Friday, July 30, 2004

Frost Is Now A Novelty

I took this in 2002 when I was home for Christmas. My dad planted this beech hedge and trained the individual bushes together so that the branches are now fused in places. In the summer the leaves are a glossy bright yellow green, and in autumn they turn to copper but stay attached thtough the winter.
Copper Beech
Originally uploaded by Rosemary Grace.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Needlewoman's Thumb

I spent the majority of the weekend sitting in my comfy chair next to the air conditioner, working on my first heirloom, the altar cloth for our handfasting. It's pretty simple: 39"x48" of silver silk organza with grey crystal beaded trim around the edges. It's attaching the beaded trim by hand that has taken me about 12 hours so far, and I still have over a foot of stitching left to do. Of course, for the first couple of hours I was hampered by getting my thread wrapped around the beads almost every stitch, eventually I developed a technique that kept the beading hanging out of the way while I stitched the ribbon onto the fabric. About halfway through I declared to Matt that it was going to be an heirloom, anything that takes that many hours to put together qualifies as heirloom material in my book. Especially if the hours are mine!

My dress was mailed on Friday, by Priority mail, which means I could get it today, or not until this Friday. I'll try not to get too itchy about it.


Wow, never mind, having left the post sit unfinished for most of the morning, my dress has already arrived! It's gorgeous, all that needs done is to lightly bleach the chemise to make it more ivory. I got another session of coworker drooling, just like when my headpiece arrived, it's one of the perks about having mostly female coworkers.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004


They weren't really trying before, because now Robbins Bros, together with American Express, have gone to a whole new level of screw-up. The refund went through on my card, but so did a brand new $641.11 CHARGE.

According to the manager I spoke to, the charge was applied to my account in error because my account number is really similar to the one they were supposed to charge. So now we can add "incapable of entering numbers correctly" to their resume of ineptitude. I'm waiting to see the false charge come off my account, in the meantime there's no question that I need to write to the Better Business Bureau. A company that sells big-ticket items like diamonds and designer jewelry needs to be able to avoid charging one customer for another's purchase. What if it had beeen a higher amount they tried to charge and it maxed out my card without me knowing?

I thought credit card companies double-checked the name and number combo to make sure the charge went to the right place, evidently all you need is a number. Yuck. This is making me think I really should get some sort of identity theft protection going.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

It's Official

Robbins Brother's sucks ass.

After screwing up the design on my ring when they resized it...Then screwing up the replacement and altering (read: screwing up) Matt's ring without permission to make the pair "match" in their screwed-up state...The final insult has been delivered. Or rather won't be delivered. Not on time at any rate. Fortunately I thought to ask if the order was progressing on time, and thought to ask it with a month to go, not a few days, because the order is not progressing on time, the order will come through on August 6th, a week too late.

So we're handing back the screwed up rings and taking our money elsewhere before Robbins Brothers causes either of us to have an aneurysm over our expensive and emotionally significant purchase. At this point, even if they did arrive in time, they'd only be a reminder of the irritation and stress we went through to obtain them, and that not only that, but how much we paid them to provide us with that stress over what should have been a simple big ticket purchase.

There's a gold/silversmith who makes rings and pendants with ogham script on them, which is sort of the old celtic answer to runes: an alphabet with magical symbolism assigned to each letter. We're hoping she has a pair in our sizes, his reading "Beloved Sun", mine reading "Fair Moon". Failing that, there's Costco for plain white gold bands, or Nordstrom for plain sterling silver ones, probably to be engraved.

I've been fighting a headache that started as soon as I hung up from talking to the Robbins Bros rep on the phone, which shows how much tension has built up regarding these rings. Hopefully after we go there tonight and get our refund, my shoulders will stop trying to imitate pissed off rocks. It will also be nice to see my finances suddenly look a little less thinly spread! Matt and I are both rather relieved to have the opportunity to seek a slightly cheaper option as well; the amount was managable, but it took a significant chunk out of our mentally assigned spending money for the trip in September.