Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Studio news....Memorial piece for John H...

Hi There-
I admit, I've been neglecting my blog. I could offer excuses, summer vacation, too many responsibilities, not enough time...but really, I've just not felt like writing in my blog lately.
mea culpa.
In my studio....I'm starting to make a bunch of Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos pieces...when in Tucson, skull and memorial pieces are a must!

I DID get a "Dia de" memorial piece accepted in the Tohono Chul (Tucson botanical garden and gallery) show in October/ is a sneak peek...It's a piece I made in memorial for my dear friend John Henderson, who was killed while riding in the Tour de Tucson 2013...

a pic of John (seated) and his partner of 26 years(Bill) in my studio taken about 2010

RIP John- we miss you!

*sigh* every time my son goes on a bike ride (he is really into riding these days) I hold my breath... John was killed while riding in one of the biggest events in Tucson...under very controlled and "safe" environment. And yet, a driver (who had a diabetic event that blacked out behind the wheel) still found him, and that was that. You just never know.

OK, not wanting to put a bummer out there- just be safe while riding, and drivers...LOOK OUT FOR BIKES!
thanks- M

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Going Postal

I like to draw on my envelopes- these are some old letters
You know by now that I have a shop on Etsy, called Cosmo's Moon. I sell Earthy edgy silver and mixed metals handmade jewelry. I've been metalsmithing for over 25 years and have had my online shop open since 2008. (
I love to be able to work from home, in my sweet garden studio- with my dogs happily ambling around the yard and wandering in to visit me at my workbench. I have had moderate success with my shop, and have within the past year increased my shipments due to an increase in orders!

So, when things don't go as well as I planned, I take note- and adjust. The most recent adjustment is on my mailing procedure- and is meant to make my shipping more efficient, though a bit more expensive.

Why did I make this shift? I tell the tale below:

"Tales of a Wayward Shipment"
A simple silver hoop was ordered March 3. It was then Sent out on March 4, the day call "Missing Mail day" the day a bunch of my orders I sent out went missing. (I suspect they were stolen from my mailbox-which I don't send out from anymore)

My customer contacted me on March 20, letting me know that she didn't get her order yet. We checked the address, and it was fine. I asked if she lived on campus (many University orders have taken up to 2 weeks to get processed through a U's post office- not sure why.) nope- the order and info looked like it should have gotten there by now.

Hmmmm. Looks like a lost in the mail case to me. I decided to send another- and asked the customer to tell me when it got there. Checking the address once again (correct again) I put another in the mail, asking her to send the first one back if / when she ever got it. (I can always re-process the metal)

I sent the second one out on March 23. Today is March 31, and she still hasn't seen either of the two mailings!

And, back here in Tucson, I haven't had anything sent back to me from either of the posts.... However, I did get another customer's order sent back to me a few days ago that was originally mailed out on Feb 25.  I'm seeing that the whole US Postal Service system is really really slow now.

My pretty studio in my garden- (now I have more trees)


The US postal service recently had Tucson's primary sorting center closed down due to budget cuts.  Now everything is sent through Phoenix AZ (120 miles away)- Everything! Even if you are sending something within the city limits! so instead of 1-2 days it takes 3-5  days to get to it's destination. (UGH!). I was unhappy that they shut the Cherrybell station down - Many Tucsonans are mad about it - I never thought it would turn into such a cluster **** and be such an obvious problem. It is. But I live here, so I have to deal with it.

My solution?
I have invested in a different shipping protocol- where all shipments will be tracked and the padded envelope mailer is the packaging, (even for small flat things like the hoops). It ends up costing more than $3 each shipment. Plus I got a huge case of padded mailers, and have a (thermal printer)
postal label maker coming to me in ...oops..the mail (it Better get here!! lol)

 This ups my price a bit, but I'm going ahead and doing it anyways. (I am going to split the difference a bit and raise my shipping to 2.75 ) I'm hoping this small adjustment won't send away customers- I believe that the security of knowing your order will arrive will be worth it for my customers.

I just can't afford the stress of lost packages- and Hate when my customers have to wait because of shipping issues. I make every effort to send my work out as soon as possible - often within the day of order- so when USPS messes up an order by sending it on a round the world tour it really ticks me off.

Thankfully, Etsy has recently upgraded their shipping solutions too- and now I can download my postage directly from my Etsy account. They even have added ways to add extra mailing services to your order- so I can recommend shipping insurance and have a quick and easy way to let the customers add it when they wish!

As with all new things, it will take me a while to update all of my listings- until then.....
Here's to more manageable mailing!
SWAK! (remember what that means?)- MBZ


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