.

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