Saturday, January 28, 2012

Where to start?

This has been a busy, eventful week.  I'll start with the most expensive.  Got a phone call last Friday from my credit card processor.  This is never a good thing.  In the 20-some years we've been taking credit cards electronically, we've had umpteen jillion processors and none of them have wanted to talk with me.  I always call them.  Who they are is not something I concern myself about usually, but Friday I was forced to by a very sensible-sounding female (girl, she was young, I could tell) who told me that my credit card equipment was antiquated and I needed to replace it pdq.  To the tune of $650. which I could spread over several months.  

So, Thursday these beauties entered my life.
I waited until Friday morning to disconnect my old system and install these beauties.  Everything went surprisingly quickly.  Piece of cake!  And then, the day ended and I needed to "close my batch".  No instructions anywhere.  So, I called the Help number only to be told by a recording to not call on the phone line hooked to the machine in case they had to do some programming. Duh!  Hang up, dig out my cell phone, and call again.  The person on the other end of the line can't find me by my customer number (perhaps because it is 20 years old?) and while she is looking, the shop phone rings.  It was a designer returning my call from earlier in the week.  I explained my situation, wrote down her number, hung up and tried to help with my customer number situation.  Thank goodness, "the source of all technical knowledge in the western world" found me in her system and in 30 seconds gave me the magic formula for closing the batch.  Hooray!  FYI I do like the new system, primarily because it prints the customer's name on the receipt.  What a help when the signature is indecipherable.  There are several added steps for security purposes when you're doing mail order and don't have the card to swipe which may be a pain later.  So far no cards have been unreadable, so that will be another new adventure.

And this morning when I went to nearby shops to see if they could use my duplicate paper rolls, I realized that I really have been behind the times.  I guess those rolls will become the new note paper at Needle Nicely.

The last 10 days I've been calling artists to order their new canvases.  Many were at the market and took some deserved time off afterwards, something I try to do when I attend TNNA.  Anyway, it's Murphy's law that I'd be alone in the shop talking on my cell phone when the shop phone rings.  Talk about feeling clumsy with telephone receivers everywhere!  

And now to the stitching--

I'm offering my students their choice from these two canvases for class.  I realized that while it would be fun to select different stitches for the second canvas; it would cause confusion and wasted time in the actual class. So I'm doing the same background stitch (mosaic, which I haven't started on this canvas) and each flamingo is going to be stitched in the same stitches used by one of its predecessors on canvas 1.  Thus far I have done the diagonal mosaic on the yellow flamingo; a Byzantine variation on the purple; encroaching gobelin on the green one and nobuko stitch on the peach one.  And I stitched all those black eyes (smyrna crosses) and beaks (alternating slanted gobelin) today at the shop. 

I'm so excited because next week the majority of my new canvases will start filtering in. I can't wait, partially because I can't remember exactly what I've ordered.  I only remember that I didn't order it, like the totem pole canvas that arrived one year.  Definitely not the Needle Nicely look!!

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