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Snow day

When the sun came up this morning, the snow really did look pretty. I wasn’t sure what to expect, since it had been sleeting. We even had some frost on the front door.

Snow is looking unfamiliar to our kitties, I think.

One brave kitty soul took a quick run down the steps and back.

No one has plowed here, not even the highway. So, it may be midweek, when the temperature might rise above freezing, before I get to the Post Office to mail any orders. I’m sure the hill to the main road is slick right now.

That should keep me focused on my projects for a couple of days at least. One of those projects is a surprise. My next blog post will be my 300th post. Well, actually this is my 300th post, if we count the one that said “Just testing” that I deleted 🙂 It will also be my 3rd year blog anniversary! That sounds lucky to me. So, I’m going to try something I’ve been thinking about for a while, a little blog giveaway. It’s going to be Valentine’s Day themed, and I think I’ll run it until a week before Valentine’s Day, February 7th, to allow for shipping time. I’m curious to know who you are, and so to enter, I’ll be asking you to leave a comment saying hello and whatever you might like to say by way of introduction. I’ll ask you to leave your first name so I can put your name in a hat, and if you want to, a link where I can find you (your web site, Facebook page, whatever you’d like). Otherwise, you can check back on the 8th. I’ll have more information about the prize in my next post.

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Cuteness

I just wanted to share this adorable little boy and the “Hug Me Slug” he got for Christmas. What a smile! His “Hug Me Slug” had a “disappearance”, and I am right now helping him have a reappearance. I tried to make “Marigold II” look as close as I could to “Marigold I” 🙂

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Harry Potter and the Temple of Hug Me! Slugs

Before I forget…I set up a brand new fan page for Ruffing’s over on Facebook. I’m posting photos of art from each of us, and my videos, and anything new that comes up. Please “become a fan” if you are over that way. To those of you who already became a fan, thanks very much!

We are getting some snow and sleet here, the only snow we’ve had so far this year. I hurried to get a couple of “Hug Me! Slug” orders out ahead of the storm, just in case we got snowed in. There isn’t much snow, but I don’t know how the ice will be.

You might notice I am playing with my slug sizes. Super Slug is a little bigger than the other small-sized slugs. I’m still experimenting. I’d like to just have a small and large size, instead of having a medium in between. I might even leave the Super Slug a bit larger than the other slugs. He is super, after all.

I made his cape fuller too. It’s easier to do more with his cape when he’s bigger like this.

He came out about 8 1/2 to 8 3/4 inches tall, instead of the 7 1/4 inches of the small slugs. I might make them closer to 8 inches tall. I’m fiddling.

I also changed my web site photo. I asked my mom to take some new photos of me. I was going for more casual, a little more nerdy.

I find this one amusing, and the next really sad.

But I do think my eyes look really cool in that one, even if I look forlorn. Click on it and you’ll see what I mean. Kind of cat like, with the light center and the dark rim. It’s interesting how whatever you stand in front of brings out different aspects of your appearance.

These are one of three or four cheapo reading glasses I use. I have different strengths, depending on the focal length I need.

People have been having fun on Facebook talking about my photos. So far, I’ve been compared to Princess Diana….

and Harry Potter! Haha!

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Husqvarna Viking sewing machine repair problems, the ongoing saga

As I said in my last post about my Viking sewing machine repair ridiculousness, I was wishing to have my machine back after more than two months of waiting for parts. At first, I meant I was hoping to get it back repaired, and then I lowered my expectations and hoped to get it back as it was when I brought it to the repair shop. Well…

Before I even touch on how tired I am of this entire process, or how frustrated I am with the Viking business as a whole, I think I’ll just voice my suggestions for Husqvarna Viking that might help avoid all the problems I’ve had:

1) Sell the sewing machines directly from the Viking company. Post them on the Husqvarna Viking web site with set prices that everyone can see. Allow customers to purchase them online, directly from the Viking web site, or allow them to purchase sewing machines through dealers who take their orders, send them to the company, and have the machines sent directly to the customers from the company. That way, dealers can still get a commission, and there is no intrigue as to whether or not a warranty is valid or a dealer is “authorized”. There is no wondering if a machine has been tampered with or refurbished. There is no room for price gouging. It’s a cut-and-dried transaction. Staples does it. You can go in to Staples, look at a desk, have someone there order it for you, and it comes to your house. Easy.

2) Post the complete warranty conditions on the Viking web site. No making it up as you go along.

3) Allow customers to have the option to send machines in for repair, directly to the company, where they have people specifically trained to work on their machines. Post set prices for cleaning, repair, and servicing directly on the Viking web site, with instructions on how to send your machine to them. Again, there is no room for price gouging, and there is no burden on the customer to ascertain if their local repair person/Viking dealer is honest or qualified to repair their machine. Allow customers to go to dealers for repair if they choose, but have the option available to them to mail their machines directly to the company, if they choose.

I think that would solve a lot of the problems with this company that I have been through so far. At any rate, I’ve got my Platinum 775 back, and it’s in worse shape since the trip to the authorized Viking dealer’s repair shop. I was afraid this would be the case, but I didn’t want to say that in my last post, out of hope that it wouldn’t be true. I have no choice now, but to report this to the original seller who agreed to fix my machine. He has his own warranty on the machine, for defective parts. I think the parts should have been covered, but now the waters have been muddied. I’m hoping he will still replace them.

I had a choice of of going to one of two authorized dealers that were within a reasonable driving distance from me. The other was one that I had misgivings about before, when I tried to buy my machine. At the time, she had a half-off sale on all her discontinued models, and I asked to try one. Then I noticed another, the same model I have now, that hadn’t been marked with a price. She told me she had completely forgotten about that one, since no one ever looked at it, and everyone who came in wanted the newer models instead. It was an older, discontinued, used floor model, but once she saw I was interested in it, she refused to sell it to me for half off. She decided to stick close to he price point of the other fancier model, that came new in the box, that I had looked at, assuming, I guess, that that was how much she could get me to spend. That really turned me off. I liked that model though, and after calling the other local dealer to find out they didn’t have it, I found it online instead, brand new. Really liked the sewing machine. No problems until now.

So, I went to the only other local authorized dealer for repair. As I said before, the price for repair more than doubled, without anyone notifying me, over the course of the two plus months I waited to get it back. I left out of my last post that in between the repair man telling me were were already “up to $700” and his agreeing not to charge me, there was a lot of negotiating, which my dad stepped in to help with. I felt like I was being taken advantage of.

The NC dealer I went to also told me he thought the machine had been worked on before, that it had major damage, and that “whatever gremlins got in there must have had a party.” It’s all been very confusing and upsetting. I personally don’t believe in gremlins, and even if I did, I can’t imagine how they’d get inside the machine without an authorized dealer to open it up. I used my eBay-bought copy of the service manual to get into service mode to check the clock on how much use the machine had had, in case it really was a well-disguised used machine. There have been only 33 hours and 12 minutes that it’s been on at all, and only 11 hours and 53 minutes that it’s actually sewed. I did most of my sewing on my other machine, and saved this one for detailing. I also unplugged it between use, and kept it on a surge protector. There have been a lot of insinuations by the Viking company and their dealer, about my machine and the person who sold it to me, but I don’t know who to believe. Right now, I’m wishing I had just sent it to the original seller to fix in the first place. It hasn’t been repaired, and no one I’ve dealt with so far has behaved in a businesslike manner.

This has all been much more complicated than necessary and I still have no idea how this is going to go. Contrary to what Viking has been pushing at me, I don’t wish that I had bought my machine from one of the local dealers. I feel like I would have just paid more for the machine and received the same poor service I’ve gotten so far. Viking used to be a good company, from what I’ve heard, and although I really liked my machine while it was still working, I’m very disgusted with the company.

I hope to be able to just get back to my sewing, on my older Sarah, my other Viking sewing machine, without having to think about this nonsense every day. It’s been very distracting and disheartening, not just for myself but for my family. Since we work together, there have been projects piling up that haven’t been gotten to because of this.