SKT Revelation Status Update: Container Delays

No makeup, still in PJs, no filter, 8:30 am morning pic of a displeased tarot deck creator. =)

I gave you wrong information in my previous status update here. That’s because the third-party importer/broker that my manufacturer hired to oversee delivery gave me wrong information. (And that’s also what I really want to go nuts telling all of you all about! What an… ARGH! You’ve got to hear this whole story. Like. Ugh.)

Only after I turned into an all-out full-on Karen did I finally get the name of the warehouse. And still, no contact info was provided to me for that warehouse, so I had to go search for it myself.

I called the warehouse directly this morning (the info wasn’t given to me until last Friday; my status update to you was on Saturday; today is Monday) and spoke with a very kind, pleasant fellow at the warehouse.

It turns out my packages are not at the warehouse yet, as I was told by the broker/importer guy. Thank goodness I took the initiative to look up the warehouse contact and called on my own.

So here’s the real deal. There are 15 containers ahead of mine in line for unloading at the warehouse. Until those 15 containers of goods are unloaded into the warehouse and one by one shipped out by truck to where they need to go, no one is even going to get to me.

While he doesn’t know exactly how long it’s going to take, by his best estimate, it is going to be another 2 weeks before they unload the container that my packages are in and my boxes are delivered to me.

One more ARGH! moment: The guy at the warehouse and I took a long time figuring out what reference number info I had to give him for him to track my package BECAUSE… get this… because the importer/broker guy filled out my forms wrong. ARGHHHH!!

Oh– and (!!!)– I was given the wrong # of boxes in my total shipment. I was told 36 boxes, and kinda thinking in my head, oh wow, each box is gonna be huge (because, math, which means there would be about 100 decks in each box, which means each box is going to require at least 2 people to lift). When I finally talked to that warehouse guy this morning, he said, “Uh, no, ma’am… it’s 63 boxes. You’ve got 63 boxes incoming.” The exact # of boxes matters because that’s how you do your initial headcount, to make sure you’ve got everything before you start opening the boxes up.

Breathe…breathe… okay. I’m calm. Promise. I’m very calm. Everything is fine. Nothing to see here. Happy Monday.

::adds whiskey to my next cup of coffee…it’s not even 9 am…::

Better now. =)

SKT Deliveries Begin First Week of October

Warehouse that our decks are currently located: Summit C.F.S. Warehouse in Oakland, CA

As I’ve been told, the decks are now in a warehouse near the Port of Oakland (here in California) and we’re waiting for our turn for delivery to our front doorstep.

Between my last SKT communiqué and this one, there’s a lot simmering in me that I want to vent and chit-chat about, but I’m going to hold off on that for now, focus on what’s the priority (getting the decks to you), and at some future time, we’ll talk. =) Oh boy, will we!

I still don’t have the decks (inferred by the first sentence of this update, I hope, but I suppose it bears spelling out) but a projection has been given for last week of September. That’s when the decks will physically, literally be in my home.

In the meantime, we’ve done our best to transform parts of our home into a warehouse and assembly line, so the plan is once the decks arrive, we’ll do a final quality check, tally of what’s arrived, make sure everything is in order and we have enough decks that pass superficial quality check to send out to all pre-orders. What I mean by “superficial quality check” is we give the outside box a quick look. For making sure the cards, cardstock, illustrations, gilding, booklet, all the interior stuff, we will open at random a deck here and a deck there a box there and a box here for arbitrary quality checks, and assume if all these random decks we open are fine, then the rest should be fine, too.

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SKT Delivery Update and New Lessons Learned Re: Import-Export

Incorrect Bill of Lading. Sigh.

In my last SKT update sharing the Bill of Lading, I shared the version with the ship my decks were supposed to be on. But something happened with the manufacturer, they didn’t get the boxes on board in time, so it was delayed. It had to wait for another vessel, and the manufacturer simply didn’t think to update me until I proactively reached out and asked.

Here’s the actual Bill of Lading:

Correct, updated Bill of Lading.

I was tracking the vessel named “EVER FEAT” thinking that was the boat my decks were on.

But no.

My decks never made it on to EVER FEAT due to delays.

Instead, it’s on CMA CGM LOIRE (click on the hyperlink to track the ship).

Continue reading “SKT Delivery Update and New Lessons Learned Re: Import-Export”

SKT Revelation Pre-Orders Update: Bill of Lading

Just a super quick update that really doesn’t contain any substantive content with regards to your pre-order, but some of you might find a look-see at the Bill of Lading to be interesting. So here you go. With personal info redacted. =)

A Bill of Lading, or B/L (you can also see it in shorthand as BoL) is used in import-export, to acknowledge and document cargo on board. I’m sharing what ours looks like in case that’s something you were curious about. Haha. I dunno. I think this is something I’d find interesting if I pre-ordered a deck. So here you go. In case you’re like me.

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SKT Pre-Orders Update and Some More Good-to-Know Tidbits

Deck Delivery Dates: Shipping Begins October 7, 2021

Printing and production completed on July 21, 2021. You might recall from an earlier update, the projected completion date I had gotten from the factory was July 19 at the latest. So we are running behind schedule.

2021 SKT Revelation Box Design

The decks then had to go through one final quality assurance check at the factory before it’s packaged and prepared for overseas shipping. The shipping time is between 45 and 50 days.

We’ve been assured by our factory that the decks are shipping out this week, but as of this precise moment that I’m typing, it has not been shipped out yet. Just to keep the numbers and projection on the conservative side, let’s assume the factory isn’t ready to ship until Friday, which means it actually ships next Monday, August 3. Sigh. Okay.

We’ve been told shipping by sea takes 45 to 50 days. If it arrives in port on the 45th day, it’ll be on US soil on September 16. If it’s the 50 day mark, then that’s September 21.

It then has to go through US customs. The last time we went through US customs for a large shipment was pre-pandemic, and it took about 7 to 10 days. I heard from other business owners who import goods that right now it’s closer to 14 days.

So let’s just assume my shipment arrives on September 21 and takes 14 days to go through US customs. We’re now looking at actual receipt of the decks around October 5.

Continue reading “SKT Pre-Orders Update and Some More Good-to-Know Tidbits”

Tarot Deck Care and the Impact of Humidity

Maybe this topic is talked about more often than I realize and I simply haven’t been made aware, I dunno. In any event, I wanted to condense (ha..ha..I’ve got jokes….) some insights on the impact of humidity on your tarot cards.

Ever notice how a wooden door seems to expand ever so slightly in the hot summer months? Musicians are all too aware of how temperamental wooden instruments can get depending on the weather and the humidity. Paper products like your tarot cards are made of cellulose fiber (derived from plant-based materials, like bark, wood, and leaves). They’re porous, causing them to be highly sensitive to humidity levels.

Cardstock absorbs moisture in the air.

Cardstock is hygroscopic, which means the cards, by their chemical (alchemical?) nature, will try to maintain an equilibrium with its environment, which means it’ll absorb water molecules in the air and also release its water molecules out into the air, to try and maintain that equilibrium. The temperature, humidity, and the climate of the region you live in have more of an impact on the durability of your tarot deck than you may realize.

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SKT Status Update & the Cards Printing Process

Major Arcana, Key 0 (three versions) through Key 9

We received a status update from our manufacturer in Shenzhen, and China is in effect back under quarantine due to the new variants of Covid-19 cropping up. Travel– and business operations– within the city have slowed due to 48-hour testing requirements anywhere you go, so even something simple like going from Point A to Point B within the city to get raw materials, to ship, anything at all, what used to take 1 day now takes 3 days. If you want to travel within the country, or travel between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, there’s a 14-day quarantine, making business travel next to impossible.

Major Arcana, Key 10 through Key 21

An example of how this applies to the production process resulting in delays: the gilding applied to the cards is done outside their office location, in a different neighborhood. Now, due to the travel restrictions and 48-hour testing requirements, anything at all that took one afternoon to complete now takes 3 days minimum.

We had hoped that the actual production of the decks would be completed by early July, and then the 40 to 45 day shipping time would mean receipt of the containers at our front door by mid-August. However, with the new quarantine regulations in effect in Shenzhen, the projected date we got from the manufacturer for production completion is now the last week of July, which pushes everything back by two to three weeks.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some insights I learned about the deck printing and manufacturing process.

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Divinity Blessing Cards & About Packing Favors (Deck Creator’s Notes & Commentary)

Buddhist Divinity Blessing Card

You can download these printable 2.5″ x 3.0″ divinity blessing cards. High-res 500 dpi JPGs to follow.

The first set is Buddhist: Maitreya, bodhisattva of loving-kindness and Kuan Yin, bodhisattva of mercy and compassion.

Kemetic Divinity Blessing Card

The second set is Kemetic: Thoth (Dhwty or Tehuti), the Egyptian god of knowledge and writing, and Isis (Ese or Ast), goddess of magic.

Then I’ll chat a bit about deck packing favors, for the prospective indie deck creators who might be interested in my notes and commentary on the matter.

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Sapere Aude Magnets with the SKT Revelation Decks

click image file to download

Click on the above image if you want to download the high-res JPG file. This is going to be a 2″ x 3.5″ magnet that will accompany each SKT III deck purchase. They’re produced by the same company I ordered the 2″ x 2″ magnets from, for those who remember the First and Vitruvian Edition packaging.

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