Earlier this year (2014) as a part of a belated birthday gift to myself (using money I had been given months earlier) I ordered several books from a Website called Fishpond.com that were all children’s Horse Novels except one. The first book that I chose was called “The Carousel Animal” by Tobin Fraley. This book had been on my wish list for about 10 years and was no longer available thought the Library system. Everything seemed to be going smoothly but after waiting and waiting and waiting the book never arrived. The other books came together in one parcel without any problems….but where was the 1st book?…..something was odd. I contacted the site & said that the book had not arrived so they refunded the money….I still couldn’t figure out how it came to be lost in the mail. Finally I decided to check the mailing address. On the envelope of the parcel that had arrived AND on the email order confirmation AND on the website it had the wrong location! The street number and road name were correct but the locality was that of our ‘Electoral’ address for voting purposes. For some reason the Post Office had sent the first parcel back but delivered the second. We have had mail delivered to both addresses in the past without problem as in reality it is the same place!
But what does that have to do with a Custom Fabric Design you may wonder.
In my mind I needed the book in order to create a design for the Neckband of the Hobby Horse for my Grandkids. Now that I knew what the problem was I altered the address on the site. All I can think of is that when it auto checked my address it changed the address from what I typed to what was listed as being the “official address”….so I fixed it and was questioned by the site as to why I was changing it and was warned I may need to ‘prove’ that it was correct. But in the end no proof was needed and I was able to order a Carousel Horse book (using the refunded money). The one I originally wanted was now officially “out of stock” so I chose a revised Edition of one I had borrowed through the Library system many years earlier called “Carousel Animal Carving” by Bud Ellis & Rhonda Hoeckley. Although technically a book that describes “how to” carve your own wooden Carousel Animals it has clear photos & many line drawing/plans of Carousel Animals that are based on actual carved Horses and Menagerie Creatures produced by some of the top Carousel Artisans. The book listed a website and from there I was able to email for more information which led me to more websites and lots of useful photos on websites including Pinterest. I have saved a few of my favourite ones for later reference.
Even though I had read mixed reviews at different times during the period I was working on the Hobby Horse pattern I was still keen to try out the US based website called Spoonflower.com to print some “Cut & Sew” Neckband & Bridle designs. I had already ordered and received a colour chart and sample swatches months before hand so even though I found the colours printed on the Kona cotton to be rather subdued I figured I wouldn’t really know until I had some fabric printed. I finished working on the Hobby Horse PDF and had listed it for sale on Etsy & Craftsy on the 28th of March. I had worked on adding content to my Blog and received my Carousel book so I was now ready to start the Bridle & Neckband designs. But when my daughter informed me that I had less than 6 weeks until the birthday of my youngest Grand Daughter I realised that there would not be enough time to create the design upload it and have the fabric mailed all the way from the USA so that I could have everything thing sewn together! It was not looking very hopeful this time around but there were still 2 horses to be made for birthdays later in the year.
Now what was I going to do? “Plan B” was to sew a Neckband & add fabric flowers and put aside the Custom Fabric Aspirations…..but “one day”…..in the Aussie FB Sewing group someone was talking about custom designed fabric. Again there were mixed reviews about Spoonflower.com and someone suggested an Australian Boutique fabric printing company called Frankie & Swiss. This gave me new hope of having it all done in time. I checked out their website and after a failed attempt to download the PDF price list and Order Form (we have Satellite Internet that does not always behave itself) I organised to have them emailed to me. Now it was time for “Counting the Cost”……I had sold to this stage 6 Hobby Horse PDF patterns (2 on Craftsy & 4 through Etsy)….did I have enough in my Paypal account to cover it? I thought that I did….but was I correct? Was Postage included in the quoted prices? Did I really want the answer to that one?
Stay tuned for the continuing story…..coming up next time: “Counting the Cost”