Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lemonade Social

This past weekend, we had our 2nd annual Lemonade Social at work. Last year I didn't have much of a role, but this year all of the projects I was working on were featured, as well as being there Saturday talking with customers and giving tours of the shop.

In addition to the new Linnea Sofa, we had a matching chair, coffee table, and end tables. So the last few weeks got a little hectic, finishing the couches, getting the coffee table built, and having the end tables thrown in at the last second (well, 4 days before the event).

With a fair amount of luck, and a ton of help, we got it done. And there was a tremendous response to the set. I heard a lot of good things from young modernists, to old ladies, telling us how we got the look and feel of it just right.

The exception to that was the chair. For whatever reason (I'm still having trouble figuring it out) the chair was just a sofa scaled down in width, but it felt too big. Some of that was the seat is 28" wide, enough for 2 people to cozy up side by side in it. But with the wide feeling was also one of it being too deep...for some people. 2 or 3 of the people I was talking with liked it at that size. We even had one couple order one of the large chairs, and one of our as yet un-built small chairs.

So that is one of the things I'm working on now. Setting up a chair 5" less wide, and 2" less deep. And for some reason, we're working on a medium sized chair, 2" bigger than the small, I guess just in case Goldilocks shows up to try them out.

We also had the cubes out on display. Dubbed Suzy Cubes (hey, not my idea) we had them stacked up and going around the corner to show off some of what you could do with them. The scrap pile cube got a fair amount of attention I'm told, so I might have some more scrapping to do in the future.

The other piece that was featured was the Laptop Desk. I got to work on it a bit right before the event because it needed a little help. One of those
"all hands" situations.

A simple base, with some paper management on one side, a drawer and charging station on the other, and a power adapter/USB throughput in the center. Some good cord management down through each of the back legs keeps the rat's nest out from under your feet, and then a set of pullout shelves in the front skirt. If I didn't already have a desk, this would be at the top of my list. I might need to set up an organizer like that for mine however.

One of the most interesting parts of the event was one of the tours I was giving. It was composed of a lady who helped design what is now our Artisan Sleigh bed, a friend of hers that does some woodworking, and another of their friends. During the whole tour the woodworker was engaged and interested in how we do all of our work, the lady was fascinated with the whole process and loves our product, and the third was stone faced throughout the tour. And so I felt as though I had to find something that would grip him, but couldn't seem to get there. As it turns out, he thinks the work we do is beautiful and amazing, and when he gets his house after getting out of the Navy this year, how this is the sort of furniture he wants. Especially our Waterfall line.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New Moccs

The new moccs arrived yesterday after months of anticipation. Scott, from Walking Liberty Moccasins, did a great job and exceeded my expectations/demands.

The welder's split turned out to be this nice neutral shade of gray instead of the horrific shade of construction boot mustard that I had resigned myself to when he said it came un-dyed. He artfully added the requested toe cap to minimize any added stiffness.

The only trouble is in the stiffness of the leather. This hide was stiffer than what he is used to working, but unfortunately all that was available. To counteract this, he has done his best to allow for the extra stiffness, Gooped up the soles (something he doesn't do anymore) so that I could try them out right away, and is even all prepared to hunt down a softer hide and remake them for me if they just don't work.

So, the breaking in period starts. Normally 3-4 days, but add a few more for the extra stiffness. And I suspect a few more for the added toe cap. I put them through their paces at the shop today, and they are already starting to work in. The toe area is definitely where the most work is needed, to allow my big toe its own wiggle room.

Since I wore them to the shop I got loads of comments. Everything from "ugly", to "must be hot", and even "those would be great hiking boots". Most people were surprised that they were custom made.

Granted, they look a bit silly with shorts, but as they soften I should be able to turn down the tops and "cuff" them into low-tops. And I have to say they aren't any hotter then my old pair of Doc's, but they sure do breath better. And even though they've got a bit to go before they break in all nice, my feet are already thanking for getting them out of those crummy old sneakers.

As much as I'd like to break them in all in one go, I'm pretty sure that's not the way to do it, so I think I'll give them (and my toes) tomorrow off and let them rest.