tabbiewolf: (tabbie - roundish)
The holidays sent me ass over teakettle, though I DID spend all of yesterday drawing, which was pretty awesome and majorly satisfying. If I still owe you art or comics, they're on their way, I've just been totally in a "I'm spending this week having massive amounts of sex & snuggling with my hyena, fuck everything else (not literally)" mode.

Plans for the New Year: Taking a break from going to Anthrocon in 2013. The stress:fun ratio is starting to get unbalanced, and the money spent:money earned ratio, if similar to this year, will make it totally not worth my time. I made more money at FurFright - a significant amount more, a couple hundred bucks - and I didn't have to spend 18+ hours in the car and stay in a hotel and eat terrible pizza because everything else was closed or packed. Hell, if you figure it out, I made almost exactly half what I made at Anthrocon at ConnectiCon (with the help of [ profile] fenris_lorsrai)…and at ConnectiCon, I was only selling buttons.

I also got a lot more interest in my booth at FurFright, and a lot more interest in my art! I sold several of my portfolios and quite a few more commissions and comic books (also a general interest in Jarlidium's other works, since they don't go to FurFright). At Anthrocon, I saw a lot of old friends and had several folks who've been commissioning me for years pop in…but really, it wasn't enough to make me want to go back. Plus, these folks know how to contact me online!

Let's face it, folks: we're inviting all the folks we'd be spending time with at Anthrocon to our wedding! Or, as it's currently known:

Going to get these printed up as magnets to send out for our Save the Dates. We figure we should start early since it's Memorial Day weekend and people start making plans early!

And yes, that registry info is live. Our wedding website/registry, which includes video of the proposal and awesome art by our amazing friends :) I'll be posting this every so often until the actual wedding date.

We're planning our honeymoon for the Food & Wine Festival, which is in the fall.

Plans for Being More Productive: I'm going to start a comic this year. I say this pretty much every year, but with my new Cintiq tablet and a whole lotta time on my hands, I really have no excuse (I haven't since October, really, but I blame the holidays). I might Livestream the development process, if anyone's interested in watching me fuck around with character designs and color schemes.

I also am looking into getting a local, part-time job. By "local" I mean "I can walk or ride a bike to it" and by "part-time" I mean "doesn't take up so much of my life that I ponder suicide the way The Job From Hell did." Spot and I still only have one car between us, and I've realized that all our fun weekends have added up to almost 30,000 miles on the car in the year we've owned it. That's quite a few tanks of gas! We'll be limiting our trips out to maybe once a month, and if/when I get my job, I'm thinking of investing in a Vespa or other motor scooter.

Ideally, I'll be able to get a job at a local print & design shop. I'm not putting too much hope into that, but it's what I love to do, and it's something I'm comfortable spending 6-8 hours a day doing.

Annual Locking of the Entries: Sometime in the coming week, I'll be doing a massive lockdown of all this year's journals. If there's anything you want to save to blackmail me later, do it now! And don't be freaked out when I lock everything down. It's been a yearly tradition for a while now, and I don't delete the entries -- I just make it so only I can view them!
tabbiewolf: (faye - murder anybody)
So, as I think I've stated previously, I'm honestly considering not going to Anthrocon next year. Though Spot and I treat it like a little vacation (spending money on dinners out is a treat, stuff like that), it usually ends up more stressful than anything. This year at FurFright -- which is extremely local to us so requires very little cost to get there, and we can eat food from our own fridge -- I made a fair amount more money than I did at Anthrocon. It could just be the economy, admittedly, but figuring it out, the ratios of attendees to dealers is as follows:

Anthrocon - 20:1
FurFright - 33:1

Those extra 13 people made a huge difference in the money I made. I might look into other conventions and do comparisons.

When you figure out the cost of everything for a single person (counting that the room and ride were split), I actually made very little at Anthrocon; most of what I made went into paying for getting there, getting food, and staying in Pittsburgh for 5 days. And if me and Spot were to do it ourselves -- no splitting the room or the ride -- it'd cost something like $1500 (which what I make wouldn't pay for, even if you halved it). Which, when you figure it out, is a lot of money to spend to be stressed out and tired and come home with Con Crud.

I think I've just been frustrated with people lately, and perhaps come the new year it won't bother me as much. Just little things keep building up. The newest thing is that a game from the gaming room at FurFright somehow ended up in someone's hotel room. We marked the majority of the games with stickers with our contact info on them, but those games aren't supposed to leave the gaming room. The majority of the games at FurFright are Spot's personal collection, folks -- he loans them to the con for the weekend because he is the Gaming Director and he trusts people to not be dicks with them. And this is the first time in nine years that this has happened…it may just be a deck of cards, but I'm taking it as a severe warning.

Not to mention the supposed "volunteers" who are supposed to man the game room door and prevent this kind of thing often treated the entrance to the gaming room as a social area…as in, you actually couldn't get through the mass of people standing around and chatting. I ran into this a few times over the course of the weekend, and it's something that needs to seriously be discussed with the folks in charge of the volunteers. You wanna be social at a con? Don't volunteer to be part of security!

So I'm genuinely trying to decide what cons I want to go to next year. Furry conventions seem so laced with drama right now that staying away from them is sounding better and better.

It's a shame; I really like doing conventions (or I used to). It's just people who are violating Wheaton's Law have kind of ruined them for me lately.
tabbiewolf: (faye - glare)
Con Business: I made a few hundred bucks more than I did at Anthrocon, with much more interest in my published work (portfolios, comics) than the near non-existence of that interest in Pittsburgh. Admittedly, I could account for that $200 in sales being in buttons and baked goods -- though I was selling buttons at Anthrocon -- but the sheer amount of work I got that wasn't buttons or baked goods (as in, badges & other commissions) makes me really re-think getting a table at Anthrocon this year. I honestly am not sure that it is worth the time and money and stress. But we'll see how I feel in a few weeks, when all the con stress from FurFright has worn off.

Con Fun: As usual, the majority of joy was found by hanging out in the tabletop gaming room, chatting with friends and playing games. I'm sort of sad I didn't get to buy anything from ConnectiCon's massive selection this year (I bought [ profile] spotweld "7 Wonders" last year), but I was so wrapped up in the Dealers Dungeon I had no chance to get down there before they closed. Though I can always go up to their monthly gaming meets and partake, I suppose ;)

Con Stress: I've heard about the whole fluff-up with the Dorsai and I've accumulated bits and pieces of both sides of the story, and they all know where I stand and I have an okay idea of what happened (I refuse to say I have an exact idea because I don't). I am not getting involved with the issue because I was not directly involved, but it should be known that I have friends on both sides of the argument and everyone's being hurt by the massive clusterfuck this incident has become. If you want my advice, it would be to let things calm down first: between the normal stress of a convention and the extra stress of rolling a hurricane into it, nobody is winning here.

Non-Con Stress: We had a whole bunch of people crashing at our place this weekend since it's so close to the FurFright hotel. On Friday evening, I got home to find that my All-Clad Copper Core pans had been run through the dishwasher. This is the first time this has ever happened -- I've always washed my pans by hand, even the ones that weren't super expensive and didn't have a copper core. Copper in the dishwasher, if you were unaware, is a BIG no-no. The caustic dishwashing soap and the heat absolutely destroys the finish. Besides that, these pans have something of an emotional attachment (I'm weird, I know) because of how they were acquired and their sheer awesomeness. It's a joy I will never get back, because instead of being reminded about my awesome job that I got them from (and the success in my life that buying them signified: I just bought a pan set, I'm an actual adult!), I will be reminded about this.

Anyway. Finding this after a day of business and con-related stress (money, baking, drawing, time, sitting behind a table in a crowded dealers room) basically broke my heart…and, thanks to the busy day I'd just had (hoping to get home to relax and finding that was super lame), really pissed me off. A discussion was had with the people who did it (where what I explained above was explained, not to mention the cost of the pans, which was something around $1000 for 3 of them if I wanted to buy them new again), and it was mentioned that we were all extremely tired and stressed and we'd talk about it more in the morning after a good night's sleep.

That didn't happen, because we got up early on Saturday to get to the con…and the people who did it were gone by the time we got home. Left the house, took all their stuff, took the person who I thought was a close friend with them. They did leave a note and a pumpkin, and they paid Spot back for the commission they were going to do (and didn't) and they paid me for the buttons I'd made for them, but…well, it was a way of not facing up to the responsibility, in my opinion. Not to mention that these folks were going to run a few games AND do volunteer time at FurFright, and as we discovered that night, the folks in charge of volunteers were not informed until well after the issue needed to be resolved. This meant we had to run around the con trying to find people to help watch some rooms. Spot was passively nudged by a friend as the one who'd thrown these now ex-volunteers to security, so we got the blame for that as well. Fantastic.

And of course, of the people involved, we've heard absolutely nothing from the person I thought was a close friend (and all five of us left in the house were friends with them; they said good-bye to NO ONE)…who I've known for years, and who I invited out personally. As I mentioned jokingly to folks in the house the other night, nice to see that libido outranks what I thought was a pretty decent friendship. I guess I was wrong on that front as well. It's weird: I'm sort of the center of this group of friends -- the majority of them all know each other because of me -- and I feel really disappointed in this person for doing what they did. Not the pans, but the leaving without saying good-bye.

As for the pans: It's excessively hard for me to hold a grudge. I dunno if y'all remember, but Spot totally broke my car at FurFright last year -- he snapped the back door off my station wagon (yeah, seriously) -- and although I joke about it still, it's something we can laugh at now…I don't hold it against him (obviously). But leaving instead of talking it out, not to mention shirking the responsibilities you'd signed up for, really grinds my gears. I'm not so much angry as disappointed with all of them, and a tiny part of me feels responsible for the whole thing…even though absolutely none of it was my fault. There's a level of trust that was lost and it rather saddens me that there's not much I can do to get it back.

But as I mentioned last post, the ball's in their court now. So it goes.

Hurricane: Sandy plowed into the East coast yesterday, but we were totally prepared: we moved all the frozen stuff to the big freezer downstairs; Spot cleaned the gutters, took down the bird feeders, and put a tarp over the storm door; I baked a ridiculous amount of cookies; we filled the upstairs freezer with filled ice cube trays; and we moved all candles, flashlights, batteries, and diabetes supplies to easy-to-locate spots. We all took hot showers before the rain started coming down, I made a loaf of bread (no chance of getting that at the store), and we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Power started flickering in the late afternoon, so computers got shut down and board and card games got pulled out. Sandwiches were made with the fresh bread I'd made in the morning -- in case power went out, we didn't want to be cooking anything, and getting rid of the various perishable meats in the fridge was not a bad idea -- and we continued to wait, monitoring Twitter on our phones for updates on the storm as it plowed into New Jersey and New York. And then…the wind and rain stopped. We're reading reports of the New York City subway systems and tunnels flooding, of the New Jersey coastline being changed, of some friends further up in New England who'd lost power and had to deal with various leaks…and the wind and rain stopped.

So we all curled up on the couch and watched The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Power never went out. We were prepared for it, but it didn't. The cable flickered and died at around 11pm, but it came back this morning. The coastal areas of Connecticut apparently got hit hard -- harder than Hurricane Irene last year -- but nothing major happened up here. Heck, the usual leaks that happen in the basement when it rains hard were minor at best.

I'm looking at photographs of the results from last night and it's really stunning to see the New York skyline almost completely dark. It's surreal.

To everyone dealing with power outages and the rest of the disasters this storm caused: STAY SAFE. If you're in New York City or New Jersey, do the best you can to stay out of the way of the folks who are trying to get things cleaned up. If you stocked up on canned goods, etc., for the storm and you still have power and don't need them, please consider donating them to a local shelter where people DO need them. The Red Cross needs blood donations, and people need as much help as they can…but sometimes the best help you can provide is staying out of the way.

Again, stay safe, everyone!
tabbiewolf: (The Doctor - nerds are sexy)
FurFright was great. I actually made more money than I did at Anthrocon, which is making me rethink going to Anthrocon 2013 -- the travel expenses are far more expensive than the money I make there, though it evens out with roommates and carpoolers -- and a lot of my fellow artists are saying the same thing. The amount of dealers is so huge compared to the amount of people who attend the convention that it isn't great for us smaller names who are trying to promote ourselves and our work.

I dunno. It could just be the shitty economy, but we'll see how the rest of the year pans out. FurFright was great because I sold a little bit of everything -- including a large amount of the portfolios that didn't sell at all at Anthrocon -- not to mention a ton of buttons, as well as a lot of original art (badges, sketches, etc.). I was never not busy (but I wasn't overwhelmed at any point...well, not by con-related stuff anyway), which is how conventions should be if you're a dealer.

Big thanks to all my friends who supported me and cheered me up after the non-convention-related drama that happened on Friday and Saturday. I really could not ask for better friends (Thank the Lord for the friends He cast in the play He wrote for you as the song goes). That's a situation that will one day be resolved (more detail may be gone into here one day, but I think it's okay to keep it amongst the people I told in person), but the ball is not in mine or Spot's court a this point, so I'm going to let it go as best I can and hope that things work out. Snarking with [ profile] tashabear, playing Red Dragon Inn with [ profile] world_dancer and [ profile] fenris_lorsrai and Falconeio and a whole crew of other awesome people, digging through the weird Japanese candy we brought along to share...that really was a wonderful way to spend Saturday night and definitely helped calm me down :) Thank you guys.

We ended the con last night by changing into pajamas, ordering Chinese food, trying various delicious boozes (OMG the mead that I traded cupcakes for is The Best Mead EVER...damn Canadians, I have to go to Quebec to get more), playing the Back to the Future card game and then actually watching Back to the Future, followed by snuggling on the couch, followed by everyone crashing. Today we've been battening down the hatches in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, which is currently flooding New Jersey and the main part of it has not even made landfall yet.

If you're on the East coast -- anywhere from Virginia to Maine -- stay safe and follow the warnings they're issuing. Even if the storm doesn't hit some areas as hard as they're predicting it will, being too prepared is FAR better than not being prepared enough. Flooding has already started happening along the coast, and they're predicting that it will turn into a massive blizzard as it reaches Appalachia. Currently here, the state is under a Federal Emergency and all of the roads have been closed to traffic that is not emergency vehicles...most of the surrounding states are the same way. We still have power (obviously), but I'm not counting on it holding out.

Everyone stay safe and continue being awesome!
tabbiewolf: (dragon - spinny cupcake)

Current Count:
• Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Muffins (24)
• Apple Cider Muffins (24)
• Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins (6 - these are actually leftover from when Spot's folks visited, but they make an appearance)

• Roasted Banana Cupcakes (12 - These are the only preorder I got! For Hollyann :) )
• Whipped Cream Cupcakes (15 - these will be stuffed with candy apple jam & topped with apple pie spice icing)
• Black Velvet Cupcakes (24 - red velvet but spooky. These will have orange cheesecake frosting)
• Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes (24 - the only caffeinated cupcakes of the bunch)

• World Peace Cookies
• Chocolate Chip Cookies
• Pumpkin Spice Kisses Cookies
• Captain Picard Cookies (Earl Grey tea, obviously)
• Peanut Butter Cookies
• M&M Cookies
• Triple-Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

• Blueberry Scones
• Cranberry Orange Scones
(Scones will probably not be for sale, but to feed the dealers around me)

I think I might actually be able to stop at this point. I probably won't, but...well, I should ;)

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

tabbiewolf: (tabbie - rosie the riveter)

1,650 buttons for [ profile] furfright.

I am going to wake up in the morning completely unable to move my right arm.

But damn, it's kind of satisfying to know you can do something of this quantity in a few days :)
tabbiewolf: (johanna - cooking)
cakesSo I have been encouraged by certain parties -- that is, all of the FurFright staff who I have given baked goods to since last year -- to actually sell my cupcakes and cookies at the convention. This is possible because I have a business license and can follow the rules of a farmers market (instead of having to worry about health code violations), and has been approved by the Folks In Charge.

The questions left, then, are two: What specifically do I sell, and how much do I sell it for?

Obviously, cookies and cupcakes and brownies (and other bar cookies) are what I'm going to be making...but which ones? There are so many types. What homemade baked goods are your favorites?

And, if you were at a convention and given the option of baked goods, how much would you be comfortable paying for them? It can't break the bank for my customers, but I'd like to make a bit of profit, as well (the supplies I'll need for distribution -- boxes, etc. -- will actually probably cost me more than the baking supplies).

Any input is greatly appreciated!


tabbiewolf: (Default)

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