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the Hatchtown online shop is a success

line drawing: elevation view of a classic Lady Ann "Victorian silk spindle" 
Whew! We finally took the plunge and installed what they call an “e-commerce solution.” Pam noticed that our good friend and entrepreneur extraordinaire Michele Michael had used something called Big Cartel to connect an online shop cum shopping cart to her website Elephant Ceramics.

Well, we launched our Shop a week or so ago and all went very well! TaDAAA! Each of the spindles I make is unique so we had to list every “item” as having an “inventory” of One (1).

screen capture: section of the Hatchtown Farm online shop powered by Big Cartel

A monitor “screen capture” showing a section of the Hatchtown online shop (March 2013)

We really did not want to experience three or four spinners being upset because they had all BOUGHT and PAID FOR the same Amelia High Whorl. I’m now able to happily report that, from our end, there was not a single “double sale” processed through Big Cartel and PayPal.

We’ve been emailing the faithful customers who have been on our mailing list. Sending emails first to those who have been on the list the longest. I’m not accepting any “orders” until everyone on the list has had a chance to shop available inventory.

It is mid-morning Sunday as I type this and I am about to put the Shop into “maintenance mode” so I can update the inventory this afternoon.

If you have not signed up to be on the “mailing list” fill out and submit the form at the bottom of the “Tools” page.

We’re Setting Up a New Shop for the Woodshop

color photo: closeup of a handspindle's whorl -- woods: orange Padauk and creamy Ash

An Amelia’s whorl: a layer of Padauk from Africa on a solid base of solid North American Ash.

 

 

I’m really excited. After years — yes, YEARS! — we’re finally putting together a “shop” to display and sell the little, wooden thingies I turn out in the barn. Pam noticed that a good friend, Michele Michael, is using an online “shop” powered by a neat little outfit called Big Cartel.

color photo: closeup detail photo of Nøstepinde handles
I’m uploading photos and descriptions of a bunch of fresh-from-the-shop Nøstepindes as well as spindles that came home with us after the NETA Spa down in Freeport.

Nine Drummers Drumming ….

Christmas Eve at Hatchtown Farm —

color photo: Coopworths in the snow -- text: Merry Christmas

...and to all, a "Good night!"

 
Our cable internet has been half-frazzled for more than a week. Time Warner says, “Not our problem!”. Luckily for us we have enough bandwidth to keep the email coming and going along with some v.e.r.y S..L..O..W browsing of the W W W.

My best advice for the holidays is to sit down …JUST for a MINUTE — you can spare a minute. …close your eyes, take a deep breath and REMEMBER …past holiday seasons, your grandparents, your Mom, your Dad, that first two-wheeler with a ribbon tied to the handlebars. Take another breath; let it out slowly. You’re welcome.

Facebook friend Helen York (a/k/a Aunt Rhodie, previous purveyor of fine yarns and Xmas wreaths) reminded us: ..the old legend says that just as Christmas eve turns into Christmas day, you can go out in the barn and for that one minute you can understand the language of the beasts…

Love to all!

Twelve lords a-leaping,
Eleven ladies dancing,
Ten pipers piping,
Nine drummers drumming,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five gold rings,
Four colly birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree.

Shop Small Saturday

I would normally not support creating a new holiday,much less, a new “Day”. If you check a detailed national calendar you will find that every day of the year has been designated as a special day for some organization, plight or cause — e.g. National Cheddar Cheese Appreciation Day, Eat Bananas Day —

As a matter of fact, by this point most dates have multiple celebrations attached or affiliated. And, let’s save discussion of all the special weeks and months (National Wear Leather Boots to Work Week, Plant a Mountain Laurel Month) for another rant on another day (National Rant Day?)

color graphic: Get Ready for Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is a GOOD IDEA. That the day after Black Friday is designated makes a lot of sense. People, that is just about ALL of us, and especially the news media, are talking and thinking shopping.

I begrudgingly have to credit the American Express folks with coming up with the idea and getting behind it. AMEX is definitely NOT small business. I lump the credit card companies right in with the large banks and oil companies as NOT having the well-being of you and me and ours as their top priority. I guess we’ll just have to thank American Express for taking a little time off from all their usual skulduggery and skeeviness  to do something important and beneficial.

Bottom line: Go wild this Friday. Break through the crowd barriers at your local Wal*Mart at midnight, log into your “Wish List” at Amazon DOT com — do some serious shopping — it IS good for the economy. But, save some of your disposable funds — maybe half! — and go out on Saturday and visit some small businesses — the more local the better.

Doing the Math: 2 x One of Two-of-a-Kind

I thought fiber folks might be interested in seeing pictures of a couple of rare “One of Two-of-a-Kind” Hatchtown tools:

  • a square-shafted low whorl spindle and
  • nøstepinde-sort-of-thingy that is both a Wraps Per Inch gauge AND a 6″ ruler.

The spindle and the thingy date back to the mid-90’s. In both cases I had been commissioned by a customer to turn something unique — a special order. I have trouble remembering what it was like to have spare time enough to consider accepting special orders! LOL

Explanation: “One of Two-of-a-Kind”
— Any time I’m making ONE of something my instinct is to make a SECOND to keep as a physical record of my efforts. Having two widgets “in process” also protects me in the event my gouge slips spoiling the work on the lathe. Furthermore, even though I always tried to exactly follow the customer’s design constraints and guidelines, my having two “versions” left it to the customer to decide which was closest to their mental image. You know, the customer is always right!

A Square-Shafted Low Whorl

color photo: full view square-shafted Walnut low whorl handspindle

Length: 13 3/8" -- Whorl Diam: 3 1/4" -- Weight: 1.35 oz

As I remember it, the thinking was that the square shaft top would provide maximum grip ensuring a strong twist initiating super fast spindle spin. The customer, a gentleman handspinner, preferred half-hitching and was not concerned that the generously sized shaft top would set the yarn too far off of center generating wobble.

   

color photo: underside of spindle's whorl

color photo: close-up of shaft's square working end

Square working end

Nøsty-Thingy — Six Inch Ruler AND a Wraps per Inch Gauge

As remember it, the customer in this instance was a knitter who wanted an elegant ruler to measure the width of the folded up section of the watch caps she was knitting. She had come up with the idea that the tool might look like a Nøstepinde. That a couple of the ruler’s sections could measure wraps per inch was my contribution.

a 2" gap for measuring bulky yarn's "Wraps Per Inch"