Venting and cursing first...
Well first, I'm going to vent because my LNS is closing. Brenda has been talking about the possibility for months, but I had really hoped she wouldn't have to. I know I'll still see Brenda and visit with her, and we'll get together to stitch, but I'm sad to see the shop go. I still don't understand how the shops that sell at much higher prices are so much busier, but I'm going to guess that it's because they're in more populated areas.
One of the other reasons I'm venting today, and one of the major reasons shops are closing and sales are declining - copyright infringement. From the numbers on some of these sharing sites I can tell you that the interest in cross stitch isn't declining as much as some may think - they're just stealing their charts rather than buying them. Some of the sharing sites have over 100,000 members. I know it's always happened, photocopies being passed around and such, but with the internet it's getting worse and worse everyday. It's not just the sales numbers that hurt, it's the emotional toll it takes on us. More than a couple days spent in tears myself, and it's not happening to me nearly as often as it happens to some of the other designers. I can only imagine how they feel. Not going into a long rant. Those who do it, you know who you are, (and in some cases, so do we), those who do not, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support. :)
Having gotten that little vent out of the way, I have to say it's been refreshing to see the amount of support we're getting from a large number of people. Much of what we are able to have removed from internet sites is due to reports from stitchers, so a big thank you to all of you out there for dropping us emails and letting us know! We appreciate it more than you know.
Another small vent. Vikki Clayton is having a stitching exhibition over the next two weeks. I want to go so badly, but I just can't swing it. I'm incredibly jealous because one of my close stitching buddies arrived there yesterday and is spending the weekend, and I'm sure will be bombarding us with lots and lots of pretty pictures.
Finally, a really big vent. Canada Post, you suck. I have lost all respect for the union and company alike. The union is asking far too much in my opinion. They would never get anything close to that in the private sector, which is my basis for comparison. And the company locking down has completely pissed me off. I know it was probably so that the government would step in, and I can only hope that the back to work legislation passes quickly. In fact, so do the postal workers locally - they are livid with the union for pushing it to this point. Why am I so pissed off, you may ask? Because I am waiting for several parcels for model stitching. I have fabric and floss for the long version of Antique Lace on order, the threads for My Mother's Garden 2 in the sampler colours coming, and various other threads so I can finalize colours on Celtic Snow. And the model for Tulip is on it's way to me as well. Plus the threads for my brother's Growth Rings. Oh and of course my birthday charts. Service has been going downhill for years, though prices keep going up and up. 2 years ago I could get orders from vendors in the US in a week to 10 days. Now it takes closer to 3 weeks. I know it's not USPS, because they're getting to customs just as quickly as they ever did, it's on this side of the border the hold ups happen. Here's a question for you - why is postage in UK so much cheaper? The price of gas there is near double what it is here, yet it costs my MIL a fraction of what it costs us to send parcels back and forth. Plus theirs is much more efficient and quicker. Food for thought.
I know I can use UPS or Fed Ex, and in some cases I may go that route in future. In some cases that isn't an option, my vendors don't all offer that as an alternative. Plus, the cost of using these services can be pretty prohibitive. I scarcely make enough to cover materials now, in fact I used birthday money to buy supplies for the next couple of models, so additional costs for shipping isn't something I fancy.
The issue I have with them is their absolute selfishness, the company and union alike. Do they really not care how many people depend on them to run their businesses, and how much strain they're putting on THEM?
And an off topic vent... my hair. It grows much too fast. I caved and had it cut short a couple of months ago, and have had it trimmed back to chin length once already. It's already long enough to put in a pony tail again. I swear it grows 2 inches a month!! Suppose it's time to get it cut again.
Okay, venting and cursing over. I think.
A little update, Antique Lace is almost finished. I'm starting on the last couple of pages this weekend, then there will just be beading and ribbon left to do. Excited!!! I know I've been terrible about posting new pictures and updates but I just want to get it done now. Of course being this close to finishing, my usual stitching ADD is kicking in and I'm spending all sorts of time dreaming about other things I could be stitching instead of just getting it over with. I will try to get Jon to take a picture of me holding it so you can see how bloody huge it really is! This will be a HUGE happy dance.
And Tulip is finished. May dropped it in the mail to me on Wednesday. :) So look for that one to be released soon as well, so long as CP doesn't hold it hostage for too long. You rock, May. I'll probably release all three together at the beginning of July - 3 months ahead of schedule in fact. :)
And finally, a big, huge, THANK YOU! for all the birthday wishes, and a hello and welcome to my new followers! Inching up to that 100 mark. ;)