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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Eve 2014

Scott and I have had a nice, quiet day together.  He took the tree down this morning. Then we went for breakfast at our favorite little place in Wonder Lake called Busy Bee.  I always have pancakes with chocolate chips.  Are you surprised?  LOL!!!

Scott is moving to a new dealership on Monday.  This one is closer to home than where he's been for the past, I don't know how many years.  I haven't been to this dealership yet so we took a little drive out there after breakfast.  Wow!  That shorter drive will take a lot of stress off of him!

After that, we drove to Hobby Lobby in Crystal Lake.  I have gift cards burning holes in my wallet but I didn't buy a thing.  I think I just wanted to walk around a little. 

After that, lunch at a Chinese Buffet in Crystal Lake.  Then he wanted to stop at Harbor Freight Tools and then Ace Hardware here in McHenry. 

The rest of the day is just going to be watching TV and relaxing.  I think he's dozed off on the sofa at the moment.  There's probably a few cats laying on him too! 

Anyway, this is the CQ project I finished up yesterday:

The photo is a little dark.  I took it with my cellphone.  I'm going to sew this into a pillow.  Hopefully over the weekend.  I'm sure I can get a better picture then with my real camera.

So that's our New Year's Eve.  We're not into any of the traditional celebrating.  We just go out during the day and look around in a few stores, have lunch and then take it easy the rest of the day.

Hope everyone has a safe and quiet evening!  Tomorrow I will post a sneak peek preview of CQ Quarterly Magazine!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Dell Fiasco Is Over!

Okay, so I finally received my refund check from #Dell!  Now, I can pay my Best Buy bill and I'm good to go!  Thank goodness!  I will never buy another Dell product again.  But at least they send my refund in a reasonable amount of time.  So that little fiasco is over!

In other news, I took a urine sample to the vet today for Lucy.  Our vet wanted to make sure that there was no infection from the Bladder surgery that Lucy had just before Thanksgiving.  I'm thrilled to say that there are no white blood cells and no red blood cells.  All is good with her!  And now that the sun is out more often, Lucy is more active.  I guess critters don't like so much darkness either.  She did nothing but sleep since her surgery.  Now, she's been laying the garden window and watching the birds on the feeder!

I have a few finishes to share today.  First are my little cat door hangers that I made around Thanksgiving:




I'm still trying to figure out how to feather the edges of the photos in Photoshop.  If anyone can clue me in, I'd appreciate some help!  In my Corel software it was called "a vignette".  I really like that look, especially on my Etsy photos.

I also listed this little Hanging Heart pillow for mom.  She made this from a vintage linen that I found at a flea market earlier this Summer:

I just talked to mom a little while ago and she said she was working on some more Valentines Day things.

Okay, I'm off to make some dinner!

Monday, December 29, 2014

End Of Year Ramblings

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas.  Ours was very nice but I confess, it felt good to have some down time today.

To everyone who sent me Happy Birthday wishes, both from here and on Facebook, thank you very much!  It was so nice that so many of my online friends remembered since I didn't mention it before Christmas.  My birthday is Christmas Eve.





In other news, the 2015 Spring issue of Crazy Quilt Quarterly magazine is just about done.  I'm waiting on 1 final photo which I can pop into place and then into a PDF file it goes.  It will be released on February 1st but I will share a sneak peek of the cover design on New Years Day so be sure to stop back!

I've pretty much gotten the hang of this new computer now and Photoshop.  Photoshop is a bit more complicated than what I was used to with Corel graphic software but certainly nothing that I couldn't figure out.  I even did a new banner for my Etsy shop for Valentines Day:

I have a few new things to add to shop which I'll do tomorrow.  I also have a new pillow project that I'm finishing up so I'll have 2 of those to sew together in the next few days.  And I need to sew some more blocks up because I have nothing on the back burner to stitch on now.

Once I get the tree and other Christmas decorations down and put away, I want get the roses stenciled in my new little pink room.  Then I can take photos and share them here.  Why do I always feel like there's more to do than what time permits?  Maybe I have way more ambition than time?  Who knows!  But I'll get it done!

So for now, I have laundry to fold.  I got so behind on that and now I'll  be playing catch up through tomorrow.  But again, I'll get it done.  Eventually!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Call From Dell

Well, it looks like the #dell computer fiasco will be ending very soon.  They called me this morning to ask how I want my refund back?  LOL!!!  Really?  She wanted to know if they should just apply it to my #dell account.  I said, "Nooooooo.....I would like a check for the full refund".  I told her under no uncertain terms that I will ever buy another Dell product so a check as soon as possible would be good.  I think she said that it should arrive in a week or so but I'm not sure because I couldn't understand her.  Typical for dealing with dell.

In other news, I finished up this purple crazy quilt pillow:

I'll sew this up after the holidays.  I started on a red crazy quilt pillow over the weekend but I didn't very far I'll share a photo of that when I get a little more stitching done on it.

For now, I'm just about ready for Christmas.  I wrapped my gifts yesterday.  Other than that, it's just a matter of putting my tree back together every 5 minutes because my cats think it's a giant cat toy!  LOL!!!

The Cinnamon Bear - Episode 24 - The Parade

The Cinnamon Bear - Episode 24 - The Parade


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Girl With Cat Pillow

Well, I'm getting the hang of things here!  This #Asus computer is awesome!  And Photoshop is much easier than I expected.  It's just a matter of figuring out where all the tools are.  Basically, the tools are the same as what I'm used with Corel software, it's all just in a different places.  Piece of cake!

So, what am I stitching on these days?  Another pillow:

I'm really into stitching with purple these days!  It's a nice change from my usual pink!

Also this morning, I sewed up my little kitty door hangers.  I just have to stuff them and sew the little butts shut.  I'll do that later and then I'll post more photos of those.

I'm just about ready for Christmas.  All I have left to do is to wrap my gifts.  I'll do that over the weekend.  Maybe Bubba will give me a hand with that.

Be sure to stop by on New Year's Day as I'll be posting a sneak peek of Crazy Quilt Quarterly magazine!  Just the cover!  But it's very Springy and I'm sure by New Year's, we'll all need a little breath of Springtime air!

The Cinnamon Bear - Episode 20 - Flying Hat

The Cinnamon Bear - Episode 20 - Flying Hat


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Computer!

Well everyone, I'm finally writing on my brand new Asus computer!  And all I can say is OMG! 

I'll get better photos when the dust settles down a bit but for now, this is my new desk with my new computer and new monitor. 

And talk about fast!  Holy cow!  This monitor is unbelievable!  I'm used to working with a little tiny monitor. 

The Geek Squad man was awesome.  He had everything set up in about 2 hours.  He even neated up all the cords under the desk.  I hate cords!

I've just downloaded Photoshop.  This is new software for me but so far, it looks pretty self explanatory.  I'm not at all unfamiliar with graphic software.  I've always used Corel Draw and Photopaint.   I'm going with Photoshop now because it's the industry standard and the updates are continuous.

So for now, I'm off to play a bit and get the hang of this!

The Cinnamon Bear - Episode 19 - Wooden Indian

The Cinnamon Bear - Episode 19 - Wooden Indian


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Kitty Stitching

Well, throughout my #Dell disaster, I did manage to get some stitching done.  I worked up 4 little kitty door hangers:




I want to try to sew these up later this week.  I also started on a pillow:

At the moment, it's a little tough trying to find time to stitch.  We did get the tree up.  Scott put it up last night and I decorated it this morning.  Scott went up town yesterday afternoon and bought the tree.  He got it all set up and I went to look for our lights but I couldn't find them.  Then we remembered that we tossed them because a string had gone out.  Anyway, so up to Home Depot we went last night.  But that's done.  Now it's just a matter of keeping the cats out of it!

At the moment, I'm in the process of baking 6 double batches of cookies.  I've been baking since 11:30 and it's 4:00 now.  I mixed the dough yesterday (thank goodness for my Kitchenaid Mixer!), put it in the fridge and I've been baking it all afternoon.

I guess I'm just trying to get some of these Christmas things done.  I know it's supposed to be fun but it feels never ending.  I guess I'd always rather be stitching!

I got an email from #dell saying that they received my returns.  I'd better have my refund back soon.  If I have to call them again, I will scream so loud, the earth will move!  I still can't believe what a fiasco that was.  I ordered from them on November 10th.  Today is December 14th.  Thanks to their incompetence, I'm still working from my laptop.  Thank goodness I have it!  The Geek Squad man comes on Wednesday.  First thing in the morning.  So hopefully, by noon, I'll be parked behind my desk and enjoying my new Asus system. 

Okay, I have to go pull another pan of cookies!

The Cinnamon Bear - Episode 16 - Oliver Ostrich

The Cinnamon Bear - Episode 16 - Oliver Ostrich


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Call For Magazine Submissions

I just got off the phone with Adobe.  I will be making the switch from the Corel line of graphic software to Adobe Photoshop.  I'm still kind of old school I guess.  I'm used to going over to Best Buy, purchasing software on a CD and installing it on my computer that way.  Now everything is subscriptions done via online downloads.

I had some questions that weren't covered on Adobe's website so I just called.  Wow!  I got a person immediately who I could understand!  No waiting on hold for hours!  The lady had to transfer me and again, I got a nice person who answered right away and explained the entire process to me!  I was on and off the phone in 5 minutes!  I think Dell could learn some lessons from Adobe!!!!

Okay, this is just a quick post for right now.  If I have time later, I'll post some photos of my recent Crazy Quilt project.  Yes, I have been stitching through my Dell Disaster!

I'm going to be wrapping up the Spring issue of Crazy Quilt Quarterly magazine soon so I want to put the call out for submissions for the Summer issue.  The overall theme will be Seascapes.  The issue won't be limited to seascapes but I think that will be a nice focus since ocean themes elude many crazy quilters.

I'm looking for articles, tutorials and eye candy with fish, the ocean floor, anemones and so on.  Certainly feel free to send anything you would like to submit to my email but if you've done seascapes, I want to see it!!!!

As soon as I wrap up the Spring issue, I will be starting on the Summer issue.  I know everyone is busy with Christmas but if you can take a break and send me submissions, that would be awesome!

I'm also accepting ads for the Summer issue now as well so please contact me if you would like to promote your Etsy shop or other needlework related business.

Finally, on New Year's Day, I will post a sneak peek of the Spring issue.  Stop back then to see the cover!

The Cinnamon Bear - Episode 13 - The Wintergreen Witch

The Cinnamon Bear - Episode 13 - The Wintergreen Witch


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Almost Done With Dell Fiasco

The Dell fiasco is almost over.  I decided to pack the whole thing up and ship it all back to them.  Monday morning, I spent 4 hours on the phone waiting for return instructions.  I called them at 8:45 am and finally got it all on it's merry way at 4:00 pm. A whole day?  Really!   Now it's just a matter of waiting for my refund.  By the time I got home from shipping it back at Staples, I was so aggravated, I made Scott dinner, took a shower and went to bed and watched TV.

Yesterday morning, I got in my little Fancy Fusion, that's what I call my car, and drove up to Best Buy.  The Best Buy man was awesome!  I gave him the print out of what I had from Dell, whined to him about Dell's customer service (he told me that he hears the same story 10 times a day) and asked him to help me with a new computer.

He said that 5 years ago, Dell was a good company with a good product but they have gone down hill since.  He asked me what I needed to do with my computer, I told him and he recommended a gaming computer with a high quality graphic card.  When he said that, I remembered that I burned out a graphic card years ago on my last computer.  My brother in law replaced it for me and it's been fine since.

So anyway, he suggested an Asus system.  He said they're very reliable computers and I told him that's exactly what I need.  Reliable.  I have no patience for computer problems.  It's a little weird looking.  It kind of looks like something out of Star Wars!!!

I know, it's not like any computer I've ever seen before but I really don't care what it looks like.  All that matters to me is that it's reliable, can handle large image files and lasts me a long time!  I did ask him if he can make it light up in pink but he said that red was the only option!  LOL!!!

Anyway, the monitor is 27 inches instead of the 23 inch monitor that Dell sent.  The speakers are better, everything is better.  All for the the same amount of money that I spent at Dell.  I also have 3 years of Geek Squad service and a 3 year extension on my virus protection.  I use Trend Micro so I'm paid in full on that for more than 3 years!  Wow!

I have the Geek Squad coming next Wednesday to set everything up for me!  It's been a long wait and a frustrating one at that but when I left Best Buy, I felt so much better.  I then went over to Wendy's and got me a little cheeseburger, a small fry and small iced and drove to the park by the lake that we live by, ate my lunch and watched the geese.

So I think all is well.  And I just pray that Dell gets my refund right and that I don't have to call them again because if I do, I will scream!  There is no reason to have to sit and wait on the phone for hours on end only to end up talking to someone who I can't understand.  And every time I asked to speak with someone in the United States, they got mad and sassy with me.

Ironically, Dell sent me 2 surveys yesterday, regarding my experience with them.  Ha, ha, ha!  They're probably sorry now that they did.  They got a piece of my mind!!!

The Cinnamon Bear - Episode 12 - The Rhyming Rabbit

The Cinnamon Bear - Episode 12 - The Rhyming Rabbit


Sunday, December 07, 2014

Calling Dell Tomorrow

Well, my little old laptop seems to be moving along much faster today than yesterday.  Maybe because I finally have everything updated.  Who knows!  I do plan to replace this laptop over the Summer but I won't be ordering from Dell again.  I'll go over to Best Buy and get a Dell laptop there.

For now, I hope that this one can keep up with me until I finally get things settled with Dell and have my new one up and running!  LOL!!!  Tomorrow I will be calling Dell to send me a replacement.  And they better have it to me by Friday!  I have run out of patience with them now.

Thank you to everyone who sent me their kind comments.  I will never order directly from Dell again.  Live and learn I guess!  From here on in, I will order what I want from Best Buy and have The Geek Squad set it up for me.

As for the magazine, I have 6 more pages to put together but one is the editors info and one is the table of contents.  Those get taken care of last.

I guess I'm just a crazy person when it comes to responsibility.  When I make a promise, I keep it come hell or high water.  I'm very committed to what I do, both with my Etsy shop and now the magazine.  I guess I expect the same sense of commitment from others, esp. big companies like #Dell.  I didn't expect to run into these problems with them.  And I climb the walls in fear of not being able to meet my responsibilities due to incompetence on someone else's part.  It's really sad when money becomes more important than the customer.  I have never run my Etsy shop that way and I never will.  Customer service and satisfaction always comes first.

I know there's a huge difference between my little Etsy shop and Dell computers but big places that like that could learn a lot from little businesses like mine.  Honestly, if you don't take care of the customers first, they don't come back!  It's not rocket science!  It's just common sense!

The Cinnamon Bear - Episode 9 - Roly Poly Policeman

The Cinnamon Bear - Episode 9 - Roly Poly Policeman


Saturday, December 06, 2014

Dell Fiasco

Well, my new computer came but guess what?  I doesn't work.  The so called "Dell technician" came out to set it all up for me.  He wasn't a Dell technician.  Dell out-sources everything now so basically, he was a computer guy (and not a good one) but that was it.  It was working when he left but when I went back in my office, it wasn't.  I called Dell Support and ended up talking to 4 different people with accents that I couldn't understand.  Spent 2 hours trying to get them to send another tech and they kept telling me that they hadn't determined yet if I needed one. WHAT?  My blood was boiling!

The next day, I called Dell back and spent an hour and 1/2 trying to get them to refund my "Installation fee" which they finally did.  Again, talking to people who were not in the US and had accents that I couldn't understand.  Once I got off the phone with them, I called The Geek Squad from Best Buy.  He came this morning and in 10 minutes was able to diagnose the problem which is not fixable.  And of course, it's Saturday so I can't get in touch with Dell again until Monday.

I wonder how much more fighting I'll have to do with them to get them to send a new one.  Not only that, I ordered Microsoft Office to be installed on that computer before they sent it to me.  It wasn't installed.  They didn't charge me for it but that's not the point.

I'm writing now on my laptop which is also as old as dirt and slower than molasses in Winter.  My old desktop is disabled now and I'm am just livid!

Is there something written on my forehead that says, "Kick Pam in the head, as hard as you can, over and over and over?"  I mean really!  Why couldn't this go smoothly?  Why did this turn into such a fiasco?

Okay so I'm going to try to finish up my last couple of magazine pages on here.  If it pitches too many fits with me, I'll go put them together on my dad's computer.  I just have a couple more to do!!!

Hopefully, these issues will be settled by New Years!  I will have the Geek Squad come out and set it all up once I get things straightened out with #Dell.   The Best Buy man was so professional.  He wore a tie, and put the little shoe thingys on so he didn't mess up my floors.  He was awesome!  So when all is said and done, I'm going to purchase "Tech Support" from them.  Dell's tech support is useless.  And if I may, there are so many people in the US that need jobs.  Why is Dell outsourcing work to other countries?  With people who have accents that I just can't understand?

Sorry, but I'm angry, frustrated and so terribly disappointed.  I know it'll all work out fine but in the meantime, I'm kind of stuck and I hate being stuck!  And I don't do things last minute.  I like all my ducks in a row and I do things well in advance.

I really can't believe all this.  But that's where things are at the moment.

The Cinnamon Bear - Episode 8 - The Candy Pirates

The Cinnamon Bear - Episode 8 - The Candy Pirates


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