Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Quick Update

Yes, long-time no-blog. Guilty guilty guilty.

Not posting doll clothes on another website after all, it turns out that it’s just a poorly-designed not-user- or seller-friendly bunch of links to doll clothes elsewhere.

Dining room disaster is still a disaster.

I was registered to sell at the Palatine Hometown Fest on Saturday and Sunday, and took Friday and Monday off as preparation and recovery days. Friday I got stuff together and Robin loaded Mongo, and I worked on tagging doll clothes and getting them into inventory. Loading included an EZ-Up, tails, extra gridwall and a couple extra small-small tables. Then Ron’s Friday went to hell in a handbasket, and he wasn’t going to be available to help set up, nor was Robin. Plus very very hot weather, and forecast thunderstorms.

I cancelled. I was much relieved after doing so. I think it’s only about the third cancellation in 20-mumble years. Definitely not sorry I did so as the weekend went on. Thunderstorms didn’t appear until late enough Sunday that they may not have been a problem, but still. 

I think it was the previous weekend I made 15 pairs of doll-size poofy pants in 25-1/2 hours. They go quick, since I used fold-over elastic (FOE) for the waistbands and cuffs. I also have several kuchi (Afghan) dresses and Hanbok (Koren outfits) done, or almost. I think I know what I need to do to my Tibetan chuba dress and coat patterns, plus the first pass of the chuba coat is about right to be a Chinese robe.

In preparation for the Hometown Fest I got a bounch of ribbon, so people could have sashes for their kosode/kimono. I ordered them from Amozon, where they were shipped from the seller in . . . Arlington Heights. One batch was all Halloween-ish, as I maayyybe have more than a few Halloween kosode. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Page Layout and Other Natter

Long Weekend of Page Layout and Other Natter

I took a snow day last Friday, and had Monday off (Lincoln’s Birthday), so I got a fair amount done on the floodplain manager’s conference book. Last Friday evening I sent out a draft that has “Joanna Goanna” and “Tanami Womapython” as plenary/luncheon speakers, with pictures and text. I’ve gotten replies from 3 or 4 people . . . and no comments on Joanna and Tanami. I’m not sure if people didn’t actually look at those bits, or if they figured that those are bits to be edited. 

Last night I packed up the two tiny booklets I’d made, as an Etsy customer bought them. Apparently thew weren’t too silly or expensive, and I should make a couple/few more.

Today I got an order for two pairs of “deluxe” black skirt hikes (fancy dee rings), and discovered that I had zero pairs. Carp carp carp. Fortunately, I have enough dees to make more, and the hard part turned out to be finding the plain 1” dees. At least those I could have gone to Tandy for in the morning. I got the two pairs made, and strips cut for more, plus some in brown and small brown plain skirt hikes. The order is packed and ready to go out to the mail box in the morning. I’ll mark, punch, and assemble the rest tomorrow.

Bedtime now.  

Monday, February 5, 2018

A Little This, A Little That

I’ve talked to the chair for this year’s floodplain manager’s conference, determined that I do have a set of information I thought I needed, and have given him a timeline for the conference program book.
I received the sports team fabric order, and placed a second order with, as some team fabric was on sale yesterday, and the website was showing 2 yards of Northwestern fabric available. So I tried for that, plus Purdue and Western Michigan University (Purdue and WMU being family alma maters). Also received my corrugated plastic signboard sheets for backing fabric with paper, and said paper. 

Yesterday I cut out the covers, linings, and endsheets for some more booklets for sale. I wanted to do more on them, but decided not to push my luck in terms of aggravating my back. 

I also discovered that I’m out of dark brown bookcloth. One of the booklets I was working on needs a dark brown spine to use the two pieces of paper that make up the cover. If I’d realized I was out I’d have ordered more when I ordered the paper for backing fabric, but I didn’t so I didn’t and there we are. IIRC Dick Blick usually has dark brown, and is not too far out of the way to stop on the way home from work . . . when traffic isn’t crawling due to snow.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Virtual Progress

Not a lot has happened the last couple nights in the way of work on books. Last night I pulled the trio of covers I wet down and put in the press to dry and flatten out. They came out nice and flat. Sadly, they didn’t stay that way. 

Wednesday I ordered a bunch of sports team fabrics to make book covers out of from, along with paper to back it with, and corrugated plastic sheets to do said backing on. Unfortunately, JoAnn turned out to be out of about half the fabrics, so Thursday I placed an order at for most of the ones I couldn’t get from JoAnn.  And after a discussion with Xap about the Fremd spring craft show being at about the start of baseball season, the order included several pro baseball team fabrics. Ron suggested I make a book that has Cubs fabric on one side, Sox on the other, and Cardinals on the spine. Ultimate rivalry bait! I may just do that, especially since I had to order 2 or 3 yards of each of the baseball team fabrics. 

I’m thinking that it’s about time to renew the attack on the dining room, since pretty much all Ron’s truck stuff is back out of it (came home between Roehl and Schneider). It would be really nice to be able to use my drafting table again. Especially for, say, cutting down pieces of paper and fabric for bookbinding projects, since it has a nice big cutting mat buried under all the stuff piled on it. 

Given Ron and Robin’s schedules, which is home only a day or so a week, and that Robin has definitely become a nocturnal beast, the dining room going to take a while. I probably could do most of it myself, but that would take even longer yet. The goal for this weekend is to get input on my proposed room layout, which I e-mailed to them on Tuesday. The room layout question involves getting rid of some shelving and replacing it with The Grinch and some smaller shelving, which is part of what I need their sanity-checking on.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

New Toys . . . er . . . Equipment!

My mini book press and cradle arrived today!  Merry Christmas, me!

My larger book press has four screws, and springs to keep the top plate up. The mini one doesn’t have the springs, as mini books are typically thin enough that springs wouldn’t compress enough, so it comes with a pair of blocks (my larger one also came with blocks for shipping/storage).

Sharpie for scale. The cradle included the aluminmum hole-spacing template and another awl. Here’s a pseudo-action shot:

I’m ridiculously excited with these. But that’s what Christmas presents are for, right?  Thanks Mom!

Also tonight I got 7 of the booklets I photographed last night entered into inventory and posted on Etsy. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Quick Update

My cover boards for my Kipling books, cotton/linen tape, spine reinforcement fabric, and fine linen thread came today!  Nothing photogenic, sorry; but now I have no excuses not to work on the books.  :)

I also got my latest purchases into my spreadsheet so I can figure the costs/prices of the stack of finished books I have waiting to be listed on Etsy.

And tomorrow my mini press and punching cradle should be here.  Wheee!!!!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

On Again, Off Again

I got a bunch of booklets done, and listed on Etsy, which also includes taking pictures, figuring out costs, prices, and getting them in my point of sale software inventory. Then I got a bunch more done, that I need to do all those things some more. And still need to list more pouches (which already are in inventory and have pictures), and doll clothes (in inventory, no pictures), and still need to investigate a doll-specific on-line sales site. However, a couple weeks ago I did something to my back, and it was Not Happy. Like prescription-strength NSAIDs and muscle-relaxant Not Happy. In the interest of not slowing down recovery I’ve been avoiding bookbinding or machine-sewing, or time at the computer. I’m better now, and I think I can re-commence work on things, if I’m careful. 

I decided to register for Fremd HS’s spring boutique in April - at very least I’ll have a lot more booklets, and booklets did sell. Ron and Robin did get merchandise bins in from the truck, I think when they were home for Christmas. Gridwall is still in the truck, and probably will be come April. I probably should decide if I’m going to do sports team fabric-cover booklets are not, and get some fabric if I am. 

I got a pick-your-own Christmas present from my Mom, and since I’ve made several little-bitty books out of scrap, I decided to get a “mini” book press and punching cradle from the same guy I got my bigger ones from. They should arrive Tuesday. (This type of press is essentially two boards with screws to keep things squashed flat - an upgrade from a stack of boards with weight on top). I don’t really *need* the mini versions, but Christmas presents can be frivolous, right? 

Before my back got cranky I pulled out my Kipling book interiors and collated them. The book board (a specialized cardboard relative) for covers, fabric for spine reinforcement, and linen tape to sew the signatures on should be here tomorrow. I got a few extra pairs of board, which I can use for books for sale. I could have cut board for covers myself, but the cost to have it done was worth having it done (probably on a big board shear). 

I’ve got a trio of book covers that I made using wheat flour paste re-drying. They wrinkled/warped rather badly, and time in the book press didn’t really help, so Tuesday I sprayed them liberally with water, and put them in the press to dry.  I checked them Friday and they weren’t quite dry, but seemed to be flattened out, so back in they went (after pulling out the paper towel I’d put on each side and inside). Around New Year’s I got a 2’ x 4’ sheet of 1/2” thick PVC, and Ron cut it down for me, so I can layer up multiple things in my press. I also had him cut some smaller pieces for the mini press, although I may go back for a piece of 1/4” thick PVC. 1/4” would probably have been fine for in the bigger press, but it had a little more flex than I wanted. 

Got my sales tax returns filed today. A little late, but I forgot to have Ron poke at the point of sale software data for me the last couple times he was home, oops. Not so late/enough money due that there was a penalty, though. Next step is Otter’s income tax returns. 

While out running errands today I stopped at Papersource and commited shopping. I was going to start some more booklet covers, but got distracted by doing the sales taxes and hunting for a very-dead-mouse-ish funk in the snake enclosures. Did not obviously find the source of funk, which seems to have abated, hoping it was just a case of particularly odiforous metabolic end products. 

I need to poke this year’s floodplain manager’s conference chair tomorrow, it’s about time I got started on the book. He e-mailed me and the board about conference abstract formats, etc. on Tuesday, I responded and asked a question, but haven’t heard back. Probably got busy with work-work. 

Last weekend Ron hooked up a second monitor to the desktop, and I cleaned off the desk. Ron didn’t do anything, but the desktop is recognizing the second monitor now. Not the larger one we were using, but next time he or Robin are home I’ll see if they can haul it down and see if it works. If not I’ll use the smaller one and not complain - a smaller second monitor is better than none, and when doing a book I mostly use it for various InDesign menus.