Ms. Bathtub

Musings from Carye Bye of Portland, Ore.

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Location: Portland, Ore., United States

I may be Ms. Bathtub, but I hardly ever take baths.. I do shower that is, so don't worry!

I am the director of the Bathtub Art Museum and also run my own printing card & novelties business under the name Red Bat Press. I live in the great bike fun-friendly city of Portland.

I'm always up for a good adventure; however anything goes here.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Copy Shop Love (and Hate)

Most of the work I do, I self print, but some jobs you just need a copy shop with expensive tools & equipment that I'll never have, and finding a friendly shop I like, with trusted workers, and reasonable prices is important. It has been a long & difficult journey, but I pleased to announce that I have found my one & only copy shop I trust & love: Documart (at 728 SW Washington). I hope this new crush doesn't turn ugly, But so far It's all rosy- Not only are they friendly, close (two blocks from my studio), reasonably priced (3 cents a copy if I bring my own paper) - They can take care of all my jobs from copying, cutting, and hole punching either in house or for no additional charge at their production warehouse. Ah... copyshop Bliss. I do hope the honeymoon lasts, read some of my toned down copy shop nightmares below...(pun unintended)

At one time I was going to three different copy shops for one job that needed copying, cutting, and holes drilled - what was I thinking...

Office Depot (on 5th Ave at SW Washington)- at first I got a very skilled associate to work on my jobs - but after that I kept getting underpaid new folks who just couldn't get it right, plus they make the copy staff also work the front desk so it can take a long time to get a job done. The copy price was reasonable, but they just weren't outfitted to do stack cutting or hole punching. After a rather difficult evening, the worker and myself hit a breaking point, and I decided to look elsewhere for copying permanently.

Kinkos (on SW Alder & 1st) - I just don't like Kinkos all that much - It's a big place, you never know who you are going to get, and they overcharge. While the workers are skilled, and I've learned the art of getting an estimate, so that I'm not really over charged - Kinkos has just not been coming through. First they raised their stack cutting to $1.50 a cut, and then they told me that they could no longer do my custom hole punching job - though twice I got the employee to volunteer to do it since I didn't know. There was only so long I could pretend to not to know.

MinuteMan Press (on SW Alder & 2nd) - At first I sung the praises for this copy shop. It was a block down from Kinkos, small, and they had reasonable stack cutting prices. I mainly took cutting jobs here, especially cutting down paper that I use for my art postcards. Though every time I came in, this family-run franchise made me uncomfortable - I felt like the main counter guys didn't want my jobs - I was small stuff, not worth it - and I took them away from their Internet surfing. In the last week of August, I dropped off my usual postcard-cutting job, though I was already thinking I needed to find a more welcoming copy shop. Well long story short, the youngest, incompetent guy there, not only forgot to do my job over the weekend he tried to charge me $69 for a $6 - 10 job. Actually that was another reason I didn't want to bring my business there, is every time my same job cost anywhere between $6 - 10. It didn't make sense. Anyway I got out that day only paying what I should have - $10, but I was mad. All I wanted is my job done - and suddenly I became the difficult customer. I called back to complain about what happened the next day, asking that worker to be trained, and was basically told - it wasn't my concern, and that I should have gotten an estimate. I promptly sent out a letter and vowed to take my business & my friend's business elsewhere. Thus ending any further business.

So.. today I decided to try all my jobs at Documart - I had already moved all my copy jobs there, but had yet to ask about stack cutting and hole punching. And I'm in luck, they can do all the above, and actually care to do business with me. Success!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

STOLEN Horse!!

Nellie the talking horse is gone! Last seen next to a blue cadallic across from SCRAP at N Willams & Failing. I tied her up on a Wednesday at 3 pm. Checked on her Thursday at 6 pm and was pleased to see someone had fed her cheesy goldfish crackers. On Friday at 6 pm she was gone! Just the silver part of her harness left. Dear Nellie, I hope your new home is nice.

Who was it? Animal liberation? A 6 year old girl who loves horses? A hater of public art projects? Bring Nellie home!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hard Work = Happiness

At the end of June I went full time artist (woo - hoo) and I permenantly said goodbye to my part-time office job I've held for 3 years. As they always say, when you work for yourself, you work harder than ever - So true - no longer do I have hours behind a computer where I can blog and surf, and check email 100 times. The old saying that when you close one door, another opens is also so true. When I had the other job to pay my rent and bills, I had steady work through Red Bat Press - my wood-cut & letterpress illustration project since 2002. But now that it's all that I do, I've had more orders and opportunites - and I'm keeping very busy between bike rides to Mt. Hood & Vacations in the midwest to say the least. I'm still figuring it all out, learning to balance and organize - and finding happiness working for myself and spreading my little artistic thoughts and ideas around. I'm hardly just an artist - I'm a printer, rep, carver, seller, web designer, illustrator, and admin. The only thing I miss about my office job, is I now never seem to have any pens around.