Part 5: Custom Fabric Aspirations: “Slip on a Banana Peel Oopsy”

Final tweaks were done to the Adobe Illustrator (Ai) file on Monday morning (28th April). I was satisfied that the file was ready. I assumed that my calculations were correct and I did have sufficient funds in my PayPal account from the sale of 6 Hobby Horse PDF patterns (2 on Craftsy & 4 through Etsy). I had my husband’s tick of approval and a ‘go for it’ encouragement so I took the next big step & I phoned Frankie and Swiss in Melbourne.

My first question was to ask what their workload was like at the moment. I was told that they were booked up during the current week and part way through the next! I expressed my disappointment by saying that I was making a gift for my Grand Daughter and that I had hoped the fabric would get to me before the 15th of May. Being told that I could pay extra to have an ‘urgent’ job done was of little consolation as I explained that I didn’t have any extra money. I still had my ‘Plan B’ in mind so I asked what I needed to do in order to get the file to them for printing. I was directed to upload the eps file that I had created to Dropbox and put it in a Shared Folder that had the Companies name on it. Mild panic set in. I had used Dropbox once before not really understanding how it worked to send a Photoshop Elements file that apparently was able to be seen by the intended person. But on another occasion I had commenced the process of uploading a video of my Pumpkin Patch only to realise I needed to abort the process as the file was much bigger than I expected plus I was likely to pass my 12 noon cut off period for Off Peak Internet usage (Peak time is primarily for Farm Business and I try not to use it for anything involving up or downloads of anything other than a few MBs size wise). On the previous occasion I had cancelled the video or at least I thought I did only to discover later that it had kept going and not only uploaded but apparently downloaded again (??) which totally confused me and I had no idea how it all worked or where the file had actually gone. Off into cyberspace somewhere who knows!!

But now I needed to learn Dropbox in a hurry!!! My phone helper explained that I needed to go to Dropbox.com and from there to my account….. “I have an account?” I thought… “I didn’t know that…and what was the password??” I guessed correctly that being attached to my personal Yahoo account I would need use that email address rather than try to figure out how to get Dropbox via my gmail account (is that function even available?) which would consume even more time and time was ticking away!

I looked up Dropbox.com and commenced my crash course. I took the “Tour” read about how Dropbox can be a handy tool for working on a file at the Office and for editing on the way home via your Phone then later finishing your work at Home all via Dropbox. Nice idea I thought then promptly disregarded it as I don’t work in an ‘Office’ (other than the desk at home) plus I don’t have a mobile phone! I learned about Folders then I made a Folder and proceeded with the Upload! It was after the Upload started that I noticed the Icon for a Shared Folder. “Drat I forgot it was meant to be a Shared Folder I hope I can change it afterward!”

So I sent an email message via my yahoo account….
“Hi I have spoken to _____ (sorry I don’t know how to spell the name correctly) over the phone and she has explained a few things to me (about DropBox etc) I have written to you via a different email address in the past but I don’t have it hooked up to DropBox so I am using this one instead. I am in the process of uploading the file to a Folder called ____________. So I hope you can find it. We have Satellite Internet and it is currently running very slowly! So it won’t be available straight away!

I intend to pay for the fabric through PayPal so I hope you can inform me as to how to do that also as I have only ever received money that way (plus it is attached to my other email address).

Thanks I hope I did all of this correctly! Could you let me know if there are any problems….

Regards Janette..”

So far so good……now the waiting began…….the eps file seemed to be taking a very long time. Sometimes it said ‘9 hours’ (to go) then would drop to 7 hours, then 5 hours then back up to 8 hours….these are ‘virtual hours’ I thought to myself don’t panic too much it’ll go down to ‘minutes’ soon…and it did & then back up to hours and so on. Half an hour passed, then, an hour…Noon was fast approaching. The file is only 47.7 MB “why is this taking so long????!!!!” We have Satellite Internet as we live in an isolated rural area. We often experience problems with the Satellite connection and speed. Sometimes it drops out altogether!! But even so this was painfully sloooooooow!!!

Noon came and went….I felt sick to the stomach…“was this even working….how much was the Upload going to be…it doesn’t make sense….why is it so slow…..????” round and round it went in my head. I couldn’t concentrate or settle to anything. I ate some lunch but it may as well have been cardboard as I didn’t enjoy it. I actually don’t remember what I did to fill the time while I waited other than keep going back to the computer to see how far the coloured bar had progressed. I didn’t dare touch the computer….no Facebook….no looking at emails, no typing, no editing photos, nothing that might slow the process.

Finally after 2 hours and 50 minutes…….the file had finished uploading and now the green down arrow was flashing…..partial relief…..I noticed an email had arrived so I read it:

“Hi Janette,
Thanks for sending your order form through.
Once you’ve uploaded your file please send us the dropbox link so that we can access it.
We can send you a Paypal invoice – which has directions on how to pay. Please note Paypal adds a 3% surcharge.
Once we received the file (or link to the file) we can schedule your print.
Thanks, ____ ”

I shot back a reply:
I have the link…does it need to be in a “Shared Folder” as I forgot that I was told that over the phone (never done this before)!! _________________

The file has only a minute or so ago finished uploading…that would have to have been the most stressful 2 hours and 50 minutes I can recall in recent memory. Our Satellite Internet speed must have dropped back to snails pace. I hope it doesn’t involve more upload than the size of the file! We have a limited amount for that during Peak time!!

If you get this soon I’d like to sort out the Paypal stuff as soon as possible!

Thanks Janette

That was it…. I had had enough…turn the computer off…no idea what I did after that. I only remember accompanying my husband to feed the free range pigs as his sister (who usually has this job) was away from the farm on Farm business! As we approached the house after the feeding was done a horrible thought jumped into my mind….

I had the sudden realisation that the reason that there was room for the extra Fabric Chip/Swatches was because I was meant to have 2 copies of the 3 shapes I needed for the Fake Bridle Buttons! One for each side of the Bridle!!!! I had only one set of shapes per Bridle/Neckband set: a Button Front, a Button Cover and the Button Back that neatened the Button and covered the Straps!

Another Slip on a Banana Peel Moment!

 “Oh no!” Another Slip up!

Out came a piece of paper. I was trying to figure out a solution. I could use just plain black poplin for the back ‘Cover’ of each button. Four groups of 3 = 12 Circles and I need 4 per Bridle so there weren’t quite enough. I could have the circles with my “Just Bananas” logo on the outside (visible) rather than on the inside as a Button Back and if I had substitute Button Backs using a grey or black (??) Poplin (for one Bridle) I could make enough ‘pair’s but the Buttons on the Multi coloured Bridle would be different and not matching but that is okay…no one but me will know. It was a restless night with not much sleep!

Early the next morning (around 7 am) there was another email waiting for me that said the ‘Link’ wasn’t working and telling me I needed to add the Company’s email address so that an ‘invite’ would be sent. I was also assured that “Once I’ve got the file I’ll schedule the printing, we’ll send through an invoice via Paypal within 1-2 business days – the payment process does not effect the scheduling of prints so it won’t delay the normal turn around time for printing.” Which sounded good to me!

Okay so I need to make it a shared folder….
I accessed Dropbox added the email address and next thing I know I had sent an ‘Invite’ to view the file. All fixed…..no need to Upload it again.

I sent another email:

I have figured out how to ‘invite’ you to share the Folder and File hope it works this time. Thanks for your patience! I’m looking forward to this changing from a nerve wracking experience to a fun one!

Could you give me an idea as to when the fabric might be printed so I can do a questimate on the snailmail postage time! Thanks. I wish I had had more time to get this all done. As it is I missed several circles off of the design but can just use a plain fabric to go with them as they are only backing pieces! I shouldn’t forget next time!!

Janette

As soon as I clicked “Send” the words I had read came back to me….about how it was possible to access the file from various places like work computer, phone & home computer! So I chastised myself and told my husband that I had just realised I should NOT have clicked ‘Invite’ and I should NOT have sent the email!!!!

“I have an hour and a bit before 9 am…..there is time to remedy this situation…..I can fix the file….I can access it on my computer!! I don’t need to Upload it again as an Updated File should be available via Dropbox!! I can add the extra 3 circles for each Bridle/Neckband set. I’ll have to scale my Fabric Chip/Swatches down… it will take some fiddling but I can do it…” I told my husband. “Get to work then” he encouraged! Thankfully I was not needed for pig feeding duty.

Sounded easy didn’t it? But in practice it was a little more complicated than I thought. Adding 3 extra shapes had its own draw backs (obviously the reason I had forgotten I needed them had something to do with not having worked out exactly what they should look like as I only wanted my Logo on the inside of the Bridle once rather than on both buttons). I didn’t have time for too much alteration. I decided to only reduce the smaller group of 4 colours and just push the Joiner and the Button circles up a bit. That way I could just add one more circle and still use a substitute black Poplin fabric as the back Cover of each Button which wouldn’t be seen sandwiched between the straps and the Button Back.

9 am arrived and passed. “Nearly done….surely they wouldn’t check their emails immediately! Go faster” I told myself “You can do it don’t panic!” I finally finished fixing the file and saved the update.

I sent another email:

After I hit ‘send request’ I realised that I could potentially alter the file to add the missing circles. I am still getting my head around how DropBox works. I saved the file and to test it out I did a Download which was quicker than the upload (only about 30 minutes) but now I have 2 files showing and not sure what to do about that……I want the one that looks like this…. see attached…the one that shows 4 circles per section (rather than 3)…so sorry to have made this mistake and taken up so much of your time….

If I end up with the wrong one then it will be a lesson learned. Not sure if the other can just be deleted??????

Thanks again Janette

I added a screen capture to the email....quickest way I could think to be able to show them which file I wanted printed...

I added a screen capture to the email….quickest way I could think to be able to show them which file I wanted printed…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not long after a reply came in saying the file had been received “(the one in the image you sent with 4 circles). So we’re all good to go!” Followed by the words I did not expect to see!!!

“We’ll actually be able to squeeze your print into the schedule today (sometimes it just works out without having to pay rush fees!). So I’ll organise the invoice today and email through to you via Paypal, as soon as we’ve received payment remittance we can pop it in the post for you.”

My response was swift:
oh wow thank you sooooo very very much……this will indeed be a wonderful surprise for my Granddaughter who turns 1 on the 15th of next month. Now I only need to do a horse to go with it!! I was thinking I may need to make a very simple Neckband and Bridle and just sew fabric flowers on (didn’t want real buttons due to her age)…..this is exciting!!!

🙂 * Janette

What an ordeal. If you are confused as to what I meant by “missing circles” here is a closeup of the first file I uploaded followed by the modified file with a close up.

This image shows the closeup of the File I originally Uploaded. Three Circles are missing from each Neckband/Bridle set!

This image shows the closeup of the File I originally Uploaded. 3 Circles are missing from each Bridle/Neckband set!

 

Rather than spend too much time resizing and moving the various items I added one more circle per Neckband/Bridle set so that the File looked like this…

This image shows the Neckband and Bridle Pieces plus the Sample Swatch Colours that I originally Uploaded

This image shows the corrected Bridle & Neckband Pieces plus the Sample Swatch Colours.

 

A closeup of the Altered File showing the addition of one circle

A closeup of the Altered File showing the addition of one circle per Bridle/Neckband set

“Yipee” Happy Dance……
The next email I received was the Invoice. Happy dance stops!
Frankie and Swiss has sent you an invoice for $80.69 AUD.
Print on 100% Cotton $58.00 + Regular Postage Pack 500g $13.00 +PayPal Surcharge $2.35 = Sub Total $73.35 + GST (10%) $7.34 = Total $80.69 AUD

I was stunned…the ordeal was not over… I did not have enough money in my PayPal account after all. I had totally forgotten the Goods & Services Tax (GST) and plus it was calculated on top of the PayPal charge!!! I checked the F&S Information files that listed the fabric costs etc but couldn’t find any mention of GST…………

no * excludes GST anywhere that I could see in my panic! I must have missed something here!!!

So I sent another email including my unashamed ploy to inspire the purchase of a Hobby Horse pattern so that I had enough money:

Thanks for that. I was a bit surprised at how much the postage is going to cost as I figured that 1 metre would fit well in an A4 size envelope & would likely post just like paper printed material thickness wise.

This has left me in a difficult situation in that I have $72.41 in my PayPal account – thinking this would cover everything including PayPal fees though I didn’t realise the GST would be calculated on top of the PayPal fee as well. My husband has suggested a direct debit as I don’t know how to put money into the PayPal account (??) to make up the shortfall.

If I had sold one more PDF Pattern I could have covered the cost. BTW my Hobby Horse Pattern is available on Etsy. Maybe you would like to take a look….

So could you please give me details about direct debit instead & my husband can sort this out (over the phone ??) instead. Sorry I don’t know much about the financial side of things. It’s a steep leaving curve for me at the moment.

Hope to get this sorted out tomorrow…

Janette

I checked the next morning but no more patterns had been sold! But there was a new email giving bank account details for a direct transfer and a revised amount of “$83.28 (Note: the Paypal Surcharge has been removed)” plus a payment method suggestion via “Visa, Diners, Amex or Mastercard” that was available if I phoned them in Melbourne. I was reminded: “Please note that the 3% surcharge will still be payable if using this method. Therefore the total amount that would be processed is $80.69”

Still a little confused I admitted defeat….I am no good with financial stuff! …..Time for Hubby to the rescue! He explained what to do “phone and give the details” so I did and the payment was made leaving me to sort out the PayPal situation later and reimburse the regular Savings account!

But at least now the fabric was going to be mailed to me!!!

I hope that all of this is as much a lesson to others as it has been to me. Most importantly I have learned that I need to know ‘how much’ something is definitely going to cost before proceeding!

Coming up next…. Part 6: Custom Fabric Aspirations: “Fabric in the mail…..”

 

 

 

 

 

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