August 2010

Barfday

Not really. The barfing I mean. It was my birthday this weekend though, so I didn’t get around to much more than eating well, getting gifted, fielding family phone calls and using the 28th as an excuse to wear this wicked fuschia dress I found at Value Village last week – a little too glam for a run-of-the-mill Saturday night, but acceptable when sprinkled with the magic of “birthday.”

Regular posting, including custom flask shots, resumes tomorrow.

Read more →

Go Wild!

No posting yesterday because I was busy doing just that (going wild) at African Lion Safari with my friend MaryAnne and her family.

Of course, even with all these wild and crazy animals (that cost an arm and a leg to see by the way), Mar’s kids were way more into the un-exotic ball room than anything…despite the fact that the super-thin single layer of balls on the plywood floor made it look more painful than fun to dive around in. They didn’t seem to mind!

Anywhoooo, back to work today. I’m laying out a couple custom flasks and hope to have them up later this evening or tomorrow. Check back for sweet sneak peeks!

Read more →

Fun and Fact

We’ll start with the fun.

A couple pairs of earrings – an Etsy order that came in yesterday.

Now for fact! What’s the classy way of issuing an across-the-board price increase? Because that’s what I need to do with Shoot from the Hip.

There were plenty of times when I started selling leather, that I offered discounts and deals before even being asked. I was so excited to sell things to actual people who were willing to trade any amount of their hard-earned money for something I had made, that I fell all over myself to entice them with specials. I had no idea how to price my stuff and just kind of made things up as I went along because that was easier than doing the dreaded MATHS.

Unfortunately, the reality of leather (real, good quality leather) is that it’s expensive. Just for the raw, untreated hide. It’s pricey even before the hours of design, carving, tooling, staining, painting, finishing, highlighting,refinishing, stitching, marketing, packaging, mailing, online costs and new, improved taxes like HST. Not to mention the little hard-to-measure/quick-to-add-up things like stains, sprays, thread, grommets, etc.

A lot of people understand this and I’m always so grateful at shows when buyers tell me not to lower my prices. They make up for the people who scoff at a $250 guitar strap because the mall sells straps for $50.

Over the last couple months I’ve been keeping detailed logs of square footage (to the inch), hours (to the minute) and stains (to the drop) in an effort to come up with a pricing formula that keeps things fair for customers, for other artisans trying to make a similar living, and for myself – a wage that allows me to continue to both eat and create.

It’s nothing huge. My gut has, up to this point, been close to right on the money (NO PUN INTENDED) with estimates so it’s mostly only differences of a couple dollars, but I thought I should let people know in advance.

Some of the prices in my Etsy shop will stand (current necklaces for instance), but I’ll be slowly changing the tags on things like earrings, hairbands and belts to reflect my new formula. The biggest jumps will be with flasks and wallets, which I’ve always low-balled myself on despite the fact that they’re two of the most labour-intensive, material-heavy things I make.

Hopefully this makes good, clean sense to all and I’m not assuming too much when I say thanks for understanding!

Read more →

Down Time

As someone who overdoses on “SOCIAL” pretty easily and needs to follow up with some serious hermit time, I love this video.

I think it’s probably made the blog rounds…I’ve seen it in a couple places the last few weeks, but here it is again: How to be Alone. Her voice is great. The music is great. The whole thing is just right up my alley.

Maybe next someone can film a “how to embed” so I can join the leagues of the technologically proficient. What’s up WordPress? I thought you were meant to be easier than Blogger?

Read more →

Deep Dish

As I was running back from climbing last night I was smacked in the face with the sweet scent of fresh-baked bread and remembered that the Earth to Table Bread Bar opened on Locke Street a couple weeks ago.

It’s run by the same people who gave local food-lovers a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds when they published the gorgeous book, Earth to Table, a couple years ago.

The Bread Bar expands on this empire by offering bread, pizza and tasty-looking desserts – all made with fresh, local ingredients.

Since I was feeling lazy about cooking I grabbed a couple slices of the farm veg pizza for dinner and oh my my! Look at this stuff!

You can’t see the thickness of the slices from this photo, but it is the thickest pizza I’ve ever head. So dense. So heavy. This is the way I like my pizza. I could kill the marketing team that kicked off the thin crust craze. I’M HUNGRY OVER HERE, THANKS.

Finally, finally, Hamilton has some really wicked pizza. And it’s only $3.50 for this big fat slice. Score!

Go there now and eat your fill. I promise it will be cheap. Did I mention how thick it is? There’s no way you could eat more than one slice – you don’t really get a sense of scale from this photo, but in addition to density, one piece is probably about 6 x 6 inches.

Oh and if you’re going for bread you better hustle Russell. The girl who served me said they sold out by noon yesterday.

So. Now that we’ve finished re-living last night’s dinner, I’m going to get to work on a couple orders. Yesterday I bought my first new side of hide since well before Hillside and it’s the palest, smoothest, most beckoning cut. Thick and sturdy and even. Just the perfect weight and shade to pound out a couple pairs of earrings and one crazy custom cuff complete with wolves, mountains and a UFO.

Pictures later…

Read more →