Once the art is done and the templates are sent over to the printer then the most intense and nerve wracking time of a project happens. This is the period when it’s all about the timing. There are several balls in the air all at once and one needs to keep things going or else one can get far behind in finishing things. There is just allot of work that needs to be done, and not the creative kind.
First off with the bags finished now it was time to turn attention to the boxes. Thank the Gods for my brother because of his using his laser cutter the work was cut by ⅔ but that still meant that over 300 boxes needed to be folded and assembled. With my new obsession for Wagner’s Ring Cycle operas I happily put them on and sat out on my porch for a good long afternoon… well..morning and afternoon..well morning afternoon and another morning. Getting them done is not terribly difficult or challenging work but one does need to keep focused in order to get them done. I managed to get through three operas while doing it. (Much to the annoyance of my neighbors. I’m sure they are sick of hearing Ride of the Valkures by now.) These get staked in boxes waiting for deck to be put in them.
Then it’s time to go off to the local printer and get the booklet set up. Booklets, like boxes, are expensive little things for small run items. For the Pixie deck the full run of booklets was about $550 which was not horrible when broken down to cost per item, but this time around I needed far fewer because the booklet is only going with the LE. Still the 112 booklets managed to run close to $350 which makes them almost 3 times the cost of the last one. Part of that is the special paper I fell in love with that they had. It’s used for the cover as well as the insert for the regular deck. It’s a paper that they stopped making about 10 years ago and they had it there because an old printer went out of business and was looking to sell off her stock. It just feels cool, so I opted to the cover to be done in it.
So with that ball in the air it was now time to get mailing supplies for local and international people as well as all the stuff that keeps things snug in the box. My local postal lady is an old tarot card reader herself so we have a good time when ever I stop in. A good rule of thumb she said was that it’s about $1.00 and ounce. Since we have a digital scale in our kitchen I would weigh out the items to see if it would be cheeper to just buy boxes or to use the priority mail flat rate. It’s always a dance there. The item weighs just over 4.5 oz so I was looking at already about $4.50 in mailing costs. Factor in about 50-75 cents a box and at that point I might as well just use the ones at the post office that ship for $5.35. International is its own beast. The 4.5 oz item would by no means take the $13 that the flat rate would charge. So I searched around and found a 4in square box that everything would fit in and that would mean that people over seas would not have to pay more then $8 for shipping. While to some that extra $5 may not be much I would never feel right over charging for shipping just because I was too lazy to get a regular box.
Once the cards got here it was all stop on my regular life till things got done. I know that I had said that the deck was not going to ship out till end of June but if everything was here already why not try and get things out as fast as I could. For about three days there nothing was done but getting thing together. The regular decks come in giant stacks that are shrink wrapped in decks of 5. The LE decks the same way. The mini decks had to be ordered by card color. This is do to the place not having a full ‘bleed over’ on the sides of the smaller cards. What that means is that the edges of the cards touch each other and don’t have any margin for error in cutting so you might get a little of the card color next to it on the edge. In a regular deck it would have a 1/8 inch bleed but here it was not an option. Luckily when I looked into the mini I still had time to figure out the best way to set them up. I had 6 background colors and the mini cards I was ordering were 36 cards per sheet, 6 rows of 6. As luck would have it I was able to break down the deck by color and have a sheet of all the blue cards then another of all the green etc..etc. While this meant that the cards would print right it meant that all the mini decks needed to be assembled by hand when they got here. It made for a very colorful day when I got to do that.
Now the minis were made up, the booklets were in and the cards were here so the big sets could be put in bags. Whew one step done. Then the regular decks get a card insert of meanings so it was a few hours of folding those and putting decks and inserts in boxes. Again not really taxing work but work that does take up a fair amount of time. Once those were done it was time to start figuring out who ordered what and what goes where.
Packing up the orders is always fun. It’s like sending off your kids to grandma’s or something. Wrapping them up, printing labels, stacking them up. The only thing I just loth doing is filling out the customs forms..urrgg. I could fill one out blind folded by now, and I never know why I need to put the name and address on them when it’s already on the package. I even started to pre-fill a stack of them out a while back just to save my sanity this time round. Then it’s off to the post and my little lady never complains about the huge stacks I bring in every so often. We just chat and I always bring her in a coffee or like now a copy of the new deck as a thank you for doing so much work in getting them out.
They are all gone off and while a few orders I’m sure will have gone awry and need to be fixed for the most part this weekend should see their arrival in all the homes that they were meant to be in. I hope you like them and that these long posts were useful in some way into the process of getting a project like this done.
Now as for the Day of the Dead Tarot… something is very much brewing between me and a friend so I’ll have a few questions about the direction of that deck more in the beginning of July. 🙂