Rants

What Calendar?

spooky fabric goodness

The webcomics artists I admire have stocked their stores for the holidays. These people whom I deeply respect are ready. They’ve been planning. As far as I can tell, they’ve been planning for this moment since before the last holiday season. Many of them support themselves financially with these sales. They have for years. They have to plan.

So, perhaps all I lack is motivation built up over a period of time?

I remain unconvinced that this is an element that I lack. I remain unconvinced that this is the only possible element that I lack.

But now occurred to me that I planned poorly for the holiday item I thought I would have for the last holiday, Halloween. Of course, I think I came up with the idea for the shirt applique in September, when I bought these fabrics.

I am right now planning on having that prototype up by next September. Here’s hoping.

Paradigm Shiftin’

On a long enough time line, I do complete what I set out to do. The second round of bacon shirts arrived with sufficient aplomb on me late last week. And so I began the post processing of tagging and cutting and ironing the ‘protective’ backing on the inside of each shirt. Then the packing, labeling and shipping. The bread and butter of the independent internet shirtailer. Time consuming bread and butter, but ah well.

I gotta admit, Tiny Run is still exciting and interesting, challenging and difficult. And sometimes, a little too much on that difficult quality. The second bacon coming contained as many trials as the first (and finally shipped out the last today). My expletives flowed in the same river-like manner. The promises to myself to never repeat that again had the same sickly sweet kiss. The thought of just making shirts that no-one would ever order or charging ridiculous amounts to achieve that same result pokes me with its pitchfork and goads with freedom from all these concerns without actually having to make the decision to abandon ship.

Of all these knocks on my door the one I let in was the most innocuous. Of course. I let in The Quilt. It was the only one that offered comfort, by way of playing into the slow piecemeal production method, and was an item locked into being not able to mass produce. If I was going to do a bacon quilt, it would take me six months and there would be only one Bacon Quilt, and all others are impostors. If you meet the Bacon Quilt on the road, kill him?

you don't understand the COMFORT of the dark side quilt!

The impetus, or one of them, for Tiny Run was that there were things that I didn’t see in the ever spawning internet shirt market. I wanted to see them. And I was curious if anyone else wanted to see them, too.

But the business is brutal. My production methods and business acumen are less than full grown, and that is a kind way of putting it. Really, I suck at this. And not only do I not want to ever see another internet shirt site to confirm that no one is doing anything that I perceive as truly awesome, I start to wonder if I really need to see these things through myself. My own pursuit of what I consider awesome is coming under question, as well as my success at achieving awesome so far.

And in between the rigors of the business and the promise of a baby soon arriving, I have been swaddling my brain in quilts.

So for the last three months or so, I have been thinking about the canvas that a quilt might function as. It’s a neat diversion, to say the least. The pictures in my head are the most delicious kind. I’ve stockpiled about six or seven ideas and fabric to do at least three of them. And like shirts, I find great technical excellence in many quilters online, but little of the spark that interests me.

So what does this mean? I haven’t really developed my thinking too far beyond today. I’m looking at my life facing the largest change in a matter of weeks. I don’t know what will happen. I’d like to think that the Tiny Run I’ve built and you’ve followed will weather this storm and shirts of some interesting sort will continue to grace your eyes and torsos.

Maybe we will see some onesies.

Making Lincoln Vid

if this works, this should link to the vid...

This is a short, but also far too long, and perhaps too small, video of the batik process that created The Lincoln. It’s small if you have vision problems. It is short due in relation to the final length of time that passes during the shirt’s creation. It is long if you have no stomach for time consuming, and terribly repetitive motion.

Yes, I hand wax every single dot.

By my estimate, there’s almost four thousand?

Upgrades!

Those who purchased the ‘i still function, i still glow’ design had an opportunity to purchase an ‘upgrade’ to the design. I finalized my intention with this idea right when I was coding the checkout buttons for the shirt. This experiment resulted in what I hope future scientists, upon unearthing, will consider in whatever moon language they speak, to be ‘awesome.’

How it worked: a person could add a charge to their cart for the upgraded design version, which would include additional unspecified elements that related to the original design.

It seemed simple, but in fact had a certain complexity that I could already taste. My thoughts regarding this taste was that I could certainly handle another serving. I thought that it would be even more interesting for everyone involved if this wild-card idea was brought to bear. The buyer could get a surprise, and I could make items that were of an even more limited edition. In fact, my intention was to make them literally ‘single edition’ items. Each would be different, each would be an opportunity to go a little nuts. I wanted people to have an option to give me a chance that I would love to do with artists that I follow and adore. A chance to do whatever they want.

Within a little reason, of course. My plan was to have the upgrage add to the design already presented, so the benefactor would be able to predict withing a certain ‘hunch’ of a range, how it might go. The chances of delivering a fushia item in this case was severely limited, and I’m sure the two brave souls who decided on the upgrade slept better because of it.

To make matters more interesting, the button code I mentioned earlier was slightly off when I published it to the site, so that the charges where a little too high. The first purchaser of the upgrade actually was double charged for it. I offered to send back the money or create a ‘double upgrade’ design, and he, like a Vegas pro, said let it ride. And so, I did.

a little on the sleeve, if you would

The single upgrade shirt received additional stitching of glow thread around the skull, and accent stitching on the sleeves. I had wanted to extend the stitching on the front out at least twice as far, but the fabric of the shirt began to bunch a bit.

it's sending out a signal of some sort...

The double upgrade, well, yeah, nuts. The pictures only show limited detail of the double, but the two flanking skulls on the front are glow-ink covered white jersey fabric with a separate skull cut out of black shirt on top These layers have then been sandwiched and stitched together to the front of the shirt with the glow thread. And since that wasn’t sufficient, I did that all on a white ringer shirt. And since that wasn’t sufficient, I went and added a little glow stitch of the skull shape at the nape of the neck.

oooooooo, THREE glowing skulls!

can you see the layers of goodness?

i'm just implying a skull, it could be there, but it doesn't have to be, per se