Friday, 14 November 2008

Catalogue of errors............

The closer we get to the Kensington Christmas Festival, the more frenetic becomes the activity for preparation. Now we are working 7 day weeks, up to 12 hours a day and it will remain like that till 5 December.

It was in this mode of 'positive work ethic' that I sat down with my laptop after dinner last night, in order to begin work on a long overdue 'hard copy' catalogue. The magazine article has produced a flurry of phone calls from collectors who don't have internet access and who would like a paper catalogue sent by post.

In principle this is fine and dandy.

In practice, as I found last night, there are a whole host of problems challenges.

For example, we never repeat exactly the same piece. I may make three tiny dolls dressed in shades of pink, but the costumes, wig styles, bonnets etc will all be different. Similarly our little porcelain toys, such as Humpty Dumpty will all be painted in different colours with different facial expressions. This means that it would be practically impossible to create a catalogue showing every variation on every toy or doll.

Then there is the matter of the format of the catalogue itself. What size, how many pages, what layout............

I started off optimistically enough, having finally decided on an A5 booklet, containing 8 pages. I found a Publisher template which I (mistakenly) thought would be easy to customise to my requirements and set to with enthusiasm.

Two hours later my enthusiasm for the project had completely evaporated and my laptop screen looked like an explosion in a Spirograph factory, littered with dozens of cut and pasted empty photo frames, grouped objects, text boxes........absolutely nothing right and such a mess that my only option seems to be deleting the whole thing and starting again.

In the cold, hard light of day this morning, upon opening the document to review my progress (or lack of it) it was blatantly obvious that the two hours spent last night were a complete waste of time. The only saving grace is that I now know EXACTLY where I went wrong, and when I summon up enough energy and enthusiasm to revisit it, I will (hopefully) be able to crack on and put all to rights.

However, even when the catalogue is done and dusted, there is still the small matter of having to print it out.

Double sided and everything.

Which as I well know, is not as easy as it might sound, given that the printer and I are engaged in a long running vendetta.

But that is a challenge for the future. For the present I'd be happy if could just get the catalogue under control and underway..............

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