Yesterday was a day that I could have done without. It started out fine and everything was going according to plan until about 10am. I received an email from a customer saying that he couldn’t get to my website. The previous day, Steve Good (who hosts this wonderful scroll saw forum and site) had presented one of the patterns I had donated and informed his readers (which are over 5000 scroll sawyers) about the sale I was having until Oct 1st. I had also sent email notices to my now almost 1000 customers regarding the sale.
I usually don’t get really upset when customers tell me the links don’t work. Apparently, some mail programs that people have on their computers filter things differently and it is necessary for people to type the address into their address bar at the top of their screen and it is cool. I was in the process of informing this customer to do this when something in my gut told me to just check. Sure enough, I couldn’t get there either. That was strange.
I tried from my own link to my site and it was good, but I noticed the address went directly to the server and not to my own name of sheilalandrydesigns.com. So there was something up with the redirection or the domain name. Without getting too technical (partly because I am still trying to fully understand it myself) what happened was that someone at my hosting site decided to hook my domain name to the NEW software. This is the one that they give you six months to learn and transfer things to. Well, that was stupid, I thought!
After 45 minutes of chat with the rep from the company, I was told it was changed back. However, it would take 24-48 hours to be available. This would not do! I was really really upset. After all, I had just come off of one of my best weeks regarding the site and I had a sale going for only a couple of days and I had advertised it to 6000+ scroll sawyers and now the site is down. Great first impression for those who haven’t been there before!
With all the (somewhat justified) suspicion regarding the internet and websites, I felt that my credibility was to take a huge hit to new and potential customers. If it were me and I were looking for a new source and the site was ‘unavailable’ or ‘not found’ I certainly wouldn’t seek it out to return and want to spend my money there. It was really sad.
After unsuccessfully trying to find out the reason it would take so long to get it back, I waited for the phone department to open which was 1pm my time and I immediately called. I was able to get through right away and the representative seemed intelligent and also tried to be helpful. It took almost two hours for him to pinpoint things, but in the end he did explain the delay to me (something about re propagation of the server) and said that he put a priority on it and gave me two months free hosting. I did understand that it was out of his hands, and I assured him that I wasn’t angry with him personally, but just angry that someone decided to do this. He had no answer for me as to why the switch was made in the first place and was apologetic about it and nice. I did raise my voice (to him, not at him) a couple of times because of the stupidity of it all, but I let him know it was not directed at him but out of general frustration for the situation. In the end he was very helpful and assured me that things would be fixed as soon as possible.
So this morning things are good again. I am up and running and although I do realize that there will be residual effects for the next few days depending on different servers and others’ computers and such, I suppose that I am prepared for it. I extended the sale until Monday and Steve was nice enough to put some explanation in his blog today so that people understand that it was a temporary thing and perhaps try again if they were unable to get through. So all in all I made the best of the situation. I did not sleep well though, and was up in the wee hours trying to see if it was back yet. Finally, just before I began to write this, I was able to get on the site in the normal way. I changed the sale date to Monday and am ready to move on and make today a good day.
I did try to make the best of my time yesterday. While I was on the phone and intermittently on hold for the two hours, I worked on my candle tray and did some hand sanding. It did good to relieve some of the frustration I was feeling by being productive. I also did go with the oil finish and although it darkened the wood just a bit, I think it looks amazing. I was afraid I would have some trouble with the photography again though, because it came out so dark. Here is a picture of the finished pieces:
|From SLD331 Spooky Pumpkins Candle Tray|
The two charms I believe are not padauk, but bloodwood. They were the only thin stock that I had to do them in and the color was quite close to the padauk that I used on the tray. In the photo, as well as in person, you can’t really tell the difference.
I think the project came out amazing! It looks rich and spooky and cool just as I wanted it to. I was thinking of painting the moon and the bat with the glazing and may try that today. I think it will give it an extra glow and highlight those spots on the design. I am torn between glazing the color accents over this or re-cutting the entire piece in a light wood such as maple and glazing all the elements. I don’t really have the time – especially after the day I had yesterday, but I am really curious as to how it will look.
I took a shot for the pattern cover and I feel it is a bit dark.
|From SLD331 Spooky Pumpkins Candle Tray|
I know you can barely see the charms, but I usually include both pictures (the overview and the set up picture) and I think people will get the idea. Overall I do like it and think it came out OK. I may try to photograph it again today in daylight and see if there is a positive difference. Otherwise, I almost want to let this go and move on. I now have only about 2 weeks or less for the catalog deadline and I need to do some (you guessed it!) spring things and possibly some late winter items. It’s back to the time warp for me!
So yesterday’s past and all we can do is make today better. My goal for today is to make it a better one than yesterday was. That should be easy! :)
Happy Wednesday to you all!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"