I know, I promised to post about about the projects I've been working on, and this is not them, but there have been Reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that, because I find the internal blog client for Portfoliobox to be a little clunky still, I've been seriously contemplating switching over to an external client - either Tumblr for shareability (and some folks I used to follow at my personal blog have switched to Tumblr, so that's a factor, too), or Blogger for the relative legitimacy associated with the site - and migrating posts is a pain, so I've been a little hesitant to post a lot. (Note: this is my second attempt at writing this post, because the website ate the first one, so the temptation to go external has become even greater. Also, there doesn't appear to be any sort of spellcheck here, so forgive me if any typos creep through.)
The other Reason is that I've been busy! With dealines, even! Which, if I do things right, is a problem I'll never truly be free of, and I just need to learn to deal with. This thing where blogging is kinda-sorta part of my job now is a bit of a curveball to throw at my already taxed time-management skills, but I'm not about to complain.
That brings me to the Big News: Last week, I was trying to figure out how to estimate & quantify my income from garb commissions for my ACA insurance application, and after a great deal of time poking around on the internet, I decided Facebook might have better answer. Somehow, this turned into a quick how-to lesson from a couple of my business-owning friends on how to start and run a business out of your house. So, sometime at the beginning of 2014, I intend to file for sole proprietorship, get a state sales tax number, and make Unpronounceable Designs an official business, rather than just an occasionally lucrative hobby to bide my time before I get into theatre.
That's right, I'm going legit. This will necessitate some changes to the website to reflect more of my commission work. The theatre stuff is staying up, if for no better reason than the stage gives me warm fuzzies and I do still hope to work there again someday, it just needs some restructuring so the site appears to give equal time to my offstage work. No hurry on these changes yet, though, because I still don't have many good pictures of my commissioned work (I may have to arrange some sort of photo shoot eventually), and also because my business cards only have my email address on them, not the website.
Oh, yeah... I have business cards now. See, this past weekend, fresh off of my decision to become a real business, I attended TeslaCon, where I found - among the many very, very awesome vendors there - the lovely ladies at Raky Press, with their beautiful antique treadle-operated flywheel printing press, making Victorian-style calling cards while you wait. I got 50 printed - call it a starter pack, I'll order more once I get more established (and develop a logo, if they can make custom dies) - and they are just oh-so-pretty:
People wasted no time asking for one. It was pretty great, as was the rest of the convention. I had a great time, enjoyed some very informative panels, ogled all the pretty costumes (because TeslaCon is an immersion convention, meaning EVERYBODY is dressed up), and had quite a few people asking for pictures of my coat... well, and of me, but mostly of the coat. Which is very encouraging, considering above news...
The sudden appearance of Real Business Considerations also means I had to pass on a $300 underbust corset (it had a map on it! It was so pretty! I forgot to ask the price before I tried it on, then I was put under its spell!), because somewhere in the buying process, my fiancee, Erich, and I managed to calm down and realize that you could get a fairly decent sewing machine for that much... which is a very important consideration, when you realize that my home machine thus far has been my grandmother's Singer Featherweight. A beautiful little Deco-patterned workhorse that can chew through projects that low-end modern machines would choke on, but there's only so much you should ask of a motor that's been working since the Eisenhower administration. So, it's time for the old girl to retire - not permanently retire, mind you, more like move to Sewing Emeritus status, to be brought out for those projects where only she will do. To that end, Sunday morning before garbing up and heading to the con, we looked through craigslist, and I did a quick comparison/price check on Amazon, where I discovered that this beauty (which I'd been ogling from afar for a while) was on mega-sale. It arrived at my doorstep on Tuesday, and is currently perched majestically in all its hammered-steel-finish glory on the sewing cabinet with the craptastic old Kenmore in it. Some low-tech engineering is going to be required to make that a good place for it, but it's still better than hauling it up onto the drafting/cutting table.
On a different note, and back to the convention, one of the great things about TeslaCon is that most of the panels & presentations are fan-sourced. Meaning anyone who has something (themeatically appropriate) to share can potentially do so. And, it turns out, none of the presentations for 2014 have been booked yet - the event organizer won't even begin accepting submissions until January. So, Erich and I have pretty much decided we're going to submit a presentation for next year. The time between now and January should give us enough time to put together an outline and maybe a basic PowerPoint for what we want to do. We're thinking that it will be something to the effect of Grownup Scissors: Demystifying the Scary Tools. Basically, it would be an encouragement/basic shop safety seminar for people who already are or would like to be crafters, etc., but are afraid to up their game because they've heard too many horror stories about people running their hands into sewing machines and table saws and whatnot. Specifics may be subject to complete revision, as we've only been talking about it for a day yet, but we're quite certain we want to do this, and it should be fun.
Well, this post has grown a bit long for its venue. I promise I'll at least get a list of recent projects posted in the next couple days. Until then,
Make more stuff & don't do anything I wouldn't do.