Looming.

I'm a week away from the room remodel.  I'm dreading it, but also anticipating it.  I hate the unfinished, cluttery feeling my room has right now.  On the other hand, I'm not looking forward to sleeping in the spare room next to the treadmill for the next two weeks, or inhaling gobs of drywall dust.  I just know it's going to aggravate my allergies.  I know I've mentioned the remodel quite a bit; I'm sure you're tired of hearing about it.  My room isn't the only thing getting an overhaul, though.  It'll mark some big changes around my studio, too.

First off is the pricing change.  I hate to say it, but everything's going to take a big jump in pricing.  I finally sat down and calculated the average number of hours it takes me to complete a saddle and bridle, and after adding the cost of supplies I have a more realistic value of my time.  I absolutely love making tack, but with so many other things vying for my time it's necessary to make my hobby pay if I want to continue. 

I'm also going to change the structure of how tack is ordered.  Anyone who visits my website right now will see several different options, ranging from simple to complex and including a variety of boots and other accessories.  In the future, I'll offer a few basic saddles and bridles, and provide a list of things that can be added to build exactly what you need.  This gives the hobbyist who needs one saddle to do a lot of jobs more options and will help me to more consistently price the "I want to do X, Y, and Z with this horse, what do I need?" requests that frequently come across my desk.  I will be, as always, available to consult with every customer who emails me so that we can create the perfect set up for your needs.

Unfortunately, that's all a little hypothetical.  I had planned to reopen my books, which closed in early April due to the massive number of jobs on my desk, as soon as possible after the remodel was completed. However, I am now considering them to be closed indefinitely.  I do want to reopen them, but I need a little break before I accept commissions again.  I want to make a few more pieces for myself, even though the chances of attending a live show are about as good as a snowball surviving our current heatwave. (95+ temps all week, not including the heat index or humidity! Yikes!)  Personal pieces offer a wonderful opportunity to test new techniques, try new designs, and to explore my creativity.  I may also sell a few pieces finished during that time; any sales will be posted here and on MH$P. 

During my 'vacation' from commissions, I hope to continue posting on the blog.  I want to show off new pieces as they are completed, and I definitely want to get the tutorial produced.  It was set to go out last weekend, but I couldn't get the pictures edited in time.  Now it has to wait until after the remodel.   Without time-sensitive commissions, I'm also hoping that I can do a few how-to articles to post here.  I still have the photos for Stablemate scale galloping boots ready, I just need to write up the instructions!  I can also use that time to catch up on the unpleasant side of business; book keeping.  I'm so far behind with paperwork that it's ridiculous.  It'll take me a week to dig out from under the pile of receipts, PayPal printouts, and shipping confirmations that have amassed.

I'll be checking my email consistently during the remodel, but blog posting will be sporadic, if at all.  Maybe some progress pictures of the remodel? I don't know yet.

In summing up, all commissions on my desk will be going out early next week, sooner if possible.  I'll notify people via the usual channels when I'm accepting commissions again, and keep an eye out for blog posts and sales pieces until then.  I'll be here for the rest of the week, but next Monday contact may be a bit sporadic.  Drywall dust and paint can do that to a person.