Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I've had better weeks

So I'm not one to complain, okay actually I am one to complain. It ranks about number 3 on my list of "Favorite Things To Do In My Spare Time", right after 1. crafting and 2. cussing. Seriously, there are few things more gratifying than being able to utter a tirade of profanity and since I can usually cuss while complaining (at least when the kids are not around) it's like a two for one special! The best thing is child free craft nights with the gals because then I can do all three, craft-cuss-complain, at the same time, and that . . . well, that is when all is right with the world.

I'm glad I got that out in the open. I mean I try to keep things professional on here since I'm promoting my craft business and all, but I'm not one to deceive my followers and customers. I'm a complainer and a cusser and darn proud of it. (see how I didn't cuss there - I'm still professional, sort of)

Now that you're aware - let me commence the complaining. First there was the cold. It started as they all do, with just a slight soreness of the throat and BAM, next thing you know I'm pouring salt water in my nostrils with a device that looks like the little teapot from hell.
I'm not kidding people. My friend swears by this Nettie pot thing that you fill with salt water and pour through one nostril and the water comes out the other nostril (I'm not going to include a picture of it in action in case anyone is eating or has recently eaten before reading this post - google it if you're interested) and I was so desperate for the use of my nasal passages that I gave it a try and let me just say that I'm still waking up with nightmares of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, holding me down and pouring salty tea up my nose.

I couldn't get my head at the right angle or something and instead of the water flowing freely into one nasal passage and out the other, it proceeded directly down my throat. So not only was I still unable to breath through my nose, but I was also literally drowning myself.

Then the next week my laptop up and dies. Yep, just completely dies. No warning, no gasping of breath, no hardrive palpitations - I didn't even have the opportunity to give it a Bayer or perform keyboard compressions. It's still at the repair place and we've yet to receive the diagnostic report on what's wrong with it.

The worst part is that I'm terrible at backing up my files. There are three months worth of photos that have not been backed up on disc on that computer. All of my image files for my Halloween tags and Retro gift tags are on there. I'm literally having a nervous breakdown about whether or not they'll be salvageable from the carcass of that laptop.
I haven't seen Ewan McGregor in a kilt for a week and a half people! (he was my desktop wallpaper - imagine this picture below tiled across the screen! Ten kilted Ewan's giving me that look - and now I'm working on the ancient dinosaur PC with a Bob the Builder wallpaper staring back at me - sigh)

And things have not been getting better, they've been getting worse. Today I merrily went to the post office to ship off an item that I had sold and was lambasted with a shipping price almost triple of what I had expected. It cost me as much to ship the item as I had earned in selling it.

Normally I estimate my shipping expenses by researching similar items on Etsy from other sellers. Not only does this give me a good idea of what actual shipping costs will be, but it also keeps me competitive with other sellers. Unfortunately in this instance it didn't work. According to my not so friendly postal worker, my item was too heavy for first class shipping and therefore was bumped into a higher price range.

I didn't weigh the item ahead of time so I can't say for sure what it weighed but it certainly didn't seem very heavy to me. It was a book, a vintage baby book/album and I shipped it in a 10 x 14 padded envelope. I've purchased books online, much heavier books than this one and I've never had to pay that much for shipping. One of my friends belongs to a book sharing club and ships books quite often and has never paid more than $3 to ship a book. This one cost me almost $8 to send off.

So what am I doing wrong? Did I not notice that the postal employee placed her 2 quart slurpee on the scale along with my package? Does everyone else who is shipping items like these for $3 have some sort of a trick that I'm unaware of?

I'll be the first to admit my ignorance of postal rates and regulations. After all I've got precious little spare time and what I do have is obviously spent crafting, cussing and complaining. I haven't made researching postal rates a high priority, though after today it has moved up on my list.

I was hoping though that some of you might have some suggestions/tips/tricks for me. What are your shipping strategies? Flat rate boxes and envelopes? Shipping in bulk? Excess cleavage? If you sell things online how do you calculate your shipping costs?

Help me out here people.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm still alive!

It's been a while since I last posted and no, I haven't been incarcerated for moss thievery, but that's only because I have yet to be caught!

Things have just been a little crazy around here due to the start of the school year and the soccer season and all. My son has been in kindergarten for only 2 weeks and has already infected me with a horrendous cold so I'm battling that as well.
However, there has been some crafting. I scrounged through my scrap paper and whipped out some new clothespin magnets that I've listed in the shop.

I've also renewed some of my Halloween items since the holiday is fast approaching.

I've got some more projects in the works and as soon as I gain the use of both my nasal passages, I might actually make some progress.