Thursday, December 8, 2016

Prayers for a Friend Who Is Always Paying It Forward . . .

There are people in this world who just naturally think of others before they think of themselves.  I’m sure you know a few – they are the ones who hear of hardship and are immediately there with a kind word or a meal or a hug.  And they are the ones who don’t stop at one kindness – they follow up even years down the road to make sure all is going well.

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Nami Nakamura is one of those people.  You probably know her from DeNami Designs, as a smiling face and bundle of energy on the show circuit.  I know her as the angel who sent the first card to my mom when she started chemo five years ago – the angel who still checks on her every time we speak – the angel who did/does all of this even though she has never met my mom.  Nami encouraged me to share Mom’s story with you, and when my very private mother agreed, we were showered with notes and prayers and support from so many more people who have never met my mom.  And we will always be grateful.

It has already been a stressful year for Nami and her husband, Gary – Gary had a major stroke at the end of February, but thankfully he has made a full recovery.

Now, it is Nami’s turn.  She gave me permission to share this message that she posted on her Facebook page a couple of days ago – it is a message of fear, hope, faith, and love.

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“Health diagnosis:
I had scar tissue removed recently and they did a biopsy as procedure. What I didn't expect to hear was that they found a form of skin cancer developing. They told me to come in again to remove a wider area, which will happen beginning of January.

I texted my dad and he had these sent to me the next day. You see, my dad is not demonstrative or emotional at all. He is logical and has a PhD in science. This touching gift meant so much to me because of it. My dad was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, so I worry more about him.

My friend asked me how I'm doing.

My response was, "I have too much living to do to worry about dying."  You see, as a born again Christian, I have been thinking about death ever since I learned about eternal life, which was over 30 years ago. I have thought about my purpose for living when I discovered God's purpose for me.

Me regarding death? "Ain't got time for that!"

For those of you who haven't considered where death will lead, seek Jesus and God's purpose for you. Your life will be fuller than you dreamed, will be deeper than you imagined, harder than you expected, but will be more joyous than you can dare to experience. Saying this, you would imagine I never experienced trouble in life, but I can assure you that you will likely find the ones that are most joyful have experienced more pain, darkness and sorrow than most, but have overcome because of Jesus.

I will have sorrow and tears through this journey, but today I celebrate life and God's love through the love of my dad.”

I encourage you to shower this beautiful friend with the same love and support that she gives with so much joy in her heart every day.  You can send messages to her at denamidesign@gmail.com – thanks.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Some Perspective from the Smokies . . .

If you live in the eastern half of the country (especially in the midwest), you likely spent a lot of this week glued to the news reports coming from the Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville, Tennessee.  I know so many people like me who have been there at least once or twice (or perhaps more like twenty times), stunned as they heard about, and later saw what was left of, so many places that have been a part of their lives.

But there is more to the story. 

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I talked with our friend Janet Winkle yesterday.  A lot of you know Janet – she works at Your Scrapbook Superstore in Sevierville.  Janet has taught at our store several times and is one of the driving forces behind the show we attend in Sevierville in October.  And she has a plea to those of you who love the Smokies – and love to visit there for the holidays . . .

“Sevierville is OK, but we did have some structures burned. They could not defend all the structures. They made a stand on the main street of Gatlinburg and around Dollywood and Dream More to try to save something.

We need people to know we are open for business in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge and Dollywood reopened today. People are canceling reservations left and right and that is not what we need right now. If you could encourage people to visit us, we would appreciate it.

Also donations can be made to the Dollywood Foundation for the Chimney #2 fire victims. They will provide the families who lost their homes $1,000 a month for 6 months.”

So if you want to do something positive to support these nice folks, do what you can to help them keep their jobs . . .

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thanksgiving Coupon Contest Winners

Over the weekend, our store had its annual Thanksgiving Coupon Contest – 30% off in-stock items if you creatively designed your own coupon – with prizes for the most creative entries.  The winner received a $25 Marco’s Gift Certificate – and there were prizes for the runners-up as well.

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Top Left – First Prize Marge Reising
Top Middle – Second Prize Robyn Trimble
Top Right – Third Prize Jeanette Alley
Bottom Left – Fourth Prize Sharon Twardowski
Bottom Right – Fifth Prize Marty Osterday

Congratulations, ladies!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

You Have Been Warned . . .

One message – short and sweet . . .

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Last day – don’t delay – tomorrow will be too late! www.marcopaper.com

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Something to Keep You Busy After the Thanksgiving Meal . . .

If your family is like mine, we do the Thanksgiving meal at lunchtime.  Then we have time between that and desserts with my brother’s family in the evening.  How to fill that time wisely depends on the individual – there is (of course) football, or visiting, or napping.  And for some of you, I hope you will spend some time today – or some time through the weekend into early next week – shopping on our site during our Annual 25% Off Sale.

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From now through Wednesday, November 30 at www.marcopaper.com – we’re combining all of the holiday weekend events into one.  So whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, or any other event – everything on our site is 25% off.  There are a few exceptions – classes, gift certificates, Spellbinders Closeout Dies (those are already 50% off) and previous purchases.  And we’ll ship your order free in the Continental U.S. if it’s over $50 (and for only $5.95 if it isn’t).

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Weekend of Nostalgia . . .

Spent the weekend in “Half Hot, Half Cold, Gets Dark Way Too Early, But Thankfully Not Snowing” Madison, Wisconsin.  When I got there on Thursday, it was 72 glorious degrees outside – but at 4:00 in the afternoon it was already starting to get dark outside (and by 4:30 it was pitch black).  It stayed in the 60s most of the way through setup on Friday.  Then the wind machine turned on – and by Saturday morning, it was in the 20s and stayed there the rest of the weekend.  But unlike last year, there was no snowstorm to scare off our customers and friends.

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This was one of the highlights of my weekend.  These sentries were protecting our friend Chris Mode’s booth, the product of the talented (and retired) mind of Denise Pernetti.  This is my kind of art.

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Here is another that’s even better – I looked up from setting up the booth on Friday and saw Jerry and Jane Stevens setting up their own booth.  Hadn’t seen them in at least four or five years, since they gave up the show circuit to concentrate on Jane’s fight with cancer.  She is doing well and they are back among us

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My favorite t-shirt of the weekend – spotted during setup on Friday.

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Spotted on the doors leading onto the convention floor . . .

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One of those evenings that makes traveling worthwhile . . . when I first met Roy and Tyra Smith, their kids were all ten and under... now their daughter Kara has her own little family and lives in Madison.  Made more memories with seven members of their family and introduced them to a favorite board game of mine.   This is one of those great situations in life where you get to choose to be family . . .

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I was greeted on Sunday morning by a mysterious Christmas Tree of Rolos.  I am more of a Nestle chocolate person, but Rolos are pretty good and when splitting the promoter’s goody bag with my demo person, I kept the Rolos and she got the Kisses.  But I ate mine during the day, so the origin of these was a mystery.

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I accused a couple of friends of being the culprits before Jenny from The Hobby Home ‘fessed up.  She had heard me when I was splitting the Rolos and Kisses, and decided the tree was a nice payback for the clipboard I loaned her to use during the show.  I agree . . .

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Show Promoter Ann Lee brought a photo album by on Sunday, and thought I might want to take a look.  It had lots of pics from the first three years of the show, including this one taken 14 years ago when the vendors had a picnic on Saturday evening.  I was deep into my walk down Memory Lane when I felt a tap on my shoulder . . .

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. . . and saw our friend Zana Clark (Stamp Zia), who retired from the show circuit years ago and decided to stop in for a visit.  It was great to see her.

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Last pic, completely unrelated – taken last night as the sun set perfectly between a house and garage a block or so over from mine . . .

Monday, November 14, 2016

Free Shipping, Gift Ideas for the Young’uns, and Another New Tim Holtz Item . . .

It seems to happen every year about this time (at least for the past several years) – but it seems to take an inquiry from a customer every year to make us think about it.  So it was again this year . . .

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I flipped all of the necessary switches on our site this morning – for a limited time, we’ll ship free in the Continental U.S. on orders over $50.00 – make sure to choose the “free shipping” option at checkout.

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Here are just a handful of nineteen great gift ideas for the kids from Faber-Castell, ranging from $5.99 to $49.99 (most are under $20.00).  Quantities are limited on some of these – and from what we can tell so far, the Tassel Bracelets are incredibly popular.

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And here’s another new release from Tim Holtz (again, brought to my attention by a customer – I love it when you folks serve as my eyes and ears) -- Tim Holtz® Kushgrip Nonstick Micro-Serrated 5" Mini-Snips are coming very soon and have the same great features as the other three sets of snips introduced previously.  As usual, 20% off the MSRP with free shipping in the Continental U.S. until the first shipment arrives.