Saturday, April 18, 2015

Another Weekend Already?

Robin saw the surgeon Wednesday, and will have surgery on Friday. Which from an Otter Necessities perspective means that he will definitely not be available as muscles for ACen setup/teardown.  Checking with Marmaduke and Wash to see if they'll be available, or if I need to line up other(s). 

Also, I'm going to be barking mad by the time Robin is off of the 10 lb. weight restriction. You know what weighs more than 10 lbs?  The air compressor. The work tables. The 55-lb anvil. Workmates. The cast-iron frying pan, I think. The cast-iron dutch oven that lives on top of the freezer, which is kind of high for me to reach. Tommy. Pippin. etc. 

I haven't heard Pippin cough since Monday, although he was less than 100% for a couple/few days. Either a Cornell University or American Veterinary Medical Association web page said the CIV vaccine can shorten illness, so I'm guessing that's what happened. 

Yesterday and today Robin airbrush dyed parts for 9 pouches for me. See above re: the weight of the air compressor and work table, so yesterday morning I was schlepping things out to the porch before leaving for work (then in last night, out again today, got Ron to bring them in tonight). 

Today we also worked on:
*   Skirt hikes - another 3 pairs of large ones to list on Etsy. I'm wondering if now that I have more than one pair listed I'll sell some more
*   Hangers for amphora bottles I started last weekend. I marked the strips, Ron punched the holes and put the snaps in. 
*   Wristbands. I cut the big pile of coiled strips into short pieces, and trimmed the ends. Those still need holes and snaps. 

At one point this afternoon a roll of lace fell on the floor. Before I got around to picking it up, Tommy decided it needed to join all the toys outside. To his credit, he did drop it when I barked. 

And, to finish up the day, we applied for vendor space at Midwest Fur Fest. They have a 48 hour window to apply, which is from noon today until noon Monday, then they fill the rooms from the applications received.  We hadn't planned to apply, but Xap found out it had opened, we discussed it, and applied. We won't be doing Boar's Head, or Con-Alt-Delete (that we cancelled due to sickness last year) this year, so timing should work. The cost isn't outrageous, and should be easy to make in sales given the size of MFF. Any way, we don't know unless we try and we can't try if we don't submit an application, so there we are. Or went. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Weekend Not According To Plan, Otter Necessities Edition

A couple weeks ago Ron mentioned that we could use another set of shelves for the storage locker. Friday night on the way home from work, I was thinking about cleaning up the dining room some more, and wondered if I could send one of the sets of shelves from the dining room, along with some of the contents. 

We looked at it Saturday morning, and concluded we could. They weren't be used particularly efficiently, especially in terms of being able to get to the contents. We unloaded them, determined that the several bins and boxes could go, and then Ron and Robin had the challenge of getting them apart. Metro-style shelving that's been in position for somewhere between one and two decades can be difficult to persuade apart, but they got it, with much whacking with a heavy maul, swearing, and at least one bruise.  

I pushed the leather cart that had been living in that corner into the corner, and found/remembered the uprights for Elfa shelving that I had gotten a couple years ago, then decided were too short. They were the right length to put shelves up where the big shelving unit had been, above the leather cart. As a bonus, we had some lumber just the right length for that section of wall, which had formerly been a bookshelf in the living room. Ron was thinking wider shelves (the lumber is about 7" wide), but I decided to go with those for now.   

So I set off for the Container Store to get the top bar the uprights hang from, and shelf brackets. I was also looking for something to replace the old Elfa wire baskets that hold scrap leather, from a much older Elfa drawer unit (great as Elfa is, it wasn't up to the load). Stacking bins would work, but I ended up getting Metro parts to make a cart to set them on. The advantage of that is wheels, so it can be moved around easily. 

On the way home, the car died. It had been scheduled to go into the shop Monday, for what turned out to be a failing/failed crankshaft position center. So I had a delay waiting for Ron to come pick me up and the tow truck for the car.  We eventually got home (the truck may have made a stop by an ice cream store); Ron and Robin put up the shelves while I put the cart together, and then Ron helped me put things away. 

Whereupon I discovered a bin that should have gone to storage. For some reason, it was in an illogical place on another shelf, which is why I missed it. I also discovered an oil spill, fortunately contained by the lid of the Rubbermaid bin below the aforementioned one. Yes, an oil spill. IIRC lightweight motor oil for the splitter, from an oil can that had made a bold leap for freedom some time in the past. Simple Green and heavy duty shop paper towels for the cleanup win. Tommy stealing the roll of shop towels for the naughty. 

Saturday afternoon and Sunday we worked on various things. 

We went through one of the scrap baskets, and pulled out a bunch of straps to make embossed wrist bands. We reduced the contents of that basket enough that I was able to consolidate it with another, and then sent the empty out to the curb (where it disappeared, as well as an old wire dog crate we evicted from the basement). I still need to go through another big bag of scrap, but I'm reducing the chaos of the room.  I actually have notable amounts of OPEN FLOOR!  See the pictures at the end of the post.

Ron embossed a whole bunch of brown leather strips I'd dug out. Stupid Amounts, really, but it was time to use them for something. I also found a couple strips long enough for belts. I also cut some black leather into strips, which Ron embossed, and strips for amphora bottle hangers. 

I worked on pouches Sunday and Monday. I'd planned to take Monday off, since I'd be car-less and didn't feel like stealing the Durango from Robin. Except I did end up taking it to take Pippin to the vet. Monday afternoon/evening was then interrupted by a doctor's office and then ER trip for imaging Robin. Hernia, following up today with a surgeon (more details of dog and human medical adventures on the personal blog). 

I didn't get to bed until 2 am yesterday, kinda woke up between 5:30 and 6 while Ron was getting up, and then went back to sleep until 8. And then I was still a zombie, so I stayed home.  And in the afternoon worked on pouches some more.  By bedtime (early!) I'd gotten to this point:

The stacked rolls are embossed strips ready to be made into wristbands. The pile is 10 pouches ready to be laced up, 30 or so strips for amphora bottles, and some tools. Not shown are three more pouches that are mostly done, or the two I finished (and posted to Etsy) last night. 

Here's some pictures of the dining room to finish up:

The corner is where the shelving unit, filled that whole section of wall, used to be. You can't really see it, but the cart holding rolled leather (and other things) that's currently pushed into the corner used to sit where the loose rolls of leather and small bins are, those were further into the room. The white Metro cart/shelves holding the white mesh bins is the new cart. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Book-Keeping and Taxes

I haven't achieved a lot since Geneva Steam. I did get a bunch of pouches cut out, which have been mostly sitting waiting for further work. I also followed up on some back-ordered bottles and stoppers, and got some more of each. 

Last weekend I finished getting the 2014 books caught up. Ron did all the sales throughout the year, except for on-line ones, so finishing up was recording about half the purchases and the on-line sales.  I also did the first-quarter 2015 Illinois sales taxes. Yay for switching to quarterly sales tax reporting.

Yesterday I did Otter's income tax returns. As per past years, I don't bother paying Intuit to fill in lots of zeroes for me, I do them by hand.  We passed a gross receipts threshhold that surprised me a bit, and made me check to see if I needed to do any new/different forms, but no changes resulted.

This morning I did our personal income taxes. Ouuuch. In addition to about twice as much income from Otter Necessities as in 2013, we kinda forgot that in 2014 Robin:
  • Turned 21
  • Was not a full-time student
  • Worked a fair amount
Which meant that he was no longer a dependent, so we owe some money. Not a horrible amount, but ouchy. A small increase in withholding for the rest of this year should get us back to getting a refund.  Yes, I prefer over-paying throughout the year and getting a refund. YMMV. 

A couple days ago Robin brought the lumber that used to be a bookshelf in the living room (replaced with a nicer Ikea shelf unit) back into the house. It's going to become a stand for de- and re-constructing saddles on. What I'd like is this nifty saddle stand, that pivots tilts and is adjustable in height, but I can't really justify the price (which is not as much shown, as I pay wholesale), or the space. Thus, getting Robin to build me a simple wooden one, to sit on top of one of the Workmates.

And now, off to work on more fun things, in the way of pouches. Well, more fun than taxes. I'd rather start disassembling saddles, but I don't have a stand to work on yet, and its still a little chilly. And the saddles are still in the storage locker.