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The Cheetahs Have Left The Building!



Cheetahs Fire Dancing has left the building!

I bought the Flat Rate Priority Mail postage online and printed it out, after some runaround with the bank. It seems that one of the places I shop has put a hold on more money than I spent, either Dick Blick (unlikely) or Daniel Smith, that was the best theory the bank teller had to offer. I went through the whole online shenanigans and it rejected my "credit card" twice.

So I called the bank and they told me there was this hold. I knew that I actually had about $12 left after everything I purchased. Seriously, I was careful and planned for this. So I borrowed the $10 out of savings again and will put it back in savings when my PayPal deposit goes through in a couple of days. Blick has not actually charged me yet for the order. Neither has Daniel Smith.

Maybe one of them hasn't applied the coupon or promo before doing the order? It was a weird weird glitch. But being able to grab that $10 when needed just to be sure of not being overdrawn or get past a hold has made my savings prove useful from the start of my doing it. This really helps.

So after the transfer I went back to the USPS site and found out that the postage was still in my shopping cart. The address and everything was still on it, I didn't have to retype it all. So I ran it again, printed it, the label printed beautifully and I taped it on carefully without putting tape over the bar code.

I had the art sandwich pieces cut out and set aside yesterday or whenever I posted that I did that. So I carefully took the art down from the wall, taped it with low tack archival artist tape to the backboard, laid the glassine over that and taped it down tight so there'd be no chance of the glassine wiggling and blurring the art. Then taped the other side of the archival foam board sandwich to it and slid it into the 11" x 14" photo bag, which was a snug fit.

I dug into the Bag of Stuffing saved from every Blick order I've done in the past few months, and found enough wads of actual bubble wrap that I didn't have to use pillows or wadded paper to secure it inside the box. Most of that box is air contained by some kind of plastic.

I might be able to mail one of those inside big priority mail envelopes, but I think the corrugated cardboard boxes (free) and extra padding are another layer of protection. A minor scrunch should not actually scrunch the foam board even, let alone the art.

I'll know when athenagrey gets the package how successful my tape-crazed packaging was. This time I used the best materials.

Once I had the package labeled with postage on it, I added some more regular tape to the outside over the pretty strong glue that holds it together on both ends. I didn't have 2" wide package tape or I'd have insured the package, they require that tape to buy insurance. Grr. I need to buy some, next time I order anything from Staples. Blick doesn't have it or I'd toss it on next month's order.

So I reinforced the box with regular clear tape instead on the ends. It's a good package. I then looked up my local post office. I had to try two of them before one had a valid number. Then that one told me to call the one my local carriers are based out of, which I did not know which that was. Gave me a number. I called that number and got a funny noise like a fax number. Called back and got an alternate number.

Called that one and got a ring and a person, explained my situation and was expecting them to say "Okay, tomorrow the carrier will knock and pick up your package." Instead he explained that was the way it usually worked and asked if this was my first time doing this. I said yeah. He then was kind enough to dispatch a carrier for me right away! It was great.

The carrier came, Kitten went upstairs and handed him the package when he knocked, and all's well. Cheetahs are on their way home to their dreamer.

I think it'll be a little easier next time since I put the good number for the right post office in the Pad file for my journal (where all things that need immediate looking-up go) and I know that I need to treat "cut the foam board" and "make up the package" as separate tasks. Also, that after Cat/Wombat, I'm not going to do 9 x 12" any more as such -- but mark off a scannable area like 8" x 10" within a 9" x 12" piece for my paintings.

What's funny is that I got moving on it because I wanted to do something else. I have the Red Block still life done but still clipped to my clipboard on my easel and was clearing off my easel putting finished art away somewhere. I want to mat it before I set it aside or hang it -- it's actually wider than its finished size, I'm using the mat to crop it perfectly for composition.

So I decided to get up and cut a mat. Then realized that if I had the strength to cut the mat, I had the strength to get up and pack Cheetahs, at least get it into the sandwich... and lo, step by step I got it all done.

Now I'm resting my back before I get up and find a bit of graphite colored mat board and find my mat cutters and chop an 8" x 10" mat with a 4 1/2" x 5 1/2" opening for Red Block. I'd still like to get it off my easel and see my works in progress easier.

I should also say Hi to my novel tonight and bang in a chapter or two since I was sidetracked by Wednesday Weirdness Art Jam and this is a Thursday without Lisa.
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
Proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Interesting art blog: Patrick's Art Blog focused on realism!
New Topical Blog: www.robs-art-supply-reviews.blogspot.com for all the cool art stuff that isn't oil pastels!

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Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance
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