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Crewel Intentions is almost here….

It’s almost here. The ship bringing the South African edition of my new book docked in Cape Town on Monday and as soon as it has landed in the warehouse, boxes of books will be sent up to me. I hope to receive them by the end of next week.

This is what it looks like, and if you go back to my January post, you can see what’s inside it.

It doesn’t matter how many books or articles one writes, it’s always exciting to see it in print and so, we decided that a brand new website was in order. Aside from any celebratory reasons, the present website has been too complicated and customers have often had problems registering and shopping.

My son, known to many of you as Dude, is one of our local experts in this field. He has written a new website from scratch, coding it to my specific instructions. Those instructions being that it should be user friendly. That our customers are not teenage boys who know how to hack into systems that I dare not mention here, in case I am tagged by, say, the military. It will go live tomorrow, or the next day, and existing customers may receive an email asking them to update their details. This so that you will be able to shop with ease. Not just for the new book, but also for all the packs that you will need to complete the projects.

It is entirely possible that problems can still occur, but we will be on alert asking you to bear with us while they are ironed out. We’re pretty smart down here on the tip of Africa and we get it right, but if we don’t sometimes, it’s not as if we are in the business of saving lives or taking care of someone’s life savings. It’s just embroidery and that does not constitute a medical or other emergency.

In the past we didn’t ask you to pay, instead sending you an invoice or Paypal notification. That will change as the website has been written to accommodate alerts to us if stock levels are low. It will calculate postage and ask you to pay either through Payfast, which will accommodate EFT for South African customers, or through Paypal for international customers. Please be assured that we have taken security very seriously, with both of these payment platforms being as secure as anything ever can be.

So, as soon as it is live, South African customers will be able to order the new book and the packs. Customers in the rest of the world will need to order the book through whatever channels you usually use – Amazon, Book Depository, Fishpond, etc. and of course, your local booksellers or needlework shop. I expect the books to be available to you from the end of this month. Packs can be ordered from our website. They’re all packed, ready and waiting for you.

On a very different note, I would like to apologise to anyone who has experienced glitches with their orders in the last few months. It is only one or two of you and it’s because for the better part of six months I have not had my eye on the ball as well as I should have. I’ve had a ten year shoulder niggle that finally got to the point where I was forced to do something about it after hurting it again in December. The comforting cortisone injection that usually did the trick had lost it’s zing and I had surgery in March. I have gained a new respect for anyone who goes through anything that involves cutting into the bone. In future I will be able to say, “I feel your pain” and really mean it.

Constant low-grade pain is exhausting and, if I’m to be completely honest, there were times when I just didn’t care what was going on in my studio. I sat around looking grim, feeling sorry for myself and I let Darren just get on with it. He really stepped up to the plate and has done a marvelous job, but there is too much for one person to cope with on their own and the odd thing slipped through.

I am now back up running, ready for everything that goes with the new book, the travel abroad and whatever else comes along. Even bought myself a new set of suitcases with four wheels, instead of two, so that I can push, not pull. I still can’t get my left arm around to the back to do up my most necessary piece of underwear, but have solved that by doing up the hooks first, stepping into it as if it were a pair of trousers, then pulling it all the way up. My family laugh at me, but it works! And I’m sure they were tired of being asked to do up the hooks even if, bless them, they never complained. Well, my husband didn’t. If I was forced to ask my son he did it uncomplainingly, but with very long arms.

The main thing is, the light has started shining at the end of the tunnel and I am back to full speed in the important areas.