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      Monday, February 26, 2018

12:29 PM - 02/26/2018

The topic: Making signs


We've signed up for automatic pickups from UPS. This service has a name. It's "Smart Pickup". We pay a weekly fee that's added to our invoice each week. The way it works is when I generated a label here at home using the UPS website and our account, the local UPS service is notified that we have a package to go out. As long as we let them know by 5:00 pm, they should be here to pickup.

It should be simple. But it isn't. Nothing that should be simple ever is.

There have been two times the labels and package were out with plenty of time to spare, but UPS never showed up. Both times was on a Monday pickup. This causes delays for customers who should be getting their orders on Friday. And they don't. The majority of our customers are people who do their tractoring on the weekends because they have jobs during the week. And it's frustrating that someone drops the ball on this.

So, Brian came up with an idea about putting a sign up on the front gate (our entryway has a wrought iron gate that leads to the front door, it was there when we moved in).

At first, it was just a piece of cardboard and I cut out the letters U P S in white vinyl that I put on the cardboard. It worked nicely. Brian would give me the paperwork, I'd make the labels, he'd place them on the packages and he'd put the sign up on the gate, letting the UPS driver know that the packages were ready to go out.

Then last week one of the UPS drivers told Brian that since they drive up or down the street before we have the sign up, doing other UPS deliveries, it would be nice if they knew then if we'd be having a shipment later in the day. So, they'd know to come back. Sometimes, even though there was no sign up, they'd stop and come to the front door to know if we would have a shipment going out later in the day.

Okay. Let's see what we (me) could come up with.

I had some old Avery inkjet magnetic sheets that I thought maybe would work. Regular letter sized.  (I got these long before I had my Cameos.) There were only three in the pack, so I had to get it right the first time. I printed them out. One "UPS". The other "LATER". I had them with yellow text on a brown background. They were perfect.

Except for one thing. The cold. They worked nicely when it was warmer outside, but fell off of the gate when it was cold. Damn.

Then I found a roll of magnetic tape I had and cut pieces of that off to stick to the back of the magnetic signs, hoping they would work. They didn't. And when I tried to pull them off, They pulled the magnetic backing off of the signs I had made up. Grrrrr....

The adhesive was stronger than the magnets.

Next stop, Amazon. I searched through what they had, looking for something with a strong magnet. I ended up looking at the  car decal magnets and checked the reviews. If it would stay on a car, it should surely stay up on the gate.

I ordered these on Friday. They got here yesterday. The first thing I did when I opened the package was took one outside to see if it would stay. It did. Yay!

Since they got here late in the afternoon, I decided to work on them this morning.

Twenty-one inches was as wide as I needed, because of the spacing of the bars on the gate. I got my signage all designed, go the printer set up and put one of the magnets in the printer. It wouldn't feed through. It was way too thick. I did a quick search and changed a setting in the printer software and put the sign in the manual feed at the back. Still wouldn't work.

Damn it. Damn it. Damn it. Now what?

Okay, I'll take the graphic, split it up and put it on removable adhesive paper that I got last year to help with making the silver labels Brian puts on the cylinders, then piece it together on the sign. Except I couldn't get it the pieces straight and lined up properly. Frustration builds.

Then I remembered some print on adhesive sheets I'd gotten a long time ago. I'd wanted to do cutouts of the cats and put them around the house. I never got around to it, but I still had the pack, had never tried it out.

It's not as big as I wanted, but it's bigger than the signs I made last week. This stuff is 11 x 17. So, I print one out. It looks great! I print out the other one. Success!

I printed out one sheet of just brown to cut and place at the sides of the worded sheets, so there's no white at the sides. And they're out on the gate right now.


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lisaviolet is seventy something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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