Saturday, December 22, 2018

A Special Request from a Special Lady . . .

A lot of you know Connie Williams.  If you don’t know her, but have ever attended a rubber stamp convention in the eastern U.S., you owe her a debt of gratitude – because I think hers was the first.  As I understand it, Connie went to a convention in California with Judi Watanabe (Judi-Kins) back in the early 90s, and came back to Cincinnati with a dream to start one of her own. 

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Over the years, Stampaway USA grew and grew and grew – people came from 500 miles away, and I can remember lines going both ways all around the Sharonville Convention Center before the show opened.

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Connie “retired” after the 25th Stampaway in 2017, but I think she will always be around the second weekend in August.  She and her husband Bob wanted to spend more time with their daughter in Atlanta and at their winter golf home in Florida.  But sometimes life gets in the way.  I got a message from her earlier this week . . .

Could use as many prayers as I can request. Greg, on November 8 Bob went in for a brain tumor surgery. It was successful and benign. The only problem, which the doctor felt could be corrected, was a nerve was stressed. The nerve affects vocal cord and swallowing. He was off to rehab and two days later back to hospital for a reaction to the steroids. Adjusted medication and a few days later back to rehab. Two days later tried to get out of bed and fell. Back to hospital and in ICU with pneumonia. Now a feeding tube through nose because food was going into lung. Then put on a ventilator, removed tube from nose and surgically put it in stomach. Two weeks later. . . yeah back to a hospital rehab facility. Lasted three days and sent to ER. Fluid draining through scar area. He is back on a ventilator and has MRSA. Tomorrow back to surgery to put a shunt from head to stomach to decrease pressure on the brain and then put a trach in to get him off the ventilator. It has certainly been a roller coaster ride these last 41 days! Hoping you can send prayers his way. Doctor has confidence that he’ll come out of this ok but full recovery may take 6 months.

Doctor said Bob would have died within a year if the tumor hadn’t been removed. It was massive. Discovered it two days before we were to leave for Florida only because in a doctors office I mentioned that I thought his tremor was a little worse. He sent Bob to get a CAT scan. Thanking God for that other doctor, too.

I’m getting a lot of reading and knitting done! Would rather have been in Florida.

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So this Christmas season, as you are counting your blessings, please take a moment and ask for some blessings for Connie and Bob.

Thanks – and a very Merry Christmas to all of you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Winners . . . and a Reminder

Last Friday and Saturday was the annual Make Your Own Coupon Sale at our retail store.  I didn’t make it to the store to see all of the entries, but pictures of the winners were sent to me and their creativity is shared below . . .

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Left to right, first place went to Chris Focke, and second place to Terrie Grismer.

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Third place tie went to Connie Schramm and Shirley Culberson.

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Fourth place to Sharon Twardowski and honorable mention to Michelle Yarbrough.  All of the winners received Marco’s gift certificates.

And here’s one more image that should be of interest . . .

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The 25% off and free shipping sale has been extended through Wednesday – and since I don’t stay up until the clock strikes midnight in Hawaii, that means I will turn it off when I get up bright and early on Thursday morning.  Take advantage while you can – and we will ship your orders as fast as we can.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

And So It Begins . . . Black Friday Plus . . . 25% Off and Free Shipping!

I almost forgot – I am not kidding.  It has been crazy around here.  There were items that were expected to arrive in October but didn’t arrive until the second week of November – and items that were expected to arrive the second week of November and DID!  On top of that, the illness bug hit our mail center for a few days, and I have been in and out a lot over the past several days transitioning my mother-in-law from a rehab center back to her home after falling and breaking her elbow four weeks ago.

Then Gary walked in yesterday and said, “Are you ready to start the sale?”  Oh, whoops . . .

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That’s part one . . .

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And that’s part two.

Now through Monday, November 26.  I’ll leave it up to you to figure out when you have the time.  Have a great holiday weekend!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Pumpkin Night . . .

Because some of you enjoy our family traditions, I present this year’s antics from our annual Pumpkin Carving Night . . .

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We never used stencils until Emily came around.  Ryan and I balked at first – I came around a couple of years ago, and Ryan finally decided to take the plunge this year.

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As usual, our supervisor was hard at work . . . but it was exhausting.

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Emily’s creation this year was Boba Fett from Star Wars.  Ryan has always been a Transformers’ fan – used to have a decal on his Jeep.

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There is nothing p0litical about my entry – I just thought it was funny.  And it turned out much better than I anticipated.

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Hope you and all of your ghosts and goblins enjoy the last few days before the time change . . .

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Fairy Godmother and Godfather Return . . .

Last weekend was our annual trip to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.  We usually get there just in time to see the fall colors at their peak – but not this year.  Way too much rain and warmth during the summer – the leaves still haven’t started changing here in Ohio, 300 miles to the north.

But we still had fun . . .

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Got to spend the weekend visiting (harassing?) my dear friends Darlene Domel and Picasso Gaglione, the Fairy Godmother and Godfather of Rubber Stamping.  They are still enjoying their well-deserved retirement in Knoxville, but come out of hiding once a year to join us.  Some of their neighbors even stopped by to see what it is they have been talking about all of this time . . .

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Steve Lindeman from Toomuchfun commandeered a scooter on Sunday and did a few laps around the convention hall . . .

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My friend Suzanne Reed took advantage of the “demo table extenders” that I designed for Sally Lynn MacDonald from Gel Press – both ladies like to stand and have the blessing of higher than normal elevation . . .

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One of my neighbors is a huge Tennessee Volunteers fan – she lost her dad last week, and she loved my idea of this as an alternative to flowers . . .

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The weather was delightful, so I took advantage and spent some time on the golf course next to the convention center – you’ll notice the Smoky Mountains in the distance.  This was my best shot of the day – and after I took the picture, I even made the putt for a birdie!  The 18th hole is right next to the building and parking lot – so when I noticed the Toomuchfun trailer next to the cart path, I veered off and took a pic to let Steve and Michelle know that I had arrived . . .

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Fort Wayne Fun Means Birthdays and Burgers . . .

We spent the weekend in lovely Fort Wayne, Indiana – and near record high temps allowed me to wear shorts both days of the show (even though it was freezing in the building on Sunday).

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Since setup on Friday was four days before my birthday, and since I was entering my seventh decade two months before our humble promoter, Steve from Toomuchfun marked our booth with a message instead of a name – the picture has glare on it, but it says “Birthday Boy”.  And one look at Robin’s foot reminded me that she had dropped a Glass Media Mat on her big toe at the Cincinnati show seven weeks before (don’t do this at home).

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Saturday morning before the show opened, there was an excited crowd ready to cross the barrier to the show floor.  By lunchtime, they were spending time at the tables and chairs closer to the wall . . .

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Saturday was Robin’s birthday – as usual in Fort Wayne, I had a cake for her that we worked on all weekend.  Her t-shirt says something about being 59 – we have fun with our ages, since she catches me for three days every year before I run off and leave her again.

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Steve and Michelle’s daughter Alana was in heaven all weekend – she has adored Keia Arnold since she was born, and they hadn’t seen each other in a year . . .

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After the show on Saturday, Robin and Keia took me to the #1 burger joint in Fort Wayne.  Bravas is just outside of downtown – the owner is a twenty-something who started with a hot dog cart, moved up to a food truck, and now has a brick and mortar establishment.

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More pics of Bravas and our food – yes, it was that good.

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Sunday started with a “vendor meeting” – Steve and Michelle always get donuts for the vendors, and they arranged a few of them for me.  I was serenaded by my fellow vendors as I blew out the candles.  I love our traveling band of minstrels . . .

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There was also a card.  I already know what you are thinking – “It’s NOT handmade!”  You are not the only one who noticed . . .

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Alana chewed out her dad, then sat down at our demo table and made one for me herself . . .

Monday, October 8, 2018

In Memory of a Good Friend . . .

I got a text on Saturday evening – the message stopped me cold.  I really have been expecting it for a long time, but each time Kathy Krivitski (Seaside Stampin’ Ink) had another health crisis, somehow she pulled through.

But not this time – she died on Saturday afternoon.

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This is one of my favorite pictures of Kathy, with one of the birds that she loved so much.  The last five years, she has had her adorable granddaughter Gracie to give her joy and lift her spirits.

Our prayers go out to Joe and the rest of the family.