Friday, March 28, 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Stenciled Pre-Class Gallery Post...

I know it's been forever since I posted anything...geez, I wish I had more time to work on my blog! But having started working a little over three months ago has made so much less time for anything else. However, I'm working in a craft store which I LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

Now my hobby and work are kind of intertwined. Often, I will do things at home thinking about how it will help me in my job. For instance, this "STENCILED" class...I've been seeing stencils getting more & more popular, so I thought it would be great if I could learn some techniques & creative ideas for using them (since I bought some and have never really used them...) Hence, signing up for this class. I don't know if I'll have the time to participate in making the cards during the class (Friday I might be able to a little bit, but Saturday is my church day and I work Sunday & Monday) but hopefully I can benefit from the information and put it to good use later and get some good samples for the store.

Anyway, here's just a couple cards I made for a class I'm teaching in a week about chalkboard stamping techniques. I just loved how they turned out. I LOVE the chalkboard look! I know it's been around awhile now, but it's still so popular here, and I just can't get tired of it!

The stamps are all from the new Chalkboard Love set from Simon Says Stamp. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Papertrey Ink - a company with wonderful products and the WORST customer service on planet earth


I have been a customer of Papertrey Ink for a very long time, almost since they started as a company. They have wonderful products: extremely innovative and beautiful designs, as well as top notch designers to feature their products. But sadly, their customer service is not even remotely on par with their products. In the seven years that I've been a customer, I've had a couple customer service issues. When you don't have any problem with them, everything is fine. But God forbid you have an issue. Julie Heskamp (a co-owner of the company) maintains the mindset that the customer is always wrong.

This most recent example is the last straw for me. I ordered a steel impression plate from them, but then realized that I already had it. I contacted customer service about my mistake and was told that I could return the item and get a credit for it. So after I received it, I put the brand new, still-packaged item back in the mail (at my expense, of course; after all, it was my mistake). I got an email a few days later from Julie (customer service person and co-owner) telling me that she would not credit me for the plate because it was "used". Despite the fact that I told her over & over that I had never used it (I only had it a couple of days before I sent it back); and why would I use it when I already have the same one?...she absolutely refused to budge.

The only "customer service" option that was provided to me was that they could send the plate back to me...AT MY EXPENSE. Yes, I would have to send them a pre-paid envelope with $2.07 postage on it. This is the treatment I get from them after spending thousands of dollars with them over many years and riding out some times when the company was an absolute mess..trying to get a new website up and running with TONS of problems; having many shipping and other customer service issues. I stayed a customer through all of that, even though it was quite annoying.

And now, after all my years and tons of money spent at Papertrey, the owner tells me that she'd rather refuse my request for a credit for the BRAND NEW item that I sent back than keep me as a customer. I'm not even worth the $2.07 to her, the cost of sending the item that I already paid for back to me. She even refuses to acknowledge that perhaps the "damage" that she's speaking of occurred in the mail on the way back to the company...because if this were the case - instead of me just being a lying weasel-y customer who is trying to return something that is beat up - then she would have to acknowledge that she is just stingy & tight-fisted and doesn't want to provide the kind of generous, positive customer service that a good company should (i.e. providing me store credit for the item out of courtesy, acknowledging that I sent the item back in good faith). If it were damaged in the mail, then she wouldn't be able to fall back on her all-powerful "policy" that states that they "don't accept returns on used items". I did not send back a used and damaged item, but she refuses to give a good customer the benefit of the doubt.

If you're thinking of shopping at Papertrey, think twice. Julie (the owner) cares more about her "rules & policies" than she cares about her long-time, loyal customers. She basically accused me of lying, insisting that the product I sent back was visibly used, something which is very hard to do; even when you do use the product, it doesn't show signs of wear easily because it is a steel plate. I'm absolutely appalled at the way I was treated by the owner herself, and am deeply saddened to have to cease to be their customer, even though I like their products very much. I recommend that anyone stay away from this company who does not value their customers and will more than likely NOT provide good customer service if doing so would cost them even a tiny little bit. Think about this: over a $16 item, she doesn't care about losing a customer who has spent thousands of dollars with them. Is this the kind of business that you want to give your hard-earned money to? I think not.

Oh, and here's the way she responded to me after many emails back and forth, where she kept insisting the plate was used and I kept repeating that there was no way that I could have used it:

While I understand how you must feel (you want to return your plate and are frustrated that we won't take it back), I know a used plate when I see one. All impression plates warp and bend when they are put through the die cut machine, it is the nature of the plate to give under the pressure. That's one reason it makes an impression on the paper.
I am not going to argue with you, I know the plate has been used. We do not return used items, that is our policy. We can go round and round and you can tell me, and everyone else you know on planet earth, that we have the worst customer service ever. But the truth is, we don't. We are honest and we have integrity. If the plate arrived to us in sellable condition (unused), there wouldn't be an issue, but I could NEVER, nor would I ever do that to any customer, sell a plate that was used and in that bad of shape. Rachel, I know you're a great customer and I hate that we are even having this conversation, but in this day and age, I believe more than ever that rules and policies need to be followed. If you don't want to follow our policies and you want to maintain that the plate was not used, that's fine with me. We will send the plate back to you and you can sell it to someone else. As far as we are concerned, we will not take the plate back because it has been used and could never be sold as new to anyone.
Thanks, I wish you all the best in all of your future endeavors."

She is condescending, unbending and absolutely rude to someone who has patronized her company for years. Shopping with Papertrey is a gamble. You can take your chances and hope that you don't ever have an issue, because if you do, I guarantee that every little penny is more important to Julie Heskamp than the customers who are her bread & butter.  

Edited to add the entire transcript of our conversation up to the point of the above letter: 

Hello, I placed an order last night and accidentally ordered something I already have, the Diagonal Stripes impression plate. I tried listing it for sale on the forum, but so far I'm not having any luck. Then I thought to ask customer service if there is any way that it can be removed from the order before it ships. I would be happy to just take a store credit for the amount of the impression plate if it could be removed from my order. I would appreciate it so much! Thank you.

Hi Rachel,

Thank you for your order! I am so sorry, your order has already been shipped so we will not be able to remove that item from your order. I am truly sorry we cannot accommodate your request. If you would like to return it to us, you can send it to:

Papertrey Ink
5514 Fair Lane
Cincinnati, OH 45227

Please include a copy of your invoice for processing. If you have any additional questions or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you so much, Rachel. I hope you have a fantastic day!!

Take care,
Julie Heskamp

Me (a few days later, after I had put the plate in the mail):
Thank you for the reply to my concern about ordering an extra item. I mailed it back yesterday, so you should have it by tomorrow (according to the USPS website). I included my invoice so you have my account to reference. If you could just give me a gift certificate for the amount of the impression plate, that would be just fine. Thank you.

Hi Rachel,

Thank you for letting me know. I will look for the return and make sure you are refunded as soon as possible.Thanks again and have a fantastic day!!

Take care,
Julie Heskamp

Julie again, a few days later, after receiving the plate that I sent:
Hi Rachel,

I have received your Diagonal Stripes Impression Plate. Unfortunately, I will not be able to give you a credit for this item as it has been used. If you would like me to return it to you, I would be happy to do so. Please send in a self addressed stamped envelope with $2.07 worth of postage. You can send it to:

Papertrey Ink
5514 Fair Lane
Cincinnati, OH 45227

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you so much, Rachel. I hope you have a fantastic day!!

Take care,
Julie Heskamp

What???????!!!! There is no WAY that it has been used! I got it in the package and turned around and put it back into the package to ship back to you! Please do not do this to me, as that is absolutely NOT true that it has been used. If it is used, then it was used before you shipped it to me.

Please do right by me and give me the credit for a BRAND NEW item that I shipped back to you. I am a long standing, loyal Papertrey customer who has spent THOUSANDS of dollars with your company. Please provide me with the excellent customer service that you keep promising. I have not had too many customer service issues over the many years that I have been a customer, but the few times that I have had them, I have been less than impressed with the service I received. Now this time is shaping up to be another one of those not great experiences. Please help me out here and provide the kind of customer service that a company of your stature should be providing to its excellent customers. 

Hi Rachel,

I respectfully ask that you not to equate excellent customer service with the fact that you may not like certain policies that our company follows. The item that was returned to us was used. I can see the marks from the die machine and the plate is bent and warped. None of the new plates we have received have ever been bent and warped upon arrival. Did you happen to return the wrong one?

Thanks, Rachel! I hope you are having a great day!!

Take care,
Julie Heskamp

Explain to me why on earth I would need to use it. I already have that same one!! Why would I choose to use the duplicate one when I already have one? No, I did not send back the "wrong one". Even if I had, the one I own has no marks from the die machine and is not bent and warped. None of my impression plates which actually HAVE been used have any "marks from the die machine" nor are they "bent and warped".

Think about it reasonably. From the time it arrived until the time I shipped it back to you was just a matter of DAYS. I shipped it back almost immediately after receiving it. How in the world could it get "bent and warped" and all kinds of marks? This is preposterous. And the fact that you are so unwilling to take the stance of treating me like a valued customer by giving me the benefit of the doubt after all the years that I've shopped with your company is simply amazing to me.

The only thing I can imagine is that somehow the postal service did something to it that would have bent it, but I don't see how it could be so warped from a couple days in the mail. AND even if that were the case, a company that actually valued its customers would still provide me with store credit for the item because I did send it back in good faith and it is not my fault what the postal service does to it. It's amazing that you are so unwilling to provide a very small amount of customer service which would make me a happy customer; you'd rather completely alienate me over a $16 item. At this point, it's not even the money that bothers me, it's your attitude and the way you have treated me when I have been such a loyal customer and spent so much money with Papertrey for so long. This is simply unbelievable. 

Then I sent another email stating that if she didn't make this right that I would file a complaint with the BBB, a dispute with PayPal to get my money back, and tell everyone I could possibly tell about the unbelievable horrible customer service I was receiving.

And that is when I received the response that I already posted above...I would be happy to forward anyone the emails themselves to prove for sure that I'm not making this up...


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Papertrey August 2013 Blog Hop

So I will not get to participate in Stamp-a-Faire because I will be out of town the entire weekend. (though not too much boo-hoo-ing is necessary, because I will be having fun, nonetheless!) But I did want to get at least one entry ready for the monthly blog hop. I can log in and add my post on Sunday morning from where I am.

I really wanted to do a project for each color scheme, since they're all so pretty! But I am rapidly running out of time and I only have one card done...(I will definitely try to squeeze a couple more in later this evening if I can). I spent a lot of time on this one, because I wanted to use a new embellishment that I made from the new Mod Podge melts and a Martha Stewart silicone mold, so I created my entire card around it.

Here is the color scheme & sketch from the Blog Hop list that I used for this's so pretty!

The butterfly in the center was made with the Milk Glass Mod Podge Melts (these are basically just white-colored glue sticks that you put in a regular mini glue gun and then squeeze into silicone molds. I found that you can do the exact same thing with any mini glue gun glue sticks; there's nothing special about the ones from Mod Podge, except for the fact that white ones are hard to find). I used a Martha Stewart silicone mold that was meant for use with Air Dry Clay, but this is much faster and easier! I tinted the butterfly with Royal Velvet ink from Papertrey, then smeared on some Blue Metallic Run-ons (from Color Kit #1), shown at left:

The butterfly looks much prettier in person, with the purple inked background and a shimmery blue foreground. It didn't photograph too well.

I stamped the background with Beautiful Butterflies and then used one of my new Gelatos (in Cotton Candy) to edge the white and then blend with a dry blending stub. I wanted to make it a bit smoother, so I went over it very slightly with a water brush, and it picked up a little bit of purple from somewhere and created that purplish-blue watercolor edging. I really liked the result.

I popped the whole front panel up with really thick foam tape squares, so that the butterfly would really look set back; it's quite a chunky embellishment, so I had to use thick foam square to get the shadow box effect.

Well, that's about it, I guess. I'm off to pack for the weekend!

Supply list:

Cardstock: Simply Chartreuse (card base), White (front panel) (PTI); little scrap of green for behind butterfly from my stash of scraps
Stamp Set(s): Beautiful Butterflies (PTI); Punch Potpourri (SU)
Ink/Colorants: Plum Pudding, Enchanted Evening, Hawaiian Shores, Royal Velvet (PTI); Cotton Candy Gelato (Faber-Castell)
Embellishments: handmade butterfly; enamel dots (My Mind's Eye)
Tools: Get a Handle on It banner die (PTI); Boho Blossoms, Scallop Circle punches (SU); Circle die (Spellbinders)

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Favorite Things Weekly Sketch Challenge #137

This might be the first time I've succeeded in participating in a MFT weekly sketch challenge. I get the emails every week, but my busy life gets in the way! I like the challenges because it forces me to use some of all of those lovely stamps that I've bought and then not yet even inked!

I've had Ring Me and the dies for quite some time and haven't used it, so I was glad to be able to do so for this sketch.

Supply list:

Cardstock: White (card base); Razzle Berry (MFT)
Patterned Paper: from Razzleberry Lemonade collection (SU)
Stamp Set(s): Ring Me (MFT); Banner Builder (PTI)
Ink/Colorants: Rich Razzleberry (SU); Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Embellishments: handmade flower from Mod Podge Melts Mold
Tools: Ring Me dies (MFT)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Papertrey Make It Monday #129

Super quick post coming up here..I really wanted to do something for this week's Make It Monday challenge, Resist with White Crayon. I love that idea, it's so cool! But I was lacking mojo, and none of my stamps were screaming at me "use me for this technique!" Then I saw a card made with a Raisin Boat set I have that has a stamp that looks kind of like crayon scribbling and got an idea...

Here's the stamp set that got me thinking...

...and the card I came up with. Super simple and fast and probably not tremendously awe-inspiring, but I like that I was able to put it together very quickly and I like how the resist turned out! Fun. I can't wait to rev up my mojo again and try this with some other of my PTI stamps. (the sentiment is from All About You Additions)

Supply list:

Cardstock: White, True Black (PTI)
Stamp Set(s): All About You Additions
Ink/Colorants: Cranberry (CTMH); Orange Zest, Harvest Gold, New Leaf, Blueberry Sky (PTI)
Tools: White Crayon, Ink Blending Sponges

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Papertrey Make It Monday #128

This week's Make It Monday challenge is to stamp a random background. I hadn't used any of my button stamp sets in awhile so I thought I'd pull those out and put together a card with kind of a thread/sewing theme. I really liked how the background was turning out, as it looked like the buttons were falling from the sky. Then I got the brilliant idea to stamp the "thread" in the button holes and after that I wasn't as thrilled with the results. But oh well, live & learn. I initially stamped those threads with a darker ink and I realized that when you looked at the BG, all you saw was those little "threads"! So I tried to soften that effect by going over it with a white gel pen, and that helped some.

Here's the end result:

Supply list:

Cardstock: Confetti Cream (SU); Parchment (CTMH); Misc peach-colored
Stamp Set(s): Stitched Sentiments, Hanging By a Thread, Sew Simple Borders, Button Up (PTI)
Ink/Colorants: Riding Hood Red, Blushing Bride (SU); Kiwi, Sunkiss Yellow (CTMH)
Embellishments: Misc fibers
Tools: In Stitches banner die, Thread Card dies (PTI)