News / shipping
The majority of orders processed through WithAPast are shipped via Canada Post and the US Postal Service. International orders are most often shipped via Canada Post or DHL Express Courier.
When orders are picked up, we're given an estimated delivery date. At the moment, delays are being experienced with all shipping companies, due to necessary extra precautions being taken for the COVID-19 pandemic. We've experienced delays from one day to two weeks and don't honestly see that changing anytime soon.
We will continue to ship orders out by the most efficient and affordable means possible and follow up with the shipping company when delays are encountered.
We've been asked why this store sells in US Dollars given the fact that it's a Canadian store. The simple answer is....Pinterest. The majority of traffic to this site originates from Pinterest and translates into a large percentage of our sales.
Last summer when Pinterest announced the launch of Buyable Pins, one of the requirements for implementing their new initiative on Shopify stores was that stores had to sell in US Dollars. So, we converted this store over and at the same time, tried to convert our prices to reflect the change in currency.
The exchange rate from US to Canadian Dollars has jumped recently and it has been fluctuating between $1.31 and $1.35 in recent months. Rather than continually amending our prices to reflect the currency fluctuations, we've decided to offer free shipping on all orders over $50.00 shipped to a Canadian address, while the listed exchange rate is over $1.30. Hopefully this small change will help to offset the conversion shock.
Shipping charges will automatically be discounted from your order on checkout, when entering the discount code ´Ship Canada´ along with a shipping address in Canada.
Canada Post is offering free shipping for parcels delivered to Canadian addresses, every Tuesday in October! This option is available to all Small Business Solutions members so I'm able to pass it along to Canadian customers placing an order on WithAPast.
I'm thrilled with this initiative by Canada Post and, coming after the recent labour uncertainties, it's a great good will gesture.
So, if you're thinking of placing an order, and you don't mind waiting until the Tuesday after you place your order for it to be processed and shipped, you may want to take advantage of this offer. Simply type in 'Canada Post Free Shipping' in the Discount Code option during checkout, and shipping costs will be deducted from your order.
Please note that there is a good possibility of a labour disruption at Canada Post by July 2nd, 2016. As the majority of purchases on the WithAPast website are delivered via Canada Post Expedited Parcel Post service, any labour disruption will have a major impact on our operations.
In the event of a strike or lockout at Canada Post, we will be shipping packages to their destination via UPS, DHL or Purolator Courier. This is a more costly option than Canada Post however, so please e-mail us for an accurate quote on shipping before placing an order on our website.
We apologize for the inconvenience and remain hopeful that employees and management at Canada Post are able to come to an agreement before July 2nd. If that's not the case, we're hopeful that the issues will be resolved as quickly as possible.
It seems as though 'Fabric or Textile Arts' are attracting much more attention lately. I myself have a somewhat new found appreciation for this often under-appreciated art form, so I'm quite happy to see the Textile Arts seemingly enjoy a resurgence of sorts.
I wonder if the past disregard for these beautiful pieces is because they were created almost entirely by women and girls and they were used by women in the day to day running of the home. I really have no idea but I'm certain there is a women's studies thesis out there somewhere that can link this theory.
Needlepoint, weaving, knitting, embroidery, tapestry....all examples of skills that have historically been passed down through generations of women. The imagination, creativity, level of skill, and attention to the smallest of detail are evident when you look closely and try to imagine the time it would have taken to create these truly one of a kind works of art.
The era in which women were expected to have and to devote the time and effort in creating these pieces is long past but that doesn't in any way lessen my own appreciation for the lovely pieces they were able to create. From the simple stitch samplers young school girls worked on to practice and perfect their stitches, to hand tatted lace, elegant embroidered fabrics, and stitched/woven works of wall art, these pieces are becoming scarcer as the years go by.
The fabric arts for sale from WithAPast range from vintage to antique. Each is a beautiful example of a bygone time and an important historical nod to the work of women who came before us. Look closely at a sample of this creative and skilled art form when you have a chance. You'll likely be as blown away as I am when you pause and try to imagine the time and skill required to create these one of a kind treasures.
To be perfectly honest, I know very little about art. I have no conscious sense of form, composition or light, nor do I have any insight into what an artist may be trying to convey. I'm not artistic or even all that creative. But I love art. In all its varied forms. I'm in awe of the skill with which an artist can impart their vision onto canvas or into stone or music or their medium of choice and am intrigued by the different emotions and feeling their work conveys, different for each and every person experiencing it.
With one of my first ever pay cheques, from my very first full time job, I bought a small work from a tiny local gallery. I still have it some 35 years later, although the gallery is now long gone. It evokes some of the very same feelings today that it did when I first brought it home, along with a few new ones. Which is exactly why I bought it, and have hauled it along with me where ever I've moved, hanging it on a new wall in each and every place I made my home. I've continued to buy small pieces of art over the years, based entirely on what I like and how the piece makes me feel.
Art really doesn't have to be expensive. Some of my favourites were picked up from street artists from where ever I happened to be travelling, at music festivals, craft shows, and more recently at auctions. The common thread is always that each piece makes me feel something....happy, thoughtful, wistful......To me the sole purpose of art is elicit emotion or make a connection of some kind.
So, I don't really get the appeal of mass-produced factory art. The Ikea furniture of the art world. Not that there's anything wrong with Ikea furniture....it's just not really meant to endure beyond the average length of time it takes to complete a university degree. Disposable. Superficial. Mass produced. It lacks that special something that an artist infuses into their work . It seems to be less about making a connection and more about matching the furniture. There really is no comparison though to an original work, conceived of and executed by an artist with the talent and skill to connect people and make them feel something. What a cool way to make a living.
I feel like a treasure hunter.
For the most part, I buy things that catch my interest and capture my imagination and I assume they will do the same for others. Sometimes they do. Not always though. My end goal is to purchase items I'll be able to sell and it seems I have the most success buying and selling what I like.
My approach is probably a little unorthodox but I buy what I can afford, what I like, and what looks a bit different. Usually in that order. The treasure hunter part comes in when I get my purchase home and do some research into what it is and where it came from.
The computer geek in me gets an enormous sense of satisfaction from solving the puzzle of what something actually is, where it originated, how old it is and what the value might be. The history buff in me is thrilled to discover a bit about the history of a specific piece, what it may originally have been used for, and a bit about the time and place it was produced in.
A few months back, I bought a sculpture from an online estate sale. There were only a few photos of the piece and they were not the best quality. The description of the piece was very vague, simply stating 'Stone Sculpture - Heavy' and the dimensions were incorrect. Something about this piece captured my imagination, in spite of the lack of detailed, quality photos. Very few people seemed to be interested, and I had the winning bid. It was fairly challenging picking it up and getting it home as I was very surprised to discover it was much larger and heavier than described in the listing. It weighs 137 pounds, to be exact. It was also much more beautiful than was evident in the listing!
The size and weight made it difficult to research and I was told, after sending photos to a few people for appraisal purposes, that likely its highest value was in my own appreciation of the sculpture. A kind way to say that it has no real value, I think. I was intrigued though and wanted to know more about the sculptor and where it came from. So, I did my own research and after many, many hours of searching, I've discovered the origins of the piece that makes me smile every time I walk past it.
It's a lovely example of Zimbabwe Shona sculpture, so named because they are created by the Shona of Zimbabwe. The Shona people have been hand sculpting stone into works of art for nearly a thousand years. The name Zimbabwe is derived from the Shona word which means 'house of stone'.
Even more exciting to me, was learning that the piece I wrestled to get into my house and struggled to research, was created by the one and only, Colleen Madamombe. Ms. Madamombe, who died in 2009, was one of only a handful of women sculptors in Zimbabwe, and often considered among the very best. Her sculptures are said to highlight the special qualities of Shona women, as well as to communicate the inequities that affect their lives and status.
The feminist in me is a bit in awe that one of her sculptures is at this moment, in my living room. How cool is that? Most certainly a treasure found!