Sunday, January 26, 2014

Phat Turnings to ap-Ply

       So, last week (barely skating in here... ) I said I would talk about my attempt at marketing my Turnings. SOOO... I joined the Phat Fiber sample box for January.  The pic above was my sample box of spindles I sent in. They are all tied and tagged, ready to be distributed to 50 souls in the hopes they would enjoyed (and get talked about.) This was a large undertaking for me, as my spindle making is relatively new.
       Let me explain-Let me set the Wayback Machine to about 2-3 years ago (2010 or so), when my Wife's first drop spindle broke… (not sure if I did it, one of the kids, the dogs, etc, but it was found with the shaft shattered beside the couch.)
       Being the quick thinker I’m not, I thought, how hard could it be to fix… SIGH just a little background here. While my father is an excellent handyman, can (and probably has) built everything under the sun (from building and racing Jags in his youth, to remodeling houses, to being the helpful hardware guy, managing and maintaining and then owning apartment complexes, etc.) I on the other hand am not. I was raised helping, but the tools and craftsmanship side took so well that my wife feared buying a wheelbarrow for the idea I might try to put it together.
       Well, after breaking two dowels, sanding another way to small, and bending the heck out of the hook, my (7th, 8th, ?) attempt finally looked and felt right, so I finally admitted to finding it and returned it to her. And it passed inspection… However something unexpected happened while I was fixing that spindle.
       I had fun.
       I had the same type of fun I have working on a painting (Shameless plug for my website of my paintings… )
       This astounded me, and I decided to see if it was a fluke… so I made two more spindles, which I put up on Etsy as an experiment... (another Shameless plug--- )

              Again It was fun, and one (top one) even sold, but my lack of skill combined with an explosive set of options to show my paintings sent me off in a different direction for a while.
            Fast Forward to spring- 2013, I bought my Wife a Spinning Wheel, (Kiwi 2) and she dug out her spindle (which hadn’t seen much use for a while) as a fun comparison bit… And I started watching them both… rummaged through my stuff to try and find the spindle that hadn’t sold to try it too… sigh I still haven’t found it. But I did find various other materials, I could just make another, right?
So I did… and asked her to show me how to use it… and before I had more than 30 min spinning time, I had built another… and now I’m hooked building different styles and trying them.
          Fast forward again- to 2013 fall- my Wonderful Wife gets me a Lathe for my Birthday (a little early, I couldn't wait to play with it)- and I am off and running- building all these wonderful supported spindles based on images I've seen and books I can find, and trying all these fun styles--- and then I realize 'Hey I still have that Etsy Account- I should put a few up there...' And thus my shop has changed it's majority listings from my art/prints with a splash of jewelry, to primarily Spinning tools.

    So, when I found out about the Phat Fiber Sample Box....  I thought it would be a great opportunity to see both if I could sustain a decent volume in short order, and to get some word of mouth advertising to hopefully increase traffic to my storefront, and went to work.
        So in just a couple of weeks, I had a selection of 50 spindles, tagged them an shipped them off in the middle of December, for the January Box. This way I hope to begin the New Year right.
         And now I've just found another opportunity- Ply Magazine is looking for hand crafted fiber tools, preferably from smaller online vendors that would be willing to exchange a few items for photography backgrounds. (and Bio Credits when used... )  I'd love to see some of my items see print, so I signed up for that too- Looks like it's all falling in together- for once....
          Now if I could just remember to update more often... and add a few more hours to each day, and finish my Spin-A-Longs, and... oh yeah, there are the other obligations too... hmmm, where was that Wayback Machine?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A New Year, some new goals...

C-Downtown Association of Fairbanks  

okay, so Christmas season got hectic for me... (doesn't it for everyone?) and then off to the New Year, new projects, and playing with the new toys. I made a resolution to Blog at least once a week, and update my Etsy Site (Arctic Visions) just as often, but I'm already behind on both.

So what fun new toys you ask? Well- My wonderful wife bought me a loom... it's an Asford 30cm Knitter's Loom, which I have Warped, and will be starting to weave soon... I also got more spinning fiber (can't go wrong there... ) and more tools for my Lathe- Lots of fun to learn there. And a whole lot of distractions (movies, games, etc) that I have been and will continue to enjoy.

Ah, yes, and my spinning- another Resolution I need to catch up on. That Resolution was to finish the monthly Spin-A-Longs in the month they are going- so in January, I only have 2 (well 3 but I gave one up already.) I'm in a Roving of the Month Club with my wife, and she loved this months fiber, so I gave it to her for her 'single as a finished wool project.' So from my Ravelry Groups I have the "Marvel VS DC" comic spin-along in which I am spinning a red-black short repeat colorway to ply for maximum barber poling as 'Deadpool;' and then the 3rd Harry Potter R-A-L & S-A-L in which I Have picked out my project.... silk merino in 'storm' colorway- black with red streaks wool, with light grey streaks of silver through-out as 'Sirius Black' which I haven't even started yet.

And as to the Etsy site- I haven't put as much in as I'd like, and January should be a pig push month (more on that next week, after the Box Release...) hopefully bringing a large influx of visitors. But the Lathe is working fine, so I'll keep making and posting as I get time.... and maybe I can catch up posts here too... I'm only 2 posts late- I can make that up in midweeks... oh, yeah, today is a mid week... hmmm...

Here's hoping your holiday season went well, and the new year feels nice to you too!