Tuesday, August 7, 2012

MuseCon Report, Otter-Ish

We survived MuseCon. We are tired. It was fun.

I considered emptying the big yellow road case and just packing everything into that, but didn’t. Between personal stuff, with a few extra clothes for changes for Ron and I, even more clothes for Robin, our head of Logistics, dog paraphernalia, tools and materials for leather classes, camera bags and tripods for Ron’s photography class, it felt like moving an army. Add to that all the blinkie stuff, both the trailer and car were not exactly empty.

I got compliments on signage, and IIRC the book. A major bug was found in the book, in the form of one page being lost and another repeated in its place. I didn’t find out about it until Sunday morning, because I’d been mostly looking at my PDF copy. OTOH, since the PDF was generated from the file I sent to the printer, it was a bug on their end, not my fault. And we did not run out of books (a real fear), but IIRC fewer than 20 came home with me. I’d given Registration, who had a big printer, the PDF to make more not-quite-so-pretty copies in case of running out, so we had that covered if it had happened.

After I sent the room schedule signs to the printer, I realized I should have put “MuseCon” on all of them, and on Thursday afternoon or Friday morning (too late to do it, since the dogs and I joined Ron and Robin at the hotel in the early afternoon Thursday) I thought ofmaking “MuseCon” signs for the top of the gridwall sign kiosks. Friday and part of Saturday we shared the second floor with “Lutherans for Life”. Several of the LfL people asked what MuseCon was all about, so for next year the plan is, besides making the tweaks to signage that I thought of too late this year, to make a poster/banner about “What is MuseCon?”.

The hands-on sewing class went well. 3 people did the belt pouch, 2 of which bought the tool kit. I had under-estimated how long it would take them to put the belt loop on, but one got her gusset glued in (and I think holes made) before she left for the evening, and the person who had not bought a tool kit finished hers Saturday or Sunday, using the set of tools (and binder clips!) I left in the workshop room. One of the people who did the keychain bought the extra tool kit I had, and a belt pouch kit. I’m mildly annoyed with FedEx/Kinko’s, they shrunk the belt pouch pattern. I had tested to make sure my printer could print it without having to shrink it to fit on the paper, then uploaded to the on-line order system. If I’d known I’d have printed them myself. Grumble.

Attendance at the class was not high, but we were up against the Tesla Coils. Also, although I got through the class cheerfully, I should not start a class at/past my bedtime (it started at 9:00 pm. No, I am no longer a night person). Also, I should not have the hands-on class before the discussion of tools and materials session. I’d wanted my class Friday or early Saturday in order to give people time to find us for help/finish if they didn’t buy their own tools, which did make sense. Anyway, it would have been better for the yakky-yakky session to be Friday, and run the hands-on Saturday morning.

I think my tools and materials discussion, which Ron joined me for, but mostly let me do, on Saturday went well. I’m waffling if I actually want to do it again next year.

We got some good suggestions at the feedback session. There was also a certain percentage that made me roll my eyes, but that’s normal.

Yesterday afternoon (Ron and I took Robin and the dogs home Sunday evening, but stayed Sunday night at the hotel, although we never did get to the pool), mostly to stay awake, we went out to the Tandy/Leather Factory store. I’d been thinking of something to do for smaller kids, as I’ve said the sewing class is for 10+, due to awl use; and Ron has been for a couple/few weeks thinking about doing a tooling class next year.

I found a couple kits on clearance: a ladybug coin purse, that just has to be sewn together, and a mystery braid snake bracelet. I think we’ll do the ladybug in my sewing class, and the snakes as mobile programming, or maybe as scheduled in the youth area. More to come later related to the snakes. I think I’ll also prep some key fobs, so kids that want to do those can go straight to the sewing part. I forgot the dye I actually needed to get.

Ron got some more tooling stamps, a second wooden block to keep them in, and another big slab of granite (12” x 24+”), which he didn’t exactly need, but I found looking like it was a good price and might need a new home.

After we got home Ron went through all his tooling tools, sorted them, and I made up a list in a spreadsheet as he read me information. I know we did that years ago, but have no idea where the file is now. We also pulled out most of the leatherworking books we have, and have asked Robin to straighten out the shelves we think the rest should be on, and keep an eye open for them. We’re pretty sure we already have the books in a book-cataloging database, so we’ll check to see if we can pull the data out before attacking and re-cataloging the pile.

I’d taken my iPad/knitting bag (the one I started ages ago) to MuseCon with me, so Saturday morning I took my handcart-o-tools-and-materials down to the workshop room and worked on it. I got the buckles on the front, which had kind of been a sticking point. I also got the front mostly sewn on. I had problems splitting down the strip for a rolled binding for the flap, I think in part the splitter blade needs sharpening, so it’s going to have a splice. Fortunately, the strips for the binding both feather out to nothing, so I’ll use those areas for the overlap/splice. But first I need to do the last couple inches on the front, attach the body to the back, and do any necessary trimming to the flap. But I’m back making progress!

More natter on my personal blog:

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