Saturday, October 10, 2009

Promotional Sample for Publisher

This story is a typical example of what procrastination and over booking oneself can cause. And by the way, these are two habits of mine that I'm consistently trying to change and haven't succeeded yet!

My book which was published with C&T was released in April....April Fool's Day to be exact. My family and friends got a chuckle out of the appropriateness of that date! Things have been going well regarding the book as I've had speaking engagements, and classes to teach as a result. More to do! And these have to be timed around my day job, in an office at a high school! However, this a part of my "retirement plans" so I'm working on it.

One day I got an email from a representative at C&T asking me if I would mind producing another sample for them to make a big promotion to a new customer in book sales. I said I'd be happy to do that. I was instructed to gear the new project towards the main function of the customer, pictures and framing.

So I pondered for quite some time about what I could do that would be suitable for this presentation. I landed on the idea of using one of my pieces of painted fabric. I was going to quilt it, and make a wall hanging. Then I decided to quilt it and then cut it into three and mount the little pieces as quilts. And THEN I decided to get my husband to make little box frames to mount them on.

As I worked away on the quilting of the painted flower, my darling, who is not known for his fine woodwork capabilities, struggled away in his shop trying to envision what I had tried to describe. I got so frustrated trying to explain it to him that I gave up and said "forget it, I'll make them little quilts to hang together. That will be easier to ship anyways". I continued quilting.

One day that week I came home from work and was presented with one wooden frame, which was exactly what I wanted! I was thrilled and he was so pleased about that. He promised to make the other two frames to my size specifications that week. I looked forward to the weekend when I would mount the quilts and send them off to C&T.

But it didn't happen the way it should. Work and life got in the way and I had to write to C&T to ask if I should continue or if I could have an extended deadline. They, as always, were wonderful and had of course, built in a buffer zone for people like me. I was granted an extension.

When the weekend finally arrived where I would be able to complete the project I was so happy. I mounted both small pieces on the little frames and was ecstatic with how they looked. I added beads to represent seeds at the center and all was well. About that time, my sweetie came into my studio to see how I was doing. I was bouncing around being happy and excited because the "plan was coming together". We chatted while I laid the biggest frame down on the back of the quilted piece. Without a second thought, I marked it and cut the trimmings away. I turned them over to center the piece on the frame and lo and behold.....I had cut to the INSIDE of the frame. Husband offered to make a new frame but I refused as a new size wouldn't fit with the other two. He carefully snuck out of the room and left me to my conundrum.

I pondered a variety of "fixes". In the end I decided to stitch the pieces back on, with piping in the seam as an accent to cover the error. This worked, except for the fact that I had not centered the frame on the piece, I had centered it on the best area of the design. So now the pieces put back on were three different widths...only by a fraction, but to me it was obvious. I was distraught. I scrounged through my stash for something to add to the project to save it. I found some sparkly black ribbon, and when laid out over the seams, it went well with the big black beads I put in the centers. So I cut the ribbon and glued it down over the seams, and then down and around the two outer edges of the smaller pieces as well.
I was not thrilled with the result as I knew there was a flaw in it. But when my friend came over to look at it she said that she thought it was better than to start because the black made the flower more masculine, therefore appealing to a wider market. I hadn't thought of that concept and time was up, so I mailed it away to C&T in California. When it arrived there, I got an email that said "Your masterpiece just arrived! AWESOME, you ROCK!" But the guy who really rocks is my husband, who in times of stress can really pull through. He had to reduce the size of the third frame to allow for the seam allowance I had taken up with my mistake, and he did without ONE comment!

OK!!! I guess I got through that one with my reputation intact....the question is which reputation!