13 February 2009


I am taking an extended hiatus from Redux Designs to focus on some other aspects of my life. I do have a couple of tutorials in the works, and plan to post them as I am able to complete them. In the meantime, I am leaving all the tutorials and tips up. Hopefully they will continue to provide information and inspiration to others out there.

Until later.......

01 December 2008

Excellent Customer Service from Supercrafty.com!

Tis the season! The holidays are approaching, and in these tough economic times, retail businesses are looking for ways to get - and keep - customers. You will hear businesses tout their customer service, and no doubt many will be stepping it up to try to help sluggish sales figures.

I've recently had an experience with excellent customer service from an online merchant, and I had to share. When I find something good, I want everyone else to know about it!

Here's the backstory. Earlier this fall, I decided to knit my mom a gift for Christmas. (Momma - if you are reading this, please STOP!!) I found a pattern and casually began looking for yarn. Then I came across a note I had written to the effect that I'd make her an apron for a gift. I wasn't sure if she had mentioned it, or if I just thought it would be a good idea. I hated to ruin the surprise, but I wanted to make sure she got what she wanted, so I asked her. She gave me some specifics as to style, colors and patterns she would like, and I began creating a pattern and looking for fabric.

But I couldn't find what I wanted. Lots of great fabric, but just not right.

So I re-examined my knitting idea. If I'm going to knit something for her to wear, seems that giving it to her at Christmas, when she can wear it immediately, made sense. I could make her apron for her birthday in May (and I'd have more time to find the perfect fabric).

So, back to looking for yarn. On site I visited was Supercrafty. I've followed Allison's blog for over a year now, and occasionally she'll mention some new yarn she has tried out. A look through Supercrafty showed me the perfect yarn - Misti Alpaca. I knew that was what I wanted, and placed my order.

I soon received shipping confirmation and anxiously waited to get the yarn. It was early November, so I had less than two months to make this. I'm fairly new to knitting, so I'm rather slow. Add in a full-time job, trying to get my design business going, and single-parenting a 13 year old, and I don't have much free time.

And I waited. Veteran's Day holiday meant no mail delivery, but I hoped for the day after. But it didn't arrive then, or for several days after.

I finally checked online and noted that the post office had confirmed delivery a week earlier! Um, maybe delivered, but NOT TO ME! I was home at the time the delivery was noted, and no one came by. There was no noted left in my mail box to pick up a package. I double-checked my order, and it was sent to the correct address. So, I called the post office and reported it. I ended up calling my local post office four times; three times I was told that they would have to check with the mail carrier, and he wasn't in but they'd ask and call me back. But they didn't call back. So I'd call again.

Finally, I talked to a supervisor who told me that if there was delivery confirmation, the only thing I could do was file a claim if it was insured. This gentlemen even went to an address that is similar to mine to see if the package had been left there in error, but no one was home.

As soon as I found the post office had delivered it, I contacted Allison and explained what had happened. I thought that if it had been mis-delivered, it might be returned to her, and I wanted her to know that I did want the yarn. She said that it had not been returned, but she would look for it.

Once I finally learned that there was little hope of getting the package, I decided to re-order and try again. I contacted Allison asking if there was a way to add insurance to the shipping charge in case this package went astray also. Her reply left me speechless - in a good way! She said that she guaranteed delivery of all orders and she would replace the yarn! I really did not expect this - she had very promptly shipped my order to the correct address. The fact the post office mis-delivered it was not her fault. I received an email notice that the order had shipped last Wednesday. On Saturday, it was waiting in my mailbox!

I am thrilled! Not only is the yarn wonderful (oh, it is so soft!), but the customer service I received was outstanding! I will definitely order from Supercrafty again - and I hope that if you are looking for wonderful yarns or other knitting and crocheting supplies, you will check her out as well.

And now, if you will excuse me, I have some knitting to do!

16 November 2008

Weekend Review

My son was at his dad's this weekend, so I took advantage and accomplished several things on my to do list. The fact it was cloudy and cold Saturday helped keep me inside and working. But it was very nice to see the sun today!

Here's what I did over the weekend, in no particular order:

I learned to play mah jongg! I first heard of this game when I read about it in a Nancy Drew mystery. Can't even begin to remember which one, but I've always wondered about it. No more - I now know how addictive it is!!

I worked on a couple of clutches using upholstery samples from a furniture store. Here's a sneak peak:

I made tarn! What's that - t-shirt yarn! Cut old t-shirts into strips and use the strips to knit or crochet. Not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but at least it is ready to go:

I attended this. It was nearby, and I hoped to get some inspiration. Instead, I was overwhelmed by the beads available! Such gorgeous colors and stones that I haven't seen before. Since I prefer to reuse materials, however, I think next time I'm going with money to purchase findings. The prices seemed to be good compared to the local stores, although I really need to research that some more.

And I watched this:

A documentary about Karl Lagerfeld released in 2006, it follows him through setting up and photographing ads, sketching (he uses correction fluid to get the look he wants on some sketches!), packing, traveling, talking about some of the Chanel shows, and interviews with him about his life. Love him or hate him, agree with him or not, this is a fascinating look at one of the great influences on fashion today.

My son is back from his dad's, and I'm going to wrap up this weekend with this blog post!

What did you do this weekend???

10 November 2008

Yarn Transformation - part 1

A few months ago, a friend was cleaning out her closet, and gave me several items to take apart and remake. Included was a sweater she had knit from wool yarn. I asked her if she wanted to unravel it and reuse the yarn herself, but she wasn't interested. Because I've had a hard time finding thrift store sweaters that can be unraveled, especially wool ones, I gratefully took it. Instructions for unraveling a sweater (and how to identify a hand-knit one that can be unraveled) can be found at Neauveau Fiber Arts.

From this:

To this:

What comes next??

I think I want to knit something, although I may crochet. But so far, I haven't decided. A hat? A scarf? The yarn is really soft and warm, so I want to make something special. If you have any suggestions, please leave me a comment!

08 November 2008

Fall Photographs

The leaves are turning in Memphis, and this year they are very colorful. We had quite a bit of rain in mid-October, followed by some cold temperatures, then warm. Apparently the combination worked to produce some gorgeous shades of red, gold, and yellow.

This is the view from my front porch. I took the photo a week ago, and more leaves have turned. I need to get another photo today before they start falling.

I want to collect some of the red maple leaves and put them in a bowl for a splash of color in my apartment.

29 October 2008

Moo Cards!

Look what came in the mail yesterday:

My Moo cards!! They are so cute - now I understand what the fuss is all about.

These lovelies were free from Moo and Flickr when I upgraded to a Flickr Pro account. That was over a month ago, and honestly, I was beginning to think they were lost in the mail somewhere between London and Memphis. I was disappointed not to have them, but since they were free, I wasn't out any money.

And then they arrived - and I am so very happy they did. Now I have to decide how to use them. There are only ten, and since I am not selling much right now, I don't have the funds to buy more. So for now, I'll wait for the right time to hand them out.


08 October 2008

Inspiration - Autumn Leaves

I found this leaf while on a cardio walk last week. I had started my cool down, and was going to slow enough that I caught sight of it (because I had walked past the same place three times already!). I had to stop and pick it up - the colors and the shape caught my eye. And while I hate the fact that the days are getting shorter, I celebrate the cooler temperatures which mean I can begin to pull different clothes out to wear. Almost like having a new(ish) wardrobe.

Later that day I pulled out some of the upholstery samples in darker colors, and planned out some new clutches and wristlets to make. I'm inspired to create new looks for the new season.

Where has everyone else been finding inspiration lately?