Have you ever noticed that life is not so much a steady journey forward from point A to point Z but more of a meandering, looping, falling backwards, unfortunate endings, and new beginnings kind of thing? Well, yeah, my life has been like that for the last two years. So I’m going to try this online biz thing again. I have been busy these last two years. I just haven’t told the world about it.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be uploading new products into my online store and getting the financial back end mechanics up and running. Then actual purchases can occur. Imagine that–A functioning store.
Whew!!! The last few months have been a whirlwind so I haven’t had much time to post about my trip to the Con of Thrones 2018 Conference back in May. We drove from Phoenix to Dallas on a Thursday, which was a challenge because I hadn’t had a lot of sleep that week. I think I had been awake for 36 hours straight by the time we arrived at our destination.
The next day, Friday, was the first day of the conference. We had to set up mid-morning and it was a little hectic because this was my first conference and I didn’t know what to expect. We had great positioning near the main doors so we were one of the first booths people encountered.
I was very pleased at the positive reactions I was getting from the attendees. The thing that caught most people’s attention was the triptych of faces (the Hall of Faces sculpture).
I was able to attend and participate in a panel on Friday afternoon entitled “Warrior Women”, which turned out to be a great experience. There were three other women on the panel and the audience added some good points during the Q&A portion. If you would like to listen to that discussion, I will be posting the audio on my Game of Thrones (GOT) related YouTube channel in the next day or so under my GOT nom de plume of “Dame Pasty”. Be warned though, if you haven’t seen all of the GOT episodes through Season 7 or read all of the A Song of Ice and Fire books to date, you MIGHT get spoiled on something.
The good news is that we sold out almost everything I had brought on that first day including one of the unfinished books (The Night’s Watch book) I had brought along as an example (with a promise to the buyer that I would finish the book that weekend).
Bad news was I stayed up until 3 in the morning trying to finish the book and making new products for the next day. I was able to at least bind the pages together for the book that night but had to give it more time to dry before I attached the pages to the book itself. I was also able to make some more bookmarks for the various GOT family houses and various factions.
Saturday was equally encouraging in regards to sales–the new bookmarks sold immediately. We also sold a lot of raffle tickets for the Winterfell desk organizer since everything else was gone. My daughter sold all of her mandala magnets to a single person so she decided to make more.
I tried to make more bookmarks while sitting at our booth but they were selling faster than I could make them (A nice problem to have, I know). Then I decided to finish painting one of the sculptures I had brought along–the Oldtown Lighthouse. Saturday night we had a nice dinner at an Italian bistro situated in the Hyatt Regency lobby, attended the costume contest in the main ballroom, and socialized with my fellow WotW* attendees. I did not stay up too late Saturday because the lack of sleep and excitement finally caught up to me.
Sunday, the final day of the conference, was much more laid back. I continued painting on the Lighthouse, selling raffle tickets, and trying to drum up some commissions. I also finished attaching the pages to The Night’s Watch Journal and the buyer picked it up that afternoon.
I participated in another panel entitled “Tyrion the Gray”, sharing the stage with three other people (one of whom you might recognize as Steve Love, a GOT impersonator who had a small part in the actual show). I will also be posting the audio for this panel on Youtube. At one point while exploring the vendor area I ran into Hannay Murray (who plays Gilly) and Joe Dempsie (who play Gendry). I spoke to her and acted ridiculously starstruck. She seemed very shy but nice. I didn’t get a chance to talk to Joe (darnit!!!!). Later that afternoon we gave away the Winterfell Desk Organizer, broke down our booth and collapsed in our room. I vaguely recall sleeping and eating until we left around 1 am in the morning on Monday. The drive back wasn’t much easier but we made it in one piece.
It was a grand adventure for us and I hope to be able to do it again next year. Except for next year, I hope to have more product to sell out of!
Note: *Watchers on the Wall, the sponsor of the conference and a site to whom I contribute on a volunteer basis. If you are a Game of Thrones fan, check it out!
I’ve been so immersed in Game of Thrones crafting lately that I was getting a bit burnt out and needed a break. So I decided to make my first book, a bill organizer, using some page templates/digital images from Nik the Booksmith. If you don’t know who she is, she’s an American bookmaker who creates customized journals and digital pages that she sells on Etsy. She also makes customized books on commission. Most have a theme and/or back story (e.g., Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Shelley and Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes, etc), and they are really quite beautiful with not only paper crafting but sewing, painting, etc. Plus she has tutorials, advice and tips, and online classes on booksmithing through Teachable.com. If you like gorgeous hand-crafted items, you really should check her out.
As I was saying, I was really inspired by her work and decided to attempt making my own book. But I also wanted it to be something practical. So I chose the bill organizer. It’s not perfect and I learned a lot about bookmaking during the process, but I really enjoyed doing it. And I plan on doing more bookmaking in future. So all in all I think it was worth it. I’ve shot a video of how I made it and hope to post the video by this weekend.
I am stoked!!! My new business will get launched as a vendor at a Game of Thrones fan conference called Con of Thrones in Dallas, Texas May 25-27, 2018. Since I just started this business and received notice about being accepted as a vendor, I have been furiously producing Game of Thrones themed items. Below are some photos of things that I have been working on. The photo quality is not that great but you’!! get the idea.
Bookmark, from a series based on The Seven
Winterfell Tower and desk organizer, in process of being painted
Base of the Oldtown Lighthouse, initial painting
Oldtown Lighthouse, early stages, clay still wet
Armature for Lighthouse base
Dragon Eggs, initial painting
Beginning of Hall of Faces Tryptych, one face drying and another still in the mold
Dragon Eggs, their beginning as paper mache
I have lots of irons in the fire, some that aren’t GOT related. So never fear if this isnt your cup of tea. You can check back here to catch glimpses of my progress on my prep for the conference and other news of any non-GOT related products.
Well, I’ve set up this website, managed to get Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest all set up and ready to go, and even managed to get my company email (sales @ designed-to-a-t.com) set up on my Android phone in Outlook. Now I just need to get a Youtube channel, which forces you to go through Google who seems to be verklempt today. So that will have to wait.
Oh, and I also was able to fill out a vendor application for Con of Thrones 2018–a fan conference for Game of Thrones in Dallas, TX May 25-27th, 2018. I used to contribute to Watchersonthewall.com (a fan site) as a poster but now only occasionally provide technical assistance. I’m still a HUGE fan of the show though and those folks at Watchers are my peeps! Am working hard on products for the conference and hope to have videos on what I’ve been up to soon. Now if only Google will get it’s poop in a group, I can get this party started!