Thursday, April 30, 2015

April Recap

Happy Thursday and last day of April. Hope it has been a good one for you. The month started out with Emilia's 17th birthday on the 2nd. The day started off with a surprise delivery of a beautiful bouquet of flowers from her dad. This year she wanted to get the second hole in her ears re pierced. She had them done years ago at Claire's but they did not do a very good job and closed up. We were told that the best place to get them re pierced is a tattoo shop. My sister had found a really good one for my niece a few year ago so we took her there. I had never been to a tattoo shop before. It was an interesting place. They were able to re pierce them without a problem and she is very happy now. Later that evening we had a family dinner. This year she wanted burgers and fries and a special cake for desert. We got the cake from Le Bakery Sensual here in Denver. Her big present was this years American Girl Doll Grace who just happens to be a baker. Even though she is getting older she is still a collector of their dolls and this one was perfect for her. She makes number 21 now. Overall she said was a great birthday. Below is a photo collage of the day

A few months back I made some party decor for a return buyer using my cream floral pattern. She liked it so much she asked me to make some more items for a baby shower she was hosting for a friend. Below are the items I made for her in that theme. 
Emilia is still working on her skirt. It should be done next month but in the meantime she finally finished a quilted pillow she had been working on. You can get the pattern here, She hand embroidered the letter using a stencil that I made with my Silhouette.
I finally had some time to do a color comparison between PTI and MFT cardstock. I am starting with these 6 colors since they are almost a perfect match and the ones I use the most, The only one that is a little off is the Navy but I actually like MFT's navy better. If you click on the photo to make it bigger you should be able to see the color names.  I have added them below too. Another bonus is that the MFT cardstock cuts a lot better in the Silhouette, too.
From left to right:
MFT After Midnight compared to PTI Enchanted Evening.
MFT Blue Breeze compared to PTI Spring Rain
MFT Grout Grey compared to PTI Soft Stone
MFT Wild Cherry compared to PTI Pure Poppy
MFT Pink Lemonade compared to PTI Sweet Blush
MFT BLUE Raspberry compared to PTI Hawaiian Shores
I will try to do more color comparisons next month. Hopefully this will help those of you that are looking for similar colors in the future. I know it would have been great to have something like this  when I was looking.
Finally the  month ended with a pipe breaking in the upstairs bathroom of our rental house and water ran for over an hour leaving a lot of damage to the kitchen and basement below. A few days after that Emilia noticed the roof leaking in our family room which is also my work space but thankfully it is not over my work area.  What are the chances both houses would have problems in the same week? At least both are covered by insurance and are fixable though.
That's all for now. I hope May is good month for you. I will be back with more to share then.




Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March Recap

Happy Tuesday and last day of March. As I predicted it is going out like a lamb. It is in the 70's here today. That is all going to change by Thursday but I am still grateful for the nice weather as long as it lasts though.
The month started with a big order. The theme was lady bugs. I have done ladybugs before but this buyer requested the colors be changed to bright pink,  green and purple. She also ordered a few things that I had not made in that theme before which are included in the collage below.  All the dots on the ladybugs were pieced by hand and a lot of work but was worth in in the end. The buyer loved everything and I was happy with how it turned out too. 
I celebrated my 46th birthday on the 25th. I woke up to snow but by the afternoon thankfully the sun came out. Below are a few of my favorite things my family gave me to help celebrate
I finally found a good replacement for PTI's spring rain cardstock. MFT just started carrying a new color called Blue Breeze that is almost a perfect match! They finally got all the other colors I wanted in stock too so I was able to place a big order. Still hoping to do a color comparison soon.
Emilia's birthday is Thursday. I will post about that next month. Hopefully the weather will cooperate so we can still do what we planned,  Until then I hope your last day of March is a good one and it goes out like a lamb where you are too.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

February Recap

Happy Saturday and last day of February. The month started out great weather wise. We were enjoying temperatures in the 60's but that that all changed last week when winter returned with a vengance. We have gotten so much snow since then that this has become the snowist February on record. It is sunny and dry today but more snow is expected next week. I guess March will be coming in like a lion. Hopefully it will leave like a lamb because I hate all this snow. It could be worse though, we could be in Boston.
I am very grateful for all the buyers I have had on Etsy so far but I ended up dealing with a very difficult one this month. After one unreasonable request after another I had enough and decided to cancel her order. This is something I have never done before but she left me no choice. The majority of my buyers are usually great to work with and understand the value of my time and how much work goes into my products but this one just didn't get that and brought me to my breaking point.
Before that I was asked to create a party package for a buyers 1 yr old son who loves trucks. Since it was Valentines Day the mom asked me to incorporate some hearts too. This is what I came up with.
I ended up calling it Loads Of Love. The buyer was thrilled with it. I was really happy with how it come out as well and have added it to my shop for others to buy now too. Working with this buyer definitely made up for the other one. I wish all my buyers could be like this.
 In my last post I talked about finding a replacement for the PTI cardstock. Even though I did find some good matches I can't seem to find one place that has all the colors I want and in stock at the same time. This has caused a lot of frustration. I don't understand why it is so hard to keep cardstock in stock. I guess I am going to have to buy from a couple of different places but am hoping to eventually find one place that has everything I need. If you have any suggestions let me know.
Emilia's sewing lessons were postponed for a month because the teacher got sick so I found her some other projects to work on in the meantime. This is an apron that she made using this tutorial
Before I go I will leave you with another photo of a buyers dog wearing a hat I made to brighten your day.  His name is Sampson. Isn't he adorable? That's all for now. I will be back next month with more to share then.


Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Recap

Happy Saturday. I hope the first month of 2015 has been a good one for you. It has been pretty quiet here. We got some snow this month but were also fortunate to have some nice weather in the 70's too. Today it is cold and dreary it is January though.
Emilia has decided she want's to learn to sew. After watching Project Runway Threads for kids this Fall she was inspired to design and make her own clothes. After a lot of searching, I finally found someone to come and give lessons to her and a friend and they are really enjoying it. She is starting with a skirt. I will post photos after it is done.
After complaining that things were slow in my Etsy shop in December, January brought a flood of sales so I have been busy working on orders again. I had a return buyer from last year who's theme was vintage, burlap and lace. After some discussion she decided to go with my cream floral theme. Here is a collage of the things I made for her that go with my other existing cream floral items.The pinwheels were made with this SVG file from The Cutting Cafe
                                           
Another request I had this month was to make a party hat for a bunny. The buyer sent me this photo of her wearing it, Isn't she cute? The buyer bought a crown for her sisters bunny too.

 I am still trying to find a good replacement for my PTI cardstock. So far the Pop Tones Brand seems to be a good match but I am having problems getting all the colors I need from one seller though.
My Favorite Things sells a big assortment of it but seems to always be out of stock of the colors I need. After buying the sample pack and receiving it in record time, my last order from them sat for days because of some Pay Pal glich. When I wrote to ask about the order they finally got it processed but then it took another week to get the order because they didn't send it priority mail even when I paid for shipping.
Avery Elle also sells the Pop tone brand and has many of the same colors but is also out of stock on some of the colors I want, especially the Sapphire. When I asked when it would be available again I was told they did not know. I thought that was an odd answer. I also asked if they could special order if for me but they said no. I did end up ordering some other colors from them and shipping was super fast. I just wish they could get all the other colors I want back in stock.
I also ended up ordering some cardstock from Gina K. That order took a week to ship. I think I may have ordered at a busy time but it was just one pack of cardstock.
I found a good replacement for PTI's Stampers Select White cardstock at Michaels, Recollections Heavy Weight It also comes in ivory too. I have a lead on Silver Shimmer thanks to a blog reader, I am not tried it yet though but will let you know how I like it when I do.
Someone on SCS contacted me after seeing a post I wrote over there. She owns her own scrap booking store called A Walk Down Memory Lane and she offered to help me. She also carries the Poptones brand but not as many colors as MFT. I am hoping she will be able to get me the other colors I need that she does not carry. I am really grateful for her reaching out to me. My hope is that I can eventually buy all my cardstock in one place again. I am still looking for a good replacement for PTI Spring Rain and Hibiscus. If anyone has any suggestions let me know. I am also still planning on posting a color comparison when I get some time.
That's all for now. I hope you last day of January is a good one. I will be back next month with more to share then. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December Recap

Happy Wednesday and the last day of 2014. Where did the year go? It seems like it flew by but overall it has been a pretty good one.  It started snowing here on Monday and we are in the deep freeze now. It was -19 this morning. Hopefully it will get above freezing again soon.
Thankfully it has been a much better month than November was. Etsy orders continue to keep me busy. My winter Onederland theme continues to be a popular one.
We celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas.



and went to the Illuminations Drive Thru Light Show in Larkspur

video 
It was nice to see the lights without freezing. Here is a little video. The drive there was long and not really worth the 10 minutes of lights but it was still fun. 

Emilia got some holiday money from her grandparents and used it to highlight her hair which is something she has wanted to do for a while now.
I don't have anything crafty to share this month so I am going share this from Emilia instead. This year Emilia had a cupcake calendar that came with a different cupcake recipe for each month. She made all the cupcakes for the whole year. I think she did a great job. Which one is your favorite? Mine is December.
That's all for now. I hope you enjoy your last day of 2014 and 2015 is a good one for you filled with peace, love and happiness.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

November Recap

Happy Sunday and last day of November. I am really glad this month is almost over because it has not been a very good one.
It all started the beginning of the month when my left leg started itching. I didn't think much of it until the next day when I saw bites. They were itchy and painful and kept appearing for days after that but nobody else had them. I ended up washing and vacuuming everything I came in contact with but I never saw any bugs and I still don’t know what bit me. Whatever it was seems to be gone now. I just hope it stays away.
After that out new dishwasher was not working right and in the process blew the fuse to the furnace on the coldest day of the year. I didn’t find out it was the dishwasher that caused it until after the heater people came. Turns out they were both on the same fuse. We were without a dishwasher for a week waiting for them to come and replace it. We thought it was fried but turns out it was okay just needed to be put on a different breaker. When the heater people were here for the furnace they discovered Black Widow Spiders in my crawl space  though so I then I had to have an exterminator come. 
Last week I found out my Citibank credit card that I have had for over 20 years was hack for a 4th time this year. This time it was a huge charge and the credit card company didn’t catch it. They really didn't seem to care that it keeps happening either so I canceled the card. Another case of bad Customer Service.
I have also been dealing with crazy buyers again.  This one called me an ignorant asshole because I could not make something for her in the time she needed it. Why do people have to be so rude?
My shoulder is giving me problems again and is making it hard to breath sometimes now. The doctor we have now is not very helpful. All she wants to do is give me a cortisone shot which I don't want. We are trying to decide if we want to stay with our current health insurance or switch. They are raising the rates on us. I thought healthcare was suppose to be affordable now??
We had a major problem with one of Emilia's online teachers. She gave her an F on an outline stating that she did not follow directions. Turns out the directions she wanted her to follow were not in the unit where the outline was suppose to be done. Emilia was very upset about it and when I asked the teacher to let her do it over she refused and was very nasty to me in the process. Thankfully I was able to talk to someone over her and he was very helpful. He was in agreement that Emilia should have had a chance to do it over and we have a new teacher now who is great.
Lastly if you are are a regular reader of my blog you probably read what happened in my last post. Thanks for all the support. So far I have found some good replacements for the PTI Cardstock from My Favorite Things and Avery Elle. They both have comparable colors and weight for most of the colors I need except for Spring Rain and Hibiscus. If anyone knows of a good match for those 2 colors please let me know. I hope to do a comparison post on Cardstock next month.
Even with all these problems I am still trying to focus on the positives though especially since this was the month to be most Thankful. Even though it may not seem like it after this post I do still have a lot to be thankful for.
Before I go I will leave you with this photo. I made the hat for this dog a few months ago and just love the photo the buyer sent me of him wearing it.Looking at that photo always makes me smile, I hope you enjoy it too.  I will be back again next month with more to share then. Here is to hoping it will be a much better month!



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

With Great Sadness - Papertrey Ink Buyer Beware!

 This morning I woke up to this horrible email.

Terri,
I am one of the owners of this company. Nichole does not handle customer service but would fully support my decision as it is based on our policies. While we appreciate your business very much, you obviously believe we owe you something for shopping with us. We offer high quality products at a low price, we offer FREE shipping if you order $70 or more, and we reward customers with 1 dollar worth of merchandise for every $25 spent. That is what we offer our most loyal customers.
We follow the policies posted on our website as that is the only way to treat people fairly and with respect. Terri, I worked very hard to get the paper for you and that was obviously not enough. So be it. I realize customers feel like they can treat the companies they shop with like slaves, and then threaten them if they don't get their way, it is now a societal norm. You feel as though you have the right to demand something from us which goes against our policies for whatever justifiable reason. When someone says no, you keep writing emails to try and get your way and justify your position. Terri, we do not ship products for free because you just placed an order and now you don't want to pay for shipping to order something else. No one knew when the paper was coming into stock, if you were that worried about it, Terri, you should have waited. I guess if I hadn't begged the manufacturer for the paper to be sent to us immediately, we wouldn't even be having this conversation, however, I was under the impression you needed it as soon as possible so I did whatever I could to make sure the paper would get to us as soon as possible. Had I known any of this would happen, I wouldn't have bothered to call them. So basically you are upset with me because I made sure we got the paper too soon for you because you had placed an order a couple of days before, it is very frustrating and leaves a person wondering if they should ever go the extra mile for a customer. This situation may be sufficient evidence that no matter what a company does it is not enough. If every time we put something in stock and had to ship it for free to the people that would have ordered it in a previous order had it been available, we would be out of business. Therefore, we can't offer something to you and not offer it to all of our customers, that would absolutely be unfair and unethical.
I realize the politically correct thing for companies to do is to kowtow to their customers and apologize profusely for something they didn't do wrong and go on and on about how the customer is always right. We have respect for this company, ourselves, our customers and the products that we sell. I refuse to allow customers to bully me or anyone in this company because they feel they should have special rights and privileges because they shop with us. Terri, we don't owe you anything. You buy products that you enjoy using and we send them to you. We do everything in our power to ensure you get your money's worth when you purchase from us by offering high quality innovative products. Terri, I have not been disrespectful to you, you have been disrespectful to us with your demands. If you do not feel like our company policies meet your needs, you can shop somewhere else. I know that people like to demand special treatment and have companies bow down to their demands, there are plenty of companies that will give you that pleasure.
Thanks, Terri. You may not understand how much we are truly grateful for you business because generally people associate companies kowtowing to them as a way to show appreciation. I am sorry if you feel as though I have overstepped my bounds as customer service is supposed to just take the hit and pretend like you have just been so wonderful no matter how badly you have treated me as a person and the blatant disregard you have for our company policies.
Thanks, I truly wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
Take care,
Julie Heskamp
Customer Service
Papertrey Ink


After reading that email I decided it was time to say goodbye so I tried to post this in the Papertrey Forum but it was removed before anyone could see it. I am hoping that those of you from the forum that follow my blog will take the time to read this. If you know of another way for me to get my post seen by more forum members please let me know. Everyone there should see this so they know what kind of people they are doing business with. 

This is the post I wrote. 


I didn’t want to bring this here but I feel I have no choice now. I have been a Papertrey Ink Customer since 2007 and have continued buying from this company and supporting them even with all their problems. For the past few weeks I have been waiting for the Silver Shimmer Cardstock to come back in stock. I have contacted CS numerous times to see when it would be back in and each time Julie would give me a date but it still was not restocked by then. I was in desperate need of this color for my business and thankfully many of you kind forum members were willing to sell me what you had in the meantime which I was very grateful for. I place large orders at least once a month and was holding off as long as I could so I get everything at once and the free shipping that comes with it. I contacted CS one more time for another ETA on it and was told by Julie that she would finally call on Monday to see what was going on. I went ahead and placed my order on Sunday because I thought it was going to be even longer until they got it in and I needed the other things. I was told it finally came in 1 day after I placed my order. I politely asked if they would waive the shipping this time since I had just placed my order and it had already gone out but was told that was not possible. She then told me that I was bullying her into changing their policies. I never did that and it was never my intention. She also stated that she went out of her way to make the call to get it which I appreciated but why was that not done weeks earlier?  I was very hurt by her response. I ended up buying enough cardstock to get the free shipping and was going to let it go but I still was not happy about how I was treated and it was weighing heavily on me so I decided to try and contact Nichole about this since she is supposed to be an owner of this company. I posted a message in the forum yesterday for her to contact me because I did not know any other way to contact her. She responded by saying the only way to get a message to her was to send it through CS which I was trying to avoid because that was the problem. I finally decided to send the message with her name in the subject line like she told me to do. This morning I got a reply from Julie saying that Nicole does not deal with CS issues and she went on to be very mean and hurtful. I am so upset right now and feel that I cannot continue to do business with them anymore. The biggest problem is that I am going to have to find other cardstock to replace what I have when I run out and I know that is not going to be easy. If anyone here knows where I can get comparable cardstock specifically color and weight please let me know. I am assuming that this thread will be locked once it is seen by them so if you are reading this before it happens you can contact me at Terrbear38@gmail.com.  To be treated this way by a business owner is absolutely unacceptable, especially after being such a loyal customer.  It greatly saddens me that Nicole Heady is just a face. Tears are falling down my face as I write this I am going to miss all of you.
Terri

Hopefully my next post will be a happier one.