Sunday, 25 July 2010

The price of ink!

My working day did not go to plan today, when the morning was to be spent printing off shipping labels, stamps, letters and floor plans and my printer ran out of ink!

I headed to Tesco, with child #2 in tow, to pick up some new ink and of course a load of other bits we had conveniently run out of, only to find that the price of a HP78 cartridge had effectively doubled since last time I bought one. That, combined with the fact that all the printers were half price sent my mind into a spin as I realised for the price of two new cartridges for my 5 year old printer, I could actually get a new, wireless, printer-scanner-copier machine! However, it is very hard to thing about things like that with "she who should have been left at home" complaining about wanting Smarties, wanting a drink and eventually wanting to go home. So in the end I returned with no printer and no ink, sometime in the early afternoon! Not the most successful trip ever!

Conceding defeat I spent the rest of the afternoon at the park!

This evening has been more productive, I have managed to send off all my web changes to Searchlight, and they should all be implemented in the next few days.

I have decided no to be up until gone midnight tonight, as the last two mornings I have woken up with a pounding head. So once I have written an email to my factory in China, an email to the Manchester venue about the floor plan, and had a quick peek on the forums, it will be off to bed!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

A working weekend

I did get a lie in this morning, but I woke with a terrible headache. Still, a few paracetamol later and I was hard at work.

Its always hard working at the weekend, Andrew does his best with the kids but doesn't seem to grasp that they are not really interested in the set up of his new carp fishing thingie, and actually they can't help being noisy, messy and demanding! Still, I can't complain because from just after 9am until just after 3pm (when he really couldn't take any more,) I was able to get some work done. Of course work on a weekend is punctuated with tiny visitors to my office in need of paper and pens, and hugs and cuddles, and three under 5's dashing round the house can be a bit distracting.

Despite that however, I have managed to get a fair bit done. This morning I transferred the Manchester show plan into SmartDraw. It has still not had the OK from the hotel, but the design software for the brochures and the website is time consuming and tricky, so I really needed to get it done. I can always edit on Monday!

All the loose ends of the show have been sorted now, final balance requests will go off tomorrow, all stands are allocated and the show is looking brilliant!
This afternoon was mainly admin and invoicing. Not my most favourite thing to do, but I am glad it is out of the way now. Till next issue!

I will also be mailing each current magazine subscriber with details of their current subscription, and details of the changes we are making. There are some exciting times ahead. I have all the address stickers done, and writing hundreds of individual letters will begin in earnest tomorrow!

I spent a bit more time on the new forums this evening, activated some new accounts and corrected a few mistakes! I had hoped to get the doll show website updated, but it is 10.30 now and I am not sure I have the energy. I will probably go and make a start and finish in the morning!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Frantic friday!

My kids are early risers, but today was a particularly early start with both the eldest being up at 5.30am! Still, it gave me plenty of time to get them all ready and out of the house by 8am to their various places of childcare.

I have managed to get a lot done today, I have not by any means reached the end of my long list, but I am getting closer to sorting out the many lose ends I have to tie up. I have managed to fix my smartstamp account, and prepare magazines for mailing overseas. I have also caught up a little on sending out the free doll and binder from my promotion ages ago, and have a few boxes here with the last ones to go out!

The details of my New Zealand distributor are now sorted out, and from the end of next week Robyn in NZ will have a stock of all the back issues and the current issue of Discover Dolls. I am really happy to be working with Robyn Leech and I am sure she will do a great job distributing the magazine for me.

I spent some time looking at the online magazine today. I have sorted all the details to have the archives transferred from my printers account and into my own account which will give me a lot more control over the content. There is so much I can do with the online magazine, it can be really interactive and there are so many ways to customise it. I have had a brief read through some tutorials but I think i will have to dedicate a day to it after the show when I have more time.

There was some good news from my new resin factory today, work has begun on my latest project at last! I will be progressing very slowly and carefully with this one, especially after the mess the other factory has made of my wonderful Tina Kewy minis. Still, I am hoping that they will eventually rise like a Phoenix from the ashes, after all they are such beautiful dolls and so nicely presented. I suppose I could be less fussy, but I like quality, and the mini babies have to be perfect. Still, another week has gone by with no news from the old factory of when the replacement parts will be sent. I am holding onto the hope that they will be here in time for the Manchester show.

I have all but finished the show preparation, still waiting to hear back from one or two people, but I think over the weekend I will be in a position to get the floor plans and the exhibitor lists onto the website.

Work on the next magazine is still ongoing, my deadline is Friday to go to press, which makes this weekend and the early part of next week key times for me.

I think my focus before Monday will be on getting the show plans finalised and online, and the final articles for the magazine edited and send for design.

However, it is 9pm on Friday night, and as I have been working since 8am, and up since 5.30, I think it is time to take the rest of the evening off and watch the last in the current series of The Mentalist!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

New blog and forums today!

Lots of things have happened for Discover Dolls today, which is surprising as it is the first day of the school holidays, and I have had all three kids here so haven't been officially working! However, the Reborn Angels forums which were set live last night, finally showed on the server early this morning and the community is already up and running! I have managed to get a few posts on there and I am already enjoying being back amongst old friends!
The other thing of course, is this, the first post on the new blog! I feel very socially networked now, with my forum, facebook and twitter accounts and now a blog! I can't guarantee how often I will be able to update, but I do hope to use it to keep everyone informed about the magazine, and all other areas of Discover Dolls so that there is an appreciation of what goes on here, and of all the behind the scenes work that goes on to bring your magazines, doll shows and reproduction dolls!
Despite spending the day at the farm with my three small children, I have been working this evening, and my plans took an unexpected turn. As I was posting on the new Reborn Angels forums with a brief history of the forums I got to thinking how I started out with reborns and how I got from there, to where I am today. As I wrote my forum post, the 8 year history of my career in the baby doll industry just began pouring out onto the paper. Well not paper, the computer screen if we are being particular!
I actually think it makes a really interesting read and it has got me thinking about the huge changes that have gone on in this industry. 10 years ago the reborn doll hadn't made it to the shores of the UK, and yet here we are now, with hundreds or artists, thousands of collectors and many thriving small businesses. The industry, like any other, has had its ups and downs, and now we are looking with interest at what the future will bring.
I hope to edit my brief history of time somewhat and work it into an article for the magazine.
Tomorrow all three of my little ones are in childcare all day, and I have a very busy day planned!