You know the saying "check is in the mail"? I wish I could say that the napkins and place mats are in the mail. The napkins and place mat swap I joined requires our projects be in the mail by Monday. We are going out of town until then starting tomorrow, so I have been hustling to get them done and shipped. (I know, what is the rush? I only had a month and now I'm rushing.) So.. you may ask why are they currently sitting in a shipping box in my car -silently taunting me with my apparent inability to get them on their merry way to Australia. Note - I can't imagine my partner is scoping out all the BTRS swap participants sites, so I doubt I'm ruining a surprise by saying where she is from, but just in case, I won't tell you much more.
I spent a rather frazzled past 2 nights finishing them up - and made some major rule bending to accommodate a tension issue, as well as my personal preferences as a mother of two children. The personal preference included increasing the center square of fun fabric to a larger size. I'm sure that if my kids used fabric place mats, (and if I didn't usually take them off of the table when they ate) there would be some serious staining going on. Since my partners info indicates her kids are a bit older, I'm sure they are not as messy as mine, but kids are still prone to spills, so I made it the biggest part of the place mat to hide them. The tension issue (that I may have to bring to the Viking personnel people at the sewing center) ruined my top stitching attempts. Unfortunately, it took me 3 partial attempts to determine that it just wasn't correcting itself. Hello seam ripper. OK... no top stitching - I can handle that. A bit of hand sewing and we are good, right? Right? Honestly, it was hard to be done with these. I kept wanting to re-do parts. I chose this fabric since my swap partners short bio indicated that they raise ducks, chooks (Australian chickens - thank you Google) and have kittens (OK, if by random chance she is reading this, she may know who she is now). Thought that the ducks and kittens were appropriate and cute. She asked for kid friendly -and I was trying to do it without being "anti-adult". I'm still a fairly new sewer, and I am nervous that my partner is getting the short end of the stick a bit, BUT, I'm happy with the fabric and colors and think that they will look nice on a dressed table.
So, around midnight or so last night, I got it all together - wrote a quick note and packaged it up. I worked today and knew I could ship it from the office. WRONG. Turns out we only mail envelopes internationally, not packages. Hmmm... I did debate opening the box and putting the swap stuff in a large envelope, but I feel that they are better protected in their cardboard box. So, second attempt involved running to the post office after dinner tonight. My aunt had told me that there was a fancy machine that was available 24 hours to ship packages from. Since it is hard to get to the post office during business hours on the days I'm in the office, I thought this would be perfect. So, drove a few miles from home and started pushing all the appropriate buttons on the machine- got about 6 or 7 screens in and was asked for a zip code. When I selected the tiny little "No zip - it is International" button, I got an error message telling me to bring it to the person at the desk. Hello - it is 8 pm. There is no person at the desk. Strike 2. The third attempt was a stop in to Kinko/FedEX on my way home from the post office. A very friendly woman kindly suggested I not use their service when I told her the package she had already wrapped in their FedEX box needed to go overseas. She told me that I should use the normal post office because she was too expensive. By now - I was ready to chip out some bucks to get the package on its way, so I said "It is OK if it is a little spendy". She said "It is like $200 spendy". Wow. Well, my jaw dropped, I thanked her kindly, grabbed my package and drove home.
3 strikes, I think I'm done for today. I'm baffled by how complicated this has become - and now realize why the swap questionnaire asked if I was willing to ship overseas. Naive me did not know that this was more difficult that I thought! Not that I wouldn't partner internationally again, cause I would, but now I'll know the correct method to get swapped item out the door! How odd that the one thought I keep thinking after the FedEX visit is "How did my UGG's get here with free shipping"??" Crazy.
I'll borrow a line from Scarlet and say "Fiddle dee dee. Tomorrow is another day" . I hope to, no, I will report that the package is on its way down under by this time tomorrow.