Thursday, 29 March 2012

My 2 Cents

This is a post regarding the recent (well, technically not so recent) Papertrey Ink customer service drama. I've kept quiet till now because initially, I thought people were just being immature and I didn't want to be involved, but over the past few months, even I've been bugged with all the things that have happened. Donna's recent post on her blog (go have a read, I actually think it's quite well written) brought my writing muse out today. I just wanted to add in my 2 cents that I didn't really bother to post on the forums.
Many of you will know that just about every card I make involves a PTI product. I'm close to being 100% PTI when it comes to stamping. Largely because PTI is what got me started stamping in the first place, and I have yet to find another company that really suits my style.
When I first started 1.5yrs ago, I quickly fell in love with PTI products. I still do as a matter of fact. They are high quality and versatile. I joined the forum, and was rather impressed at the community we had there. People helped each other out and the Design Team personally answered questions. You don't see such a place online very often these days.
But then it all started to turn to custard with anniversary sets not getting sent out, Karen having trouble with her defective item returns. Then everything followed from there onwards. Now we have a new website, which is a hundred times more difficult to navigate than the old one, let alone launched before it was even ready (what happened to pre-launch testings that we were told about?). Customer service emails getting wiped out on purpose so that they can catch up and re-triage as you are told when to email? People not getting their refunds (oh I've got one to share on this one)? The forum's been turned into a complaints box/CS emergency desk. How is it that you get a faster response and action on the forum? How will you make it up to people who never joined the forum? People have been banned on the forum. People I think that did not deserve the IP ban. The whole madness would have been much better with acceptance, apologies and getting the job done.

I'm leaving out a lot of the details, because there is enough out there, and Donna's post highlights many of them already.
I have to say one of the things that really annoys me is the fact that the design team is now on the customer service case. Don't get me wrong, but I love the DT. They are great bunch of ladies with lots of inspiration. But they are the DT. They should never be more or less. If PTI has CS issues, then they should be hiring more people fit for the job. Why is it that the DT is relaying information from the forum in the first place. Why are people getting answers on the forum and not over CS emails that is dedicated for the job? I can only speculate that the DT was brought back in to add a bit more positive vibe to the forum (when they all suddenly show up on the forum, it's kind of obvious something happened behind the scenes). In truth, I just find it all very superficial. And btw, don't you also think that having the DT on the forums answering CS questions has turned the forum into another CS desk? What's with that?

I will share my one experience with PTI customer service. I'm not exactly a short-fused person, and I wasn't too bothered what happened. I was just happy to get my replacement die and thought it went ok. But looking back now, it was really, crappy service too.

I had a defective die last year. I first emailed CS on 25th Aug with photo evidence, and got a reply the next day. Now, the info had to be relayed to Julie because I am an international. I heard nothing back. I emailed again on 3rd Sept and I got a reply on the 7th Sept that they'll give Julie another nudge to see if there's an update. I still had no information on what I should do with this defective die. Reply from Julie finally on the 8th Sept to send the die back (why can't this have been done on day 1???). Now this happened just after Karen had her trouble with the "First Class Mail" return of her defective item so I was adequately informed just a normal envelope would do. But nothing again till 28th Sept when I sent another email to CS. I also asked about the $2 refund they said I'll get for the shipping of the defective die. Reply next day from Julie she was planning on sorting out faulty goods that day and that if my die had arrived by then, then she'll send a new one that day. Replacement arrived 11 Oct.

That took 6 weeks to get sorted. Given I had photo evidence, can't they have sent a new one straight off when I sent the initial email? Why take over 4 weeks to even think about doing something about it?

What happened to my $2 refund you ask? I never got it. I just checked now, and I have no record of any refund being received from PTI. Will I call PTI CS for it now? I don't think so. They can keep my measly $2. It's not worth my time and energy to send them another dozen emails to have it sorted. I'll have better luck finding a $2 coin on the ground somewhere.

And one other thing. I totally don't understand how the company in the current state, can continue with monthly releases, Make It Mondays and Blog Hops as if everything is going perfectly well. Yes I admit to participating in Blog Hops and MIMs, but really, it gives me more pageviews and comments than anything else I've done so far. Once I get home and try other challenges, things will change.

So now what? Why the change in my tone all of a sudden? Wasn't I the happy forum member who didn't give a damn about the drama that was going on? No, not really. I just stayed out of the complaints box for my own sake. I had enough of it just flicking through the thread headings. Mid-last year, I still had a lot of hope in PTI and kept quite positive. I thought there was room to turn back and make things right. But all that has happened since is that they've dug a deeper hole than they started with. Yes, some things are starting to get fixed. But the damage has been done. I don't think PTI will ever recover completely. It takes quite a lot (A LOT) to get me to write something like this. In fact, it is near impossible. I've been disappointed far too many times. Mostly indirectly, but imagine what it'd be like those who never got their anniversary sets, never got the refund, got banned from forum and never had their questions answered promptly.

Will I still use their products? Oh heck yes. When you started stamping because of PTI, you don't have a lot of else to convert to. Will I buy from them still? To be honest, I have my credits to use, and there are still some sets that I'm keen to get. But I have to say I have become more and more put off. I may put in one more order with my credits and then who knows what will happen. I'll reassess the situation later, but I doubt I'll be putting in another big order like I have in the past. I have yet to find another clear stamp company that has the styles I want. I've looked at just about all the well-known ones and they don't draw me much at all. But anyway, I've got enough to play with for the time being.

This has turned into a bit of a novel. But just to reiterate that it's just my 2 cents and my experiences over the past year. It's not an award winning novel, but I believe that people need to hear various opinions and make up their own minds. I post this out of frustration of being disappointed from time and time again by a company that I once loved so much.

Nichole Heady always puts "our valued customers" at the heading of her notices. I really think it is time they get their act together if they truly value us. It should have happened long ago, but now is better than never. Learn from mistakes, make amends and then move forward. It's not going to work doing it back to front.

Thought I'd add some links to other blogs who share their views.

Donna C

Monday, 26 March 2012

Liebster Blog Award

Today I've been lucky enough to be given the Liebster Blog Award by Gayatri (go check her blog!), who is an amazing crafter herself.

My understanding is that you share the love around between small blogs (less than 200 followers) to put some great blogs that are hidden away on the web.
To accept the award, you must:
1) Link back to the person who gave it and thank them for thinking of you.
2) Post the award to your blog.
3) Give the award to 5 bloggers (with less than 200 followers) that you appreciate and value.
4) Leave a comment on the blogs of the five people you have chosen to let them know. 
So... are you ready to see my 5 blogs?
1. Jen
2. Deb
4. Audrey
5. Leigh

Go check out all these beautiful blogs. They are all so inspiring to look through :)

Now, I missed my timing to link my Blog Hop post today (that was a fail <_<). So in case you were wondering where the thumbnail was for my post was, it's because it's not there.

Thanks for coming by!

PS - I don't have any more cards to share for the next 2 weeks :'( I've brought my crochet to Timaru with me this time round, but I forgot the stuffing so you won't be seeing any new bunny toys or bears either. But I might take a work-in-progress photo if I can nab a vaguely ok photo off my phone!

PTI Blog Hop March 2012

Hi everyone. Hopefully this scheduled thing posts this at the right time for the PTI Blog Hop. This month, it's all about Spring and colours aqua and yellow!

Here's the inspiration photo...
 Those of you who came earlier to my blog will know that I was in the process of making baby cards to thank two newly made parents for letting me be present at their special moment when their little one was born ;) So here's the other card I made.

Unfortunately the glitter didn't come out all that well, but it's sitting there in the while gaps between the Aqua Mist and Lemon Tart panels!

I got another use out of the Bundle of Love set. Sentiment is from Night Night Moon set. I really feel that there is something still missing in this card as a final touch but I gave up on it after staring at it all day.

Hope you enjoyed my take on the coloured panels and glitter in between :)
I'm going to try and make another few cards to share over time while I'm away now!
Thanks for coming!

STAMP: [PTI] Bundle of Love, Night Night Moon
INK: [PTI] Dark Chocolate, Summer Sunrise; [StazOn] Tuxedo Black
PAPER: [PTI] Stamper's Select White, Lemon Tart, Aqua Mist
OTHER: [PTI] Grosgrain ribbon (white); [KaiserCraft] Rhinestone; [Copic] Sketch Marker (E00, E21, T1, Y35, Y38)

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Make It Monday #58 Part 2 - Hanging Out

Hello again!
My attempts to make several cards while home has fallen through the roof and I've only managed to make another one for Make It Monday and one for the Blog Hop tomorrow!

Here's something with my new Hanging Out set. I've used the graduated background with Copics, to add a bit of background colours to this little scene here.
I've also distressed the edges of the mat with my scissors a wee bit.
A close up view here. Sorry, I used scrap patterned paper and I'm a bit too lazy to search their names and brands.
 Sorry it's a very quick post. I've got some packing to do before heading back down south! See you back with the Blog Hop!

STAMP: [PTI] Hanging Out
INK: [PTI] Dark Chocolate; [SU!] Old Olive
PAPER: [PTI] Ocean Tides, Rustic Cream; various patterned paper scraps
OTHER: [PTI] Hanging Out die collection; [Copic] Sketch Marker (0, BG11, BG13, BG15, G20, G21, G24)

Friday, 23 March 2012

Make It Monday #58 & Bundle of Love

Hello everyone! I am back!

I had one busy busy week and have just finished my run. I've been super stressed with my presentation (which I had to present to a single audience... <_<) and my oral assessment today. Now that it is out of the way, and I'm back home for another few days, I have time to get crafty again!

I spent Monday night till early hours of morning in birthing suite helping delivering babies. I managed to be present for 2 so now I have the job of making some baby girl cards to thank the new parents for letting me be at their special moment :)

 And while I was at it, I thought I may as well tackle the new Make It Monday. Really, because I am flat out on ideas on how to use my newly purchased baby sets (someone decided to sell them on our local auction site for cheaper than what it's worth and brand new too!!!). I am also happy to announce that I now have Houndstooth too hahaha.
So here's my tackle on the graduated background using Copic Sketch Markers, and my new Bundle of Love set. I really don't have any fresh ideas to use this set -_-;;

But the torn edges go rather nicely don't you think?

Anyway that's one card down, one more to go.

Thanks for poppin' by! See you back soon with more cards :)

STAMP: [PTI] Bundle of Love
INK: [PTI] Dark Chocolate Berry Sorbet; [Memento] Tuxedo Black
PAPER: [PTI] Berry Sorbet, Rustic Cream
OTHER: [Copic] Sketch Markers (0, T1, R20, R21, R22, R24, Y32, Y35, Y38)

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Happy Birthday Stephinka! :)

It's Stephinka's birthday today! I only just sent her a birthday card yesterday so it's not going to get to her in time for her birthday. Therefore I am posting it here so that she can at least visualise it. Also, Steph doesn't like surprises, so everyone go to her blog and wish her a big fat happy birthday!!!

So here's the card I made for her. And another of the same style. I am really into this style at the moment. I need more stamps to do more of this. But with all the recent PTI madness I don't think I'll be rushing to order any time soon. Even I am getting put off (but I have lots of reward points that needs to be munched up). Just as well I cleverly ordered cardstock before the new website rolled out (I really dislike the new website).

Sorry I digressed. Time for cards.
 The stamp sets are from My Cute Stamps. I got them when they were on 50% sale on. As a matter of fact, I think they are still having it now!
Do you see the swirls on the tag in the background? It's from Winter Penguin set ;)

Thanks for coming by. Don't forget to pop on down to Steph's blog!

 {Wishing You Blue Skies & Sunshine}
STAMP: [My Cute Stamps] Circus Animals; [PTI] Signature Series: Flower, Fillable Frames #5
INK: [SU!] Melon Mambo, Early Espresso
PAPER: [PTI] Raspberry Fizz, Vintage Cream
OTHER: [PTI] Woodgrain impression plate, Fillable Frames #5 die, Saddle Stitch ribbon (Raspberry Fizz); [Copic] Sketch Marker (T1)

{Make a Wish}
STAMP: [My Cute Stamps] Circus Animals;[PTI] Winter Penguin, Tag-its #10
INK: [SU!] Old Olive, Early Espresso
PAPER: [PTI] Ripe Avocado, Rustic Cream
OTHER: [PTI] Woodgrain impression plate, Limitless Layers 1 3/4" Circle die collection, Saddle Stitch ribbon (Simply Chartreuse); [Copic] Sketch Marker (T1)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Traffic Light Sunflowers

Hello again!

Back with another card. I just found a card in my harddrive that never got shared. So here it is! I actually submitted this card to a magazine but never got a happy mail from. I loved this card when I made it, but now that I look at it, I don't really like it so much. I think my style has changed slightly yet again since November last year!

I have to say I'm totally craving stamping atm. But I have nothing with me here in Timaru T_T And I still have another 5 1/2 weeks left here! Perhaps if I had a big Crop In Style tote, then I'd have an easier time taking things around with me. There's even a decent scrapbooking shop in Timaru, and they do crops every two weeks. If I only had my things!!!!! I need to find myself a way to get myself one of those Crop In Style totes. Can't get them new here, and those ppl trying to sell theirs are all in North Island and won't ship them to where I am :(

But anyway, card time.

So a fairly simpile card. Three pieces of different cardstock, put them all together side by side and heat emboss images. Separate them out slightly on a card base, wrap around some vellum and ribbon. Heat emboss sentiment. Easy as pie.

Anyway, I'll leave you with this card. I have two other cards that needs to be shared, but one of them is Stephinka's bday card. I will share it on her birthday unless it reaches her in the next 36hrs (which I highly doubt).

Thanks for coming by!

STAMP: [PTI] Simple Sunflowers, Inside & Out: Birthday
INK: Versamark
PAPER: [PTI] Vintage Cream, Berry Sorbet, Summer Sunrise, New Leaf; Vellum
OTHER: [Filigree] Embossing Powder (clear); [SU!] Stampin' embossing powder (white); [Celebrate!] Satin Ribbon (cream); [PTI] Button (Simply Chartreuse); [KaiserCraft] Rhinestone (silver)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Night Night Moon Baby Card

Hello again everyone!

I've got another card to share with you all today. I've absolutely no motivation to study tonight and this is going to make me feel like I've done something! lol

I'm back down in Timaru and I've left all of my crafting gear at home, so I have nothing to play around with here T_T Dad just texted me this morning that my new purchases off someone has arrived today. Which means more baby stamp sets and houndstooth!!!!! But I will have to wait till next weekend to play with them <_<

Anyhow, here's a baby card to keep you entertained. I have to admit, the next three cards all look more or less the same. But I just love this style and technique. Stamp backgrounds with outlined images, then go around each image with T1 Copic Sketch marker for a bit of shading and then run it through the Woodgrain impression plate. It totally rocks <333

This card is specifically made for one of my patients who is eagerly waiting to deliver her baby next week. I seriously hope the baby is still a girl when we deliver her lol

I think this makes such a neat card. It's simple, yet has enough. And it's very very easy to colour coordinate too. Btw, I used my brand spanking new Berry Sorbet ink pad. It inks beautifully. Though I have to say, Orange Zest inks and stamps better than any I've ever tried. Anyway, a close-up view here. You should be able to see the Woodgrain Impression a bit better here.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Next two cards aren't really that different but hey, at least I'm posting now aren't I? ;)

Thanks for poppin' by!

STAMP: [PTI] Night Night Moon, Fillable Frames #5
INK: [PTI] Berry Sorbet; [SU!] Early Espresso
PAPER: [PTI] Berry Sorbet, Vintage Cream
OTHER: [PTI] Satin ribbon (Berry Sorbet), Fillable Frames #5 die, Woodgrain Impression Plate; [Copic] Sketch Markers (R20, R24, R29, T1)

Saturday, 10 March 2012


Hi everyone!

Totally sorry how inactive I have been recently. With all the travels it has been rather difficult. I'm now based in Timaru for 8 weeks and living on 7th floor meant that I couldn't be stuffed getting all my crafting gear upstairs. Besides, I blew the fuse with a hairdryer, have only one power outlet and only one crappy lighting in my room. I doubt I'll be able to craft properly in that dungeon of a room.

Nevertheless. I'm home for a few days and have managed to get crafty in that time. Hooray! My cardstock/ribbon/die order from PTI arrived yesterday with impecable timing. I was literally out of white and rustic cream for a while and wasn't very happy about it! I have enough to last me a good while now (hopefully).

I've been in the background stamping mood recently. And I finally got around to using my Spaceships and Robots set from My Cute Stamps.

And I'm really liking my super duper idea of using the In the Meadow snowdrift die to create space for alphabets. You're going to be seeing this style more soon I suspect.

I'm going to try and make another couple of cards so that I can post them while I'm away in Timaru as to not disappoint you all too much!

Thank you for coming by :)

STAMP: [My Cute Stamps] Spaceships & Robots
INK: [PTI] Orange Zest, Summer Sunrise; [SU!] Early Espresso
PAPER: [PTI] Orange Zest, Summer Sunrise, Stamper's Select White, Dark Chocolate
OTHER: [PTI] Sunshine impression plate, Block Alphabet die collection, In the Meadow die collection