Friday, June 30, 2006

July Kits are up for sale!!

About an hour after I wanted, but they are there! So sorry I missed the previews this month - summer is a crazy time for us. We are headed out of town again for a long weekend. So hard to do this and keep up with everything, but I'm trying!

I'm sooooooo excited about this month's kits. The paper from 7gypsies was my favorite from CHA by far and I had been waiting specifically for this month to use it. I also love the Project Kit - just go to the site and you will see why! It will be displayed in my office exactly how I show it photographed at the site. - I think I need to make 20 of these!!!!

I am getting ready to send out the July newsletter, but just in case you miss it, I am posting it below:

I hope everyone is having an enjoyable summer! We have spent much of ours by the neighborhood pool warding off the sometimes unbearable Tennessee humidity.

In between your vacations and trips to the pool, I hope you stop by to check out our new and improved website ( . Although we will continue to work on enhancements over the summer, we have spent a lot of time over the past two months fine tuning our checkout processes and launching our new membership section. We are so thankful for all of you have stuck with us since the beginning!

There are a few changes I wanted to make you aware of. I have hired a new customer service manager. Her name is Ruth and she is just a joy to work with! She does this and sooooo much more for me - helping to free up my time a little bit and get me back to concentrating on the creative side of things.

Also, in the past, if you were a member, but wanted to purchase a Project Kit (or anything else offered at the site) for the new month, you were charged a flat rate add-on fee at checkout if you purchased before the 5th. For now on, you will be charged full shipping at checkout, but if you purchase before the 5th, your shipping will be discounted or waived altogether when your membership is billed (based on your total purchases). After the 5th, no adjustments will be made for shipping as billing will have already taken place. Many of you took advantage of the Project Kit Membership we are now offering, which means you won’t have to go to the site each month at all to purchase. You will be billed automatically for both kits (yeah)!

If you have any questions at all about your current membership, you can log into “My Account” at the website and it will show you all of your account information (the memberships you have set up and when they expire). We also have the option here for an indefinite membership now! If you check this box, you will have a membership until you decide to discontinue it. All you need to do is go back in, uncheck the box, and finish a 3 month cycle to end your membership when ready.

And finally, if you try to purchase another membership while your current one is still active, the cart will warn you of this and ask you if you are sure you would like to do this (helping out with the many accidentally duplicate memberships created in the past).

Have a great July 4th weekend! Thanks to all of our military families out there – we are so appreciative of the sacrifices you have made to preserve our freedom!

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Monday, June 26, 2006

An Extra 5 Pounds

. . . that's what I will bring home with me tomorrow. Why is it that my trips home to Maryland always seem centered around what's for dinner? Of course there were the regulars I had to fit in: crabs with Old Bay and melted butter, crab bisque from Mama Lucia's, pepperoni Pizza from Ledo's and a mozzarella and pepperoni salad from Gallo's (missed that this time around). And new on this trip - I have developed an obsession with milkshakes from Wawa. (I hope these migrate down south soon). Couple all of this with the fact that my mother has more pantrys and freezers than Safeway (stocked full with the things I can't get in TN like Ellio's frozen pizza and Utz tortilla chips) and I'm lucky I only came back with 5 pounds!

Looks like I need to make it to the tennis court with hubby a couple more times this week!
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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

June Gallery and other stuff. . .

Since the stars have not aligned and allowed me to have everything working perfectly at once, here are the June layouts from my gallery! I know they aren't much bigger, but they are better! For next month, I will make sure that when you click on a layout it doesn't just show it to you again at the same size!

I have hired someone to take over alot of the day to day tasks I have been bogged down with. My kid's call her Mrs. Rich (her husband's name), but you will know her as Ruth. She will be answering most of the e-mails for now on (although you can always get to me through her)!

I am hoping that this will help me to focus on some of the site changes I want to make - fun stuff, like a member gallery and classes. I also need to get up all of the Project Kits from past months (except June) as I still have these to sell. AND. . . I have big plans for more exclusive products for the kits!

We are now off to the airport- headed to Maryland to visit the family, meet the new family dog (Brewster, a toy yorkie) and eat some Crabs by the pool. Will be back next Tuesday!

(oh - and I will be taking some pics for the July gallery. Theme Hint: "U R Here" )

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Gallery Glitch

Just wanted to let you guys know (as most of you do already) that when you click on any layout in the gallery to enlarge it, it shows you a layout from last month (I bet you have that one memorized by now - it haunts you in your sleep)! ha! It should be something simple (but what do I know) and I have let my programmer know. It will be fixed sometime this weekend.

I was e-mailing Karen tonight and told her that all I want to do is set up a little wooden stand in my front yard and sell kits! How did I ever end up on the internet? Of course, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to connect with so many cool people all over the world! It's just ironic when I think about how little I know about this "box" in front of me. I used to sell handmade greeting cards in my front yard growing up. . .but that didn't go so well. In the grand scheme of things, this is going much better!

And. . .because Michelle and Sherri said you can't post without a picture (sorry- I didn't know that rule!) here is one for you. . .

Yes, he is wearing pink swimmies. We were in Destin and picked them up at the super Walmart. They were in a cardboard box and we didn't know. Of course he had no idea. . .but someday he will. So PLEASE buy a June kit - I have lots of therapy to pay for. Ha!

Have a great weekend!

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Monday, June 12, 2006

So very patient!!
I know I have missed previewing so many fun things this month (and all of you have been soooooo patient about it)! One of those is the guest designer for the month. I admire this girl a ton (the fact that she agreed to do this with a one month old is one reason)! Also, in the midst of it, she organized a huge fundraiser that I was so proud to be a part of (and so proud of her for taking the initiative to do it). I believe she raised clear over $10,000! Who is she??

Isn't this the cutest picture ever! And just because you are waiting so patiently, here is a preview of the June gallery. I have really enjoyed this month's kit - mostly because, although everything coordinates, all of my pages look so different. Karen's paper is so cool - so many great uses when you cut off small pieces. And the Basic Grey rub-ons were the start for almost all of my page ideas (hence why they became my journaling jumpstart for the month).

Everything above comes with the June kit (except the Postmodern Design large rubber stamp I used under the quotes) including one small surprise (not shown in the kit contents). Janice at Paper Valise was able to get me some gold and silver puff stars and I threw them into all of the tins. They are the cutest little things and I have become addicted (you will too)!!

The gallery will go live on Wednesday night at some point! I will post here when its all uploaded.

Oh - and all orders placed for June product on or before the afternoon of June 11th (yesterday) went out today!! So happy Monday!

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Most glitches fixed . . .
We think we got the bulk of the remaining glitches fixed last night! The error people were getting after hitting the "agree" button on the Papercrafting Kit membership page should not be happening anymore. Also, the "state" issue the international ladies were getting is fixed as well (incidentally, if you put in a "fake" state just to get the order through, it is okay. This will not affect your shipping as that did not save against the shipping address you entered before that to create your account).
We also think we got the "my account" issue straightened out. Some of you were seeing incorrect information here (even though your order was received correctly on our end). This was due to some broken links. We think we got it all fixed. Keep in mind when you are looking at it, that under "purchases" it will show you every line item that you have purchased. "your memberships" will then show you any of those items that are memberships. This really is a great addition to the site for membership maintenance and confirmation. Remember, you will NOT see your billing information listed unless you are a member. You will see it if you are a member so that you can make changes to it as needed (and note that it shows your cc info here for this reason, but it is completely secure).
I also just received notice that the Project Kit sold out. I have yet to sell out of a Project Kit each month (in fact, I am putting them back up on the site soon) so I was really surprised about this. In 30 days time I have yet to sell out one, but this one sells out in 2 days (same quantity I have always had). I could not have begun to predict this. Please don't send me hate mail! I really don't have anymore and I'm really sorry.
But, we have LOADS of Papercrafting Kits still available and you should have an easier time purchasing it now if you have been waiting.
Also, we will begin shipping the kits out on Monday the 12th (just two days delayed for this month). The gallery will also be a little delayed (until the 14th or 15th), but I will let you know for sure and will post about this again.
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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Some helpful information . . .
Thanks to my blog friends who have posted some hints on here last night and today! We are working on a few things, but for the most part, it is working for most people. yeah! Here are some hints:
- paticularly if you had been to the site when it was down (and/or on the first) you will need to open up a new browser and go to the site. You may even have to erase your cookies. This is why some of you are having the error after you hit the "agree" button on the membership page. We are working on a fix for this, but for now, to get around this error, go to the My Account page and sign in as a new user (bottom left). This will prompt you to create a new account (which you need to do) and you can proceed from there.
- international users are being promted to add a "state" even though you don't have one at checkout. We will fix this too, but to get around it, just put "AB" in the state box and it should let you check out. I don't know why this happens to some and not others (love the computer)! Don't worry about it messing up your shipping, you have already put in your shipping address as part of your account at this point (so you will see that in "My Account" is shows the correct shipping address).
- if you purchased a membership of any kind, you will notice that your billing info. is not showing up in "My Account". We disabled this (just a mis-communication) and you will see it there again soon (completely secure of course). That way you will be able to see this and make changes in the future as needed.
- we are having some other small glitches in My Account (so you might now see your orders correctly right now) but this will get fixed shortly as well.
I had to laugh (okay, granted it was the kind of laugh you make just before they take you to the looney bin, but a laugh nonetheless). I have had a really hard time communicating to the programmers I have worked with since the beginning that there will be a "few" (ha!) people waiting when we turn the cart on - even if its midnight. They think I'm crazy. Then the next day comes and they are shaking their heads in amazement (and disbelief). Most people who start a web business turn a new cart on and get to play out their glitches (NOBODY doesn't have them - its impossible for it to be perfect, even after testing) with just a few people trickling in over time. I, on the otherhand, get an e-mail about an error and get 40 more behind it before I have a chance to let the programmer know! Not a bad problem to have (I'm not complaining!) but it takes awhile to catch up to everything.
So, if you have e-mailed me about something above and I haven't already gotten back to you, I am working on it now and will send you the information I have listed above to see if that helps.
Or, we should have much of this figured out between tonight and tomorrow, so if you want to just wait and try again in a day or two, that may work as well. We have TONS of kits left and will still be selling them for several days I am certain.
Thanks for everyone's patience!!
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Monday, June 05, 2006

International issue seems to be fixed . . . you should be able to process now (for all of my overseas friends)!
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AOl is not recognizing the site upload for some reason (still checking with my programmer on it). If you use Internet Explorer as your browser instead, you shouldn't have a problem. I will keep you posted on this too . .
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International Purchasers . . .
You will notice that you get an error when checking out. We are working on it now and should have it ready for you in a couple of hours (I will post here when it is working for you). Sorry about that!!
Also, please only hit the process kit once. We will have it fixed in about an hour where you won't be able to hit it twice (it will take you to a "please wait" page). A few of you hit the button again while it was processing. It didn't charge you twice though, but you may see two memberships in your box and get two receipts. We can see that on our end and are cleaning it up now (so if you go in tomorrow, you will only see one membership). It is only a handful of people, so everyone else disregard.
Other than that - so far so good!!! I will keep you posted. . .
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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Tomorrow night, Monday, June 5th at 8:00 p.m. central time
This is when the site will be back up and running and the June kits will be available for sale to all. We are in the process of sending out e-mails to our entire mailing list with this info. as well (if you don't get an e-mail, don't worry, you don't need to have it. It is just an effort to communicate with the people who may not read my blog).
Here are some reminders and other important information:
- No one has a reserved kit. Everyone will need to go to the site and purchase directly from there at this time by creating a new account. So, whether you just started a membership last month, just re-uped as yours ended in May or reserved a kit last month for June (etc.) you MUST go to the site and purchase as if you have never had a membership. We will not be doing and billing this month (as we have wiped out all of that information)
- If you purchased ANYTHING at the site on June 1st, it was not charged to your credit card. All of those orders are void and you must re-purchase as well.
- Any passwords sent out (or re-created on the 1st) are all void now. You must set up a new account tomorrow night. No one currently has a password.
Many of you have e-mailed me about being on vacation this week (and other things). . . unfortunately, I am unable to reserve any kits. However, we have enough kits being put up for sale to cover what our current subscriber base was in May, plus many, many, more. I expect to be still selling kits for several days, if not the entire month. Hopefully that puts everybody at ease a little bit (who knows, I may be still trying to sell them next June. ha!)
We are not sure how all of this will affect the shipping/gallery dates this month (if at all), but I will keep you posted here.
And finally, THANK YOU so much for the posts and notes of encouragement. It has been so gratifying to know how many friends I have out there - I truly, truly appreciate it. The cyber world can be so cruel, but just like everything in life, it is far more good.
Remember, tomorrow night (Monday) at 8:00 p.m. Central time zone, the site will be back up for purchasing.
Until then. . .
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Friday, June 02, 2006

Going forward. . . Please Read if you have ever been a member or purchased from the site

(If you just want to read the announcement, skip down to the bolded area. . .)

To say that I am devastated is an understatement really. Yes, I know that I am healthy, my family is healthy, and we are clothed and fed. I am truly thankful for this and certainly know in the end that none of this matters. It’s just paper and stickers, right? Well kind of. . .

For several years I have put my heart and soul into this hobby, which has become more of a way of life. Many people do not get the opportunities that I have been given. So, it has been so heart-wrenching to watch something I’ve worked so hard to develop struggle from challenges that I have no direct control over. So while it all seems to be a little dramatic, it really is quite personal to me.

And I wanted you to know that we didn’t cut corners and go on the cheap to develop this site. Towards the end of my stay with Li’l Davis, they were working on a new website which has now been launched. I know what the estimated cost was for that site and I can tell you that in the end, we will be spending close to the same (keeping in mind that the size of our companies are vastly different). I say this because I suppose I wanted everyone to know that we have spared no expense, and, as you can imagine, this has been a very hard pill for me to swallow.

So, here is the part that impacts you (sorry for the lengthy introduction). . .

The site will be shut down until further notice. We hope that means just a matter of a few days, but we will wait until we receive the assurance that the site is completely secure and free of major complications. There might be a small glitch here and there, but nothing that can’t be fixed in very short order. We will send out an e-mail to everyone when we have a date and time.

And here is the second part (and this is the big one). . .

While we could probably salvage the information and memberships we have, we think it is in your best interest to start our database over from scratch. Our database will be completely wiped out. However, if you have ever purchased anything from us we will have your name and email address in order to communicate with you.

Here is the nitty gritty of what this means:

- if you have EVER purchased a membership with us, it will no longer be valid. You will have to purchase a new one through the site when it goes live. We are destroying all billing and shipping information.

- Any orders that were placed for the June kits at the site on June 1st (yesterday) are not valid. If you check your credit card statements you will see that nothing has been posted against your account. Even if you saw a order in your “account” folder they were not actually processed to your card.

- All passwords and usernames will no longer be valid (as no one will have an account). When you purchase your membership through the site when it is ready again, you will set up a new account (and hence, start from there).

We are not doing this because we have concerns about the security of the data we hold. We are doing it because the database structure we tried to convert from the first website, combined with the challenges from yesterday, make it almost impossible for us to tell with certainty who started a membership and when. Add to this the dozens and dozens of multiple memberships we had (even before yesterday) and it makes it an impossible task.

The good news is the new site is what we have envisioned from the beginning (once it is launched correctly.) Here are some of the features that have changed that will be helpful for you:

- secure log-in access to all of your membership, shipping, and billing information with the ability to make changes yourself.
- the offering of the Monthly Project Kit on Subscription as well.
- helpful information throughout the ordering process, including alerting you if you attempt to purchase a duplicate membership.

Jared and I really want to thank everyone for your support, notes of encouragement and overall good will. This is the only reason I am sticking this out and moving forward. I have made so many wonderful friends through this site (all over the world) and continue to be humbled by the patience and kindness that I have been granted!! I truly am grateful – I could never communicate it well enough. I know that my friends will still be here and I am so encouraged by that. . . thank you, thank you, thank you!

For now I need to shed some love on my little ones and we are off to see "RV" at the theater. . .
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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Site is being shut down
We have asked for the site to be shut down until further notice. I am unsure and still investigating as to why it was launched with some of the issues that have apparently arisen. I am unable to answer the majority of the e-mails that have been sent as the specific answers have not been communicated to me from the programmer. I am trying to go through and reply to a few, but it will take me a couple of days to confirm orders and reply to general checkout errors.
All I can do is apologize for any inconvenience, alarm, and wasted time this may have caused any of you today. As far as the security issue, please know that I would never be okay with any part of my site (that deals with credit card information) not being secure. I am floored that this could have been an issue with anyone and still trying to make sense of how I got here?
I can tell you this - (for those of you that are concerned that you ordered multiple memberships), we have not received any money or receipts whatsoever. I believe, from the little information I have been given, that the orders were accepted into the database (and we will be able to process them therefore) but they currently have not actually been taken out of anyone's account. We will, of course, confirm any of the orders that show multiple memberships before you are charged.
I will keep posting. . .
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Please Read - Site is down!!
Honestly, I'm not sure about all of the details myself yet, but my programmer has been getting the site up piece by piece and has told me that it will be down at least all day (it really was never "up"). So, even though it looks like it is ready (as the pictures show up), the functionality is not there (hence why I got over 100 e-mails while I was in the shower)! I have asked him to put a note up at the site on the home page so that people don't waste their time trying to check out.
I'm hoping that happens very soon.
In the meantime, here is some helpful information:
-we have not sold anything to anyone (so don't worry about kits being gone). No one is able to checkout currently.
- I will post here as soon as I know when it is all functioning properly.
- I don't believe passwords have gone out to current members yet either. I am waiting to hear on this and will post when I know more.
-if you have sent me an e-mail, you will probably get a really quick response from me (not specific) with a link to this blog. I have far more to answer than any one person could keep up with, so I think this is the best way to do it for now. The vast majority say that you tried to check-out and could not. Just reading all of this should help you out.
Okay, that is all for now. As I know more, I will post. Thanks for your patience!
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