08 August 2022
Main news is a) that I’ve just started on the west sides for sets 1 and 2, which are the last needing finishing. After that, the one and only lot of remaining non-principal mentions awaiting me will be about 15 north faces, or maybe it’s a bit less. b) Excitement: I’ve created another mode -this is the seventh mode, but in reality I’m not using the modes integrated with the rest of the pack. I have images for this card, and have also created images for Denial, to replace the graphics – but I need to send it all to MPC with the help of Nigel and I’ve been having money issues – not quite sure where all this is going to end up – but here are some images
Below are the images for True Witness, the seventh mode. In fact, it is a kind of auxilliary card, and the multi-coloured back, whose design does not resemble that of the other modes, is intended to emphasise that this card does not have the same function as the other modes and is not intended for routine use along with the other six. The function of none of the modes has yet been committed to print – this is the only platfrom in which they appear in public, and (for example) they do not feature in my Rainring videos, the instruction booklet, the Seaqueen series or anywhere else. Let’s say that, as things stand, they belong to my private business, not to the public face of Rainring.
24 May 2022
Seaqueen-related published now in ‘story-images’ – a couple of examples, plus the link for Seaqueen’s Rainring-related content.
Work on the west sides: see intro and images in a previous entry – going really slowly. Have so far done sets 3,4,5,7 and 6 out of 9 of set 8 (to Determined) What a battle! But I learn so much. realistically, I don’t see being able to finish W and N until a year from now. It’s possible to work during term-time only when there isn’t much going on. Most of term just too stressful for any extra-curricular, at least so far.
Odds and ends: Brief update. Seem to be probs with communiations since Nigel’s change of server, so need to go and see him. Intend to ask F to do a purchase so can test what (if anything) is still working. Just phoned Nigel 2 the other day to get the last card – Denial Mode – on the road to MSC; got customisation link from them and shd be ready to go while still on annual leave. 12 cards, all of same; design below but changed slightly
3 November, 2021
I’ve got a few days off (half term) and am trying to benefit by catching up on various items. I’ve been looking back a bit and realised that I never signalled the completion of the Seaqueen series. I was looking at them a few minutes ago and it occurred to me that some of what’s there has never been published anywhere else and I am going to organise myself to create a page here and upload it (not with Sequeen’s comments, but just the basic set-up) as a PDF
23 October 2021
I took a big decision a week or so ago and today began to implement it – to find a publisher for the cards – in other words, to find an established outfit that can step in and take all this over. My last big initiative was to do the presentation of the whole Rainring series via Sequeen’s blog. I had the impression that she had a huge readership and that this would perhaps launch some significant wave of activity. In the end, I sold four packs and books, and it stopped there. No doubt I’m partly to blame for not having started an online training, which I always felt would be beneficial – since there is nowhere for potential Rainring enthusiasts /learner-users to gather. After doing a lot of teaching over Zoom during lockdown, I now feel much more confident in undertaking something of this ilk, so I have to consider that really seriously – and probably advertise it via Seaqueen.
Anyhow, I guess it’s the aftermath of this episode that finally made me feel that if the cards were ever going to achieve some kind of lift-off, I was going to have to leave the back roads and try to find an ‘A’ road, if not a motorway. So, after some fruitless chasing, I found a portal by the name of Jericho which at least made available a slot into which I could drop an email saying – ‘I’m in this not-standard situation, can you suggest what I should try and do with it?’ We’ll see…
I have taken one new intiative that I’m a bit proud of. Having said that it’s impossible to do any serious work on the cards during term-time, I’ve decided that I can’t afford to keep waiting indefinitely and have begun to tackle the west-side mentions. There are 81 of these, minus the 9 co-principals of set 6, so 72. I’ve started with set 5 and it’s killing me: I spent all day on Eager (on Desire) yesterday, because I got the wierdest cards, which I struggled (even with the aid of supplementaries) to understand and every time I wrote an interpretation the cards wouldn’t pass it. I’m interpreting mentions only through spreads of cards, and when I’m not sure of my interpretations, I do a determination (something I’ve only really got comfortable with these last couple of years). So I’m getting a suitable umpire and laying out, in its simplest form, three cards: yes / no / borderline. Shuffle and read the one immediately following the umpire. [What if the umpire comes last? – I’m not going into all this in detail here!] Yesterday I only ever got out of ‘no’ to reach a ‘borderline’ result for Eager – but I learnt A LOT! So I’m going to park this, carry on with others, and come back later.
In the end, I’m doing a four-card spread and writing 500 words to come up with a 20-word summary for each of the west-mentions. As for what final form they go to for publication, I don’t know and God-willing I won’t be the one taking the ultimate decision. Here’s an illustration of a set 5 card with east and (now) west mention summaries complete:
I’ve decided to use a format limiting the east (double) mention to three lines and the west one to two. About 17 cards have north mentions, so a FULL integrated meanings guide is going to have the 270 pages of the existing principal mentions, plus east, west and some north, so it becomes imperative to keep the lid on with these summary lengths. The full version, including the whole text of the analysis for all the non-principal mentions (in other words, the 3- or 4-mention version of the present mostly one-mention Rainring guide book), would be a monster, perhaps only ever worth putting online, rather than trying to sell in hard copy: 500 pages of text. If the visual catalogue of spreads on which the analysis is based was also published, that would at least double it.
Spead for Exhilarated on 3S5 Cretaion – no supplementaries! Below:
04 September 2021
I’d all but abandoned here for two reasons – one because Rainring has more or less been in deep freeze and two because I’ve been (supposedly) focussing on writing a book of poetry since September last year. This superseded the novel which I was advised by the cards to put aside – finished, I may add. The poetry kicked off a year ago exactly, but has somewhat run aground – at least, the diary which was supposed to have accompanied it – but was enough to pretty much squash Rainring activity until recently.
I say ‘pretty much’ because in fact I did do one thing of note – I finished the 100th card – which I didn’t think I was going to get involved with – but so far not had the dosh to go to MPC and get it printed
It’s the sixth mode, and is graphic as shown, not illustrated. According to the date on the file, I started (if not finished) it in May 2020, took it to Nigel to see if he could prep it for printing, as Chris used to do), then decided I was going to include others in order to make an assortment, not just get a mass printing of one card.
However, that’s not the big news. The important thing – and the reason why I went to Portslade today and got my USB with the above image back off Nigel is that I just finished the first of the great works on the non-principal mentions, and got Nigel to print us a home- use copy.
In the end I did it in two stages: first spreads for each of the group and each of the set mentions – so 7 and 9 respectively (sets 3-9 and groups 1-9). Then I ended up deciding that I wanted a specific mention for every individual card’s east side, so drew one card and umpire for each one (total 63) and worked my way through every one (just had a week off so managed to finish that). I’m pleased with the result, as it certainly adds an important element to the directory of meanings; on the other hand, it’s slightly depressing to realise that I still have 81 west sides and about 15 or more north, before I can hang up my boots on the non-principal mentions. Virtually certain I won’t have any suitable time again until Christmas, so I guess I’ll just have to file it away in an emotional drawer until then. Xmas might be long enough to get the north mentions done, but not I think for the west.
Apart from that, now I have become completely competent in teaching online, I have to bite the bullet soon and try to get some RR online training going, otherwise I’ll never find anyone to take over with the cards when I’m gone – there’s no-one in the frame at the moment.
Here’s a sample:
So all set up ready to receive west and north mentions at some point – will be thick so Nigel says spiral binding needed, not staples – but as for format, not sure I want it to go in box – maybe full version as a book or at least that size, and PDF mini-format: also not sure about pics this size (or at all?) – lots of undecideds.
One othe thing I did – transferred all the grid card spreads to digital image files, so only the ex-grid and umpires still needing to be done – that was certainly a labour of love!.
Don’t know when I’ll be back – it would be nice to achieve something RR in the external….
Ist February, 2020
I acquired this recently in a strongly synchronous event – which I may elaborate on one day – but not now.
It is more than six months since the last post here. This corresponds to an extended period when I have interrupted my posting on Jozefa Seaqueen’s Creative Cartomancy blog at https://creativecartomancy.wordpress.com/2019/08/06/rainring-49-exhibition-and-rainring-50-inhibition/
The last post of the first series took place on August 6th. The date below (May 31st) corresponds to the end of my normal annual holiday, and it was during May 2019, in Cornwall, that I began writing the novel which various people had been encouraging me to do for some time. By August, I had reached the point at which I felt that this required a far more intense focus than that which I had been able to give it in the period following my holiday when I resumed my regular 0.6 teaching post..
So I took the decision to suspend all Rainring-connected work until I had finished the first draft. This I achieved around the end of the Christmas/New Year break, 2020. I then approached Jozefa to see how she felt about a resumption of the interrupted presentation of Rainring on her blog. As a result of a short exchange of emails, the series – broken off somewhat serendipitously at the card ‘Inhibition’ – has now been resumed.
So far, my efforts to have Rainring attract a wide audience have proved fruitless. If I manage to produce a novel which attracts more attention (surely a pretty long shot!) I shall try to use it as a means to boost Rainring in the public eye. But even the possibility of any of that is certainly still a long way off. My first draft, which I have now put away for three months, is still far from being a finished piece of work.
I aim to continue according to my previous committment: to post here only when there is something of significance to report – so it could well be some months before I am ready to follow this post with a further one – unless, of course, a Rainring-related drama or milestone happens.
31st May 2019
The following is a reprint of a special offer to buy Rainring cards pretty much at cost price, as shown on Jozefa Seaqueen’s Ask my Cards blog:
Special offer details
You have purchased the original Rainring pack, together with the current form of the instruction booklet.
This pack can be used in two ways:
EITHER 1) As an 81-card one-mention pack:
A] Discard the 6 instruction cards, discard the eight umpires (those with the combined green & yellow surround) and the ‘big four’ (three with a grey surround, one with none at all)
B] On the remaining 81 cards (the ‘grid’ cards) read ONLY the mention under the picture on each card
This means that you have converted the 4-mention pack into a 1-mention, just like the one offered for interactive play on the web site.
There is nothing inferior about this version, any more than the tarot, for example, is inferior because only one side of each card carries writing.
OR 2) a) as a 94-card 4-mention pack.
To do this, discard instruction cards number 1,2,3,5 & 6, but RETAIN number 4. You will use this as the ninth (reversal) umpire – as follows:
OR 2b) Simply ignore the above, use 8 umpires, and lose some reversal capability: there is no reason why this can’t be done – you will use a small amount of functionality, but this is still Rainring! We used this for years before we came up with the idea of reversal umpire.
NOTE: Some years ago we decided to create this additional reversal umpire functionality. For a number of years, with our own packs at home we operated exactly as outlined above. There are now, since a couple of years ago, packs available which incorporate the new umpire as illustrated. However, in order to re-format the original pack to include this, I have to break open the old packs and re-box them. This is why it’s worth my while to offer this very low price on the original pack, as all I have to do is add in an instruction booklet and put them in an envelope. As for you, you pay a lot less, but get only slightly less.
Finally, please note that for the MEANINGS of the cards, users of all versions of Rainring are asked to use https://rainringcards.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/booklet-directory-online-v2.pdf
7 April 2019
Wow, it looks like half a year (bar 11 days) has drifted – or should I say zipped – by without me having added anything here. I could defend that by saying I’ve been too busy working extremely hard to have time nor inclination for online chat. And that’s not completely false.
I’ve achieved two things since the last post. Last month, March, I both made the final adjustments to the modification/revision to the story of the cards that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time now. That, finally, is finished. Also, during the last couple of weeks I’ve completed the sequence of cards prepared for Seaqueen and featured here in the last couple of entries. So all the PDFs up to number 79 are ready and Seaqueen has just published number #33 Achievement. We are now talking about a Facebook page…
The above has freed me for what in effect amounts to the last really big item of unfinshed work on the Rainring cards: the completion of the meanings of the cards by dealing with all the mentions not done so far. This is a huge task, but I’ve decided to begin with the east sides and below is an example of the visuals I’ve been preparing to represent the east sides:
With these east side mentions, I will be using spreads of cards to analyse each of the 9 group mentions: beginnings, tension, harmony, pause, change etc, then same for the sets: relations, in body, dreams and so on. [sets 1 and 2 are rather different and I need only to add a little to what I have already published on those.]
In the meantime, as I have some holiday coming, I’m considering making at least one new video – more on this later. Having said that, I continue to upload the ‘scenic route’ videos to my Rainring channel on You Tube, where they continue to not attract much interest – but whatever… one new one a month, number 17 just uploaded. Take care and later…
18 November 2018
Have just had the upload of card 12 in the series hosted by Sequeen at https://seaqueen.wordpress.com/. This is a valuable innovation for readers of Rainring, first because Seaqueen has a huge experience with cards and second because she comes to the cards from outside, therefore with a totally fresh view. Anyone who has studied the tarot will I imagine have found that the tarot has grown by having many people’s insights slowly added to each other over time, so that anyone coming to it fresh can easily have a composite picture built up by taking a number of sources and fitting them together.
Rainring is far too deep to be well served by having only one main interpreter – not least when it is the cards’ creator. So the weekly work of interpretation being undertaken by Jozefa Seaqueen is, I am sure, an important moment in extending the accessibility of Rainring to the general public. Here is excerpt 12
Seaqueen on #12 Invasion:
“I’m sure you have heard the expression, “Wrong place at the wrong time.” Yes, we all have had experiences dumped on us when we weren’t looking. Most of us have been sucked into other people’s drama. Many times we are left holding the bag.
If we asked a single question of the Rainring cards and drew Invasion it could mean many things depending on the question.
- Love/relationship. Why isn’t he/she returning my call? Don’t be too pushy. When he/she is ready they will call.
- Work. Will I get the promotion? No, you are too bossy.
Perhaps the above is too simple an answer but in many cases our questions are simple to begin with.
Where am I at this point in my life? Are you caught up in other people’s stuff. Forcing yourself on other people will only frustrate you when they are not so eager to have you in their lives.
On the flip side you could making progress unblocking on your Heart Chakra.”
13 October 2018
An important development to report since the last entry. After correspondance with Jozefa ‘Seaqueen’ of Ask my Cards’ at https://seaqueen.wordpress.com/, she has offered to host a roll-out of the Rainring cards in a form which has never before reached the public domain. This consists in a precis of the story of the cards (the one used to give the illustrators of Rainring a visual basis to work from). This summary works by pairing one card image each time with either a precis of its place in the story, or an actual quote from the story, or a mixture of both – as below:
Seaqueen also asked me to supplement this section and the general summary of the meanings of the cards by adding something called ‘in a reading’, intended to specify what a querant should expect when drawing the card, in terms of its immediate impact on their daily life. I agreed to this as it seemed clear that it would meet a need. In practice, it has turned into a big challenge, and I have used the cards themselves as the basis for this attempt to clarify their meanings in this very specific way. Here’s a typical entry on the above site, featuring Seaqueen’s take on one of the cards:
card #7 FORM (added Oct 12/18)
Interesting card. So, what is form in our daily life? Is a noun or verb or both? There is some importance to understanding the creator’s story. You may not get anything out of it and that’s ok. Comprehending the creator’s summary on the card and the advice in a reading section is only part of your learning. What do you think the Form card means to you? When asking different types of questions you will peek into the different levels of form. And they are there if you stop and think about it.
When I design a pattern I outline the image on graph paper. It has form – you can see the flower. It has no colours yet. No techniques or materials have been used to enhance this form. The outline remains an outline until I grab my tools and materials. To do this I need to be passionate to some degree about my creation.
If I got this card in the one-card daily draw I would take some time to meditate. Then, I would grab my paintbrush (imaginary) and being colouring in the canvas of my day. You could also get out your daily planner and jot down a few tasks for the day.
The above is at https://seaqueen.wordpress.com/rainring-course-lessons/ and this is, as things stand, the only source for this work, and is scheduled for roll out on a weekly basis (Saturdays) until somewhere near the end of 2019. More on this later.
22 August 2018
Not bad: a diary entry only five weeks or so after the previous one! The One-mention wall-chart duly arrived and looks good. It features in the new video I released a few days ago about the one-mention cards. I’ve discovered a possible new printing source for cards and would really like to go ahead and get 100 packs printed, but such prices are quite high nowadays, relative to my resources, and I hesitate to get in over my head. Let’s see what happens on the sales front in the near future.
Also while visiting a local bric-a-brac emporium with visitors from out of town, came across a really, really nice box which I’ve added to the collection of containers advertised on the site here.
14th July 2018
Things move on…
As I am expecting to have to lay out money for a holiday in September, I decided at the 11th hour not to get a lot of 1-mention packs printed: just half a dozen for the moment. I collected the completed booklets from Nigel2 on Thursday (cover by Chris), and I am now waiting for Chris to produce a one-mention version of the A2 wallchart, which I want to use as the backdrop for my introduction to the video on the 1-mention cards. In the end, there are 22 videos about the 4-mention cards, so I reckon one video should be enough for the 1-mention! I’m deliberately trying to keep this video minimal – it remains to be seen whether or not I can squeeze what I need to say into 25 minutes.
The accompanying booklet has a few instructions, but is mostly a directory: summaries of the meanings of the cards, which in quite a lot of cases have been modified and added to, so this now postdates the summaries in A Guide to Rainring Cards.
I also made a major decision, which I think will break the deadlock around the story of the cards. I’m going to write and publish a book of the card images (format 148mm square), with text explaining what the images refer to in the story and in some cases what certain features of a given illustration are intended to convey. In order to write this text, there are issues relating to the story which will have to be resolved, and I think that may well take me the winter to sort out, so publication perhaps towards the end of the winter, if all goes well.
Although the immediate inspiration for this project is the 1-mention cards, I believe it will be relevant to everyone reading Rainring, as it should give a new level of insight into what the images are about.
Enough for now, and perhaps nothing of significance likely to be added for some time…
31st May 2018
A month ago, I felt obliged to report a period – since buying the van – of nothing happening. I’m now glad to report the arrival on the Rainring scene of something entirely unexpected. The upside of the intensive work period was an unexpected minor bulge in my bank account, as a result of which I have taken the decision to fulfill an earlier pledge and bring to market the 1-mention version of the cards.
Chris1, who oversaw the setting of the umpires and the prototypes for the modes, has been in action again. The link above is his realisation of my design for the box-lid for the 1-mention cards. I featured this image from my original homemade pack of 25 years ago in one or two of the 2017 Rainring videos, so I decided to re-use it for the 1-mention box.
As far as the actual cards are concerned, Chris has produced high resolution versions of the 81 grid cards, each with a single mention, and we have designed a new back, simpler and I feel better than the original back on the 4-mention cards. These 1-mention cards exactly reproduce the ones featured on the rainringcards.com website.
I am now in correspondence with the people in HK, so it may be possible to print quite soon. Chris has also realised my designs for the cover of the combined booklet of instructions plus summaries-of-meanings which I have created during this last month. This not only reproduces the meaning summaries published in the Guide two years ago, but also involves a number, including all the feeling archetypes, which have been revisted, modified and usually expanded.
Finally, I have been doing ancilliary work such as updates to this website. I have photographed, described, priced and uploaded the info for all the one-off merchandise, so it can now be accessed by potential buyers. This is in line with one or two new publicity initiatives which I hope will produce a flow of potential customers. My attempts to re-jig things in the postal charges admin and in the shop admin have apparently caused the shop to crash (talk about sod’s law), so I am begging Nigel1 to come to the rescue and find out what has gone wrong.
Enough for now…
28th April 2018
Alas, almost all of the plans alluded to in January have not materialised.
Things done: I have purchased 4 Turkish carpet mats, some kilim cushions, a beautiful Victorian mahogany table and a herringbone pattern throw, but that just about comprises Rainring achievements over the last months.
Sadly, until I read this, I hadn’t even remembered that there was a PLAN to do Rainring business on Wednesdays. That went down the drain when I took on some extra work at my day job – in the end, the issue of money is never far away. So I made a bit extra, and Rainring went on to the back burner.
Work has been extremely stressful again and I now find myself one week away from an oh so much needed break, so hopefully I’ll write an entry at the end of May to specify what, if anything, May brought in the way of achievements.
(The van is called Maurice, by the way – a name not achieved by consulting Hacina, I must add.)
31st January 2018
This vehicle, currently known as the great beast (to distinguish it from the ‘big beasts’ of the British Tory party), doesn’t yet have a name. I think I suggested ‘Marcel’, though I can’t remember why, but this was rejected by Hacina.
It / he? is almost wholly owned by the bank as I write – so that, and learning to drive it [several steps up from our miniature Suzuki wagon R] are the preoccupations of the moment at Rainring HQ. I’ve been wanting for years to own a camper van large enough to read cards in, and this is the beginning of our attempt to achieve that. I am at present taking first steps towards furnishing same, which involves me indulging in two of my long-standing passions: Turkish carpets and antique furniture – so I hope to create, if not a full-blown Mystic Meg experience, at least some tasteful and self-awareness-friendly surroundings for readings. ‘Carpets’ I should add is an absurd glamorisation for a category of textile more generally referred to in the trade as ‘mat’. These things certainly are carpets, but very miniaturised, to around 3 feet by 18-21 inches (90 x 46-53 cms: the only size able to fit into the narrow ‘alleyways’ available on the floor of the camper). I will post pictures when all this process is complete. (taster available now in archives)
Exactly where I aim to take the van is under review at the moment. I was hoping to secure a one-dy-a-week pitch at the nearby seaside for the summer, but this seems a bit problematical so far, at least in a public space, so I’m going to look at the possible alternatives – first on the list being to approach a private venue such as a well-visited garden open to the public, and propose my services. Festivals is an obvious possibility for one-offs, so this also will get a look at. All this is only in a very preliminary stage right now.
This is intended to be the year of the big publicity push, and Wednesday, starting today, is the day earmarked each week for focussing specifically on Rainring business. I intend, at least, to produce somewhat more frequent updates as things actually happen, rather than filling this space with pious notices of plans, only to have to confess later that they never actually came to fruition.
6 September 2017
Strange how fast things go, so that my sense of having recently posted suddenly becomes a post nearly two months ago.
So, quick update this time to say that I have a precious free week available to try and a) close out the videos and b) work out what the next priority is to be and get it in motion. For tonight, just to say that the videos are complete, there is a 30-second preamble (though it may well stay as is without music) and I am now poised to start uploading the instruction series. I’ll update further when this step has been taken.
15 July 2017
Above – a still from one of the new videos
Wow, the below seems like ancient history! After having suceeded in maintaining some kind of continuity over a period of months last year, I seem to have collapsed completely in terms of diary posting. Perhaps I could justify this by saying that extreme busy-ness has kept me away from here. But I don’t think that would be sufficiently true. However, it certainly IS true that I have covered a lot of ground since last October. First – and it seems to belong to another era – I did get instruction booklets from Nigel2, more cards from HK and managed to put together some packs ready for sale.
I’m no longer exactly sure where I went from there – I think I decided that I needed to have some instruction videos available on You Tube before I offered my cards to Watkins bookshop, or went to Gardners books for distribution – because of the difficulty of people being able to access help in learning how to use the cards. [Not sure if I want to do eithr of these at the moment]. Anyhow, that was quite a long time ago and since then I have been plunged in the whole business of 1) finding out what kind of audio/video equipment to buy and how to use it; 2) buying and learning to use a suitable selection of gear; 3) learning how to shoot and edit videos.
To date I have completed (in what I call a penultimate version) about seventeen of around 20 minutes, with probably a couple more in the pipeline. Once these are done, I have to put together an intro (music and images), then begin to upload them – probably at the rate of one per month. I am also going to produce some kind of fast-track version, which will do the instructions from beginning to end with no frills and possibly no interludes either.
The other thing in the pipeline is a camper van, from which I can give readings. greatly desired, but not yet a serious proposition. Let’s hope it won’t be numerous months before I post again.
27 October 2016
It struck me that writing this is – if nothing else – a good break from my tendency to get philosophical. Practicalities only, please!
Updates since last: replaced Prontaprint (who never answered) by Nigel – not Nigel1 – as he must now become – my esteemed website creator but Nigel2, printer, of Portslade. He is producing 1,000 booklets of 88 or, hopefully, 87mm, as the proofs ended up being (because the pages don’t lie exactly one on another) – a smidgeon wide for my 89mm boxes. I received my beautiful guatemalan mini shoulder bags and purses from the US, and they will be brilliant to offer for ladies to put the cards in.
Been off sickish since yesterday, so today I sent money to Hong Kong for a second lot of cards. With what I have from before, I should now be able to make up 300 sets of cards (though still a Q mark over tuck boxes).
The grand plan is that the revenue from 300 boxes (plus some books, hopefully) will be enable me to launch a big umpire purchase. This will produce enough re-formatted packs to reach the end of my catch-up on the existing old-format packs. If I ever manage to get that far, I can then, finally, do integrated purchases of boxed packs of cards (in new format and with in-box instructions). At that point, I should have no further re-supply worries, even if I reach a significant volume of sales.
So why the 1,000 instruction booklets (and perhaps 1,000 tuck boxes to follow if I can get the right price on these)? Just to spread the cost, so that I can then go for 1,000 or more sets of umpires, knowing that it won’t break the bank. [The other issue here is that I want to get vlogging before too long, and I need to keep some funds aside for that.]
All that is a bit bricks-and-mortar, but the cutting edge area now is that I am going to start trying to find a way to develop my presence on the web and to SELL!!! Nigel1 has just had a family bereavement, after which he has promised to tidy up some stuff over on the main blog for me, including re-direction to here. To be continued…
Ape tape, labels and yellowish boxes all arrived so I have been playing with the labelling and boxing of some cards. Day off today (Tuesday) so have been sending off into the ether for tuck box  quotes; also swallowed my anger (which would not have played well) and re-approached Prontaprint to see if they are still willing to produce 1000 booklets (88mm this time if I’m lucky) at the price they quoted before, which according to Chris2 is way cheaper than anything he found.
Have also been in contact with Nigel who is (apparently) in Africa again but who promises on his return to make the various tweaks I need to tidy up the rainringcards site a bit.
Have been spending my days/nights on Etsy and have taken delivery (from UK this time!) of two boxes: one very pretty but slightly too small (I didn’t ask them to check ‘approx’, the other nice but I have to admit a bit massive – so not a resounding success so far, but will persevere. Also interested in bags/pouches/purses, which could also be a valid way to go as pack of cards containers. Not sure what happens to RR shop to accomodate this.
So, am looking at prep-ing 1000 boxed and instructed sets of cards, if I can finance that, in order to be able to try and push the cards commercially – e.g. perhaps through Gardner’s Books – with some confidence that I cope with initial orders (if suddenly they start to come in), without running dry before I have the chance to set up a high volume re-order.
Also met Chris1 again and took delivery of a high-res version of what he has produced, so I can store them out of harm’s way. He recommends putting them somewhere safe such as on an external hard drive. Salzman of Chicago can’t write correct English and refer to ‘our factory in China’ – oh dear. Just like the tuck box people with a London phone number and UK email address who speak with an Indian accent and want to do everything by chat and email – as if they were in Bangalore, not in London at all – guess what?
Putting all this down makes it seem as if I have been in a regular flurry of activity!
Some progress – slow and tortuous as ever. Chris2 ran trials with an improved version of the box-top label, which works fine – but I arrived at one minute past five to find the place deserted and don’t know if he did the big label-print run, which I’m waiting for so I can label a bunch of boxes. Still waiting for the kraft (yellowish) boxes and for the ape tape. Back to work tomorrow, so now everything slows down.
Have had a nice contact with a person on Etsy who has a very nice box to sell which will fit RR cards and I want to buy – though with shipping from US, customs, tax etc it won’t end up cheap. Anyhow, this has got me interested in two things: first, buyin a few interesting boxes on etsy to sell cards in; later, perhaps, having my own store on etsy. Is this the way to engineer my marketing breakthrough? (Or one way…) More later
09 September, 2016
Am I getting anywhere? How I answer that probably depends on my mood at the moment you ask.
Let’s start with the positives. First, the new umpires from Hong Kong – whose colour is now sorted out – are a close enough match to the original, 20-year-old ones, to make it possible to combine them. [And I won’t use the dis-matched mentions-images umpire:that’s for the bin.] So, whereas I wouldn’t attempt to do eight of the old together with the one new, a 4+5 mixture is do-able. This means that I won’t have to buy nine-card sets and throw all the old ones out.
So far, I’ve done about 60 of the combined sets which, together with the rest of the pack, are now boxed up in the new HK tuck boxes awaiting the sealing tab to be ready for market. This transparent tab with permanent adhesive will feature an image of a pair of scissors and will be printed from sheets of labels by Chris2 in Henfield on Monday (insallah). Yes, I have labels, and the other work of C2 on Monday will be to print a run of 100 sheets of 3 top (image as on cards) and three bottom labels. The latter are destined for the Tiny Box underside, expliciting the box contents and providing the barcode.
Continuing the positives, I have taken a shipment (vanment?) consisting of a giant box of ‘Tiny’ boxes – there are nine different colours in one size and two in another, recycled card, cheeap but nice, except not very versatile for printing on, hence the labels. I have also ordered some Ape tape – my favourite name of all time – which is adhesive-backed aluminium foil. This could be regarded (rightly) as an extravagence, but should give a highly distinctive look to the boxes I hope, plus serving to seal them up. I have an assortment of a dozen or so ‘silk’ (45%, + polyester 55% ) scarves from China via Ebay to use as cloths for spreads, and these will be offered along with the larger version of the Tiny boxes just received – in short, the delux package.
As I write, I am amazed to discover that things do seem to have been happening after all. Even the umpire featured above has had a makeover and acquired dots – slightly too small ones at first, and now suitably larger ones. Once taken, I will post pictures of the boxes with labels, ape-tape etc in place.
The negatives: this re-boxing lark is all a bit cottage industry. There is certainly no way I would be able to cater for an order in quantity. It looks like I have 2.5K packs to deal with in this mickey-mouse fashion before I can return to normal runs of packs of cards: though who the one supplier of these would be is anyone’s guess at this point. I have just sent some artwork to a Jack Salzman of Chicago to see if he might be able to amuse himself producing cards, and how much it would amuse him to charge for that. With the help of the cards, I made an executive decision today. It would be infinitely cheaper to get 1000s of everything, but I am going to not plunge myself in or close to debt to do that right now. I am going to do each separate element in quantity, starting with the leaflets (Chris 2 is on this one also) – and earn the money for each item, cards and boxes coming later, until I have everything ready to go out.
Negative two, of which more later, is no sign of any sales on the horizon – this whole area still to confront.
19 July 2016
Well, well well. So many failures and pratfalls since the last. Final version of cards ended up coming back with an error (all 120 copies). Booklet similarly was a write-off (despite approved proofs), so went to an English firm who then also screwed up by switching the size from 88mm to 80mm without warning. I didn’t see it on the proofs, so another non-result. So now my vaunted new pack is going to contain one card with mentions matched to the wrong pictures and one instruction booklet of the wrong size: and all because of not checking proofs properly – or, if you prefer to think of it in this way – because of printers who can’t carry out instructions without error, and so expect you to come and clean up their mess behind them. I am not a happy bunny!
Now it’s time to get things ready to sell, figure out how to sell, and (after conversation with Tom), hopefully start to get set up for making videos of cards – to get some movement on the web.
24th May 2016
I can’t believe that over three weeks have passed since this last entry until finally, today, I’ve had back the new version of the umpires from Hong Kong. They’re still not a perfect match for the colour of the existing pack, but they’re close enough that when old and new are put together the result will not look a mess.
This means that tonight I’ve emailed Chris to sort out the final upload etc. Once everything is in place, I can put through the order, and we will have saleable packs of cards. Then, finally, I will think about approaches to retailers and strategies for selling the cards.
One other good piece of news: Sharyn Woerz has just started featuring some Rainring cards on her blog at www.quirkeries.blogspot.com/
She has a very individual take on the cards, which I think is ideal – we’ll see if this results in any traffic.
30th April 2016
Well, re-reading this is an object lesson in how things shift around. So I’ll try and catch it all up.
Good news and bad, in short. First, what we have achieved: today I received in the post the proof copies of the instruction booklet and the tuck boxes – from Hong Kong. So the local booklet supplier is out of the window (not competitive) and the HK people at Make Playing Cards have produced a nice-looking instruction booklet, about which I’m not only pleased, but very relieved: because of battles elsewhere. One or two very minor tweaks to the booklet and then it can go into the first print run.
There is a second booklet: this time featuring the directory of meanings (skeleton version – summaries only) which is going to go on this miscellany site, but also on the dot com site, so I am going to see Nigel [the creator of www.rainringcards.com ] in a few days- always a pleasure, and it’s been a long time: there are other small things I want him to tweak on that site.
The tuck box: we asked for two proof copies – Hacina thinks they look too flash – partly because they are gloss finished, which was not a good idea, partly because they are highly stripy – to match the book, which they certainly do, but maybe a bit excessive – I don’t know, I’ve spent the day increasingly getting used to them. I may reduce the stripes, but not I think eliminate them completely. The unicorn carthorse is (again) featured on the back.
The great PAIN IN THE BUTT has been the cards, also like everything else so far, just received as proofs from HK (ten days ago). One thing I’m delighted about is to have prototype working copies of the modes, which is ace. The problem is the umpires, which are not printing true – at least, the yellows are all muddy and reduced. Compare with scans of the cards we already have:
The old cards are at the top, the new ones underneath.
I am totally drowning in high and low resolutions, not least in terms of what I can even see on my desktop monitor, which is not (i.e. less than) what Chris can see on his Mac laptop. Anyhow, to cut a long and frustrating story short, I am going to see Chris2 (our local printer, [not to be confused with Chris (now Chris1) my trusty typesetter, still less with Chris-my sister)] after the bank holiday. I am going to take to Chris2 the original artwork from all those years ago (1995) which I miraculously still have and rescan it, to see if we can bring it back from the faded and muddy condition you see above in the second row right .
Finally, as if all this was not enough, I have a second ‘box’ project under way: I’m intending to offer online another type of box, this one made of recycled card and normally used to keep jewellery in. Far more sturdy than a tuck box, no more expensive, and available locally. I have a sample here at home and it’s very nice. For this, I have to provide a label to go on the top (lid) and a bar code label to go on the side or underneath. Which is fine, except that I got swallowed up in purveyors of labels-by-the-thousand, which means start-up costs I want very much to avoid. I think I have an answer, however, of which more another time.
When, finally, God-willing we have a product or two [book; box with cards and instruction booklet] to sell, I am going to talk to one or two retailers.
It’s actually more tiring to write about this than to do it! Anyhow, to be followed….inshallah.
February 27th 2016
Here is the new umpire: in my inimitable primitive style, obviously – this is one reason for revamping the cards: to get this properly integrated into the umpires. Anyhow, I’m happy to give reversal its due – all too often reversal is regarded as ‘bad news’ that the querant wants to run away from.
Maybe if I keep a diary online, it will encourage me to feel that things ARE happening. Anyhow, started on phase 2 – the revamp of the cards – but keep getting derailed by (paid) work and frustrated not to have time to push things forward. Found a window this last week to set up the square booklets ready (eventually) to go to the printer. There are now two (I think): instructions and summaries. I have to proof read them, which is like watching paint dry, but must do this before I can approach the (local) printer. This time, I’m doing it all in ‘word’ and bypassing Chris (my typesetter) as I feel (increasingly) the need to practice frugality!
Chris has prep’d the templates for the 9 umpires to go to the Hong Kong card printers. Then we have to get the new tuck box template set up – I’ve worked out the preliminary design already. Once we know the thickness of the booklet(s) plus cards, we can work out what tuck box template to use.
Enough for now – more fun to do than to write about!