Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spring!

The latest snow that has happened since we moved to Colorado was on Mothers' Day. In the middle of May. And it was a huge storm as I recall. So I may be jumping the gun (which is always better than the shark) in thinking of it as Spring.

I found my favorite garden tool lost in the greenhouse. It's got a short handle and on the head is a chopper hoe on one side and a 2 prong on the other. It's great for weeding. I chop out soil on either side of the weed then chop into the weed with the 2 prong and lever up. Mostly the weeds come out. Its great stress relief from the pressures of the studio.

We have had 2 of the best months in our art business ever. We managed through some very tough business decisions to actually lower our prices. We used to have a price system based on a set package. The package was a fixed number of pieces and you got a break on the price. It helped us be more productive. But as you can imagine, it was wildly abused. So we went to a fixed discount a a set dollar level. Then at the next price break you get free shipping as well.

We are actually making less on most items, but it is more uniform. It is not something that can be abused. And mostly, folks are ordering at least to the first price break to get the discount, if not fairly frequently to get the free shipping. A great side effect of this has been for UPS to give us a new lower pricing structure as well as a label printer. So we go online to do the shipping and the customers are only charged for the actual cost of shipping.

It's hard to see the bottom line on a "standard order" actually be less. But there are much fewer of the "standard orders" and lots more of larger orders.

Hence the studio pressures. But this is not complaining! We are blessed with success. We are going to a large trade show in Las Vegas soon. We are so very much not LV kinds of people. We got a room with a kitchen and will take our laptop to watch movies on.

I am actually looking forward to the show as a time of relaxation. While the days can be a bit hectic, they will be more relaxed than it's been around here. The show hours will be over at 6 p.m. unlike the studio hours which get closer and closer to midnight every day. And it will be fun to see some of our repeat customers. And we will be able to go to Trader Joes!

Colorado recently allowed the sale of alcohol on Sunday as a way of keeping booze out of the grocery stores. This is the thing that is keeping TJ's from coming to CO. Rats. My mouth is watering as I sit here thinking about the treats we'll get soon.

I planted a mungo pine in the rock wall garden last week. I also am slowly gathering up some of the plants that have lived through the 5 years of neglect. I had about a quarter of an acre under cultivation before I started having the car accidents. Only a few things have managed to survive. I am moving a few of these plants as I am able into the rock garden. I have gotten such joy from it already.

Next time, I am going to put liners in the nooks. I notice that I have to water nearly every day as the nooks are not large, the soil is sandy, and the water runs through and down. I may try wetting and mixing in some of those water crystals.

But not anytime soon. Trying to catch up from the past week where we had a whole bunch of friends come help celebrate the award my husband got. And the work he did to have a wonderful display as well as to look spiffy. And all the orders as well as prep for the upcoming trip. And still not being totally well. My sinus infection still lingers. When I get tired, my face starts to burn and I start to stuff up again. arg. It was so wonderful to see folks and we had a really fun time. It was hard to see everyone go home.

Hope everyone is enjoying the turning of the seasons!

I am getting a real kick out of looking at the little map to see where folks are visiting from. I love the dots out in the middle of the ocean. Hi all! Welcome! Enjoy!

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