Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Yet Another Busy Weekend Report

Another busy weekend. But this report isn't late - I was driving all over the lower Rock River floodplain on Monday and Tuesday. More natter about that on my personal blog. 

Saturday Ron marked and put stitching holes in the neck collars on potion bottles, and I worked on sewing them up. Once I got started it went fairly quickly. I got over half of them done before we left for the MuseCon meeting and a friend's party after that.

At the party I did work on lacing pouches while chatting. And Ron decided to make a holster for a teacup and saucer for (Steampunk) Tea Duelling . . . you'll have to Google it yourself - it is G-rated, just odd.

Sunday we went to Crate & Barrel and Ron looked and looked (and looked) at teacups and saucers. Finding nice rounded teacups (as opposed to squared-off mugs) was a complete pain in the backside. This plain one was a nice shape, affordable, and too big. These were pretty, and a nice shape, but way too expensive. We finally got a couple of these, with matching saucers. More than we were hoping to spend, but they're a nice size and look nice. 

Ron's still trying to decide the best way to make the holster. Probably molded. Its going to be a pricey set, as I've decided it needs to be lined, and got some nice leather that can be molded to line it with. But steampunk fans seem to be willing to pay for good stuff. 

Sunday I worked on some more bottles, and in the afternoon worked on the red and red & black pouches I'd cut out last Monday. There were a lot of them. Nine, to be precise. But I got all of them ready to lace. And then I convinced myself that I didn't really need to take all nine with me to Moline. Which was good, because we worked late, then went to dinner, and weren't in a hurry to get back to our motel, and by then I was ready to be a vegetable, so I didn't get any lacing done at all Monday night. But I did some yesterday morning, and finished one pouch and did belt loops and other bits on a couple more last night. 

The same day last week I was looking for, and ordered, leather for belt loops, I got the new Weaver Leather catalog, which includes leather that's a bit heavier than I usually use for belt loops (but still reasonable), for about half the price of the leather I'd ordered (from another supplier). D'oh! The belt loop leather arrived yesterday, will probably cut that down today, since I'm home with an upset tummy. 

Which brings me, via the new catalog, not the upset tummy, to the upcoming price increase. Leather prices are going up. I did the price increase in 2012 figuring the cost for the leather I use for black belts at $8.00 square foot, which I thought then would give me some breathing space, and now that leather is up to $8.56. And when I was at Tandy/Leather Factory yesterday, the manager said their prices are going up - the garment/upholstery scrap has gone from $7/pound to $5.mumble/half-pound. Ouch.

I was thinking of increasing prices after ACen. The new plan, I think, is to go ahead and put the new prices on all the new stuff, and either work on re-pricing at ACen, or do it after, and if somebody notices and asks, tell them what's up - prices have to go up to cover our costs, get this before it goes to the price on that. Maybe we can even move some older inventory to new homes that way.

Yesterday we were contacted by Indy PopCon, a new pop culture convention in Indianapolis. It's their first year, hoping for 10,000 people. I think that may be optimistic (although they're on the ginormicon model, so that attendance goal may not be completely irrational). But they're only two weeks after ACen. And Ron may have to go to WisCon the intervening weekend to work the MuseCon party, because of reasons that have happened to other people. Robin has pronounced it a bad idea, at least for this year (as in, next year we could plan for it), but I have asked Ron and Xap's opinions. I suspect we'll pass.

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