Friday, February 28, 2020

Where the heck have I been?

There's a rhythm that usually comes with each New Year.  The holiday crunch usually starts in late October or November and then carries through late Dec/early Jan.  Then things usually taper off and I get a chance to recover, maybe work on some side projects or prototypes.  That hasn't happened this year, largely due to a couple of large orders (worth it) and a pretty steady stream of work.  That's not a bad thing per se but I haven't figured out how to balance ~80 hour work weeks with less urgent tasks like keeping up with the blog/social media.  And before I know it it's been three months since I've posted anything. =)

I shipped the last overdue order a couple of days ago and I was looking forward to taking some time off for a long overdue break.  That very day Etsy announced their Offline Ads program.  This isn't the place to get into the weeds on that (there's a great break-down here: but the long and short is that Etsy's decided to add a really high fee for something they were already doing with smaller fees.  And for shops that achieve a certain level of success they can't opt out, whether this service is at all helpful or not.  In essence, it's a naked cash grab against the seller community.  This particular program came out of nowhere but Etsy's been raising its fees for awhile now.  If they choose to prioritize short term profit over the seller community that's their prerogative but just looking at the numbers it's hard to me to see the business sense in staying on their platform.

Not that I'll be closing down or anything either.  It right now it looks like I'll move the shop over to an independent website, probably sometime in late March or April.  But there's a lot to do before I can pull that off so it looks like that break'll have to wait.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Maps Galore

Been making a lot of random line items (dice cups, shoulder pads, etc) but I've been fortunate enough to squeeze some maps in the past couple of months too!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Griffon Saddlebags

It was an honor and a privilege to be selected to make a pair of bags for Griffon Saddlebags (makers of excellent Magic Item cards).  I broke my brain against the design for almost two months before they were finally done but all that effort made some gorgeous bags.  Each one has a matching shoulderstrap and a pair of removable backpack straps.  The buckles are a little fiddly but only necessary when the bag's in "backpack mode".  I'm told one of these bags is on its way to feature in an upcoming episode of Critical Role on 12 March!  So I'll definitely be watching for that! ^_^

In the meantime, if you're the sort who likes D&D props or just good art you should take a gander at Griffon Saddlebags.  Those cards are top notch!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Testimonial, Saw Sheath

Hi Fallon
Good morning and best wishes

Please see attached sheath, loaded and ready to work

Thanks again, and best regards

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

End of Year 2019

At this moment I've clocked just under 300 hours in December and, suffice to say, I'm feeling it a bit.  The holiday blitz got a late start this year, kicking off with four or five maps in one week and then going strong right up until Xmas. I have a few big commissions scheduled for the first half of January so it'll be a little longer before I can take a full day off.  It hasn't helped that this was my only opportunity to squeeze in some personal projects until February or so.

I haven't had much of a chance to look back over the past year.  It looks like I met most of my goals though and the laser cutter's been working out pretty awesomely.

I'm still working out my goals for 2020 (I still have 9 hours!) but there's no reason to expect it won't be at least as productive as 2019.  I'll be heading to PAX South in late January and that'll be an enforced rest if I haven't managed one before that.  I'll be back home in San Antonio for about five days and that'll be great.  Once I get back I have a list of products to develop including yet more dice cups, ready-map maps, and new and improved spellbooks! 

Monday, December 30, 2019

Map Case, 29"

Earlier this year I made a map case for a fellow and just before the holiday crush he reached out to have a similar case made with two changes: it needed to be 29" long instead of 19", and he wanted a luggage handle installed on the body.  I found what I thought were the photos from his original order and pulled the aesthetic specs from that.

It turns out I made two 19" map cases back to back and I'd grabbed photos of the wrong one for the specs.  So I'd made the case in the wrong color and didn't include some decorative stitching around the periphery.  Even worse, I didn't figure this out until the client received the case.  That was pretty embarrassing.  I redressed the situation by producing and shipping another case as soon as the holidays allowed.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Testimonial: Map, Norlansjord

Dude. The map is amazing. I broke down and gave it to my DM tonight and he legitimately shed a few tears. You're stuff is amazing, thank you so very much!!!! I can't leave a review until Dec 23rd but it'll be five stars!!