Thursday, April 29, 2010

I feel like I have all but disappeared from Bloggervania. Though I have absolutely been keeping tabs on everyone's posts, mine have been absent. Mostly this is due to the strange disappearance of the download cord for the camera somewhere in the vast wasteland that is my husband's desk. But I cannot let him take all the blame because I have been up to my elbows in alligators since I returned from my trip.

I am working furiously on my exhibit for the July Lakeland show and replacing/creating new stock for the show. Little point in going if I have nothing to sell....

One of my side trips was to an amazing little fabric shop in Maitland, Florida....right smack in the middle of the state in what I always considered "nowhere". What a find!

These are the fabrics I bought...and believe me, I had to stop myself because my basket was full.

They are either 100% silk, 100% cotton or a silk/cotton blend, which I have NEVER seen before. There is even a bit of ultra suede. There all happened to be cut into "fat quaters" and I just kept filling my basket! The colors are so vibrant and just beautiful.

I also attended the three (yes three!!) miniature shows in the Chicago area in mid-April. First was the Three Blind Mice show which was small but had some really nice sellers. I bought a Robin Betterly kit which I will show when I finish lots of metal minis to be painted for various projects.

My best buy of that show, however, was this fabulous wicker wheelchair by Barb and Marvin Tate from Ohio. They do not appear to have a website. Marvin makes movable things like wheelchairs and prams; Barb makes stationary furniture. Marv has one of his wheelchiars in the miniature White House. This is a fabulous piece. I had never seen a miniature wicker wheelchair before. Furthermore, the price was very reasonable...under $100.

When I saw Jayne's Floozies, I knew I had to have a couple for my newest project and they arrived today. They are temporarily in a block of foam and Jayne was kind enough to enclose additional leaves for me to choose from. These are sooo cool. The photo does not do them justice.
Meet Rhianna (Miss Lips) and Frida.

Yet ANOTHER package came in the mail today! I was able to snag one of Kat Hazelton's newest steampunk creations which will go into the lastest project also. Sooo cool, Kat!

That's it for now. I have lots more things to show that I got at the shows and in the mail but I need to photograph them first. Hahaha....that's the worst part for me. I take such bad pictures.

.....another day....


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Packaging/shipping strategies.....or "How to put all your eggs in one basket without breaking any of them..."

I promised Nikki I'd let her know what was devised for shipping the orreries and I'm sharing it with all of you.

When my son was 13, the science class was issued a challenge: take a raw egg and drop it from the roof of the Administration Bldg without breaking. Surprisingly, (or perhaps not) his team was among the winners. The idea is to keep the egg from hitting the inside of the packaging AND to disperse the energy of the "fall" around it. They used lots of styrofoam, bubble wrap and duct tape.

This "experiment", along with looking at how my ceramic "Snow Village" is packaged, was the basis for our strategy.

See how the house is within a "cell" and, by means of the carved out areas, doesn't move within it? That is the plan. I had several pieces of the extruded polystyrene. You can use something that has been sent to you or it is available in sheets at the Home Improvement store. I believe it is used for insulation on new housing and comes in 2" and 1" sheets. I had it because I used it as a base for my Snow makes nice "snow" and can easily be shaped with a hot tool/wire.

Below are the "hot" tools I used but anything like even a soldering iron or a very sharp knife can be used.

First I cut 2 pieces to the desired shape and siz and then made a "lid".

I measured the size of the object and cut out a hole in the center piece and a small bit out of the bottom to contain the object snugly. Then I stacked this point you could glue the two of them together.

Put the oject in the hole. I didn't show this but I put cut pieces of the small bubble wrap behind it as a cushion. The I put more of the cut up bubble wrap around and over it. Then comes the cover.

Tape the whole thing up and then put it in a sturdy cardboard box with more cushioning. And then mail.

Now to drop it off the Astromony Tower and see what happens. There is one other method I am going to try for items where the "sticking out things" (for lack of a better term) are so delicate that nothing should touch them at all. But that is for the next post....
And always work in a well ventilated area when using a hot wire because the polystyrene does emit fumes which, I am sure, are not good to breathe.