Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Being Picky Vs. Quality Control

Almost 3 am and one of the perks/challenges of a home-based business is that the office is only 2 floors away. A hot flash woke me up about half an hour ago, but my husband’s snoring made it impossible to fall back asleep. That is a dangerous place to lurk... in that half sleep world where you begin to make a list of things you need to do. Nothing like scaring yourself with a burst of panic when you realize that the show in Toronto is less than a month away!!

I’ve been SO critical with Santa’s Dragon, ripping out sections and reworking them, that I am beginning to wonder if it will get done in time. I hate being such a slow stitcher!!! This got me thinking about the difference between being PICKY and acting as your own QUALITY CONTROL.

Last Wednesday, after I looked over the proofs with the author, I realized that I needed to make changes to 5 images in the files. They needed to have the brightness/contrast tweaked a bit so that they would better match what I had drawn. I went in Thursday morning with my homework already done (after seeing that my monitor and theirs weren’t that far apart after all) and spent about 1/2 hour tweaking the files with one of the computer techs. When we saw the proofs the following day, I knew that the time had been well spent!!!

It seems as if that desire to make the best product you can is sometimes a rare commodity. I had a fascinating discussion during the Labour Day weekend with someone who talked about products being purposely created NOT to last and was “quite freaked” at the whole concept. I find it hard to know that some companies create products with cheaper components or lower grade materials so that the price point is low enough that replacement is a better option than getting something repaired!! Computer printers have almost gotten to that point now and I sometimes imagine a scary pile of dead printers in our landfills because it is cheaper to buy a whole new printer than fix a drum or replace cartridges!!

As a crafter, I understand making things that are and are not intended to last. Some quick crafts are just created for the fun, for the event, for the moment or as a gift that is not intended to last... and other things become heirlooms, precious treasures to be handed down to another generation. The quilt that hangs in Erin’s room is a tangible reminder that beauty can last!!

I’m not sure where to draw the line. Perhaps that is something to wrestle with on each occasion. To find that line between being obsessive and striving for quality. I just wish it didn’t keep moving on me!