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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Spring Green show and other stuff

The show in Spring Green over the weekend was pretty good. Not quite as good as last year, but still considering the detour and the intense heat on Saturday it was a great show. I sold two rugs that I have been hauling around for 10 years now... they were not quite the oldest rugs I have, but darn close. I sold my last rug just after we had packed almost everything away.

Maddie sold almost all her felt balls and I sold a great many of my needle felted balls. One woman bought $134.00 in felt balls. I only had to take three credit cards so that was good. I am terrible at remembering all the stuff I need to call in the card transactions later so they always make me nervous. Not to mention the fact that the credit card companies nip off a little more profit each time. One guy actually bought a felt ball with one. I could not talk him out of it. Oh well. The cost of doing business. Maddie needled another 10 balls over the two days and was a nice attraction for people. I hope I can hang onto her for a while for shows. It is good to have a decorative fixture in the booth LOL (some guy called her a fixture and she asked me if I thought that was a compliment)

Puck had to work on Sunday night so it was just Maddie and me for Sunday. The weather was much cooler, but the wind was horrendous. I hung up all my heavy rugs on the tent so it would not blow away. I was nervous the whole time... On one side was a glass artist and on the other was an expensive potter... talk about being between a rock and a hard place :)

we all survived and it seemed like people were buying. My good friend Michael stayed with us for most of the day so we got to visit when the booth wasn't too crowded. He also helped us pack up, which was wonderful. He is nice and tall and can reach all the things that we short people struggle with. I forgot to bring my nice step stool. I will have to add that to the show list.

we got packed up in a little less than an hour which is great timing. We drove home and I smelled burning rubber faintly. We had the windows open so I wasn't sure it was us. I didn't see any smoke or anything so we pressed on. We stopped at McDonald's for our end of show vanilla shakes and the van was sort of burbling like it was overheating. A little steam was escaping, but the overflow tank was pretty full. I added a little water to that. We headed for home again and got on the final road to home which is a curvy back road when the heat light came on. "Oh Shit" I exclaimed and pulled off to the side of the no shoulder road. We were right on a curve. I popped the hood and checked the over flow... it was still full. bummer. I did not want to open the radiator when it was hot, fearing an explosion. I had poured most of our spare water into the overflow tank.

We waited a few minutes. Finally I decided I better try to let some steam out of the radiator. I grabbed one of my cloth utilitarian bags (grocery and whatever) and set out to open up the steaming monster. I gingerly unscrewed it and waited for the gushing water that usually boils out. Nothing... Yikes! The radiator was completely dry. Now we had a completely different problem. Maddie and I scrambled to find extra water to pour into the radiator. We had half empty water bottles that we had drunk at the show so we emptied those in. Dumped the last bit of our designated radiator water in, still not full but could at least see water in the radiator. I decided to chance it and turned the van back on. No light so I drove slowly home. We made it and it appears I did not completely wreck the engine.

I tell you if it is not one thing it's another. I spent most of the evening deleting the things I had sold off of ETSY and cursing myself for not having a better system for locating the dang rugs. It took hours to figure it all out and I had sold a rug off of Artfire too. That all is way too complicated for my poor brain.

I finally decided to create a spread sheet with all my goofy names, the descriptions of the rugs and my id numbers. I spent Monday completing the spreadsheet. Now I am ready for anything. Oh and I had sold a book from my vintage shop too so I had to get that packaged up and sent out.

Yesterday morning I steeled myself to call in the three credit card sales. I called the number followed the instructions and punched numbers in as fast as I could. The nice little automated voice told me I was not a valid merchant number and transferred me to a human. She asked for my merchant number three times and finally told me I was not valid either and to call my merchant account person to straighten it out. I called him and left a message... he called back two hours later and told me my number had worked fine when he tried it (gee I hate that) I took a deep breath and tried it again.

I apparently am too slow for the automated telephone deely and they transferred me to a person again. This time my account number went through, but it had been my first sale and I had forgotten to get her street number and zip code so that her number could be verified. In my notes it mentions that I can just use my own number and zip for stupidity like this. The girl said I couldn't, I said it was in my notes and she said what the heck. When it came to the sale amount I gave her an amount, but did not include the tax since on my crib sheet it looked like the tax was supposed to come later. She started to give me a verification and reference number and I asked if she needed the tax amount. She sounded a little confused, I explained that I had not added the tax on the amount I had given her. She claimed it would be fine, but I have a feeling I lost the tax amount on that one.

I went to do the next two on my own. Dialed the number for the fourth time... got all the way through one and got a message that it was declined... Panic!

Called the number for the fifth time and did the other transaction... yippee that one went in just fine, grabbed the other one and tried it again... barely beat the automation timing, but this time it went through just fine so it only took me 4 hours to enter three credit card transactions. I sure hope I get better at that


Dyed some wool for felt balls and got Maddie's balls and some of my own into the washer. All that wool and balls are now drying. Took picture of the rugs that are not yet on ETSY this morning and got them edited and resized for the site.

Ordered 35 more little connectors for my grid display system. We discovered after we were at the show on Saturday that we were about 25 connectors short. Maddie and Puck zip tied the heck out of the grids and it held together pretty well. I will be prepared for the next show. The problem is that because I now am selling online I need to be able to find the dang rugs if I sell them so we set up a rack in the basement. That used up my connectors and now I am short.