**If you have not been following my updates here, you should probably read this post first to get up to speed on what's going on, why shipping is still delayed beyond the usual handling times, and why communication is still backlogged.**
*ORDERS: As I've mentioned elsewhere, I am in a hell of a Catch-22 with this shop situation. I can't close the store until I get caught up because chargebacks continue to come in, and in cases where they were credit card payments direct through the shop processor, I am getting screwed with those *regardless* of whether I can prove the item has shipped. As for Paypal disputes, once somebody escalates to a dispute, my only options for response are "I accept liabilty and will refund/have refunded" or "I can provide shipping info." I can't answer with "your order will ship as soon as I have funds in the account" or "it's set to go out next week" or anything else - so basically I hustle and try to get the package out, but I sometimes can't, and then I just have to accept the reversal/cancellation, even if I've already filled a custom-made or custom-finished order and have it sitting in a box waiting on a label.
I talked before about finally having adequate time to spend on/with the shop/altars after two academic years of working 80+ hours a week on teaching-related stuff, but the nasty Catch-22 here is that as long as I'm in the hole with the shop, all the time I put into it is not actually feeding me or my daughter (or my damned dog - more on her in a sec). So I have no choice but to work at another job as well, and I've been doing that right at full-time since the semester let out. I'm an independent contractor, in theory using the woodworking skills from growing up the daughter of two furniture craftspeople, but in practice basically doing assorted light construction for a couple of different clients, some of it woodworking but most of it just plain carrying, hammering, measuring, hauling, drilling, painting, and demolishing. It is physical labor, and while I come from strong, healthy peasant stock as I always say, I'm not in my 20s anymore (hell, I'm not in my 30s anymore, either, for that matter), and at the end of the day it's not as easy as it used to be to start a second shift of being on my feet (really a third, if you count the housekeeping/cooking/taxi-ing/similar unpaid but necessary work involved in being the mother of a dependent teenager and the daughter/granddaughter of folks who need help with things more often these days). So the hours I'd hoped to sink into the shop aren't quite getting sunk since I have to manage groceries and the power bill while I'm getting caught up. (The pay isn't all that great at this new gig, either, truth be told - in fact, it's miserable, but I'm working on remedying that.)
Ideally, my current work would involve more of this, which is a rolling "cart" for beer kegs made out of reclaimed 18th century French colonial wood and glass, made for a customer's wedding reception (and you wouldn't believe how heavy those antique doors are!)
As I've also mentioned, I got one final paycheck from my academic job, and I printed hundreds of dollars worth of labels as soon as it hit my account. It wasn't quite enough to get everything in-house shipped, but it was going to go pretty far, but then - because this is the kind of year I'm having - my 1.5 year old dog ate something she shouldn't have and had to go to the doggie ER at 2 am (where they charge you $100 just to walk in the door). Some blood panels and IVs later, my dog (whose name is Rocket for reasons that are immediately apparent as soon as you meet her in person) is fine, thank God, but the bottom line is pretty much that my dog ate your shipping label, or to be more precise, my dog's vet took all my money for your shipping label. (I'm also nearly out of ink, which is another expenditure I have to make before I can get the next batch out.)
But you can't stay mad at this face:
She's supervising, that's it - she has to inspect all the paper in the trash bags before we haul it out of the shipping area :-)
Then, as I've also previously mentioned, there are some ongoing family obligations related to being a member of a very large, close-knit Irish Catholic clan with some of the family elders truly getting on in years. There have been more hospitalizations and more traveling around for these types of things, and of course in the midst of all this my laptop died, mucking up any ability to stay on top of things while on the road, because -- yeah -- that is the kind of year I'm having.
Though I did get a picture or two of the old family homestead from my mother's father's mother's era: some land outside Bermuda, Alabama where the clan once dwelt, and then a shot of Burnt Corn Creek (you think that one's colorful - some members of the following generation settled on the banks of a creek called Turkey Branch!)
Anyway, I am steadily prepping and packing orders, but I am still behind, and I am still not flush with the business account. I've shipped a lot, but a lot of y'all are still waiting on things you expected before now, and I need to try to get the business account back into the positive again (yes, I had another chargeback this past week). And those of waiting on services are still waiting on me to get caught up with the tangible item stuff before I can dedicate time to those when I can be sure chargebacks aren't around the corner and I have enough in the bank to feed the hungry mouths around here.
I'm working like a dog, y'all, I promise (though not like my dog, who doesn't do a whole hell of a lot of anything resembling work), and I have not forgotten anyone or anything. I will make it right, and I am making progress -- just not as quickly as I'd have liked.
In good news, I have a new assistant, and let's keep our fingers crossed about this one, can we? She's just started training, her name is CK, and y'all be nice to her so I don't have to lose *yet another one.* I'm going to be nice to her too, which needs to start with paying her on time, so the pressure is on from all sides, for real. But we put in several hours tonight and will put in several more tomorrow, and have the eternal goal of one day seeing the bottom of the inbox in mind.
From now until midnight on Tues, July 14 (Central time), use the following coupon codes at checkout, good for any item or service in any store category/collection at all:
code july40 to get 40% off any order totalling $60 or more (before discount, excluding shipping).
code july30 to get 30% off any order totalling $40 or more (before discount, excluding shipping).
code july20 to get 20% off any order totalling $20 or more (before discount, excluding shipping).
For instructions on using coupon codes, see the applicable heading in the FAQ.
I plan to do at least one more sale and one more giveaway/drawing this month, later, too, but I don't know the details or dates yet. This 40% off digs deep, though, so I'm not likely to repeat that percentage in any sale offerings after this if I can avoid it. So carpe diem and all that.
Drawing for Free Gift: "Evil Eye Plushie"
As I mentioned before, my daughter definitely inherited the family crafty gene, and some of her creations lend themselves to spiritual ends, and I asked her to make something new and one of a kind for a giveaway/drawing for y'all and she came up with these plushie evil eye charm things.
The one with the beads already attached has already been gifted to a client, but the other two are up for winning - first prize will have first pick and second prize second pick. They are ready to have your custom herbs, curios, petitions, and/or personal concerns added, at which point they can be sewn up and have whatever appropriate/preferred beads, bells, feathers, mirrors, etc. attached before they come off my altars and make their way to the winners.
When she sews her little plushie things and fills them with hypoallergenic pillow stuffing, she leaves a little segment of seam unsewn so that you or I can add appropriate herbs, personal concerns, etc. suitable to your petition/intention. We can talk details via email once the winner is identified, but you could either send me things for inclusion or I can send you instructions for how to do the personalization part yourself.
Whether or not you use the July40/30/20 coupon code, you can enter to win this customized evil eye plushie by simply placing any order at the shop, no matter the amount or product/service type, and typing "evil eye plushie" into the "Notes" box. On the first or second page of the Shopify checkout system, you'll see a text box that says something like "Notes." This is the one I'm always telling you NOT to use when you want to give me more info about your order, because what you type won't print with your order and so I generally won't see it. (So you should never use it to give me customization info or leave me a note about an order or a question you want an answer to - I will NOT see it if you do this in ordinary cases.)
In this case, though, I have set up a quick and dirty workaround that will flag me when a note exists, so even though the contents of the note will not print, when I see that flag during this sale/offer, I'll manually go into the system the "back way" for the order processing rather than through the normal workflow, and I will check to see what the "note" field says. If you type "EVIL EYE PLUSHIE" there, then I will manually mark your order printout and, once, all entries are received, it will join those "in the hat" and I'll draw the winners at random
and contact them for customization details. One order equals one entry.
There will be two winners; each will receive ONE customized evil eye plushie. Please be aware of handling times for customized / custom-finished items per FAQ/TOS.
Terms of Service re. shipping/handling and prep times apply.
Read the FAQ here, including instructions on how to use coupon codes if you need them.
Read the latest status updates, including matters affecting shipping, communication, etc. here.
Your use of this site constitutes your acceptance of our Terms of Service, including your understanding of our posted shipping, handling, and turnaround times; guidelines for contacting us about a current order or service; and instructions for how to request a trace on a shipped item.