Down a dirt road, past fields and deep woods ~
stands a humble little farmhouse wearing chippy white paint and a rusty tin roof...
it's here at our beloved Notforgotten Farm that you will find me...

chasing kittens, puttering in the gardens or talking to the tree.

I love seeing the past through the eye of a needle ~
...I collect old & odd things.
I pull wool & cotton through linen. I walk barefoot in my garden and throw my head back and cackle when I laugh...

I'm just a little farm-witch that loves where I am & who I'm with ~

Our little needlework shop & studio
is located at
3530 Tye River Road
Amherst, VA 24521
ph. 434-263-6508
email -

Regular Shop/Open Studio hours:
Fridays & Saturdays 10:00 ~ 4:00
*unless we are away at a show or teaching a class*
{better to call/email first}

our Etsy Shop is ALWAYS OPEN!
Please visit our ETSY Shop ~
by clicking on any one of the thumbnail photos below...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I've been thinking....

Well, that's something new!!

actually, it's not something new that I'ver been thinkin' about...
but it is new to me ~

I have been seriously thinking about offering my patterns in PDF format.

...there...I said it.
and I know some of you out there 
are sitting in front of your screens with your mouths open.
((you can close them now)).

WHY have I been entertaining this idea?

because the USPS has really gotten ridiculous with their shipping charges.
that's why.

I am embarrassed to charge my customers 1.96 for one pattern.
I do not like it one bit.
I cannot help charging the 1.96, for the size of the envelope they fit in...
but I do always offer combined shipping to help defray 
the exorbitant charges....
and I just cannot afford to offer free shipping on all of my items.

I have a very low overhead ~ 
printing out my own patterns, printing out shipping labels
and saving on gasoline by shipping twice weekly helps.
(I know I can also have the USPS pick up my packages at no extra cost to me
 and dagnabbit I may just start doing that too!)

I don't get it.
the cost of shipping goes up & up.
but the service remains the very same.
Lost packages. Missing packages. Late packages. Damaged packages.

I receive daily emails from folks wondering where their packages are ~
and I can track them too, 
but alot of the time the tracking on the USPS website 
isn't up to the minute, so that's really not very much help at all.

before someone out there that:
currently is working for the USPS,
at one time worked for the USPS,
 has family or friends that work for the USPS, 
or has any connection with the USPS ~

please know
I am not bashing the USPS.

I need it & use it on a daily basis for my business.
I'm just not happy with the USPS at the moment.

So let me know your thoughts about the PDF thing...
you know, instant, downloadable files of my patterns 
...that you can save time & money on.

If I decide to do this,
 it will be a huge undertaking on my part
because I will have to change the file format 
that all of my patterns are currently saved in....

...but that's ok ~ 
it might be worth it.

Please respect my right to voice my opinions about the USPS and I'll respect yours.
~ no throwing tomatoes please....
and if you can't be nice,
then at the least quiet.

* Blessed be *


Nancy Bauer said...

LOL my DIL and her twin work for the USPS and they would totally agree with you! No names will be given to protect the innocent but...

Since I get my patterns when I visit you, it is not an issue for me but I can understand your dilemma Lori. It will be interesting to see what costumers say!

One more nite in the freezing dumps and then maybe a break for the weekend...YAY!

Lee said...

Do the best for you. I ordered a pattern from the Italian stitcher and my computer would not print the cross stitch pattern dark enough. She tried several things and I tried several things, but I just gave up. I didn't want her to send the pattern all the way from Italy.
But, I print out all the freebies dark and clear??? Go figure. All processes have problems.
Enjoy your blog and enjoy your work. In North Carolina we got the snow….won't melt till the weekend. My granddaughters are in snow heaven. Lee

Karen said...

Would love to receive your patterns by way of PDF. Saves you money and the customer at the the same time. Also we wouldn't have to wait a week or more to get started on them.

The Evening Stitcher said...

I would LOVE your patterns to be on PDF. I order a lot of patterns on Pattern Mart and just love it!'s just too much work for you to bundle them, put them in an envelope and mail them. It saves a little for us, but saves a lot of work for you! It so much easier, who anxiously wait for the mail,to be able to purchase & print out the patterns as we see them! It would definitely be an extra bonus!

gloriahanaway said...

I say great idea! Your customers get the charts much faster and can print them at home. No worries about lost mail for you or your clients and not trips to the P.O. for you! After two craptastic HP printers, I go to the library and download copies for .10 cents per sheet, color for $1.00 (I really don't see any need to print color covers).

From Sherry's Heart said...

OK you know already that for years I've wished to get your patterns instantly lol!!! So you know that I vote for PDF!! In the long run it just might be easier for you.
What a co-inky-dink that you're writing about the post office today!!! And I AM throwing tomatoes today AT THE POST OFFICE!!! They sure did raise my blood pressure this morning!!!
You know that I HAVE to print all my shipping labels cause I can't get to the PO. So this morning I repeatedly tried to print a shipping label. They have changed the whole set up. That was no problem,but as I did it over & over never did a button come up to pay & print the label. Then I noticed in small print at the top that if you use Windows 7 you have to upgrade to Windows 8. Can't do that on my lap top!!! So I could not print a shipping label!! There was a button to click on for Live Help. Did a long message with my one finger typing. I even asked why we could get the price for 1st class shipping,but CAN NOT print a 1st class label on line from them.Finally clicked the button to send the message for my LIVE help And it said Sorry nobody is here to reply try again later. WHAT???????? My VERY kind mail Lady took the box for me because I just happened to have the money here to pay the shipping. She was mad too!!!! AND I think that it's only going to get worse!!! So more reason why I think e-patterns would be GREAT for your customers AND for you!!!
Sorry for my rant but not the only problem today!!!

Kim said...

I love the e-patterns. I am so fed up with the postal service too.

The French Bear said...

I absolutely love to get patterns, instantly! Whatever makes it easier for you!!

Annie said...

I love patterns in electronic format like a pdf. Most of time, I don't even print them. I view them on a tablet and I can easily enlarge the section I'm working on right on the screen. I'm not one to mark up the pattern anyway. I only print really large patterns. So I say, "Go for it"!

old crow said...

Hi Lori, I would LOVE for you to do e-patterns!! No more waiting for our slow postal offices!!
Big Hugs!

GPS said...

I think that would be a nice idea. I have noticed that a lot of shops charge shipping & it isn't cheap especially for just one pattern! The only downfall is the ink for printers is so expensive! Any ideas what printers have cheaper ink? Anyways, you have to do what feels right for you & go with your gut thinking:-)

Good Luck Lori!!

Tammy West Liberty, OH

Robin said...

I am one who straddles the fence. I think if your charts are good quality and print decently from an assortment of printers, then I say go the PDF route. Now that being said, there are some not so good quality charts out there (faint grid lines, blurred symbols, etc.) being offered in PDF format that cause the customer to become highly frustrated with the printing process and it is money wasted. Perhaps, you could offer both. Just my 2 cents!

Robin in Virginia

Judy said...

Hi Lori, I sell doll patterns and converted them to PDF a couple of years ago. It was a lot of work but I sell a lot more e-patterns than paper patterns now. I have a lot less expense for paper, ink, etc. Customers are happy, I'm happy. You should do it.

gracie said...

After all my recent problems with the postal service, I can say that I prefer to be able to download them and save all around for me and for the designer. I do not mind printing them myself. In fact, I enjoy not waiting for the snail mail.

Colleen said...

I would love e patterns. I have bought some from European designers, and the process has worked we.. Shipping costs are becoming astronomical, which must make it hard for small business owners.

Jacqueline said...

Why not offer them both ways. Let the customer decide what format they want and what they are willing to pay for their preference?

Tam said...

I believe that the way the world is now PDF is the way to go .

jennifer768 said...

I agree with Robin that offering both would be great,that way it would be up to the customer on how they wanted their patterns.Do what is best for you.You hit the nail on the head about the post office.Hugs,Jen

Merry Wind Farm said...

I have ordered e- patterns, but only when there is no other choice. I ordered e-sampler patterns from the Haslemere Museum in UK. But honestly, when it is in this country, I would much rather pay a couple dollars in shipping. There is just something about having a pattern arrive in the mail, all packaged up by the designer, with her photographs, etc. I personally think that is preferable to printing it out yourself, which may or may not turn out. I know lots of people have had trouble with the USPS, I guess I have just been lucky, have never had a problem.


Merry Wind Farm said...

Hi, again, Lori,
Reading your comments, it seems I am in the minority. So just ignore my comment!

Carolyn Boutilier said...

Hi Lori, I would love to get your patterns by PDf. I hate to pay high postage for one pattern and have to wait a week or more for it to arrive by snail mail.
Carolyn B

Saundra said...

I think it is a great idea and have purchased PDF patterns before. You must be quite savvy with a computer because I wouldn't have the faintest idea how to do that. It would also save you on plastic bags and paper so would be a win/win for everyone.


Phyllis said...

Getting patterns as PDFs is wonderful. Instant gratification!!!!

Pam said...

For me personally I prefer hard copy patterns since sometimes PDF's just don't print well. Symbols aren't clear enough, etc. I agree shipping charges are making me reconsider sometimes if I really want it to warrant those costs, I guess I would say offering the patterns in both formats would be my suggestion.


Lynn said...

I would love pdf patterns. Just as long as they are dark enough.
Great idea.

backporchcarver said...

I prefer the e-patterns but I like the idea of offering them both ways, as long as someone is willing to pay the postage and they prefer the paper ones I think it is good to have that option for them.

Anonymous said...

I would love to get your patterns in PDF form mainly because I get so excited when you unveil your new designs--I just want to stop everything and start on them right away. No ADD in my gene pool! I love the excitement of getting them in the mail too but that instant gratification would be SOOO wonderful.

Penny said...

I guess I'm with the others...I like the instant gratification of the pdf... and I have had a couple of recent problems with the USPS losing my orders. So, as many other posters have said.... if the charts are dark and clear, pdf is the way to go! (But offering a choice would be great for everyone!)

Mary A said...

I would love it! I get a lot of my patterns in pdf format. It's great. Go for it Lori!

Mary Z said...

I would love it...I have ordered other patterns using .pdf. I think it saves you time (once the patterns are in that format) and your customers get instant or nearly instant gratification! We can start stitching your wonderful designs right away!!

Anonymous said...

I think e-patterns are a wonderful idea. Receiving them right away is quite exciting. I'm in Canada & even though the cost of mailing just a pattern or two isn't too bad, it's the "travel" delay that is such a tease! As others have said, the idea of offering a choice is something to consider.

Deborah Adams said...

I think it's a great idea Lori! Every little bit helps, for all involved! :-) It's perhaps not as old fashioned with the joy of receiving something in the mail, but for that, we'll just order more fabric, etc.! lol ~ Deb

Patti said...

I love PDF patterns! Instant gratification and I can start stitching that night ;)
Blessings, Patti

mariateresa said...

Dear Lori :-)
I understand you perfectly, and the idea of the PDF very interesting. Even here in Italy the shipping costs are very high, it takes a long time before the mail arrives, and sometimes you lose.
ok PDF
See you soon, good day

denise said...

i would love pdf patterns! a lot of designers do that.

Anonymous said...

Lori, I think you need to do what's best for your business.
You were very professional and honest, in your blog. We all get frustrated with shipping from time to time. I think it's a good idea to ask your customers what they want.

Maria said...

I agree about the post office. I think PDF patterns are amazing! At least to offer that as an option - and think - SO much more GREEN! Financially it will be better for you (less printing costs), better for your customers (no shipping costs), and waste wise, better for the Earth (less gasoline & waste)... WIN-WIN-WIN. :) I like it!

Lady Locust said...

I have never bought a pdf pattern before so can't knock them, but did want to share a quick blurp. I mailed a Christmas pkg. from Oregon to California to my aunt who worked for USPS for many years. It ended up in Florida! She finally got it and said the pkg. had a nice time on vacation:)

Anonymous said...

I hate to cave in to high tech but I agree postage, shipping, etc getting harder to afford and trust. Plus it is alot of work as well. As a customer I think super right now I can have it in my hot little hands so I think it is fine. For those who want the old stand by way, it's still there for them too.

Love the fabric for your bathroom and the little finishing touches, can't wait to see!

Nancy said...

I love the Pony Express poster you put at the end. I don't mind PDF patterns. Nancy P.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes please! I'd love to be able to buy PDF patterns. Living in the UK I have to ration what I buy as I have to factor in silly postage AND customs & handling at this end. I'd never thought of reading a pattern from a tablet but that also seems like a great idea, now all I have to do is put a tablet onto my birthday wish list....... Allyson

Martha Doe said...

I see nothing wrong with offering the PDF choice for your patterns.

Hope you have a warm needling day!

Prim Blessings ~ XXXOOO

VLPDevore said...

Sometimes I'm in a hurry and sometimes snail mail is fine. Depends on what I'm doing and I use both. So I just appreciate the option of being able to choose. My 2 cents.

evelyne staebler said...

yes Lori , great idee. because I live in France..... PDF is ok for me. kisses , evelyne

cl said...

I've ordered PDF patterns but much prefer printed patterns. I know PDFs are convenient for those without a LNS so doing PDFs for mail order folks is a great idea. I'll continue to buy hard copies.
thanks for asking.

LauraP said...

I am good with anyway. Both is a nice option. I would love to have immediate satisfaction. I want to buy a pattern not but am waiting til I want more because of shipping and want it combined.

Cathy said...

I love PDF patterns! I purchase them all the time from designers. I love it because I see the pattern, love it, and can have it practically instantly! And no shipping charges!! Even better if you ask me. Can you tell I would love to buy your patterns in PDF format??

Alex said...

PDF would be great as I live in Australia and postage overseas is becoming truly expensive... it would mean I could get more of your patterns! Alexandra

Lynn said...

I'm a little late in responding but thought I'd put in my two cents. I love pdf patterns and to date I have not had any issues with the ones I have received. I'm Canadian and in addition to the high postage fees at international rates I hate the wait involved with the mail. It's not just the USPS either. Canada Post is just as bad! As much as I love receiving parcels I prefer the e-patterns for immediate gratification. No waiting to get started! They're much easier to store too!

Previous Postings ~ So much more to see!