Sage and Sass

Sage and sassy wanderings of a curious mind.

What just happened? or customer service, what customer service? January 23, 2012

I am a green minded person, I try to recycle, upcycle, shop local and all that jazz but I have to voice my displeasure and pass on what happened to me at Speedway Thrift Shop today. Actually, it all started Friday. I decided that the purses I craft are gonna be earth friendly also.  I came up with the idea to recycle good quality hardware from thrift store purses. I found several at Speedway Thrift that would work great. I also found this amazing belt that had conchos that slid onto the belt that would have been perfect for using as the sliders on the straps of my purses. It was tagged at $4.98. It was a fair price and would give me sliders for eight purses.  Awesome!

I made my way to the register. As I was putting everything on the counter to pay I accidentally ripped the tag off the belt by catching it on the counter. The cashier saw it happen. She then tells me she can’t sell it to me. Apparently they cannot sell anything without the tag attached. Sounded silly to me since it happened right there at the register but I say “ok, so what do we do now?” Four people later they were still telling  me I cannot buy the belt until Monday and if I want it that is the only way. I was miffed and thinking , that is a really stupid policy. The one who seemed the most in charge said if I came in early she would make sure I got it.
So this morning I set out to go in there and get the belt.  I look on the rack, no belt.   I looked for and found the girl who told me to come back and she says, “sure I’ll go look.” But not before she makes a few purchases of her own, works the register and helps 2 other people. She finally goes into the back and finds the belt and says it hasn’t been retagged yet. I give her the hairy eyeball and she says, “I’ll go back and ask her to tag it now.” 45 minutes later, I am not exaggerating, she comes back with the tagged belt. She says, “you are not gonna like this.”  That was an understatement.  The tag says $24.95. I amazingly did not yell but said very calmly, “are you kidding me?” She replied, “I know right, she looked it up online and said it is a Brighton and never should have been priced that low.” I answered, “I don’t care if it’s Armani, the tag said $4.98 on Friday and I am only paying $4.98. It is not my fault that it was tagged too low, it was torn off at the register in front of your employee and now I feel like your manager is taking advantage of the fact that I came back to buy it. Your employee made the mistake in tagging it wrong and I made a second trip down here, I want to speak to the manager.”  She says ok and disappears behind the door again.

10 minutes later she comes back and says, “she will only come down to $15.”  I said, “I want to speak to the manager, now, this is wrong.” She said, “I know, you are right, but she is not gonna budge.”  I again tell her I want to speak to the manager.  She heads into the back again and another 10 minutes goes by.  When she returns, she says,  “She will not go lower than $15.  She looked it up online to show me how expensive it is and she said to tell you she is on the phone with the owner and will not be out for a very long time.”  Now I was pissed. I told her I did not appreciate being taken advantage of and wasting an hour and a half of my time to do so.  And I would not be shopping there ever again.  She just kept nodding and agreeing with me.  All she could do I suppose.

What kind of business is that?  It is a thrift shop I realize but don’t fair business practices sort of flow over into all kinds of business?  They should anyway.  I will not be shopping there ever again and if any of you do I caution you to make sure the tag doesn’t fall off of anything you really want to buy there. Sheesh! Grrrr…

Ok, I feel better now, thanks for listening.  I will now follow my own personal mantra of , everything happens for a reason.  The purses will be better off without them and there are plenty of other thrift shops out there that will treat me fairly.  Take that you mean old thrift store!  LOL


Sam 😉


Gift for a dear friend or, hmmm I could sell these… January 10, 2012

I am a knitter from way back.  My grandmother taught me when I was five.  That is forty years of experience right there.  That is a lot of experience.  I got to thinking about this recently when I decided to go back to doing my crafts as a business.  I have done this many times in the past, all with relative success, but my knitting has always just kind of been for me.  Plenty of fabulous gifts have been passed to my loved ones but I never really thought of it as a money-maker.  I have made jewelry, done sewing, painting and chalk portraits all as supplemental income, but never my knitting.  I have even crocheted things to sell, but not knitting.

I was thinking of this very thing recently while plotting out a present for one of my oldest and dearest friends.  I have been playing around with the idea of starting up a new craft business to supplement our income.  The thought of looking for a job while being a medical marijuana patient is daunting at best.  So of course my mind went in the direction of using my talent for profit.  Do what I love, stay home, make money?  Win, win, win.  First, let me explain just what kind of knitter I am.  AVID, and I don’t mean I just really like it, I mean I knit morning, noon and night.  I knit while working the table at the swap meet for my dad.  I knit while waiting in long lines.  I knit in church.  I always have a project in my purse and several going at home.  I knit while watching tv.  I can knit with my eyes closed, literally.  I live and breathe knitting.  So while deciding on a gift for this dear friend of mine I thought, hmmm, I should knit a purse.  So I did and here it is…

I had been playing around with the idea for a while, creating the perfect purse.  I am always on the lookout for the perfect purse.  One with a spot for my knitting, my iPad, my keys.  All organized and comfy, and of course, cute!  So I shopped for the perfect yarn for her taste and spent a bit of time thinking of her and her style.  And then I began knitting.  I actually took the time to sketch out a basic design which is new for me.  I usually follow a written pattern or just fly by the seat of my pants.  This time I actually designed the pattern myself with fore thought.  It was daunting, and challenging.  I had to consider design elements that would be beautiful as well as sturdy and functional.  I started out with a few basic elements I knew had to be there.  First I wanted the purse to lay flat against the body for comfort.  This friend has a spirit of adventure.  I wanted her to be able to lengthen the strap to wear cross body for long days out perusing festivals and such.  So I used hardware that allows the strap to go from short for wearing on the shoulder to a full 46 inches for across the body safety and comfort.  I also had to choose the right stitch to use for the strap to make sure it was sturdy enough to hold up.

For the basic shape I wanted it to be flat on the back side, again for comfort when wearing cross body and to accommodate a book or other flat object with ease but a full front to hold whatever needed to be held.  Easily done with some increase and decrease knitting.  I was quite pleased with the visual effect this gave as well.  I knitted and attached two pockets.  One went on the inside to hold little things that get lost like chapstick and the other on the outside back panel for easy access to things like a cell phone.  I used a magnetic clasp to hold the flap closed.  And for decoration and to bring the whole thing together I used a pendant of a peacock which I thought tied in nicely with the gorgeous colors of the yarn.

I used Lion Brand Yarn “Amazing” in the color Glacier Bay.  I knitted the entire purse except the pockets using two strands of the yarn held together throughout.  The yarn truly is amazing.  The pictures do not do it justice.  I used several design elements such as cables on the front where the flap lies so that when you lift the flap you get this surprise little touch of beauty that cables offer.  I also added a swivel clasp on the inside to hold keys or anything else you want quick access to.  I used the strap to put the front and back together to add stability and strength to the whole design.  So far feedback has been  wonderful.  Can’t wait to give it to her and get some usage feedback.

Don’t get me wrong, this was an incredibly challenging project that required lot’s of frogging.  For those of you who do not knit, frogging is a very serious and technical term.  Frogging is when you have to rip it, rip it, rip it out and start again.  LOL  But I think you will agree, it was worth every stitch.  I am already planning mine with the gorgeous Amazing yarn I got for Christmas, called Rainforest.  I can’t wait to go searching for some celtic hardware to use on it.  Happy knitting!


~Sam  😉