Archive for January, 2012

Scenario:

  • Right now I have to set-up a lighting booth, set-up the camera, and take a dozen photos just to get my items digitized for on-line selling.  That’s not counting my time spent transferring, sorting, and editing the photos.  Typically, when I need to take photos of a new product it can take me all day just to get one or two decent photographs!  Isn’t there an easier way?

Problem:

  • I hate taking pictures for my on-line store because it’s too time-consuming.

Solution:

  • Out-Source your photography.
  • Try the new laser printer from HP (Hewlett-Packard)  LaserJet Pro M275
    • It features a unique scan-bed for taking 3-D pictures at up to 8 MP (Mega-Pixels)
    • Is color laser at 600 x 600 dpi (dots-per-inch) print quality, which is fairly standard for laser printers.

This printer is pretty cool because it is designed with the on-line seller in mind, but it can also be used for home practical purposes too.

Anything that can fit onto an 8.5 x 11 inch sized piece of paper will fit into the scan area.

Product Links

Bead Organiztion Blues

Posted: January 31, 2012 in Uncategorized
Close-up of a bucket full of midi-sized Hama b...

Image via Wikipedia

Scenario:

  • I have gathered over the years enough beads to choke a pygmy goat and currently I can not find specific beads I’m looking for.

Problem:

  • Need an efficient way to organize a couple hundred beads.
  • I want to be able quickly see what I am looking for, but also be able to see the entire collection at a glance (for inspiration).
  • I want to meticulously organize them.  By color, size, and style.
  • I need to be able to get a hold of the beads quickly and also clean up quickly.
  • Needs to be inexpensive. (preferably use what I’ve already got on hand).

Solution:

  1. Use bead organizer box
  2. Use Mason Jars
  3. Use ‘Really Useful Boxes’
  4. Use Zip-Seal Sandwich Baggies
  5. Use small bead zip-seal bags and hooks in pegboard <– solution I decided to actually use

I have tried bead sorting boxes.  I didn’t like them because the lid didn’t fit tight enough to absolutely ensure none of my beads got mixed up (I also tried using felt in the top of the box, but they would stick to the felt).  Also when trying to get beads back out of the box, my fingers would scrape the sides and it would be almost impossible to get the beads out of the organizer or I would pick up the wrong bead I was aiming for.

Mason Jars – these work really well for my bulk beads which I sort by color.  I can stack them in the book shelving nicely and I can clearly see the beads I have.  Problem is they take up too much space (or I’m too particular), because I want to separate not only by color, but by size and style too.  So while it helps a bit, not really the best solution for my problem.

“Really Useful Boxes”.  These were neat because they interlock for stacking, they fit really nice on a bookshelf and they are inexpensive enough that I bought a whole bunch.  Problem is, that I still don’t have enough room on my shelving for all of the boxes I need.  Or I have to store them in one giant tub on the shelf and still can’t easily see what kind of beads I have without pulling all the little boxes out of the bigger box.

Sandwich baggies!  Yes, that is the solution! Er–nope didn’t like that one either.  The bags really were to too big for what I needed.  I was using them inside of a stackable plastic storage box (shoebox size) so I could flip through them (used 3×5 index cards inserted inside), but I found I really needed the shoe boxes to organize tools and other things more than the beads.  Plus I would have to actually flip through them or spread them out on the work table for viewing.

So, after all of this, I wound up buying 2″x3″ zipper bags and paper clips (all total I spent like $5) and decided to hole-punch the top of the zipper bag so that I could hang it on the paper clip (which I had bent into an ‘s’ hook).  I then took hung up the aforementioned items so they slightly overlapped on my pegboard wall.  I’m fairly confident that with a little thought, I will be able to organize and reorganize as my bead collection changes.

Check back I hope to get pictures of the finished project added soon.

Comfy Slippers

Posted: January 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

For Christmas, my mother-in-law (future) gave me two pairs of slippers that she made herself out of a heavy-weight yarn.  While very comfy and warm I had a couple of problems brewing in the background.

Problem:

  1. A previous pair of slippers she made me were ruined by use.
  •  Particularly in my previous house, we had no flooring and it was just plywood sub-floor.  So as I walked around wearing the slippers they would pick up little bits of flooring and eventually become full of splinters.  It actually got the point that I could no longer wear them and I felt terrible because they were made for me and I ruined them within less than a year.

Solution:

  1. I attached recycled leather (from an old leather jacket) and stitched on soles for the bottom of the slippers.  I used a decorative stitch, but one that is easily removed so that I could replace the soles as needed.

Now I have a nice pair of slippers that I don’t have to worry about wearing out quite so soon.  As a bonus, I was able to do the same to the second pair and gave them to my mom for her birthday.

I Can’t Find It…

Posted: January 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

I love to learn new things and help people.  That’s why I work in retail.  So as a help to the internet world I’m giving you a place to post questions and other odd things if you are looking for something I will try to help.  There is no limit what you can ask.  Although it might take me some time to get a solution.

Please leave a comment on this post if you are looking for something and cannot find it.  Or if you need a question answered.   I will then categorize your postings before I send a reply to be easy to browse later.

Customer Service Help

Posted: January 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

Scenario:

  • I heard that I could hook my new TV up to my computer to see stuff on my computer on the TV.  I want to be able to hook it up as cheap as possible.

Problem:

  • I feel I do not get good customer service when I go out shopping.
  • Employees where I shop cannot answer my questions when I have them.

Solution:

  1. First, are you actually shopping in the right store?  Make sure you pick a retailer who specializes more in the products you are looking for.  You are more likely to find knowledgeable employees and everything you need in order to complete your project.
  2. Come armed with pictures of all the connections both on your computer and the TV.
  • In the scenario above, the customer was shopping in one of those “all-under-one-roof” places.  Typically, those employees are paid to stock shelves and ring people out.  They may or may not have any knowledge about what they sell in their department.  I would recommend that you go to a TV / Electronics Store in the future.
  • While I personally know what cables will work in which plugs, I don’t remember all of the specific names of each individual cable, or what they are called.  Sometimes, what will generally work for one device will not work for the other device.  In example, a brand new TV is going to be hooked up to a laptop that is at least 10 years old.  It just won’t work with out some kind of converter, which means that you have to buy:  at least 2 cables and the converter box.
  • Remember, technology ages extremely fast.  While an employee may know everything about all of the new technology currently on the market, they may not know a thing about older technology (maybe because they weren’t born yet).  Also, it’s okay to ask for a second opinion from another employee too.

A super-customer oriented employee will generally ask someone they think is knowledgeable to help if they cannot answer your questions.

Garden – 2011 Recap

Posted: January 23, 2012 in Uncategorized
2011 Garden

Last Year's Garden

Problem: Didn’t plant early enough for most plants and didn’t research how big they were going to grow.  Also, bought all my plants on an impulse purchase.

Solution:

Research plants better and plant them earlier.  Do not impulse purchase plants.  Retry plant list from last year, keep a garden journal, only add a few new plants to try this year.

Last year I waited until almost July to plant.  I planted tomatoes, peppers, a salad mix, and sweet potatoes.  My tomatoes didn’t produce until right before the first frost and didn’t get a chance to ripen at all.  I did get a few jalapeno peppers, but not enough to do anything with.  My sweet potatoes on the other hand grew splendidly and I got a some potatoes, some which were over 1.5 lbs. and very good eating.  Unfortunately I did not do my research last year and found that I should have gotten only one sweet potato plant, as four plants potentially would cover 80 square feet if allowed.  My whole garden space is only 100 feet square.

Garden – January 2012

Posted: January 23, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags:

I am absolutely excited because spring is right around the corner!  I know you are thinking, “but– it’s only January.”  It’s exciting because January means that I get to start planning my garden for the summer.

Problem:

Limited space, can’t plant more than I can take care of (including preservation), and no waste.

Solution:

This year I started a list of vegetables to try out this year and hopefully I will have started early enough that I will actually get to harvest something.  Also, I am limiting the new additions to only 1 – 2 plants every year.

  • 3 tomato plants:  (A slicing tomato, a slicing/canning tomato, and a cherry tomato)
  • 2 pepper plants:  (jalapeno and bell pepper),
  • 2 potato plants: (sweet),
  • lettuce plants: (unsure),
  • squash: (summer and winter).
  • Onion:  (red, yellow, white)