What are you working on this week? I'm feeling a little under the weather, fighting some sort of summer cold, but of course I've still got more than a couple things going on...
Let me start with a couple of things going on with my website, International shipping, and packing slips. You can skip the next two paragraphs if shipping and back-end of website stuff makes your eyes glaze over.
First off, I want to apologize to people who live internationally who have maybe been putting things in their cart and then running away screaming when they saw the shipping prices. While I did know that the United States Postal Service raised rates recently, what I *didn't* know was that my website host had made a few "helpful" changes and one of those changes resulted in a default setting that I didn't know about until yesterday... default box size. Apparently there's a "helpful" new setting on the back end of my online shop that tells USPS what size box is being used by people at checkout, and this default setting is one that helps USPS determine what shipping choices are available. For some reason the default setting for the box available was like, seriously, the size of a small boat, and that meant that because First Class International has a size limit, it wasn't available as a shipping choice. AUGH! Grr, argh. Technology! I was able to get this default setting changed from small boat to skein of yarn, and that means that First Class International (which takes up to four pounds as long as it fits in the default box size) is now available again. I had an overseas friend check it yesterday to make sure it was showing up available (because it's always shown up as available to me, on the back end of my website) and it is now there. WHEW!
Second; packing slips! I like to include packing slips in with customer's orders. That way we both know everything was shipped (as I can check mark each item as I put it in the box, and write next to an item not yet shipping, as in the case of a custom order that will take a few weeks, approximately when it will ship). I also like to fold it so that the address of the customer is facing up and is the first thing seen when the box is being opened -- I do this on the random probably-never-gonna-happen chance that the to/from address on the box becomes illegible or rips off, and someone from the postal service has to open the box to find an address. Old-fashioned of me, I know. Well, since the beginning of May, my website has only been randomly letting me print packing slips. They "updated" the Order Printer application, and now nine times out of ten when I go to print, I either get sent to the app page and told that I don't have the app and to install it (which makes me want to cry because it takes me to THE APP PAGE. Where the app *is*.) or it takes me to an error page telling me that the page I want doesn't exist. Sometimes it'll let me print them out, but I will have spent fifteen minutes beforehand selecting the packing slip, hitting print, getting redirected, going back to the order page, selecting the packing slip, hitting print, so on and so on until Ragnarok. It's really wearing me down, y'all. I'm torn between just not sending packing slips any more, or designing a template in Word, into which I can copy and paste your items and addresses, and print that out. That will be time-consuming, but will it be as time-consuming (and as head-desky) as continuing to get sent to an error page...? Clearly I have something to work out here, and I don't yet know what the best answer is (OK, the *best* answer is Shopify fixing Order Printer, but since they whistle innocently and tell me that nobody ELSE is having this problem, them fixing it seems pretty low on the horizon of reality). Can you tell this has made me grumpy? ANYWAY. My point is that for a few weeks, if you don't see a packing slip in with your order, I'm really sorry, and I'm trying to work things out.
ON TO WHAT ELSE I'M WORKING ON! YOU CAN START READING AGAIN!
In ceramics, I'm handbuilding and throwing this week. I need to restock the one-pound butter dishes, and also the Call Box mugs (so well received! Thanks, y'all!). I'm hoping for a bisque firing next week, so expect restocks the week after that - about two weeks from tomorrow(ish).
In soap, I'm getting ready to list SueAnn's Garden this week - Friday! - and am firming up plans for next month's new soap... a new masculine scent that will knock your socks off. In case you didn't see my newsletter this week, I'm committed to beefing up the soap a little, and have something planned for every month for the rest of the year. I KNOW, RIGHT?! Exciting!
In yarn, I've restocked Changes (I believe Yolen has already sold out again - I love that all y'all love it!) and I believe the next week I'm dyeing yarn is the second week of July... so expect some restocks then. I'm also working on a new limited edition color, Cranberry Butter. I've got a serious crush on it!
In knitting, I'm about ready to test the new limited edition color to see how it works up, and I've got a pair of socks on the needles that I'm alllllllllllmost done with.
In shop cats, well, there must be a sign up somewhere that says we're accepting applications, because we're up to five stray cats on the property now. The Original Big Orange Cat, whom we saw the week we moved in a year ago, but is scarce. He's been a lot more on the scene lately because he appears to have made a wife out of Big Black Cat's little daughter, Little Black Kitty. They now have a son, Littlest Black Cat. And of course there is Little Gray Kitty, everyone's favorite. Oh, and Gramps, the big mean tortoise, has moved from the burrow he dug in my back yard a year ago, and has now dug a burrow at the corner of my studio. He does not make the best choices for his homes, but I admire his tenacity. Sigh.
Oh! And I'm spinning.... the Tour de Fleece is coming up, and I've committed to spinning in a friend's group. I want to start fresh, with all new fiber, and that means cleaning off the bobbins with what I've had sitting around on them for a while. Spinning more means eventual restocks in the handspun yarn section of my site, so, yay! It also means I'll whittle down the embarrassingly large fiber stash that I have. Seriously, y'all, it's intense.
So, that's me, that's my week. What about y'all? What are you working on?