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All of a sudden it seems like the world is noticing me. Maybe all my piles of spirographs are starting to trickle out into the aether enough to find the right audience.

It's not actually all that much, yet. First I had a message from somebody in Italy, asking if I could ship the Scribbling-Engine there. I spent a bad couple of days trying to disentangle information from the US Postal Service's appallingly convoluted website, and was reaching a stage of acute breakdown. Fortunately, the Professor intervened; he's much better at wading through bureaucratic charts than I am. (And anyway it turns out that Ponoko will let me have the parts made in Italy, which makes the eventual shipping much more reasonable. Amazing.)

So while I was recovering from all that excitement, I got another message, this time from some official Ponoko person, who said they wanted to write about me on their blog. I got to answer a brief list of questions about how I found the site, and what kinds of things I make. Alas, the post doesn't actually have a direct link to my showroom, possibly because I didn't specifically mention it in my answers.

I did give them a link to my regular website, which is in the middle of some serious slash-and-burn updating. I'm trying to make it happen faster now, just in case anybody out there decides to follow the links. Aiieeee!
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It's all spirograph all the time around here lately. I finally managed to haul myself up the hill and check out the local laser-cutting place. It's a neat hidden-away spot, below street level, and full of interesting-looking machinery. I have a feeling I'm going to be spending a certain amount of time there in the future.

In the meantime, I'm trying to finish the listings for the last of the basic gear-plates. I keep wishing that all these websites had less clumsy interfaces: Etsy and Ponoko and that lot, they all make you click through every damned step if you just want to fix a typo or change a picture. I suspect I'd be happier if I could get set up to list and sell things directly from my own website. I keep on not doing it though, partly because I'm not entirely sure how complicated it would be to make it work, and partly because I'm too busy and distracted struggling with all these other sites.

But if I can just get this last gear-plate posted, and sort out shipping to Australia (and now also Italy, yikes!), and update the PDF of the pattern guide, and add some links to other useful stuff, then maybe I'll be getting somewhere.

Then after that all I have to do is test these next three plates I've had made, with all the weirdly-shaped parts.


How have I managed to get so busy?

. . . . . . . . . . .

I also wish I didn't keep tripping over the name "Dreamwidth." On bad days, I misread it as "Deathwish." On really bad days, it looks like "Dreamwing," which EWW EWW YUCK RETCH SPIT PTOOOIE. So, um, yeah.
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From the department of And Now This Is Happening: I've moved from LiveJournal to Dreamwidth. Thanks, [personal profile] chronographia! I suppose I need to update my official contact page again.

Things have been unexpectedly busy for the last couple of weeks. Some things sold on Etsy, which is nice, and then while I was processing those my aunt contacted me wanting some large fractal prints. That ended up being trickier than I might have liked, because it turns out there's hardly anyplace in town that will sell you 13x19-inch matte paper in reasonable quantities. It's either a giant expensive packet of incredibly high-end stuff, or nothing. Or you can order it online, and pay shipping, and wait. However, once I did finally get some that was workable, it turned out to be lots of fun printing things BIG. Now I need to get more ink.

In between all the printing and packing and shipping, I've been elbows-deep in spirographs. I had two new prototype gear-plates made at the end of August, and the plan was to get them tested and photographed and ready to go, so that I could add listings for them on the laser-cutting site. Now weeks have gone by, and I'm finally managing to make a little progress. I've been bouncing back and forth between the Scribbling-Engine and the old-school Spirograph, trying things with one and seeing how they translate into the other, hoping that some of them will also be suitable for the proposed new instruction book of designs.

Mostly today I was trying to make designs by drawing around the outside of a gear, as opposed to the inside of a ring. Outside patterns aren't as interesting as inside ones, generally. They're all pretty similar to one another, varying only in number of cusps and crossings. But some things can be done with repetition, and with changes of scale. It's quite a tricky design problem, actually. The set of conditions is incredibly limited, and limiting, and I'm trying to figure out if I can get results that are as interesting and varied as possible. When it goes well it's completely maddening, and when it goes badly it's much worse than that. So at least I'm kept entertained.

But I really do need to pry myself loose from the epicycles, and get some more damned things slung onto Etsy. It is horribly neglected.


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June 2011

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