Friday, March 31, 2006

Better late than never . . .

This wasn't a full size JPEG, so you can't enlarge it, but you will see all of the details in just a couple of hours! 12:00a.m. central time tonight is when the new kits will be available for sale!

If you have any problems checking out on the site, here are a few common errors I have seen come up most often with the cart:

- just a plain ol' typo!

- billing address doesn't match the one connected with the card.

-security code is wrong (it is the 3 digit code on the back of your card. (4 digit for Amex)

- zip code (this must only be the 5 digit code- not the extended version with the extra 4 digits)

For current members - I am still unsure as I type this if the revised flat rate add-on for the Project Kit will be working properly (as my webguy is working on this now). If for some reason it is not overnight, we will get it all worked out tomorrow. You have until the 5th to add on the Project kit for reduced shipping, so at least there will be plenty of time to do this! It should be charging you $1.75 for this.

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Want to continue your subscription?
So thankful for these e-mails! Gotten lots of them from February charter subscribers wanting to know how to continue their subscription after this month. (This info will apply to any subscriber when your subscription is up). As far as April goes, after we get through billing and shipping (so after the 10th) we will be sending e-mails out to those members who's subscriptions were up with the April kit. This e-mail will explain how to continue. We will be sure to contact everyone more than once (and I will post here) about it. You will not have to go back to the website and re-register. I have plans to make this REALLY easy in the future, but for April, we will figure out a way to do it through e-mails.
Which, by the way, if you seem to be having problems getting our e-mails, add to your contacts and that should help with that.
Boy do I have some secrets!!! So many things I have in the works - I really can't wait to share them! Right now I'm just trying to stay above water. Looking forward to a time in the near future when the creative aspects are my biggest focus each day!
Just got back from Christian's fist T-ball game. Very funny. He hit the ball, held on to the bat and ran to the pitcher's mound. He then proceeded to run in circles with every base run he was supposed to make. Daddy is so proud! Looking back on it, baseball was not a smart choice for that kid. He has a very short attention span and needs alot of action. I think he will be my football player!
Have a great night!
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

April Project Kit

So here is another preview for April (just a few more days)! This is the project kit. You will get all of the materials needed to make a Star Mini-Book (that is the top photo) and a set of Star Coasters (why not make them in star shapes I thought??). These would make great gifts! You are getting 7 Exclusive chipboard stars and a full package of 7gypsies 6x6 paper (48 sheets), but . . . if you just use some of the chipboard sheets you have laying around you can trace the stars and will have more than enough paper and rub-ons to make several more of these! The cost this month is $20.

For current subscribers (this would apply to those signed up to start with April as well) . . . if you would like to add a project kit to be shipped with your Papercrafting Kit, you can go in between April 1st and 5th to do this. You simply to the site, add a Project Kit to your cart and checkout (you must checkout and pay for this - you will billed on the 5th for your Papercrafting Kit separately). In order to save on shipping you will see a box you can check under the cart at checkout that says you are a subscriber and you would like the contents of your cart to ship with your subscription. This will enable the cart to charge you reduced shipping. NEW FOR THIS MONTH- the shipping for the project kit add on will be a flat rate ($1.50 to $2.50 - I still need to weigh the kits). This is a change (and a good one) over last month. In many cases, last month, the cart charged too much for the shipping add on.

We are still fine tuning some things for the future (which will be May). One of those things is shipping. We are looking for the cheapest and most dependable way to get you your kits each month!

I will post tomorrow about Feb. subscribers who would like to continue after this month . . .

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Emotional Day . . .
Been spending much time today with a sick feeling in my stomach. Many of you have seen the headlines about Mary Winkler - the preacher's wife who has confessed to killing her husband here is TN. I was shocked to hear the story yesterday, but didn't think much about it as it actually happened a little more than 100 miles away from here.
It wasn't until this morning when I saw more pictures and they showed Crieve Hall Church of Christ that I realized who she was. . .
When Noah was about a year old to 3 years old, he attended the preschool at Crieve Hall while I freelanced at an ad agency downtown. Mary, or "Miss Mary, as I knew her, was Noah's teacher his last year there. Her oldest daughter was in the class with him.
While she wasn't a family friend, or really even an acquaintance (I haven't seen her since his last day there), there is something about that small connection that makes it seem so real. You see so much on the news that it makes it hard sometimes to feel affected personally.
So many questions . . . my heart just goes out to everyone involved. I told Jared today that those girls lives changed forever in the course of one day. They lost a father and a mother in one pull on that trigger. . .
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Friday, March 24, 2006

April Sign Up
Considering that my inbox is filling up (ha!), I thought it would be wise to post something here.
I have had a link on the site up until yesterday that went up after the March kits sold out. This is where you could have signed up to begin your subscription with the April kit. Many of you took advantage of this. In fact, so many of you did that I had to shut down this pre-sign up yesterday as we were very close to selling out April before I could even get it up on the site for April 1st!
So, if you are a current subscriber from Feb. and March, or if you signed up to start with April on the site before yesterday, then lucky you! -you don't have to stay up until 12:00am on the 1st!
If you have not previously signed up as a subscriber and would like an April kit, there will be some available on April 1st (12:00am central time). You can purchase it at this time at the member price (and start a subscription) or at the one-time purchase price. This is the only way now that you will be able to get an April kit if you are not currently on the subscriber list. If you are unable to purchase the April kit before it sells out, you will still be able to sign up to start a subscription with May at that time.
Believe it or not, we have been increasing our orders dramatically each month and are gaining some ground in trying to meet the demand! We will continue to do this in the months to come.
Thanks so much for the interest - I've said it before, but it has been so exciting for me to see the response to something that I am having so much fun bringing to you!
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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

No, Molly Shannon doesn't scrapbook
Well, maybe she does Ms. Crowe - (I don't want to make any assumptions), but since I DO know she doesn't know about my little club, she is not the guest designer for April.
But SHE is . . .
(insert the picture here that I forgot to ask her for)
She loves pink . . .
She seems to like stars alot (and I like that). . .
She makes some really cool products . . .
and She's always up to something. . .
Yep, it is Heidi herself! So glad she agreed to do this- she really has nothing better to do, you know?
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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Yep, said with my best SNL, Molly Shannon impression! That is the theme of the April kit (you knew it was only a matter of time, right!)

I really had hopes of taking a cool photo, but the camera is still MIA. I LOVE Scenic Route paper because it can fit any theme - basic, classic patterns! This is just a tiny peak (I am in love with these teeny tiny star rhinestones)! I also went with alot of Heidi Swapp this month - I can always get my star fix with her line. The fuzzy white star rub-ons were a MUST! Lots of sparkle to go along with this theme too - including a jar of "Tang" (don't you love that name!) Art Institute glitter in every kit. Cool square, clear top tins to hold all of the embellishments this month too! So there are a few hints (with out giving it all away)!!

Come back tomorrow and I will leak who the guest designer is. You can bet that she is a superstar herself!

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

The light at the end of the tunnel. . .
My husband keeps saying that he can see this. I, on the other hand, am having a harder time.
Maybe it's because it is my name and my company and I take EVERYTHING very personally. As it should be, I say. Whenever there has been an issue with the website, the e-mails, etc., it is me who has to take full responsibility for what happened (again, as it should be). Truth be told, in the background, so much of what happens has been completely out of my hands. Here is a little background. . .
When my husband and I finally made the decision to go forward with this idea, we knew we had most of the bases covered. He had the accounting and finance degrees and an MBA. I had the ideas and the marketing and advertising background. What we lacked between the two of us was the web/computer expertise. This was our first and primary concern as we planned out the steps to getting the business started. We had to completely trust in someone else to make the best decisions for us on this front.
If you have been around since the beginning, you know that things did not go as smoothly as planned. From a cart the first month that was not user friendly (considering 75% of you, just like me, have pop-up blockers) to e-mails that never seem to go out to the right people. Challenges?- we have had many.
So, considering the fact that I have lost almost 10 pounds since this started, I have decided it is time to make a serious change.
We have hired a TEAM of web specialists. I keep calling them the "big dogs". These guys have developed and serviced websites for many major web retailers (many of which you would be very familiar with). In the coming months we will be working on the site in phases. You will begin to see some of these changes as early as April, but most likely by May 1st. Most of the first phase will involve behind-the-scenes type things that will make my life easier (and my communication with you more accurate). The second and third phases will be more visible - new site enhancements and a new look, such as a members log-in where you will be able to go and update your personal information securely at anytime. We are also currently working on new shipping solutions and have plans to send out shipping notifications with tracking information for every customer.
Once we get through the initial clean up, we will be able to focus on the evolution of the site to include such things as on-line classes and member galleries - things I'm really excited to launch!
I really wanted to share, that in the midst of all of the frustrations, I have been so humbled by the support and understanding I have received from so many of you!!! I really couldn't begin to thank you for that.
So here's to the future!! Thanks for sticking with us through it all! And speaking of the future, I have some exciting things to share for the coming months! You will see some teasers this week on the April theme and guest designer and upcoming exclusive products that you will only find in your Jenni Bowlin Studio kits! Keep checking back this week!
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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The $1700 picture . . .

This was photo was taken on Saturday, just before my husband, my 20D, and brand new lens fell into the river. Not a bad photo, but not sure it was worth the price tag!

So, he tells me that it might be salvageable (they are looking at it now). And then he says, with a twinkle in his eye, that the 30D comes out on April 1st. . .

In the interim, I'm looking for a rental!

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Took a little break from my computer and the warehouse today (and that would be my house - it is looking much more like a storage unit these days). Hubby went hiking with Noah. He called me on his way out and told me to go shopping with a generous budget for the day. Told him I would never spend that in one day - Ha! I underestimated myself. Funny how shopping for two boys and yourself eats away your budget very quickly! Nonetheless, little man (who was bribed with a few new gifts) did very well at the mall and we had a relaxing day (topped off with Pot Roast and Chocolate Cream Pie from Vittles for dinner).
Just took a look at some cool blogs tonight that I have been missing! My girl Kelli Crowe had an awesome post today about "sheltering" - I will let you go and read it. Very inspiring to me. I drive my 7 year old to school everyday (and at 7:00a.m. at that) just to keep him off the school bus for now. I know I'm not saving him from much, but I feel like its something. We probably make alot of these decisions based on our own past experiences - and man, from what I remember, NOTHING good happened on the bus!
Also checked in on Ali. Boy this girl inspires me - to get me act together! How she does all that she does on a daily basis is beyond me. Sometimes I sit, rocking in the corner sucking my thumb wasting hours because I don't know where to start. I do not manage my time well and so want to figure that one out.
And I 'm so glad to see that Chris is taking his first step towards his goal. I watched Jared make a career change this year, and it has been such a good thing for him. I have just been so proud of him lately - for the success he is having with his day job and for coming home and working at the computer, still in dress slacks, for two hours helping me.
And - it was 70 degrees today. Today was a good day.
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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Billing Update
(This is only for original Feb. subscribers again)
We have finally gotten most of the billing done- yeah! We did another round tonight, so if you were concerned about us getting your information, you will now see a charge on your card.
E-mail (and this blog) is the only way we have to reach you, and it seems that some people literally are not getting any of our e-mails (even though we have sent them several times). It seems that some spam controls are pretty strong (and I'm not sure how else we can send them).
We only have a few left that we have not heard from, but I hate to leave anyone out who signed up and wanted the kit!
On this same note, it is possible that after the weekend we will have a few extra kits from March. We will pull from the people who signed up to start with April (first to last) to see if they would like to start with March. You will get an e-mail from us if you are one of those people (and we actually end up with kits)!
We had a beautiful day here - almost 70 again! The kids played outside until dark. My wonderful neighbor Ruth knew I was here by myself (Jared was on a sales trip today, but is back now) and she brought me over some dinner! It was really the sweetest thing - and delicious! She has been a life saver for me this month. The woman is an efficient machine! I would send over 30 spools of ribbon and she'd bring it back to me an hour later! I couldn't have gotten through this month without her. Also had some great local store girls help me out one night this week. I'm finally getting into a routine (I hope)!
Have a great night!
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Monday, March 06, 2006

Billing info. and Gallery Sneak Peak
I think we are finally getting everything moved over to the new database, filling in the information holes we had - all of that good stuff! If you started your membership with February you will be billed tonight and/or tomorrow. Normally it will be on the 5th, but we wanted to double check all of the information first. Starting next month, you will get a receipt from us once we bill you, but for this month you will not unfortunately (just the record you will see on your card statement). We will send notices out again tonight to the few people who we still have not heard from in response to the billing update e-mail. The good news is we will not have to go through this process again! Yeah! (all of this only applies to subscribers who started in Februrary)
I have been working all weekend on the Gallery. I am really enjoying the fact that I have everything sitting there, already coordinated, waiting to be put together. It takes the time out of hunting and searching for paper and embellishments. And, I love everything I have to choose from (ah, the luxury of being the one who pulls it together)!!
So here's a little preview of Friday's Gallery. . .
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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Billing E-mail (for subscribers that started in Feb. only)
My webguy had some computer issues last night, so these are going out this morning (lets say early afternoon) to those of you who have not received it.
Just a couple of reminders - some I posted already.
- be sure to use your e-mail address that you processed through Paypal with last month. That is the e-mail we have for you and the system will not recognize you as a subscriber without using that. We can change that e-mail for you later if you would like to.
- YAHOO and AOL addresss - (and a few others) are putting our e-mails in the spam/junk folder so be sure to check there if you do not see it. Some people have their accounts set up to delete that folder each day, so it may have even gotten to you, but got deleted. It is my understanding that you have to add us to your "okay" list to receive the e-mails in your inbox?? But what do I know about computers! Ha!
Once everything is set up in the new system (so starting next month), we will mass bill all of the members on the 5th as stated on the site. We will most likely still charge those people who did get the form filled out tomorrow, but not everyone will be billed on the 5th this month. It will span out for a couple of days after that I am sure (again, this only applies to people who started their membership in Feb).
That's it for today (this morning anyway)!!
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Thursday, March 02, 2006

A few FAQ answers that may be helpful . . .
Just wanted to post a few notes here about some questions I keep seeing (some of you may have the same) . . .
- there are several of you that did not get the billing e-mail we sent out on Monday (that are subscribers from February). This is partly because some things had not been moved to the new database. We are working on that tonight and will get those out to you tonight or tomorrow. Be sure to check your junk e-mail (especially if you have yahoo or AOL) as they seem to be putting it there. Also be sure to check the e-mail that you signed up through on Paypal last month. You also must use that e-mail to get into the billing area in the link once we send it.
- speaking of junk mail, your receipt from the website checkout could be there too. I am hearing that from alot of people as well. They are also being delayed for some people, but show up soon after.
- the Monthly Inspiration Gallery will be up for this month on the 10th. (each month will be archived -so you will still be able to view Feb.) The Project Kit Instruction link will be password protected starting this month. If you ordered the Project Kit, you will get the password with your kit. This area will have all of your photos and instructions.
Hope that is helpful to some of you! I will keep posting as I see things . . .
(P.S. - got Ali's images today! You will love these ideas!)
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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Wow - that was fast!
If I told you I had ordered enough kits for double our current subscriber base, would you believe it? I can't believe how fast they disappeared!
The good news is, you can still sign up for the membership (and start with April). This did not show up on the site until about an hour after we sold out. The link is under the "sold out" button on the Papercrafting Kit page. If you do this it means you won't have to stay up until midnight in April (ha!) - you will already be set.
We fixed the photos not showing up on the Project Kit page AND we fixed the contact link on the site (so sorry about that). I have been joking that I can't possibly have everything work at one time!!
I finally got through all of the e-mails I received today, so I am off to bed! Have a great night!
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It worked, It worked!!
Well, for the most part, everything is going well with the shopping cart and most people have been able to check out okay. That is good news for me. I was still so sick last night that I couldn't stay up to check things out. I'm finally feeling better this morning!
I have read the posts and I know a few of you did experience errors. Apparently, the biggest one was the the Contact link wasn't working. So, just send the note directly to . Please do that even if you posted a note here on the blog. I noticed a few of you did actually get a note to me later and have been taken care of.
So, just send a note over if you experience an error (try again first before you do though, many times it is just because a field was left empty, the billing address didn't match the card, the card selected from the dropdown was in error, etc. AND, we have fixed a couple of the glitches some of you ran into overnight so you may be able to process now).
Thanks so much for your patience!
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