Monday’s How Does Your Garden Grow

How Does Your Garden Grow 6-29-09

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Oh My God, Alpacas…

… Are freaking adorable!!!

Today was the grand re-opening at A Likely Yarn. We had a bunch of wonderful customers, two classes, door prizes, a giant sock monkey, and ALPACAS!

Dreamland Alpacas came to show two of their beautiful baby girls, Jasmine (brown) and Arcadia (cream). Jasmine was a bit nervous all day but Arcadia was so sweet! I love alpaca kisses!! Arcadia gave me bunches of kisses 😀 I’m planning on visiting the farm soon.

Jasmine & Arcadia

Jasmine & Arcadia

Me & Arcadia

Me & Arcadia

Jasmine

Arcadia

When I showed my hubby the photos, he said that I looked completely happy with them, and well, I was.

If you’re in the Abindon, VA area tomorrow, Dreamland Alpacas will be back with two of their little boys and there will be more Grand Re-opening celebrations.

Friday FO’s

Hurray! I have some books done! There’s only four books to show for all the work I’ve been doing but I like them.

Stack of finished books

Two have covers from a vintage science book about The Cell. It has some great full page photos and drawings.

The Liver Cell

Glowing Bits of Science

One looks like a plain jane craft paper cover but the inside has coffee stained end papers that I made.

Coffee Stained Endpaper

The last is a little book with surveyors on the cover.

Surveyors Book

I also finished my Trekking XXL knee high socks.

Circus Knee Socks

This is a little crochet purse that is a shop sample for a class I’ll be teaching next month. It’s made with Classic Elite’s Soft Linen which is such a wonderful yarn.

Crochet Bag

Finally is the Net of Justice bag from Handknit Heroes Issue #2. I love this little bag. I made it with just a bit over half of a ball of Hempathy.

Net of Justice Bag

I love the detail in the bottom of the bag.

Net of Justice Bag Bottom

The Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Etsy Transaction

I debated with myself for a long time before deciding to write this post. It is not one of my typical posts and leans toward the ranty side so I completely understand if you want to skip over this one and not read it, I will not be offended in the least.

The seller name & item have not been included in this post though I really want to tell you who it is and to stay away from their shop.

At the beginning of May, I decided to treat myself to a little something from Etsy. I went through my favs and decided what I wanted to order. What I decided on was from a local seller who lives less than 20 miles from me. Perfect, I’ll be getting something awesome and I’ll be supporting a local artist. I bought and paid for the item and quickly received a message from the seller thanking me for the order but there was a problem with the item. The item had several parts to it but one part wasn’t available so a new one had to be made but it would be mailed soon.

So I waited for the item to come, one week, ten days, two weeks, went by when finally three weeks after ordering I emailed to ask where my item was. I was told that a family emergency had come up but that the item would be shipped that evening. [For the record, it wasn’t exactly a family emergency; it was a sick godson, not an actual immediate family member or even blood relative.] I’m not one to want to make things harder during a stressful time so I politely said to not rush and gave my condolences. The seller must have taken this as “mail it next year but only if your life is peachy” because I never received that package that I was told was being mailed that evening.

Fast forward to the beginning of June, it has been one month since I have ordered so I sent another email waited for two days for a response but didn’t get one. I thought that maybe my email got lost in the Spam filter so I sent an etsy convo… and waited… and waited… after a week of not getting a reply from either the email or the convo, I reported the transaction to Etsy and filed a PayPal dispute. Another week went by when I finally received a response from the seller through Etsy & PayPal. The seller said that I had told them that it was fine to take their time and that I would receive a refund.

I checked my account, nope, no refund there. I sent a message through Etsy & Paypal stating that I was told I would get a refund and that I hadn’t received it. *cricket, cricket* No response. I waited another week, sent another message saying that I still haven’t received a reply or a refund. Still no response. I contacted Etsy to ask if there was a next step or anything else I can do. No response from them either. (I could, at this point, go on a rant a dozen pages long about Etsy Admin and their complete lack of competence or customer service but I will save that for another day).

Two weeks after the last response from the seller, I received a notice from PayPal that my dispute would be closing very soon and if a resolution had not been met then I could escalate it to a PayPal claim where they would investigate. So I did. We will see how that goes.

I never wanted it to get to this point. I am really disappointed. I was so excited to be supporting a local artist because there aren’t many of us around this area. I live in a small rural area where the school system and community only supports & cares about the football team. We recently received a donation for an Astroturf football field, Titan-tron scoreboard, and new field house (I know ridiculous huh? It’s freaking High School football!) but the marching band has to do fund raisers just to pay for transportation to away games, the art lab is in a one room trailer (not even connected to the rest of the school), has very little funds and has to do fund raisers to buy basic supplies and we don’t even have a theater group. Other than taking classes at the community college, there aren’t any available art outlets for adults; we do not even have an art/craft supply store. I want to see the arts community here grow. I want to see the community take an interest in something other than sports and the false hopes & dreams of the high school football players. I want to do every little bit I can to help foster that growth even though I’m just a small drop in a big pond (or should I compare it to a stagnate swamp).

But I digress… I really hoped that, like me, this local artist, would be happy to find another local artist on Etsy. It just really upsets me that they would act this way and not want to work it out. They are just content with keeping my money, not sending me the item, and not even responding to my messages. Do I believe that the godson was actually sick? Maybe. Do I believe that in two months time the seller didn’t have time to check email, pick up their own mail or go to the post office, no. It was just blatant disregard for me and my messages. In all my years of buying from various sites like Ebay, Etsy, and Amazon, I have never had a situation that had to be taken this far to (hopefully) find a resolution. In fact, I can’t even recall a single transaction that I didn’t receive the item. Had they just responded to my emails & messages I wouldn’t be as upset by this whole thing as I am. After nearly two months, it is getting pretty old. I just want my money back and to be done with it. I’ll stick to buying local art through local places from now on.

Just a bit of advice to sellers out there: If you are in a situation where you will not be able to meet the demands of your shop for what ever reason, even if it is just one sale that could go wrong, please put your shop on vacation. Please don’t leave your shop open where buyers will end up confused and frustrated at you, your shop, and lack of communication. It may not be a priority when the stress comes but it will only add to your own stress if something like this happens.

WIP Wednesday

This is going to be a quick, down & dirty, just the facts mam, WIP Wednesday. I feel like I have been working non-stop all week… but still just treading water. Sunday, I spent six hours gluing book covers. Monday, I was in the studio from 6-10 gluing book covers. Yesterday, I was again in the studio until 10:00, well, gluing book covers. The thing is, I’m not even done gluing book covers! Tonight, I actually got some binding done (photos of those on Friday) but here it is, 11:00 pm, and I’m just getting finished up in the studio. This photo is of a concertina binding that I also glued up during all that cover gluing.

Book in progress

On top of all that gluing, I’m still clicking away on the Siren Shawl and I’ve started a sweater. I’m on the second ball of M&K Eco Ull to make the Buttony Sweater (Ravelry Link). I’ve been wanting to make this sweater for well over two years. I just kept putting it off but I’ve finally taken the plunge and cast on, and knit through the first ball.

I’ve done a gauge swatch to start a Norah Gaughan skirt pattern (Ravelry Link) from Knit.1 Spring/Summer 2008. I’m making it in Summer Linen.

On a side note, I had a wonderful lunch with my dad’s side of the family today & my brother. Earlier in the week I got a bit of mail from my dad. He always draws little pictures on the back and it makes me smile. I love special mail.

Dad Sends Awesome Mail

Monday’s How Does Your Garden Grow

I have a lot of tomatoes. The two plants that I planted in the ground are loaded down with them. The three in pots that were planted later aren’t doing as well but I think they’ll come around in time.

Lots of tomatoes

Here’s the start of the first pumpkin on the vine.

Start of a pumpkin

My pepper plants aren’t doing well at all. I think it’s a combination of bugs and the neighborhood cats. I have one plant that I think will make it. But… this past week a volunteer pumpkin started growing right in front of it. I don’t want to pull it up so I think I’ll just wait and see if they can happily live together.

Poor peppers & a volunteer pumpkin

This scary little fella came to visit me while I was sitting on my porch swing. It has a white dot on it’s back and it’s legs are white striped and he’s a hairy little fella too.

Eeek!  A Spider!

Road Trip

Ok, ok, I know it’s friday and this post is supposed to be “Friday FO’s” but…. like I said on Wednesday, I feel like I’m treading water. I’ve gotten so much progress done this week, but I don’t have a single finished object to show for it.

I do, however, have a Road Trip story, short, but a story nonetheless.

I met my dear friend and LYS coworker this morning and headed to Penland School of Crafts. We hit the bookstore & coffee shop. I picked up some bookbinding supplies, had an amazingly delicious blackberry lime Italian soda and a giant peanut butter cookie, and bought a very cool postcard. We also took a look at a couple of the resident artist studios.

Penland School of Crafts

Penland School of Crafts

From there we headed into Asheville. I cradled & cuddled and ended up buying a skein of malabrigo sock yarn and lace at Yarn Paradise. We had lunch across the street which was delicious. Hamburger, feta potato salad, and pea salad.

Next was Bookworks. I Love Bookworks. For real, I could have drooled all over the equipment there. I wish it was closer to me or we had some place similar. The employee we met was so super friendly & helpful. I want to go back in September for Bookopolis.

Earth Guild was nice. I didn’t buy anything but I did drool all over some leather (ok not literally, but you know). The book selection was nice too. Across the street is True Blue Art Supplies which has a good selection of bookbinding supplies. I picked up a beautiful flocked deep purple damask paper that I really want to make something for myself out of. I also picked up another pretty Japanese paper.

Our last stop was at The Chocolate Fetish… ok, you may remember from some older posts that I do not at all like chocolate, so really, what was I doing in a chocolate shop? I ended up buying a white chocolate cashew frog, kind of like a turtle. It was delicious. The funny thing, Karen didn’t buy chocolate either!

The drive home was beautiful. I had not been on I-26 yet and it was an amazing view. Though I had my camera with me all day I only took the two photos at Penland. I instead knit away on the trekking xxl socks, which are almost complete and I’ve decided that they are to be knee socks.

It was a wonderful road trip with great places to visit, excellent weather, and the best company.

WIP Wednesday

After my busy week & weekend, I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things. This week I’m working on more and more books. I’ve spent the past three evenings in the studio but I swear it just feels like I’m just treading water instead of getting anywhere. I did get some of my book boards cut, which has left me sore all over. I don’t have a flat surface large enough to work with the full size boards except the floor. I wish I had the house space and money to buy a board shear but alas, I do not. I have cloth covered hardback covers waiting to join their text blocks, sets of book board & text blocks waiting for the book board to receive covers, text blocks & covers waiting to be bound, and text blocks in waiting for anything. I also have needle books still waiting to be bound.

Cloth Hard Covers
Bookboards & text blocks waiting for Covers
Text Blocks
Waiting to be bound

I’m working on a few projects for A Likely Yarn that are shop samples of classes I’ll be teaching later this year. One is a hat from a Fiber Trends pattern made in Encore, one is a small crochet purse made in Classic Elite’s Soft Linen (which I love), and one (my fave) is a amigurumi Elephant. I’m almost finished with the Net of Justice bag but I don’t have a photo of it.

Hat WIP
Crochet Bag WIP
Elephant WIP

I’m (still) working on a couple of personal projects. The Siren Shawl, which I’m half way done with, and the Trekking XXL socks, that I’ll be finished with as soon as I run out of yarn.

Shawl progress
Socks progress