Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Remember what GOOD Customer Service is like??

Its so rare that you hear about GOOD customer service anymore...

After seeing a review blog on the Silhouette SD cutter (here) I wanted one..  I had eyeballed the Cricuts for a while, but never could justify the cost of the cutter AND all the cartridges.
But the Silhouette was MUCH more affordable.  ($200 at Overstock.com)

I got the cutter, the first couple of things Andra and I cut were paper...

Then the Vinyl I ordered came in and I was almost giddy!  I had already saved up some images to cut out in Vinyl and couldn't WAIT to try it..
Much to my disappointment, it kept peeling the letters off the vinyl while it was still cutting.
I did a little googling found out some good tips (like the fin on the blade needs to be in the 3:00 position for paper and in the 6:00 position for vinyl..) and tried again.  It still peeled.

Now, I'm fairly tech savvy - I have been a computer tech for over 10 years now..

I emailed Silhouette's customer service told them about my problem and about what I had already tried to do to fix it.
With in 2 hours, I had a response with some good troubleshooting advice.
It helped, it peeled less, but was still peeling.
So I emailed again, and this time with in 15 minutes I had a response.  After answering a couple of easy questions they informed me they were sending a new blade set to try, it seemed as though my blades were a little too long or sharp.  (Great for paper, bad for vinyl!)

It only took a couple of days to receive the replacement parts. 

I have to say I've been very impressed with how fast their customer service team has responded to my problems and how very helpful they have been.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A nut can - full of snakes...

Did I ever tell you about the time I decided to try and bring back a fullsized feather mattress on an airplane from Alaska with me?? 
Watching Matt and I trying to fit the last blanket I made into its box reminded me of when I did it.. (This was a blanket that the person sent me fabric to use, so I wanted to return their scrap pieces.  I don't usually have this much trouble trying to fit a blanket into a flat rate box - I was just sending back a lot of additional fabric with it!  lol)

I moved from Alaska to Oklahoma for college - because my sister was leaving Alaska with her new hubby, my parents were close to retiring and planned on moving to Oklahoma, and my brother was thinking Oregon sounded nice.  I didn't want to be left up there by myself, so I moved to Okie land ahead of them...
I didn't get to take much with me, just what I could carry on airplanes on trips back and forth.

I wanted my feather bed..

But how would you get a featherbed on an airplane from Alaska to Oklahoma?

Well you visit right after Christmas, and recieve a luggage set as a gift.. 
You decide which one of your suitcases is the largest.
Then you fold said feather bed and stuff as much of it as you can into the suitcase (at this point, 3/4 of it is probably still hanging out.) and you sit and/or stand on it til you let most of the air out between the feathers..  And you shove a little more in quickly, before it has a chance to start taking air back in..
Then sit and de-air whats in the suitcase..
You do this for about 2 hours and find yourself straddling your suitcase, holding onto it for dear life while screaming for someone to come help you zip it, because one wrong move and  it will be like opening one of those cans of nuts with the snakes in it that will pop out and surprise you..
And then you wrap the outside of your suitcase with at least 2 luggage straps, in case the zippers don't hold and hope to God that the TSA didn't choose that bag for a random inspection..

On one hand, we hoped TSA wouldn't inspect that bag (this was pre-9/11) and on the other hand - I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when they did!  LOL 
(Of couse I probably wouldn't have ever seen the suitcase or featherbed again..  But it would have been funny!)

Ahh good times..

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My 2nd - 10 blankets..

I posted the first 10 blankets for Anja's Creations a few weeks ago..  I now have made 10 more!  (Boy those came a lot faster than the first 10 did!)
(And I have 2 more I'm waiting for fabric to arrive for already!)

I've really enjoyed making all of these.  Each persons taste has been so unique, and each one of these blankets has been so different, its really been fun to sit back and see what kind of fabric I'm running for next!

Anyway,  I actually forgot to take a picture of the lappad for this one (until it was already boxed and I was in line at the Post Office!  :(   )   It was done with these 2 fabrics and came out looking really cool! 


This was ordered as a matching lap pad and blanket combo, and was my first blanket with minky on both the front of the blanket and the back.  It was a fun challange (minky is both slick AND stretchy)..  If you look closely you can see Ellie embroidered in the green side of the blanket, right next to where the brown is folded down.

A Navy Blue Flannel, with a Dotted Blue Minky...

This lappad/small blanket was my biggest challange yet!  This one was for a little guy who needed it to fit in his wheel chair after suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury (always have your kids wear bike helmets!!).  They needed the weights to be able to be removed,  so they could change the weight as needed.  It was not easy, but Matt and I do love a good challange!  (He did help me quite a bit with this one...)  I'm super happy with this one, becuase it LOOKS just like all of of my other blankets, but one end velcros closed, so they can slide the tubes of pellets in and out as needed.

My next all minky, was done in all pink...  It was so delicate looking...  :D

This planets blanket is one of my favorites  - just for how vibrant the fabric is!  It really was a VERY COOL blanket!!

I did another flames lap pad, but this time with a black minky backing.  Which also turned out very cool!

This brown and pink combo turned out very elegant!  :D

And last, but not least - a very cute pink whales print..  For a little girl who loves fish apparently!  (And a little pocket in the corner was requested to carry a little lovie fish apparently!  LOL  it was really cute too!) 
(Sorry about the lighting I took this picture at like 5am and it was still dark out!)

Thats all folks!!!!  :D

Friday, September 3, 2010

Coolest Mommy Award!

Ok, so I am awarding myself the "Coolest Mommy Award!" for a couple of weeks (don't worry Moms, it won't be long til I screw up and will have to give the award back for bad behavior..)

Anyway - Lane is OBSESSED with Star Wars.  Not this new Clone Wars junk, but old school Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Millennium Falcon REAL STAR WARS.

All we could find was the Clone Wars junk on backpacks and lunch boxes...   Not really interested.
(Ok ok, we did find these totally rockin Chewbaca Backpacks http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=chewbaca+backpack   but I couldn't bring myself to drop $50 on a backpack that wouldn't hold a folder...  I read the reviews..  LOL) 

So I got a plain old Target brand backpack for $8.99, a plain old Target Brand Lunch Box for $3.99, some inkjet iron on printer paper for dark colors (it was $7.99 before my 40% off coupon at Michaels, for 5 sheets) and a little free Google Image browsing...
And voila - Coolest Mommy Award Material!  :D

I'm not going to lie, it wasn't easy to iron on the images with out melting the bags.  LOL  In fact, if you looked close enough at the dark gray seam to the right of the Star Wars logo, you'd see where I did infact melt the lunch box..  But what ever, he is happy.

And my action shot:
(I didn't do anything crafty with Andra's backpack, though she is still carrying the soft lunchbox I made her last year...)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

An Inexpensive Halloween Wreath

So on one of my many adventures of window shopping through Michaels I saw a Martha Stewart Halloween wreath making kit.  It was all black and silver paper leaves that you attached to a small metal ring.  The picture on the packaged looked cool, but I REFUSED to pay $15 for a wreath that would probably only last  a year.  But I really liked the way the wreath looked in the picture and couldn't just leave well enough alone...

So I dropped by the Dollar Tree, and spent $1 on one of those leaf garlands in fall colors.  $1 on a foam wreath ring.
Other items I used from my craft stash at home:
Floral Tape, $1 dollar tree
black and silver craft paint, and glitter 50c (when on sale at Hobby Lobby or Michaels)
wire cutters (because the leaf stems have wires running through them sometimes..)
Cost:  Less than $5 (really it only cost me $2, but if you had to buy everything new, minus the tools, less than $5.)
(The King made it into my picture, but the garland didn't, I have no idea..)

I clipped all the stems off the garland, leaving as much of the stem on the leaf as possible and painted 1/2 to 2/3 of the leaves black (sprinkling a little of the glitter on the leaves while the paint was still wet, to adhere to.)
I painted a thin layer of the silver over the yellow and orange leaves, you could still see the color, but it was a silvery color (I could have painted another coat or two to cover the orange and yellow-ness with all silver, but I kind of like the way it looked..)

Then using the floral tape, I started attaching the leaves (all the tips pointed the same direction), dispursing the silvery ones through out..

And for added measure, on my door...
This wreath still looks the same, is 3 years old and survived the move back from Colorado to Oklahoma.. 

I love it so!  :D

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My first 10 blankets....

My first blanket...  THE BEGINNING...  :D
Personal sized, blue robots

Blanket #2:
Personal Sized, Blue and Brown Puppies..
(I changed my 'design' between the 2nd and 3rd blankets.)
Blanket #3
Twin Sized, Green John Deere Tractors

Blanket #4
Personal Sized, Black and Blue Sharks and Fish

Blanket #5
Twin Sized, Pink Paisley

Blanket #6
Twin Sized, Blue Airplanes

Blanket #7
Twin, Blue and Sponge Bob

Blanket #8
Lap Pad Sized, Brown Curious George

Blanket #9
Personal Sized, Red Kitties

Blanket #10
Personal Sized, Pink Fancy Nancy

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Idiot vs. Punk Kids

I'm the idiot. 
And there are some F-ING STUPID PUNK kids out there.

Yesterday tops one of my worst days in a LONG time list.

I took my kids to White Water Bay yesterday.  We were going to be there for about an hour to an hour and a half, run out and pick up my hubby, and come back for the evening.
On a NORMAL day trip, I would have a bag with my keys and towels with me, and think its totally ridiculous to pay $10 to rent a locker for that kind of stuff.

Today was different.  On our way to the petree dish park, we had to stop at my office for a luncheon, so we didn't just wear our suits, we all had on (nice) outfits and had to change there.
I was also waiting for a text from hubby to say he was ready for me to come get him, so I brought my phone in. 
Being the naive RETARD that I am, I've never had a problem with anyone messing with my (usually empty) bag, so I stuffed my beloved IPhone in my left pocket with my $3 to get refills on our drinks, in my right pocket, my car keys.  I rolled my jeans up really tightly, put them at the bottom of the bag, put my shirt/bra, and the kids outfits on top of that.  And then the 3 beach towels on top of those.
I put the bag where I could easily see it near some chairs and lockers, as I've done before.
We went around the lazy river, saw the bag on the way by.
We went around the lazy river again, still saw the bag.
Played in the wave pool, bag still fine..
Went for a ride down the twisty slides, decided it was time to check for the text - BAG IS GONE.
Our shoes were there, our drinks were there - WHERE THE F IS MY BAG!?
I'm flipping out.

The security guys were really nice, sincere and helpful considering I was the IDIOT at fault for leaving my bag out and not renting the $10 locker.  And they technically didn't HAVE to help me. I kick myself for thinking "$10 for a locker!?  That's insane!  I'll only be here for an hour!"

Lets take inventory of what was in my bag...
IPhone, replacement cost $400
Keys, replacement cost easily $100+ because its the ONLY key we have right now to my van, Matt lost his 2 weeks ago. (The key blank alone is $35, plus the cut fee, plus the chip programming fee, and we would have to pay GM to release the cut code based on the VIN #, plus my truck key, my house key, my parents house key, clicker thing,etc..)
1 of 2 pairs of jeans that I presently own, $30 (if I can get them on sale)
1 of 2 bras that I own ($45 since the annual sale is over)
1 of 4 shirts I own that are nice enough to wear to work ($15, if I can get one on sale)
One of the kids "nice" outfits (the ones I reserve for going by work, church events, etc.) $30, if I can replace them on sale.
Our last can of sunblock ($8, if I can get it on sale)
and lots of little odds and ends that I keep in that bag. 

So now I'm going to be out AT LEAST $628 because I thought a $10 locker fee was CRAZY.

I was taken outside the gate to the guest relations office to call my husband, HYSTERICAL. And to fill out a lost/stolen report.
Matt comes to "help".  He is FUMING (understandably).   He asks if I've called the police to file a report.  It was all I could do to not scream "WITH WHAT!?  THEY STOLE MY PHONE!" at him.  But I held it together and explained that to be able to call him, they had to hand a phone receiver through the little hole in the security window.
We go back in the park to look around.  Andra and I hit the women's main locker/bathroom - Matt and Lane hit the men's.
Andra spots one of our beach towels in one of the changing room floors.  I picked it up and confirmed it was ours.  We looked through all the changing room stalls, shower stalls, and bathroom stalls, when they weren't occupied and gawked at every ones bags as they walked by.  I figured though if they used one of our towels to change clothes on (which is what it looked like they had done), that our bag left A LONG time ago.  We looked around the park a little more and decided to just go home.  I needed to go get Matt's clicker for my van (at least we have that at home, right!?) because my purse is locked in the van and I am NOT leaving it there over night.
The very silent car ride home sucked.  It was close to rush hour, I was sitting there feeling very naked in my wet bathing suit, knowing 1/2 the world could see down into our little car.  Matt silently handed me his IPhone, so I could start changing passwords on my email accounts they would have access to on my phone.  He had already called and had it shut off, but I still didn't have any warm and fuzzies about it.

We get home.  I call the police and file a police report.  They had our season passes, that have our names on them and the keys to my house.  It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to find our address and come rob us blind.   I called my parents.  My Dad went to go park next to my van and watch it (and my purse) til we could get back there with our truck and trailer (because the dealership requires that you bring the vehicle with you to cut a new key) and my Mom offered to keep the kids and  feed them dinner.  My Dad was afraid they'd figure out which car was mine, and take my purse since they had my keys.  There were A LOT of cars there, and my remote only unlocks/locks the car, it doesn't flash any lights or operate the horn or anything fancy like that, so they would have had to have worked hard to find my car...  At least until the park closed and I was the only car left sitting in the lot.

We get there and find my Dad and van sitting right where we left it..  The guys finagle the trailer right in front of my van and start pulling out ramps, chains, and the come-a-long.  While my Dad and Matt are trying to winch the van up on to the trailer, I decide to get out of their way and go walk the park one last time to see if I spot our towels or bag or anything familiar looking..

I stopped by the guest relations window, just to see if they had magically had anything turned in and the girls sitting there smiled REALLY big at me, before I could even say anything and went "We just hung up with your answering machine!!!" and held my bag up at me!
I hugged her neck.
Then she told me the best news was that everything listed on my lost/stolen report was still in the bag, including my IPhone and keys!!!!  They found it in the bathroom!
I hugged their necks, promised them cookies, and RAN. 
Ran through the parking lot in flip flops and no bra (I put on a tank top with a shelf bra in it, that had to be a sight!  LOL) yelling at Matt to stop breaking his back to pull the van up on the trailer with the come-a-long, I HAD MY KEYS!!!!!!!!!!!

So at first, I thought maybe they went in and dug through the bag quickly, didn't see anything of value, and discarded it with out checking pockets and stuff..
But after I got in my car and started looking at everything more closely.  They had 1. used the towels, they were soaked.  and 2. stolen the $3 in change that was in the same pocket as my IPhone!

They had to be STUPID PUNK KIDS that stole my bag and totally RUINED my day.

Important life lesson, the $10 locker fee may seem totally ridiculous, until you realize just how much $ it would cost to replace everything you carry with/on you at a time.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

RIP Lucas

Living in a teeny apartment on the 2nd floor while going to OU, all I heard for MONTHS  was"I want a lellow lab!"   When we finally got a place with a yard , he ran out and found his "Lello Lab!"

You were quite possibly the cutest yellow lab puppy EVER.
The minute we put you down on the floor of our crappy little rent house, I asked  "Do you remember his paws being that large when we got him!??"  It was that moment we realized we weren't getting any ol "small" lab.  Though, we never expected you to top out at 110lbs..

Even in that incredibly awkward adolescent stage, when your ears were too big for your head and your legs were too long for your body - you were still adorable...
We didn't mind the sleeping partner...

We also didn't mind picking up the couch cushions hourly, while you found that "sweet" spot to nap in...
Truth being told, it was no real loss when you ate the ugly recliner...

It was pretty easy to forgive you for all the rolls of toilet paper you ate the middle out of, and for forcing us to have to go buy a garbage can with a lid..  (Though I never did understand why you passed up the plate of french fries for the box of kleenex on the coffee table though!!)

We cherished the hours of throwing tennis balls, and playing tug-a-rope...

The hours of pitching balls and sticks into the lake... and watching that dangerously thick and strong tail of yours wag underwater...

We had no idea when you claimed that cushion on the  (newer) couch, that you would go as far as to stare our friends, family, and US off the couch when we sat there for too long..

You barely waited for the carpet installer to leave, before you made it YOURS...

You were right there to meet your new baby sister (and new baby brother years later),

Admittedly, you were a little jealous of the attention the kiddos got at first and kept popping up in their pictures...  But I didn't mind.  Looking back, I'm glad you did it now!

But you were always so calm, gentle, and well natured around the babies (even when I probably should have been watching them a little more closely.)
Looking through our pictures this weekend, it really struck me how much of our life you truly were a part of - and how many of our pictures you (or part of you) are in!

You were very concerned with the new crying baby we brought home, and kept trying to lay on his bouncy..
You never once growled when the kids ran you over with the walker....

Time went by.  You brought the tennis ball to us less and less..
Your face started showing your age..
Your walk confirmed your age...

You weren't happy about it, but you mostly tolerated us bring Oliver into your home.  Thank you for your help training him..

Thank you for being such a loving and loyal companion for the last 12 years.    Even with the handfuls of your hair that I will probably continue to find for the next 20 years - I can confidently say that you are the BEST DOG EVER.

Cool Paw Luke 
May 26, 1998 - July 9, 2010