Well, Fiberworld2020 has been put to bed...sort of anyway. We still have a raft of things to ship to folks. We also have to put the shop back into order. But the show has closed and we're exhausted.
It was a great show for us. We met a ton of new people. We found that our video concepts are great. Our video execution improved through the show and Brenda...my my my...Brenda was a beast on the second computer keeping everything together and keeping Jim on point.
But in all the crazy of the show, our guests stood out as highlights for us...Roy Clemes of Clemes.com, Linda Dean of LindaDeanCrochet.com, Tamara Kelly of MooglyBlog.com, Charlie Moore representing Anzula.com and Michael del Vecchio (author, designer and sales rep). The guest appearance were the highlight of our time each day. I was reminded each day of the reason we love the fiber community...great people with wonderful stories to share.
After the first two days when our transmission was pixelated at times and when the fire 4 miles from the house was a huge issue, our DSL improved slightly allowing our video quality to improve. When the fire was most active, everyone in the area was on DSL with multiple devices and the speed of the service just plummeted. Just about everyone around us uses VoIP...so even our phones are DSL based. But it got better over time...but we now see the importance of fiber...it might be installed this next week.
We are really looking forward to Fiberworld2021... over the next few days, we will be putting our thoughts about changes to our model we want to make for next year. Luckily, both Brenda and I like the project management aspect of video production...who knew 2020 would find us "live" for 3-4 hours every day? It's another Crazy2020 thing.
Day three of Fiberworld2020 is in the bag. We are back at our house and studio again and except for smoke in the air, we seem to be in fine shape.
On our Fiberworld2020 docket for tomorrow...
At 8 AM and 11 AM...we have FLASH Sales of one-of-a-kind yarnbowls. We will be featuring the new Hobnob collection.
Jim has scheduled conversations with Tamara Kelly...the creative behind Moogly. At 2 PM Pacific, Tamara and Jim will be talking about her blog, her projects, and all things Crochet Guild of America.
You can tune into the conversation by going to a Zoom room #948 3113 1191 and using the passcode Fiber101 when prompted. You do not need to purchase a ticket to come and visit the LickinFlames booth.
It's going to be a packed day...lots of fun...and packed.
But when I talk about us being in fine shape...what am I talking about? The Jones Fire burning outside of Nevada City and Grass Valley is about 5 miles from the house. On Tuesday, the wind started to blow and a raft of evacuation notices started moving our way. Years ago, we decided that if the evacs or warnings came up to the road at the bottom of our drive, we would bug out. Guess what...late in the afternoon, we had the car loaded and left to spend the night with a friend about 10 miles further. We spent two nights away but came back during the day. The warnings have all been lifted.
And of course the fire has had a profound effect on our ability to broadcast our video at fiberworld2020. We have DSL and with ALL the neighbors having 2,4 and 6,7 devices searching for information on the fire, the DSL speeds just became crazy slow for the show (POINT 11) on Wednesday morning as we tried to open our booth. That's some serious slow .11 is sort of like zero.
But the fire crews are doing a great job knocking the fire down It's being fought primarily by air and ground support...we normally hear the fires are ground crews supported by air...the other way around on this one. While some buildings were lost, NO lives and the effort was herculean...spectacular effort.
Last week I was excited because the fiber installation took another step forward with the promise of the install of the equipment boxes. Check!
The crew showed up at 7:15 in the morning. Four folks to install one box and some rails and tubes. Then we waited for a phone call from AT&T to do the actual install of the fiber. The last link in the chain...
Raku went down as planned...8 loads...but ...the afternoons just make the process un-enjoyable. It was hot. Sometimes when you suck the joy out of pottery...it shows in the finished product. Both the raku firings and the carbon painting the next day were great.
Stoneware firings went down also...three of them. Gorgeous pieces!
The booth was set up in the open bay of the workshop and all the cameras for this weeks Fiberworld2020 event were installed and tested. Some worked and some didn't...changes were frequent. Plans were altered. Brenda and I both spent time emailing and talking with out respective guests for FW2020. She is actually letting me talk with TWO guests and to sit in on a third interview.
For those of you who have met me...you know I can talk for hours about nothing. So you see that I'm interviewing folks and thinking that the conversation will go on forever...but...that also means that Brenda will be producing the segment and will have control over the production board...basically a fancy on-off switch. So while I might think I'm in control...hope...Brenda will be.
So last week really comes down to this week...and it all starts on Wednesday at 1:00 (Pacific)...and our first FLASH SALE is at 1:30...Yarn Bowls! The bowls have been chosed and are on the table ready to do...we're not quite ready...but the bowls are.
The big news this past week was the delay in mounting the equipment boxes on the house for the fiber install...so we're pushing that fiber install right to the deadline...kicked the can down the road just a bit.
The good news is that boxes get installed on Monday morning...at 7 AM...SEVEN IN THE MORNING. Seriously! I want this stuff so badly if they had said 3 AM I would have agreed. Do you think they knew that when they scheduled me for SEVEN in the morning? What a way to start a week.
The week will be all about testing systems for our booth at FiberWorld2020 (.com). We have the new fiber to worry about of course, but we've been working on "Plan C" which is running the show over a hotspot (we have a dedicated one in addition to the our phones...and "Plan B" which is running the show over a Ethernet wired WIFI plugged into our current DSL service. The CAT6 wires for "Plan B" are currently running through the property between buildings (across paths and gardens and driveway).
The Plans are all put together and wires are laid to make them work. The technology works well without a load. Now the fun begins...testing by uploading a simple video stream...then the "full monty"...5 cameras in the same feed. Fingers and toes are all crossed that it works WITHOUT the fiber (just DSL or hotspot)...because we don't know exactly when the fiber will go live. We're hoping this week...but we are working on the other Plans just in case.
In any event...the show will go on.
Our workshop on making a notions dish has a materials deadline of Thursday the 13th...information on that workshop is found on the http://www.fiberworld2020.com website.
During the show we will have FIVE quests in the booth (all remote)...and SIX different FLASH sales...and demos...and tours...and doorprizes...and...give-a-ways...and knitnites...we open at 7 in the morning (come by and experience the pain with me)...and will be LIVE for some 11 hours each day.
All this planning and testing AND four kiln loads of glaze this week...seriously...
Somehow, The Far Side comic just seemed so appropriate this week. Gary Larson just makes me laugh.
Another crazy week has been put to bed. We did a bazillion little things to move the ball forward…setting ourselves up for a killer week coming up.
Our #1 raku kiln broke a hinge…I don’t weld…Geoff is coming over on Tuesday evening to repair the hinge. I told him I have a fun project to talk to him about while he’s here…we’ll see where that takes us.
AT&T sent a contractor to make sure we have a “clear path” for our new fiber to be laid. Check. The report was sent and…
…another contractor is scheduled for Tuesday to measure the amount of wire needed for the project…and he said that install folks normally follow him by 2 to 7 days. Could we be seeing (and using) fiber by the end of the week?! Fingers crossed.
One of our local farms, First Rain Farm (@firstrainfarms on Insta), runs goats on properties to knock down the hazardous underbrush. It's a fire prevention thing. Owner Tim stopped by on Saturday and the goat herd will be making its first appearance on our property in early September. It will be an annual event! My neighbors will be part of the project. Now if they were Angora or Pygora we’d be talking fiber but NubianX…nope…just weed eaters...unless you like milk, which First Rain does provide for customers.
Monday is a major photo shoot day. Well, maybe not so major, but a key photo shoot and shots will taken to fill in some of our booth for FiberWorld2020. Our booth “load in” is tomorrow and the next day and now that all the pictures are taken, cropped and labeled, we’re onto filling out forms (the bad part). We’ll have a run-through for FiberWorld this next weekend.
Most of our guests to be at our booth during FiberWorld are confirmed…still under wraps but we’re excited.
We’re firm on what our “Flash Sales” will have in them but the timing is still being decided…there will be SIX flash sales…two with items unavailable on our website!
…and our class time was assigned…Thursday at 7:00 PM (Eastern). “Let’s Make A Notions Dish” has a cutoff of the Wednesday before…so put that in your plans…last day would be 8-12-2020. Signup for classes and workshops is live now at https://fiberworld2020.com.
We also started a Give-A-Way on Instagram (@lickinflames) offering up a raku yarn bowl as the gift (picture in this blog). Easy to enter…FREE!...including the shipping. Just go over to our Instagram page and follow the directions. You can search on @lickinflames to find the give-a-way rules.
…and last, but certainly not the least of the events of this past week…I masked up and ventured into the hardware store. I needed a “union” for one of our bigger water lines and was procrastinating on getting it…and to my surprise…everyone at the store was masked…EVERYONE! The store doesn’t require them…but people were doing well (on Friday anyway).
So the craziness of last week has set this one up to be a wild ride…for some reason, “Buckle Up and Drive” comes to mind.