Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Buyer Beware - Sometimes

I have purchased quite a few needlepoint canvases on eBay and been very pleased with each and every one. Last week I successfully bid on a Melissa Shirley/Linda Carter Holman canvas - "Plenty". It's a great canvas and I have been eagerly anticipating its arrival. Well, it arrived today in the mail - FOLDED! And, it smelled like CIGARETTE SMOKE! And, the seller OVERCHARGED me on postage. This would not be a good time to take my blood pressure!

I guess I should be thankful it only has one fold through the design? I am not going to send it back because I think I can put it on some Evertites and stretch it out. If any of you out there think that won't work, please let me know. As for the smoky smell, maybe just airing it out for a while will help. 

I still love the canvas despite my disappointment in the way it was shipped. I bought the canvas from a seller in Michigan. The irony is that the canvas was originally bought from Amy's (please understand that Amy's had nothing to do with my eBay transaction!)

Lesson learned on eBay needlepoint purchases. Ask how the canvas will be shipped and if it has been stored in a non-smoking environment.

Thanks for letting me vent!


  1. Melinda, smoke smells can come out. You probably have read on the ANG email list that some folks put their item in a plastic freezer bag and leave it in the freezer for a while. I've had luck putting a smoky book (also from eBay) inside a plastic bag with sheets of fabric softener inside the cover and other pages. I left it for a month and after that, only the fabric softener smell was left. You can also leave things outside on the grass in sunshine if you aren't worried about fading. The crease will come out if you dampen the canvas a bit and then put it on stretcher bars. Or you can iron it although I am always worried about scorching with a hot iron.

    The crease wouldn't be a problem for me, just the smell.

    By the way, I'm told eBay takes a percentage of the sale price for sold items but not the shipping costs and so some folks pad the shipping costs to keep a bit more for themselves. Not saying that's what happened here. I have no idea whether the seller just overcharged you or didn't know the price and guessed.

    I think you got a great deal. It's a gorgeous design.

  2. Great tips, Jane. I had not gotten to the ANG list yet but had planned to do so. I don't think smokers understand that those of us who don't smoke, and these days, aren't really around people who do smoke, are very keenly aware of any lingering hints of cigarette smoke. I hung the canvas up in the kitchen last night on a pants hanger to let it air out but I like the idea of the ziploc and fabric softener method. Everytime I walked by it last night, I caught that faint whiff of smoke - yuck! I, too, think that once I get it on the stretcher bars and give it a light "facial" with my clothes steamer that the creases will fall out. It is a perfect candidate for the Evertites. Thanks for your ideas!

  3. Melinda

    I ordered a canvas from a shop and it arrived folded twice. When I called them they didn't seem to be concerned. I rolled it for a few days and then placed it on Evertites and it was fine. Thank Goodness, but needless to say I have never ordered from them again.

    I think the fabric softener sounds like a way to go to get rid of the smoke. Good luck and love the canvas.

    Sue VanderNoor

  4. Hi, Sue - I'm surprised to hear that a shop would send you a folded canvas; and I'm with you, I would not order from them again either. Jane had some good ideas to solve the problem of the cigarette smoke odor. If we hadn't had a rainy day today, I would have put it outside to air out. But, in the meantime, the canvas is wrapped in a plastic bag with several Gain fabric softener sheets.

    How is your Groom coming along? I'm working on the right side of his coat tonight.

  5. When friends come over and smoke, I set a jar of ammonia in the room overnight--like 2 inches in a glass jelly jar--and the odor is gone in the morning. Might try putting it in a bag with the jar of ammonia on top of it--not in it--on something flat and tucking it shut. Good luck!

  6. NCPat - another good idea! Thank you! I think I will leave the canvas in the bag with the dryer sheets for several more days and see how it smells after the weekend. If the odor is still there, I'll give your ammonia suggestion a try. I appreciate everyone's helpful ideas!

  7. Melinda

    I am working on the ribs and probably will work on the coat this weekend. Seems I have had a slower start this time and need to get a little more done on him. So many threads to search for...thank goodness I have kept them in their bags but I get sidetracked when looking for the threads in other kits.

    My granddaughter is 11 and we have been working on MS witch heads (old designs. Took the clsss from Bev C many years ago and I gave one to Emily. She is doing a great job and seems to enjoy needlepoint. We discussed compensation yesterday..."she is becoming my partner in needlepoint" So much fun to see her doing such a good job.

    Have a nice weekend

    Sue VanderNoor