Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Making of a Memory Horseshoe Pendant

Gabriel from Guardian Animal Aftercare, in Sun Valley, CA, helps many people who have lost a beloved pet, including horses. For several years now he has asked me to make a pendant that can hold cremains of a horse in the shape of a horseshoe. 

Back of Horseshoe Memory Pendant


Well, after considerable thought here are some illustrations for the new pendant.


First, I wasn't sure if I should have the shoe pointed up or down or sideways . Then I remembered the concept of "good luck" with horseshoes pointing up . . . . so there wasn't much of a choice ~ up was selected.


Next, I considered the "type" of shoe. There are so many charms out there with all kinds of details.  I must have looked at hundreds of charms and really didn't like any of them. Finally, I decided to just to keep it as simple and clean like my Puppy Paws . . . . a contemporary clean design. 

Side of Memory Horseshoe Pendant


A clean design always seems to work best for my taste PLUS I re focused on the most important aspect of this pendant ~ that being the cremains that will be installed!


The weight of the pendant is also important to me. I know that silver and gold are outrageously costly these days but I like to "feel" the pendant that I'm wearing so I make sure that it's not too light.


Now the channel. It has be be deep enough to hold cremains. This one will be perfect. The design will also be able to hold a gemstone perfectly at the base of the inside part of the pendant ~ how cool is that going to be!

Front of the Memory Horseshoe Pendant


Finally, width. I took some artistic license to make the back of the pendant easily engraveable. This way the name of the horse can easily be engraved on the back.


Now I wait. Once I get my new molds and waxes off they go to NYC for my artists to make that actual pieces in sterling silver. 


I'll keep you posted.

Monday, November 15, 2010

One online theft can hurt, a lot!

Puppy Paws® 14k Hearts & Paws Locket
Wednesday, 5/4:  
I received an order for a 14k gold heart locket with 14k gold Puppy Paw® from Stan Liviu in Paris, France.  I confirmed the address and emailed Stan to explain that the locket would not be able make it to Paris for Mother’s Day. He responded to say that “that was fine and just to send it when it was completed.”

Wednesday 5/17: 
I picked up the finished locket and took it directly to the Post Office for shipping.

Friday 5/21: 
3:00pm I received a chargeback by fax. I knew immediately, even before I reached it, what it was for and boy was I pissed. I mean REALLY pissed.

Stan had purchased my locket with a stolen credit card. Crap.

I was so pissed that for awhile I just sat there. This had happened only once before (years ago before I knew better) but this time I was going to fight back.

My first step was to check the tracking information I had for the package. Sure enough the package had left the international USPS terminal in Chicago earlier that day. Crap.

My next action was to look up the French Embassy in Pittsburgh. That embassy had been permanently closed. Crap.

Next, I called the French Embassy in Washington DC but they were closed for the day. Crap.

I jumped to the next time zone and found myself back in Chicago. They couldn’t help me. Crap.

Finally, at the French Embassy in Houston, the operator said that she would try to help me. 
Ta dah!

My request was that she connect me with someone, anyone, in Paris who could help stop my package as it enters the country or at the very least give me the name of someone in I would speak with at the police department. She said she’d try.

Saturday, 5/22: 
My package arrived in France. Crap.

Monday, 5/24: 
I wait and watch the movement of my package. Haven’t heard a word from anyone in France.

Tuesday, 5/25: 
My package arrives at the Paris Post Office. I begin to lose hope.

Wednesday, 5/26: 
The Paris Post Office tries to deliver my package. Crap
I lose more hope BUT Stan isn’t home – package wasn’t delivered! Yippee!

Thursday, 5/27: 
I get an email from Franck Louveau. Franck Louveau is the Commandant de Police, Direction Regional de la Police Judiciaire de Paris.
He advises “I can tell you the item is actually at the Post Office and we're trying to stop the delivery.” Better late than never they’d already tried to deliver it?

I supply Commandant Louveau with every piece of information & documention imaginable including:
- complete number of the credit card,
- IP address of the computer which has been used to order,
- a mail from yourself to lodge your complaint,
- scans of all USPS Documents,
- scans of tracking information,
- scans of chargeback information.
I send him EVERYTHING.

Thursday, 5/27
The Paris Post Office once again tries to deliver the package. What?!
Stan isn’t home yet – I still have a chance? – maybe?

Friday 5/28, Saturday 5/29, Sunday 5/30, Monday 5/31:
I wait & wait & wait. I can’t even get an update on the USPS Tracking.

Wednesday 6/2: 
From Commandant Louveau:
“I can tell you the item is stopped at the Post Office and today we'll try to arrest Mr Stan LIVIU.”

Later - Wednesday, 6/2: 
From Commandant Louveau:
“This morning, we've arrested this bloody swindler. Ip address used for the order is his! We keep your item and return it to you if the judge is agree. Best regards”

I ask if he has a picture of Stan. 
A picture is sent . . .  cooool.

Later -Wednesday, 6/2: 
From Commandant Louveau:
Re. the photo “Do you think that's your kind of boy?”

I offer to go to Paris and go to court.

I’m absolutely thrilled.

I’ve also decided that I don’t even care if I get the product back because the experience was worth it.

Tuesday 6/8: 
From Commandant Louveau:
“I'm very pleased I made you very happy! French Police is the best of the world, isn't it?
So, your item is returned to your store today by french post. 
It's not worth coming for the trial because I think it would be much expensive. But if you come in Paris for a private journey, call us!
Best regards.”

Tuesday, 7/18: 
From here, to there & back again.
I get my 14k Hearts & Paws Locket back!

Tra la, tra la, tra la la la!

I win. 

The retail value of my locket - $349.99

One online theft can hurt a lot! 

You can actually see how just much it hurts if you look at Stan's blackening eye. 

In the photo: Stan's sitting in the in back of the police car. :)

My First Bad Guy