Sunday, February 27, 2005

Prisoner in Hollyweird 

Stuff happens in the cinema center of the world, Tinsel Town, Hollyweird. Once a year those of us who live within walking distance of the Kodak Theater are held prisoner in our homes while the Oscars are handed out, and during all the pre-game hype. Streets are closed, bigtime!! Even though the street in front of my building is not blocked, I am only 1 block away from the "dead zone". Therefore all the folks who would prefer to drive there are driving down my street. This has been going on for a week now and we won't have our full freedom until Tuesday.

That's okay, I have plenty to do right here. Still stitching on the little Rouyer design - photos tomorrow. Also working hard at getting rid of years of a stitching magazine collection. Plans to move cross-country make one think. Some will never go (Inspirations, Fiber Arts, etc) but the early cross-stitch ones are being listed on an e-Bay shop site and any that don't sell by April will go to the Burbank CATS show for sale in our booth. Likewise tons of old paperback books and other stuff from various nooks and crannies around here. Anyone who is lusting after old magazines can send me an e-mail and I'll give you the shop URL. I'm adding a dozen or so every day. My new mantra is "Out The Door, Out The Door, Out The Door".

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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Plug & Pain 

Plug and Play? When pigs fly my dears!!!

Anyone who self-publishes needlework designs knows the importance of printers. And Linn's rule is - Printers always act up just before an event when printing extra inventory is crucial.

Before Nashville the BIG printer became terminally ill and died, then the backup MID-SIZED printer died and we limped along on the ITSY BITSY all-in-one printer just to get to the show.

Now, one seldom walks into a computer store (even in a large metropolis) these days and walks out with the printer your heart desires in a box. You must order. So after lots of thinking I made the decision - no more huge printer. Step back one step in technology and cut the costs of supplies and eliminate some of the idiot lights and routines that drove me nuts with the BIG sophisticated monster.

Finally settled on one step back for the day-to-day larger run printer and two steps back for the backup printer. Ordered them. Finally had the backup printer delivered yesterday (the other is on backorder).

Then the fun began. The concept of Plug and Play is supposed to mean, you plug the doggone thing in, turn it on, boot your computer, the computer finds the new hardware and asks for the disc with the drivers, you put the disc in a CD drive, punch a few keys and Bob's Your Uncle - you are "playing". Sometimes this works according to plan. Not yesterday. I spent nearly all day "plugging" away at the little monster before I could "play".

I did find I was right about technology choices though. I do need the next step up for larger runs of very big file items but this mid-range will do nicely as a backup and for bits and pieces.

There, I feel better now. A good groan, even an anonymous one, is sooooo therapeutic. Now when the other printer is delivered I am wondering how much "plugging" will be necessary before the "play" starts.

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Friday, February 25, 2005

Hooray for the Uninformed 

As many folks know, I'm an avid collector of early needlework books and design charts. Sometimes I rob Peter to pay Paul and spend more than I should (but I have very few other vices) and sometimes I luck upon an e-Bay seller who doesn't know what they have. Then they list these little jewels in sections that are sometimes quite odd.

If I'm clever and find them; and other ravenous buyers don't find them; I dance with delight.

In that regard -- I now have some five little 19th century pattern books coming my way for the grand total price of $14.50. Much, much, much less than I paid for the A. Rouyer I'm stitching from at the moment.

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Sunday, February 20, 2005

Working, Working, Working 

Now it's working on new designs!!! I'm currently transforming this little chart booklet from the 1867-1868 Paris World's Fair into usable designs. These little accordion fold booklets were often handed out as promotional items or sold as souveniers at such events. We've developed a habit of calling them Sajou booklets because the publishing company Sajou was a prolific provider of them. This one happens to be by A. Rouyer, a company still publishing stitchery books in France. It appears all four designs are intact (on eight folds) but the back cover is missing. Watch this space for progress reports.

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Friday, February 18, 2005

This Year's Chart 

Every year I create one design to give out at shows and to tuck into orders. Now that Nashville trade show is over, I can let everyone have a little look at the design.

Nobody should be surprised that it is an alphabet

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Home Again 

Well, returned from Nashville. What a delight to see old friends and make new ones. Our needlework toys did very well at the show as did the new little box design. I need to get busy and think up some new thingies to put on teeny tiny boxes.

It was nice having folks stop by and say they read my blog. I'm trying to convince more needleworkers to blog. We need to catch up with the knitters. Not that I don't like knitting but I'm feeling rather like a poor relation in the fiber blog world.

I go to the show not only to sell but to buy. I came home with the new Dinky Dyes colors, Kreinik iron on threads, some European charts to put in the booth at CATS Burbank and charts from Ellen Chester are on order for Burbank as well.

I talked to Jo and we'll be carrying some color packs of Dinky Dyes silks at Burbank.

Then off south of Nashville a few miles for a day's visit. As some friends know, I'm working on retiring from the day job this year and will hopefully be relocating to the Nashville area. Watch this space for the latest news on my plans.

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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Not Gone, But Going Away 

I'm still exhibiting a creaky voice from all the bugs I battled, but other than that - I'm ready to hit the road again!

It is nice to know folks notice if you are not around. Catherine called from KC last night just to check up on me. I'll be there in March to see the eager stitchers who are ready to go beyond basic goldwork to Or Nue.

Tomorrow the shuttle arrives at 3:15 to take me to the airport for my flight to Nashville. Yes, I know it is an extremely uncivilized time to be getting up and on the road, but when you are on the West Coast and have to travel across the country and lose time by changing time zones - it's the only way to get there, get set up and be ready for the Saturday feeding frenzy of shopping.

I'm really looking forward to seeing lots of friends who are designers, vendors or shopowners.

This year has been a real crunch so I don't have many new designs but we do have thousands of reproduction thread winders and bone needles to sell. One of our bone needles was a prop in a recent Discovery Channel Mythbusters episode about Finding a Needle in a Haystack. I haven't seen the program yet although I understand it will air again this weekend. If you do catch it, you will get a glimpse of Cathe Ray of Needle In A Haystack in Alameda, California.

You probably won't catch me blogging until I return next Wednesday.

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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I Been Thick 

Very thick in the thinking department while I struggle with a nasty bout of bronchitis. I swear I will blog about Catherine of Aragon and answer some e-mail inquiries as soon as my brain can get enough oxygen delivered by my challenged respiratory system to connect all its synapses and forge ahead in an intelligent manner.

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