The machine saga is now concluded - the parts came in and I finally had the chance today to re-assemble the machine!  Nothing has been made with it, but I did some testing, and it seems to be a happy machine again :)  Stay tuned for holiday inspired items!
 
Photo of sewing machine parts
There they sat, glimmering in the lamplight
Today marks the one-day-less-than-one-month anniversary of my sewing machine parts ordering (but not receiving) fiasco. 

Much to my delight, when I checked the mail today my new parts order was sitting there patiently waiting for me to open their envelope (I did just that after a few seconds of seeing the envelope)!

I feel like now I can breathe a sigh of relief and get lots of projects done.  Granted I haven't re-assembled my non-functioning machine yet, but it will happen, and soon!  

As soon as I perform minor surgery on my machine, the shop can once again move full steam ahead into the holiday season, all thanks to patience given, and really great customer service received from the friendly parts supplier folks. 

This makes my day!  What made your day today?

 
Photo of cat toys and pumpkin
Two additional catnip toys for Halloween
Some days it feel like I'm chasing daylight.  Today I was taking photos of new Halloween items for the shop, and kept having to move my setup because the sun kept moving!  It worked out in the end, though, and now all of this year's Halloween items are listed on Etsy.

Pretty soon we will be setting the clocks back, and chasing daylight even more, before the sun starts to go down earlier and earlier each day.  Time to savor every minute!

Now that Halloween items are all listed, and with only one more Thanksgiving item to list, the upcoming weeks will allow us to shift and focus on Christmas (can't believe how quickly that time of year is approaching).
A couple weeks ago we rolled our our two thanksgiving items - a stylish turkey bandana and a round turkey toy.  This fabric was too cute to pass up!  Don't you agree?  (*bandana will be listed soon!)
Photo of turkey cat toy
Thanksgiving turkey toy - gobble gobble!
Photo of orange tabby wearing bandana
Mew?
Today's set of Halloween toys can easily be paired up!  Two pillow toys and two cute bandanas in spooooky fabric.  How it would be if someone dressed their cat in a bandana Halloween night to help pass candy out =^-^=
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Cat bandana
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Halloween cat toy pillow
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Candy corn cat bandana
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Catnip toy candy corn
This is our first holiday season as a shop on Etsy, so we're trying to: plan ahead, read through all the materials given by Etsy, and come up with great new items for cats to enjoy.  True, many stores already have their Christmas groove in place, but it's time for us to dive in and catch our own Christmas wave. 
Photo of cat toy Christmas stocking
Catnip cat toy stocking - one of our upcoming Christmas items... get ready!
In other news... we signed up for Direct Checkout a few weeks ago so our customers would have more payment options if they shopped at our store.  A great thing that comes with Direct Checkout is the ability to shop our items with a gift card.  We haven't seen any gift card activity, but these are a great option to give as gifts in the upcoming season!

When reading up on how gift cards work, we found these links very helpful:
How to find shops that accept Etsy gift cards
How to purchase a gift card
How to redeem your gift card
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Cat nap on a jack o'lantern mat
Time for us to go dream up some ideas for white Christmases, red nosed reindeer, and sugarplum fairies! 

Here's to enjoying each moment of the day, instead of feeling like we are chasing it!  See you the next time around.  Stay furry =^-^=

 
The past few weeks I have been dealing with a poor customer service situation.  Here is the condensed (and slightly funnier) version of the sequence of events (skipping over negative stuff, because I'm over it):

Me: hey darn it my sewing machine is broken! 

Me to lady in the sewing machine department: So the needle won't go up and down, but when I depress the pedal the motor runs, what would you recommend?

Lady to me: We don't repair sewing machines here, but generally when we send them out for just a cleaning/tuneup the base cost is $100.

Me (after the shock wore off): Well, my machine was purchased for not much higher than that, so at this point I don't want to go that route, thank you!
Photo of sleeping cat
Mr. M says "wake me when it's over!"
Me at home later that day: Think I'll take it apart and see if I can be like Tim the Toolman Taylor to fix the problem - what's the worst that could happen?  It's already broken, and maybe I'll learn a thing or two about my machine (or myself?) in the process!

*let the dismantling begin*

Me (to husband): Hmm it's all apart, but the needle is still not going up and down even though the motor is running when I depress the pedal.

Husband: Hey look, the gear that turns the pulley has a crack in it, which would cause the needle not to go up and down!

Me: *happy dance* oh husband, you have a good eye (clearly!)

Husband: Let me use my ninja skills on the onlinez and see if I can find this part for sale anywhere.

**time passes**

Husband on September 23: Found it!  Ordered it! 

Me: *happy dance*

[Fast forward through a whole bunch of paragraphs that I just deleted from this post, because I don't want to dwell on negatives!  The gist: I did not get my order.  Moving on...]

Earlier this week I called the manufacturer of my machine.  Here's how that went:

Call #1:

Me (Tuesday of this week): *humming along to the hold music on my ride home from work*  40 minute car ride, 13 calls ahead of mine, and their office is going to close at 5pm my time - this will go well *looks at clock - it is anywhere from 4:30 - 5:00. 

Hold Music message lady: Our offices are currently closed.  Please call back during normal business hours Monday through Friday, 8am to whatevero'clock pm.

Call #2:

Me (Wednesday morning of this week): *dialing*  "Thank you for calling, there are 0 calls ahead of you" *hum along to hold music for a bi*

Customer service lady: How can I help you?

Me: Well I need this part for my machine (I'm sure I said some other stuff too  like what was broken about the machine, etc)

Customer service lady:  I'm sorry, but we don't sell parts here directly.  Can I have your zip code to find the nearest parts warehouse to you?

Me: Sure (and gave her my zip)

Customer service lady: Oh that is in [town/state], and their phone number is [whatever the phone # was]

Me: thank you for the information, I'll give them a call!

Call #3:

Me: Hello, here's what's happening with my model number.  [insert story here!]... do you know the name of the part I need, do you have it in stock, and is there a walk I can order it from you?

Customer service lady: Oh yes, that's the [whatever the part name is].  We have them in stock.

Me: Really?  It's that simple?  You have them, I can purchase them, and then they will magically ship to me?

Customer service lady: Yes!  (she was very extremely nice and helpful too) [we hung up after I placed my order]

Placed my order for the parts.  My fingers are crossed that they will be in my mailbox soon (or at least shipping out "next Wednesday")!  This phone number is a keeper - imagine having an easy, customer friendly, nearby parts supplier for my sewing machine now and in the future?!  That's magical! 

Here's what I learned:
- Bad customer service is very frustrating
- I will always have open lines of communications with my customers - for example, I will tell them when their order ships, how long their order will take to make, I will give them the tracking number, and I will leave them feedback once they receive their item.
- I am a firm believer in good customer service - we've all been customers, and know how frustrating it is when you think no one is listening to your dilemma or that no one wants to help get it resolved.
- The lady who helped me at the parts warehouse really deserves recognition.  Even though she was just doing her job, dealing with her made me hopeful in the world again that not everyone is out to rip people off, like the original guy at the other company.  She was the bright spot in my day, and I felt relieved from the conversation I had with her.  Thank you parts supplier phone lady!  Gold star for you!

And that is my story from the past couple weeks.  Phew!
Photo of cat wearing bandana
The above customer service experience makes Mr. M a happy camper (as does his dapper Thanksgiving bandana!)