The little things that eat up time

There are so many things that eat up my days and can make a normal day long and terrible.

Right now I am having trouble with a vendor. I ordered some custom displays. I even sent photos of what I am currently using as a reference with new dimensions. There is not enough time to explain to you all the ways this order has gone wrong. 

Fixing it will take hours. Either hours by mail and by phone getting the vendor to fix it, or hours myself running to Home Depot, measuring and cutting wood, and doing it myself. These are not brain surgery.  Given enough time I could indeed make these myself. But I decided to spend money to let a professional do it, while I could concentrate on doing what I do best. Now I will spend hours anyway. I am trying to decide if it is worth the argument over getting it right or getting money refunded. Especially because I feel that I may be fixing it myself in the end anyway. How much time do I want to spend on this? 

I tried to do this right. I had references. I had testimonials, I had finished photos of similar projects. There are just times where everything goes wrong anyway. And honestly they are states away. Once again I am kicking myself for not finding someone around the corner who could have done this. I just felt since it was a small company it was worth not reinventing the wheel for four small displays. Now I wish I could ride over and deal with this face to face. Yet another reason why local is better. I should learn not to steer away from my basic belief system. It always goes wrong. 

Argh! So all I can say is that this is my fault too. I should have made sure they understood exactly what I was looking for and I should have had them send me photos of the work in progress. But hindsight is 20/20. All I can say is that I tired my best and now I have to clean up my mess. I just hate to have to deal with these things that take up so much time for such small return.


Getting Ahead

I can't believe it is already September. I am looking at just 10 more weeks until Chriskindlmarkt starts. And there is so much to do!

There are so many things that I do special just for that event. I make 8 sizes of gift baskets, 2 sizes of soap samplers, felted soaps, (not just for) wool wash, sachets/travel soaps, and much, much more!

It is a challenge each year to keep my display interesting and up to date without spending an exorbitant amount of money. This year this means I have bought 15 new displays (that all need to be painted) and I need to look into some new shelving and possible some new lighting as well. I really wish I could get to a place where I just like everything and could keep in the same, but then again I think that would be boring for both me and for you. My display is constantly changing and adapting, adding and subtracting, and trying to be both durable and portable at the same time.

Most of the new displays aren't just for Chriskindlmarkt, they need to be replaced. Years of wear and tear are just demolishing them and they can't be glued or nailed back together any longer. I just think that if this sort of thing needs to happen there isn't a better time than just before one of my biggest shows of the year. They only have to be loaded in and out once and then they are ready for next year's abuse!

One trouble I have at this time of year is keeping my inventory at an acceptable level. The other day I started making mini soap samplers and about halfway in ran completely out of mini soaps. So on the list of things to do they went and now I have four weeks before I can finish the task of making all the samplers. So as I make gift baskets and such, the inventory gets low and I have to make things just to have on the table during the show and to be able to fill orders with. It is a challenge. Last year I started too late and ran out of things, this year I have already made 4 sizes of gift baskets and should have the rest done soon. I hope to have much of this all ready by the beginning of October so I can just know exactly what I need to finish making before Chriskindlmarkt starts!

Oddly enough this is my busiest time of year. I have a read deadline to meet and if things aren't made I won't have the opportunity to sell them. Come October 31, things slow down a bit and I just sell everything I have been frantically making. If I am lucky, I end December with an empty workshop and a long list of things to do, again.

So off I go: I have sachets to make!