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Tink's Studio Notes Archives
February 2003

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Friday Feb 28, 2003 AM

I'm up pretty early today...and cleaning off my desk. I feel as though I'm doing pretty well juggling things right now and have decided that a clean desk would be not only a much needed *aesthetic* statement in my Studio *VBG* but would be conducive to better work resulting from better organization. I currently have several design projects that will be happening simultaneously and I really need to get them organized, with the necessary files readily at hand!

Meanwhile, the next Alphabet book is officially started. I designed its first Alphabet last night (The Alphabet is about 95% complete, all designed except for finishing its input into the software Font Library). There is still a lot of work ahead (masterful understatement) but it has been started. ;-)

I am planning on starting at least one new design for the Krause book today also...we'll see how that goes. Right now, the big thing is the *CLEAN DESK*  I think I'll listen to Internet Radio while I work. I just discovered the miracle of Internet Radio recently and I'm really enjoying being able to pick and choose what I listen to...Hmmm what to listen to while shoveling, er, I mean filing papers? Hmmmm.....

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Thursday Feb 27, 2003 AM

Jeffrey wants it noted for the record that he solved my *Sound* problem last night! Actually, I have NO problem with giving him credit. ;-)

I spent my entire career avoiding sound, and now, for various reasons, it has become necessary. You'd think that I, the union stagehand, would have been able to figure out what the problem was, but (and for this he is my HERO) DH, the Costume Designer and Director came home, after Opening Night, mind you, and solved my audio problems! *VBG* Anyway, the moral of the story is...always take time to dress the cables properly. LOL

Meanwhile, I am up early and looking forward to a productive day!

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Wednesday Feb 26, 2003 PM

I've been chugging along the last couple of days. I'm getting some of the biggies on the To Do List completed and I got the fabric ironed...did I mention how wonderful Madge, my Ironrite, is?

As I've been working, I've been listening to a unabridged, recorded book version of Michael Connelly's *City of Bones* . It was great! I highly recommend it.

I have also been pondering the *Design Process* and how it works for me, and wondering how other designers work. Because of my theatre training, I find that I work best if I give myself an assignment  (such as 3 Cottage designs to fit a Pendant Pal) and deadlines.

The hard and fast deadlines in this business are the Trade Shows, but the design work, depending on the type of needlework, needs to happen much sooner. One of the good things about HPC (Hand Painted Canvas) is that you can work on new designs right up until leaving for market, since there is no need to paint more than the one to be displayed. I allow Jeffrey time to photograph it, but now that we use a digital camera, even that time can be compressed. I usually spend the last day before leaving printing  out the catalog pages for the new designs.

When I had the inspiration for the first of the Fandango Collection ( 8 designs) I designed them in the middle of the night...they were a 4 AM idea LOL and had started stitching them by breakfast. I had the models stitched and Jeffrey had them photographed in about 36 hours and they were introduced at Market a day later. I was pretty exhausted, but the concept was too good to ignore or delay! Usually with HPC, I don't stitch a model, but the Pendant Pal designs sell best if the Shop Owners can see them stitched...and I always wear one at Market.

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Sunday Feb 23, 2003 PM

I'm discovering one good thing about these daily musings...I now am pretty accurate on the current date. Many times I can go a week or more without writing/needing to know the current date, in part because most of the software I use does it for me and I'm not out writing checks. LOL

And here is an informal survey...did anyone else feel as though the year 2002 was about 3-6 weeks shorter than it should have been? I swear I got short-changed! I'm not sure when exactly, but I KNOW the year was shorter than usual. It seemed as though we celebrated New Year's and then suddenly it was summer and then we were right back at the Holidays again. YIKES!

At last the painting is done! I'll tackle the invoices and mailing tomorrow, I'm just too tired to deal with Quickbooks tonight. I can't wait to have this all completely finished!

I've decided to celebrate a bit early by putting the fabric thru the washer so that it will be ready for Madge the Mangler tomorrow...getting it ironed will be my reward, several days later than I had hoped, but life is like that.

I have a lot of designing that needs to happen. My share of designs for the Krause book, due April 2004, need to happen VERY soon, so I'll  get started on them. I also have to tackle problems with the new scanner and CD Burner...sigh...all very tiresome for an old *wood butcher* like me. Give me a circle saw and a big hammer and I can fix anything! LOL

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Saturday Feb 22, 2003 PM

Today was pretty successful...I have just finishing touches to do on the canvases, and believe me getting 17 painted in a day is pretty good. I'll finish up the painting on the morning and then I'll be able to pack orders tomorrow night and move on to the next projects on my list! *VBG* What a load off of my shoulders! What they never tell you about owning your own business is that when you are your own boss it is NEVER any fun to play hooky (sp?).

I do think I'll finally be able to iron the fabric that has been on my *Want To Do* list. Part of the problem is that Madge the Mangler is in the upstairs hall and the lighting is very bad at night, so I try to use her just during the daylight hours.

Meanwhile, it is snowing...but I don't think we'll be snowed in....*Heavy Sighhhhh*

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Friday Feb 21, 2003 PM

Please note: Jeffrey wants it acknowledged that he replaced Madge's cord AND changed her oil. (This is posted in the interest of marital harmony) I'll add here that he changed the cord and oil 32 months after I first asked him. (This is posted in the interest of historical accuracy.) LOL  Speaking of which, has anyone else noticed how close *marital* and *martial* are? Hmmmmm.....

I finished a new sleep mask design tonight, the request of a shop at the TNNA show last month. It is two slices of cucumber. I'll try to get a picture up tomorrow It's pretty amusing. I find myself smiling when I look at it. ;-)

My goal is to be able to introduce a LOT of new HPC (Hand Painted Canvas) design at Columbus in June...right now I've got 8, the new sleep mask and 7 new Pendant Pal design in a series called *Castles and Cottages*. I think the *Castles and Cottages* would be great for a class that features *SuZy's Small Stitches* . It would be fun for each stitcher in the class to pick out a different deign and then everybody could use and learn the different stitches. I currently have 4 Castles and 3 Cottages, so obviously I need one more Cottage. *VBG*

Meanwhile....back on the painting front....I plan to finish the 2 butterfly canvases tonight and that will leave just the Shady Ladies and Samba...and I WILL finish them tomorrow (she said thru tightly clenched teeth). I'm listening to a good recorded book and have several more to look forward to, so I plan to make it a paint and listen day....DAGNABIT!!!!!!!!

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Thursday Feb 20, 2003 PM

Well, I decided to try to start today with a 10 point To Do list...here I am, getting ready to go to bed...don't even bother to ask about the list. *VBG*

I did get some things crossed off, but not as much as I wished. I'm still plodding away on the painting and didn't get to use Madge the ironer, but I have a relatively early appointment tomorrow, so I should be getting an earlier start. ;-)

I'm printing out copies of a new design for Martha Beth Lewis to give out to her students at the CATS Festivals...so if you go, look for *Summer Sweets, Tasty Treats* LOL And one more item off on the infamous To Do list!

I'm discovering that I seem to feel a need to spruce up my website, every year, about this time. Right now (subject to change without notice) *smile* I like the new version very much. This one was based on a sudden burst of creativity two nights ago...on the plus side, the new backgrounds are much smaller files than my previous style and my page download times are greatly improved.

Jeffrey and I gave each other DSL for Christmas and publishing my entire website now takes less than 15 minutes, even with changes on every page. Compare this to the previous 1 hour and 10 minute ordeal with our dial-up modem! Heaven forbid if I should forget to disable the screen saver!

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Thursday Feb 20, 2003 AM

If I'm very good today *LOL* I should be able to finish up my canvas painting. I'm going to try to reward myself with time for a break, ironing some of my new quilting stash with my beloved mangler, Madge. She is big and heavy and irons like a dream. Our neighbor (the one who helped carry/drag her up to the second floor) claims she would be a haven of safety in the event of a tornado...but he tends to exaggerate. He also flatly refuses to ever move her again, when we move out of this house. ;-)  

I can press a fat quarter in about 45 seconds. I'm getting better at handling yardage, but still find lengths greater than about 2 1/2 yds to be difficult. I am however, pretty good at using both knee pedals! Jeffrey didn't want me to get her, but I couldn't resist. We found her at the Burlington Antique Show and I got a great deal since the vendor didn't want to take her back home. I did an online search, was able to purchase a repair manual and replacement cover and padding, and she works like a dream. Jeffrey now speaks of her with respect!

I've discovered that fabric right out of the spin cycle is exactly the proper degree of damp for good results. I had hoped to get an opportunity to run Madge on a lovely snowy day...did I mention I REALLY want to be snowed in? (Un) fortunately, our little corner of Kentucky just got lots of rain. My family back east has been complaining because they think that they got the snow that I ordered! *VBG*. However, being eternally optimistic, I'm still hoping for a major storm this year....at least here in my little corner of the Bluegrass.

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Wednesday Feb 19, 2003

I've been in major delay mode lately...how many of you have that problem? I'm working on finishing the last of my San Diego Trade Show orders and I'm eager to get on to my next projects, of which there are many *VBG* , and still I'm dragging my feet! I have many project going currently, so the excuses seem to be endless.

I had a sudden inspiration for a new background for the web site on Monday night, and here it is! (Don't ask how long it took!) Meanwhile I have been pondering the root of my procrastination. Generally, when I behave this way in the middle of a design, it means that I'm unhappy with some aspect of the design and can't quite figure out why. I learned in my Theatre Design career just to  let it go and wait and the solution would reveal itself...always a scary thing in such a deadline imposing industry.

I have since discovered that the luxury of being my own boss is not a dearth of deadlines but the ability to set my own. Currently I have many, stretching into April 2004, but now I try to plan ahead where possible, setting priorities myself and starting early enough to allow for the waiting/meditation part of the process to happen in due course...and yes, if you are wondering... I have been known to start a design, *leave it* for a while and the discover it at a later date, having only vague memories of the initial design process!

I do feel that being able to take the time necessary to refine a design has resulted in better designs. I don't always have that luxury, but I am trying very hard to build that necessary contemplation time into the structure of my business wherever I can.

Any comments or suggestions regarding my site would be welcomed/greatly appreciated.


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