Friday, March 2, 2012

Still More Ideas and Continuing Projects

Driving to work is a fertile time for my imagination, especially as we still haven't gotten a Round Tuit to put an inexpensive radio in the Kia.

Table Arrangements

Yesterday morning I was trying to decide if there was any way I could actually fit Otter Necessities into a 10' x 10' booth (been looking at other events/conventions to do, post on that in a holding pattern). I cut out some 1"=2' tables, road cases, and gridwall belt displays (quarter-circles), drew boxes on paper, and started pushing bits around.

and pushing

and pushing

If I ever have to do an event with only 10' x 10' of space, I want a lot more gridwall, and it's going to have to be pretty much one of us working the booth at a time. 18" wide tables might also help.

10' x 20' is my preferred amount of space. 8' x 16' is a bit more squished, but manageable. If I have 16-20' of "front" space, the amount behind is negotiable.

Other Display Natter

When we were cleaning up around the big sewing machine Monday night I put some hooks up on the shelves - big forged iron hooks we got a blacksmith to make years ago, 9-12" long, with a rounded hook on one end, square hook (to hang over a two-by) on the other. This morning I had the thought that those would work on gridwall - hang them from the gridwall by the rounded hook, and hang dog leashes (which I hadn't quite figured out a good way of displaying), mug loops, or whatever from the square hook. I just need to remember to move the hooks to the bin with the other display hardware.

Continuing on the gridwall theme, we have 8 sections, 2' wide, 6' tall. By MuseCon I want to get at least one more piece, so that we can cable-tie them into triangles for signage. Other local conventions do this already with WindyCon's grid panels, which are also used for most of the local art shows. I don't think MuseCon is big enough yet to need/afford rental of the WindyCon panels, but we may find the few I have useful.


Trailer shopping is getting more active. I really need to get income tax done so we can get the tax return. One co-worker got her return in something like 8 days, but she filed early, and a radio report last week said something like 2-3 weeks.

I called one dealer (R.A. Adams, McHenry, IL) today to get an idea of their prices. I asked about 5' x 8', enclosed, with a drop gate (so it forms a ramp). The salesman told me their starting price, then pointed out that because 5x8 trailers typically have a lower ceiling than bigger trailers with that type of gate, it means a shorter, and thus steeper ramp. He said he actually sells very few of them, and suggested a 5x8 trailer with doors that swing to the side(s), which are actually cheaper than drop gate trailers.

He could be trying to push something he has more of on his lot, but at the same time, he was suggesting a cheaper trailer than what I inquired about. I think this one is points to the salesman for suggesting based on need, rather than price/commission. In any case, it's now a factor we'll keep in mind when we start looking at trailers in person.

Winching the Road Cases

The mounting bracket for the winch arrived yesterday. It's smaller than either of us expected. Partly, I suspect, because we're both thinking of bigger winches and bigger vehicles (it is a bracket for an ATV, after all). It is in scale with the winch. It sounds like it isn't going to cause major issues with how Ron was planning to build a stand.

Mobile WiFi Hotspots

I checked all the carriers in this region I could think of. The vast majority immediately wiped themselves out by requiring 2-year, pay-every-month regardless of usage contracts. The survivors were Virgin and Cricket.

Virgin is the knida-winner with the only obvious pay-as-you-go data plan for their widget. I don't see a strictly pay-as-you-go plan for Cricket's wireless hot spot service/device (it is available for some phones), but their web page advertises that you can cancel a plan whenever you want, and no activation fees. I didn't read in more detail to see if they have anything against activating it for one month, then deactivating until you think you're likely to need it again.

If we decide to get a mobile wifi hotspot widget, I'll have to do some more Virgin/Cricket comparing. Another option is that when (not really an "if" any more) Ron gets an iPad, we get Verizon service for it, instead of ATT. (Verizon being the other service with the best coverage in the Midwest, based on my not-especially-intensive research).

Steampunk Pockets

Ron machine-sewed the single small pocket on Wednesday. It looks pretty good, but we do need to adjust the tension on the big sewing machine so that the next one looks better. Waiting on the Fire Mountain Gem order (expected Tuesday, sigh) to finish, you'll have to wait until then for pictures.

Hopefully I'll have the vertical stack done by then, also. Yes, still slogging along. The upper pocket is completely done now; lower one needs the front sewn on and the flap sewn down. Did come with me to work yesterday and today, since I didn't have leftovers to fit into my bag, and because I'd like to get the murmfle things done.

Weekend Plans

It looks like we'll probably be starting one of the big "Beer Gut" bags this weekend, for an overseas customer that likes the style well enough to pay the cost of shipping (consulted GT, apparently slow-but-cheap shipping is no longer an option unless you have enough items to fill a container, or at least a pallet). But that won't take large amounts of our attention, mostly it'll just be sitting on the mold unattended.

I may take a break from sewing the pockets to get some of the soft pouches I've cut out ready to lace. I'll probably also cut out a vertical stack set of the steampunk pockets in browns for Ron to sew, with the currently-secret spiffy modification(s).

I got a piece of lexan last weekend for a template made for the curve I use on all the corners for the pockets, I need to get that, and the soft pouch pattern I think will fit with it onto the lexan so Ron or Robin can do the cutting for me. Having a nice firm template for the corner would be nice. A pair of cutting dies would be even better, but a template is significantly cheaper, and it isn't a fussy curve to cut by hand.

Other things on the Otter Necessities to-do list that may or may not happen this weekend include slitting and braiding the belts I cut out a couple weeks ago, replacing old hardware on belts, and making more frogs with some of the old hardware.

And I suppose I should do boring housekeeping things like mopping the kitchen floor (dogs are tracking in lots of mud through the dog door).

No comments:

Post a Comment