Sunday, April 25, 2010

Today was an Adventure in Video taping

Today DH and I successfully filmed and uploaded our first video onto YouTube. We wanted to show how easy it is to mold and de-mold clean ready-to-use sculpted parts. After all, with our molds you "Push in Clay ~ Pull out Art".

DH would be the camera man and I would be making the molded part and narrating the video. Sounds easy enough, right??? Wrong!

After four un-usuable attempts, we finally achieved a video that was OK. We uploaded it to YouTube, but you can watch it right here if you like.

What fun! 'Can't wait to do this again. What's next?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Big Changes

I guess it is no secret that I have designed and sculpted flexible push molds for Sweetbrier Studio, a subsidiary of Miss Martha Originals. She approached me in late 2004 asking if she could license our rubber mold designs. From that early conversation, Sweetbrier Studio was formed. Miss Martha and I attended several CHA shows and one NAMTA show with mixed success. Hobby Lobby picked up the line at our first show and carried it until this year. A number of smaller craft stores and web stores are also selling the line.

In February we were surprised to hear that Sweetbrier Studio was no longer taking orders. It seemed that the company is closing so my licensed designs were restored to us. When we got home the first of March, we jumped right back into the mold business. Since we recently moved and molds were low on the list of things to do, it was a HUGE job. The mold room is housed in the fourth bedroom and nothing had been unpacked before our trip to south Texas.

We had to have a work bench, shelves and lighting. Oh, and mold rubber, now where are the containers of mold rubber??? Big items like the compressor, vacuum chamber and vacuum pump were easy to find. The rest, not so easy. In the first week of March, I unpacked, cataloged and put in place over 15 boxes of the parts and pieces of mold production and shipping. It is amazing how many things are needed for productive mold manufacturing.

Joe had several computer jobs to catch up when we got home so I inventoried what few molds we had then began planning how to make the molds we needed for the orders that we had received in the last few weeks. Good news, we had mold making master for all but two of them. Next, make mold making masters for those then serious casting began.

After years of working with the United Design mold room, it was like riding a bike, only messier. In a few days, we had a shelf full of finished, trimmed molds, ready for..... the inserts!! Egad, where are those? I original wrote the projects and took the pictures but everything was sent to Sweetbrier Studio for printing.

A LOT of time was spent on my computer, searching for the elusive project inserts, color pics of the finished projects and measuring circles. Finally everything was found, printed, cut and folded and put into the plastic bags with the molds. Boxes were sealed, and weighed, postage was bought online, labels glued on, then off to the post office.

People talk about mom and pop businesses. I wonder if anyone realizes how hard mom and pop work. :-D

The last part of the job was building a website for the molds, tutorials and original rubber stamps. Our website is DH and I have spent nearly every spare minute on it over the last few weeks and tonight, it went live!!! The home page of the website with little pictures of all the molds can be found here: Molds. Our tutorials are here: Tutorials. Free Tutorials are Free Tutorials. If you love stamps, you might want to take a look at our Stamps.

It's amazing how very many pictures are on a website. Good thing Photoshop is around. The artwork and photos had to be sized, cropped, resized, re-cropped until everything fit. It was a bit scientific looking here.
DH has a PC desktop in his office next to the mold room.
I have a Mac desktop in the studio in the opposite corner of the house.
We each have a laptop, his PC, mine a Mac that were set side by side on the dining room table.
All the computers were linked.
I could create an image on the desktop and send it to the shared folder on his desktop.
Using his PC laptop, I could open the website and work on any page that he was not working on.
If I needed an already made image on the desktop, I could pull it from the Mac Desktop with my laptop and put it in the image folder on the PC desktop machine and use it on the PC laptop to insert onto a page.
Hmmm sounds a bit odd but it worked great. Ain't technology grand???

This is a sample of a pic for the site, showing flexing and removing a perfectly molded part.

Since we are not pros at website construction, if you have a chance to look it over and find something, please feel free to send me and email. We'd greatly appreciate it.

Here's hoping you all are having a wonderful spring. Weather is finally nice here in Oklahoma and we are back on the bikes. It's good to be blogging again.