Monday, May 10, 2010

Designers are people too!

    Had a customer the other day quite outraged that it was taking 3+ weeks to receive the items she had ordered.  She wanted two hand-painted frames to go with specific much older designs, and several charts that needed to be ordered directly from the designer and not through a distributor.  Even though the frames were quite a bit older, she just couldn't figure out why the designer (1) didn't already have them made, and (2) what was taking the charts so long.  It should only take a couple of days she'd figured.
    In our needle art Industry, we are really the 'mom and pop' businesses of 'yore.  The designers do not have warehouses in which to store thousands of charts and frames.  They have a spare room in their home, or part of the basement.  When they run out of stock, they do not automatically 'make more' ... it's a supply and demand business.  If a chart hasn't sold in 8 years lets say, and the chart needs to be re-printed, it probably won't be.  At least, not immediately.  Why pay that kind of money in the hopes that someone, rather many hundreds of someone, will now want multiple charts of that design?  The same for 'custom hand-painted frames' .. when out of stock, another will be made when there is that call for it.
     Plus, in this mom and pop industry we know and love so well, designers do not have 'people' sitting around manning phones waiting for orders to be called in, people packing up orders.  They have 'themselves'.  They do not have a design studio they 'go' to .. they design in their homes.  And, just like you and me, the designers have a life.  Sometimes a family illness or tragedy befalls. There is no one in their 'office' to take over in crisis times like that. (I remember one customer who was calling us daily about her order .. and the designer had had a major heart attack.  The customer was informed this, but that didn't seem to make a difference .. she wanted her order!)  Sometimes a designer is planning for their childs' wedding or college .. and the design part of the business has to be put on a back burner until they can get back to it. Sometimes a designer goes on a vacation. There is no one left at home to run their business for them. It all waits until their return.  In this customer's case ... the designer was on a business trip in Europe.  We didn't know she was.  And said designer didn't have to tell us that she was going on a business trip and since I'd e-mailed the order in, there was no answering machine message advising me of this.
    Illness, death, divorce, weddings, college, babies, vacations .. just like us, the designers have these happening in their daily lives too.  And since they are a 'designer', it's up to them to balance their business with their life events, just like we are forced to do.
    Just thought I'd put in a good word for the men and women that keep our fingers so stitchingly entertained!  Designers - I appreciate you!

    And just a side line that has nothing to do with this blog ... at the top right hand side of this page is the LINK to my Etsy store - Deb Felt It ... the little 'black sheep with the big Etsy heart'!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I'm Gonna Go To A Concert!!!

     Carole King and James Taylor are coming to the Palace Of Auburn Hills for their one-night only "Troubadour Reunion" concert ... Thursday May 27.
  I have been pondering this for the past week (ish) ever since I heard the announcment.  Now I don't know WHY I had to ponder it as  (1) Carole King is my all time most favorite ever in the whole entire world singer;  (2) I've seen her in concert 3 times;  (3) I own ever single album, cassette, or cd she's ever released;  (4) I know just about all of her songs word for word and tune for tune (I'm not yet quite a stalker); (5) James Taylor is my most favorite male singer even though I've never had the opportunity to see him 'live' (Simon & Garfunkle rate as best duo, and of course, the Beatles reign supreme as my most favorite group!).
  So Saturday, once I got the computers back up and running here at the shop, I went into Ticketmaster to see about tickets.  Of course, all the 'really great' ones were gone, but .. tickets WERE still available!  I thought about calling home to ask Dave if he was interested, but then thought no .. he'll have to ponder that question and if he wants to or not for the next several weeks .. at the shortest.  Grabbed my trusty, unfortunately not so dusty, MasterCard and hit PURCHASE TICKETS!  ta da .... two tickets purchased ... done!
    Then I left for home ... told Dave what I'd done and asked if he'd go with me, and stood there with my arm around his waist ... for the longest time ... while he pondered. (told ya so!) Then he asked me, how long would the concert be from when we got there till when we left. I should have known! Dave won't go any place where he'll be forced to go 2 hours (and one minute) without smoking a cigarette. deep sigh

So there I was with two tickets for the concert ... and no one to go with.

WAIT!   I'll check with some friends first to see if one of them would like to attend the concert with me ... I'll 'gift' that extra ticket out!  Then I realized, that if someone was going to go with me, even if it was for free, certain requirements would have to be met first .. as that person would be sitting right NEXT to me:
(1) They would be attending AND realizing that I am now like a small child counting the days down till Christmas morning and am absolutely beside myself awaiting this event.
(2) I will probably spontaniously break out into song (although softly) even though I've never been asked to record anything using my own voice.
(3) I will be excited. See #1
(4)  And if riding together, they would have to listen to me talk all about the concert we'd just seen all the way home .. in all that concert traffic.

    Kathy, with a very LOUD e-mailed  YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! agreed to all conditions and even said she has a 'lighter app' on her phone so we can show JT and Carole just how much we love them at the end of the show!
    I saw where Amazon has the Toubador cd available for purchase of today and .... decided to wait.  I want to be surprised first at the concert, then I'll purchase it so I can hear it over and over and over again!
Whooo Hooooooo

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Felting and Banging Head Against Computer Screen

Computer down .. main computer of course - the one all our emails are accessed from - and we can't get on line.  This has been all day and still the problem continues.  Wish I was a better computer geek, but so far .. have done everything I can think of.  Oh well.  There's always Monday!

Did some felting this past week ... waiting for Dave to cut down this huge dead tree limb so he can then cut 'disks' about 1 1/2" thick for me to 'mount my birdies' on.  Been asking him for 3 days now ... did you cut my wood for me yet?  sigh  I'd do it myself, but somehow the idea of 'me' with a chain saw in hand ... well, we'll just say the visual of that would involve probably self-dismemberment.  Maybe tonight they'll be waiting for me when I get home for glue and acorn embellishing?

Not sure how long leggedy they'll be when they're mounted, but the legs will still be long!

I've added the rest to my Etsy store ... bunny, frog, and goose girl. 
The man - Ivan - needs a bit more work still needs a bit more work.
His legs were too skinny so I gave him baggy pants.  Now his feet look too dainty, so he needs to go 'shoe shopping' for bigger boots. And of course, the armature I used wasn't the kind I normally use for 'free standing' sculptures, so he's a bit wobbley.  Perhaps a fence support or something?  His jacket is absolutely marvelous ... thick and soft .. alpaca wool ... so it looks LIKE a fur coat!
More later!