Archive for March, 2008

R.I.P. Zippy Kitty

March 16, 2008

Zippy KittyZippy Kitty got attacked by a huge fox this morning and did not survive. I am so sick of these fox. This one will have a major migraine I hope. Before my husband could get out with the rifle, I was screaming like crazy at the fox to let the cat go, I picked up a brick ad threw it at him and hit him in the head. If he has a fractured skull, I won’t lose sleep over it, that’s for sure.

Zippy Kitty is sort of a Katrina refugee. His mom got dumped off at work while pregnant. She was a really sweet cat, but at the time we had 4 cats and 2 dogs. Hubby said absolutely not to bringing mama home. I did bring her food and we fed her at work. When the kittens were about 6 weeks old, one of the guests at work wanted to take her home. She was a sweet lady, so I said cool, but you need to take the kitten, too.( By this time all we were seeing with mama was one. ) I got to work the ext day and mama was gone, but Zippy was still here. I had started calling him Zippy Kitty because every time he heard a noise he would zip off. Another guest, who was a regular every six weeks said that if I could get the kitten socialized some, she would take him home with her next time she was here. I eventually got Zippy to trust me and got him home.

Well, this guest who was going to take him, traveled the southeast calibrating medical equipment. Then Hurricane Katrina happened and her route got changed to the midwest. She called me at work and told me she wouldn’t be back, so Zippy Kitty became a permanent resident at our house. He continued to be paranoid about everything and lived up to his name.

I was sitting on the back steps this morning having a cup of coffee, enjoying the morning and I saw Zippy go into the brush at the back of the yard. He like to sleep there under the grapevines, so I did’t think that much about it. A couple of minutes later, it all hit the fan. I don’t know how the fox was able to sneak up on him. Maybe he just attacked him in the vines. It really doesn’t matter now. Zippy Kitty is gone. One day that fox will be, too.

My Grandfather was good at helping hurt animals and I am kind of good at it and I tried to help Zippy. Suffice to say that the clothes I was wearing this morning are now in the burnpile and I wasn’t able to help him

This is the only picture I have of him. When I got my new camera, I forgot to turn the flash off when I took his pic and it scared him, as did most things. From then on, he would disappear into the woods or under the car whe he saw the camera.

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Good customer service

March 13, 2008

Is not dead-at least at FMG (Fire Mountain Gems). In my last bead order, I got some Ming Tree SL (silver lined) pink bugle beads. In my Bead Stash entry, I wrote about that brand. Great for netting pieces, but not structured stitches.

Well, I started working with those bugles yesterday and was incredibly disappointed in the color of them. It was very inconsistant-from a very pretty pink to nearly white. Some of the MT seed beads I got in my last order were really inconsistant in size, too. Now, these are generic beads and I expect to do some culling with them. That’s never been a problem. These are not the quality I have been getting from MT beads the last couple of years. The first box of seed beads I opened from this order was not up to par either, but hey, everything can have a bad batch now and then. The second box, a different color, was not that great either-neither was the third. However, the others were fine.

I decided to call FMG and give them a heads up. I figure I may not be the only one having a problem with MT. When the service rep. answered the phone (I believe her name is Kathy), I explained why I was calling. She was super nice. She looked in the computer to see if there was an alternative they could send me, but there wasn’t. I already knew that the MT were the only SL pink bugles they had. She offered to send me some twisted pink Ornela’s, but they won’t work for what I want them for. I told her that I just wanted them to know that the product is not as good as they were last year and they might want to check it out.

A few minutes later, my phone rang and it was Kathy. She wanted to verify what I had told her because she was filling out whatever form they use to do a customer complaint.( I really hate using the word complaint here.) She offered to credit my accout for the boxes of bad beads, but since I can work around the seed bead size problem, I didn’t really want to credit for those. I did end up with a credit for the pink bugles because I don’t know how I will use those. She and I chatted a bit and she was telling me that FMG has classes for employes and last night she had gone to one and made a peyote/Swaro ring. We also talked about maybe giving some of the company’s more experienced beads a couple of boxes of the MT’s and see what they think about them.

I know people moan about the handling charges FMG has,but I figure whoever packs up my box of goodies needs to get paid. This is only the second time I have ever needed to contact them about an order. The first time, over a year ago, a number got transposed on the order and I got SS head pins and not little the little storage boxes I had ordered. I called them and explained and they told me to keep the head pins and 2 days later I had my little storage boxes.

So in this day and age of usually lousy customer service in nearly everything, it’s nice to know that there are still places out there that will pleasantly work with a customer to resolve an issue.

Design woes

March 9, 2008

I love making ornament drapes-especially the ones that other people have designed and have put those patterns out there for sale or for free. I’m hardheaded, so I am attempting to design my own.

I have made some small components with seed beads (what else) and for the last 2 weeks have been trying to combine them in a netting effect over a shatterproof ornament. I have taken it apart 5 or 6 times while I was working on it, thinking I had a better way to do it. I use some of the cheap beading thread from Walmart for my “experiments”. That way I don’t feel bad about wasting thread when I cut something up. LOL! I also had to remake some of the componenets because in cutting them apart from each other, I managed to cut the thread in a couple of them. That’s ok. Gave me more time to think about how to put them together.

I think I may be close to finishing a prototype. I have it over the ornament now and it’s close to being closed up. It would be a good time to have an octopus for a pet because trying to hold slippery seed beads over an equally slippery ornament requires a lot of firm holding onto both while trying to get a needle through a nearly full seed bead with one hand. I tried painters tape and that gave me enough help so I could baste a few together so I could see what needed to be attached where.

I see bugs and kinks in it now that I have decided not to correct at this point in time. I will work around them just to get it finished and see if the idea in my head looks remotely like what is in my hand.  I will deal with the kinks if I decide to do another one. That is still undecided.

It’s been an interesting, not to mention a time consuming experience. It has shown me that I have more patience than I gave myself credit for. LOL!

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