Monday, March 30, 2009

Dreary Weekend in Ohio . . .

I knew it was going to be a long weekend when my chest started tightening up on Saturday afternoon. Yep, I've got a bug -- throat and voice went South yesterday. Hopefully, the antibiotics will kick in soon. Anyone who calls here today is getting the gravelly Barry White voice . . .

But I had plenty of NCAA basketball to keep me occupied. Mowed the grass Saturday afternoon while I was still feeling decent, and made a batch of sour cream drop cookies yesterday afternoon (you watch -- I'm going to start getting recipe requests).

I did get some good pictures from Saturday's Make It & Take It in our store, and will try to get them up today or tomorrow. The best one was of eight-year-old Alexie Cutter, her finished project, and my dog Zoe . . .

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wednesday 3/25 Make It & Take It

Here's a quick and easy card from the Make It & Take It in our store on Wednesday, March 25. Thanks to Charlene Driggs for suggesting that I show the completed project before the tutorial so you can see how the steps fit together. So here goes . . .

Jackie Schmidt (standing at right) was the instructor this time.

Here's what you'll need -- a 4 3/4" x 9 1/2" piece of cardstock, a 3 3/4" x 3 3/4" piece of cardstock, and a few random pieces that you can cut to size (you can pick the colors), a small flowered stamp, a VersaMark pad, adhesive, a ruler, a paper trimmer, and a decorative sticker (the ones we used came from Pop-Ups by Plane Class).

Take the 3 3/4" square piece of cardstock and stamp the flowered image on it randomly with VersaMark ink.

When the ink dries, fold the sheet in half lengthwise and lightly crease it (photo at left), then unfold the sheet and repeat the process the other direction. Then fold each of the corners into the middle and firmly crease (photo at right).

Fold each corner back so the corner goes past your last crease (use a ruler to measure so all folds are equal -- see the first photo at the top for a better image of the actual fold).

You'll end up with a "framed" square in the middle. Measure the dimensions of the square, and then use your paper cutter to cut a scrap that size, and another just a little smaller for layering. Glue those two pieces together, then glue them into the framed square.

Take a decorative sticker and put it on top of your layer.

Last, fold the 4 3/4" x 9 1/2" piece of cardstock in half and glue your decorative frame to the front. That's it!

Thanks to Robin Walker for being my hand model again this week (she also had the "honor" last Wednesday). Robin said her kids didn't believe her until she pointed out her ring in the pictures . . .

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Grand Opening . . .

These past couple of weeks have been like the "soft open" at a new store -- no advertising yet, just wanted to see who might wander in on word of mouth. Not sure exactly how many have wandered in, but so far 72 of you have subscribed to the blog. Today or tomorrow I will formally announce it to our e-mail list, so we'll see what happens from there.

We're going to extend the Free Shipping Offer until April 15. What free shipping offer, you ask? I guess that will give you incentive to scroll through these posts until you find it! Then you can read the terms and the fine print. Think of it as a scavenger hunt . . .

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday Make It & Take It at Marco's

Here we go again -- after a full day of NCAA basketball at the University of Dayton Arena (four games -- the last one went double overtime), Zoe and I made it to the store for Saturday's Make It/Take It (for the uninitiated, Zoe is my dog). Leslie Rogers and her magic feet were instructing the troops again -- more on that later. You get a bonus pair of hands in the pictures, as I took the photos while Leslie was demonstrating the project to a student.

Here are the necessary paper and supplies for this project -- a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of tan cardstock and a scrap piece at least 2 1/2" x 4", a 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" piece of cream cardstock, a Dorothy Dodd rubber stamp (Rubber Cottage - code # RC4261A), a piece of ribbon, 1/8" thick Pop-Dots, Tombow Mono Adhesive (or your favorite glue), an X-acto knife, a pair of scissors, and a Distress Ink Pad to complement the ribbon.

Ink the stamp thoroughly until it glistens, and then press the cream bristol firmly against the bottom of the stamp (instead of the opposite -- Leslie demonstrated that you can't get a solid image with a stamp this large unless you do it her way). This is my new "find" for the day -- I learned how to put pictures side-by-side in the blog editor.

Ink the cameo portion of the stamp again and stamp that image (same method as above) on the scrap of tan cardstock.

Using scissors or an X-acto knife, cut around the edge of the Dorothy Dodd stamped image, and around the edge of the cameo on the scrap piece.

Cut a Pop-Dot in half and put the pieces on each end of the cameo you cut out. Put Mono Adhesive on the back of the stamped image.

Fold the piece of tan cardstock in half, and put the cream sheet with the stamped image near the top of the front. Then add the tan cameo, directly over the cream cameo on the big image.

With the X-acto knife, make a slit just a little wider than your ribbon in the spine of your card, below the bottom of the Dorothy Dodd image. Then slip your ribbon through the slit and tie it around the bottom of your card.

Depending on the ink and ribbon you use, the finished piece will look something like this.

Thanks to Leslie for teaching this week's Make It/Take Its (and for being a good sport about my foot comments -- see the post below if this makes no sense). Today, she was wearing socks, and was quite proud of the fact that she had made them herself and the patterns matched up perfectly . . .

Perhaps our floor was cleaner today . . .

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wednesday Make It & Take It at Marco's

This is a whole new experience for me -- I'm going to try to do a tutorial on this blog. I went to our store yesterday morning and took pictures of Leslie Rogers leading our free make it and take it project. If you're around Dayton or ever make a pilgrimage here, we do them every Wednesday from 9:00-11:00 and every Saturday from 11:00-1:00 -- stop by anytime in the two hour window and you can create a nice project that will cost you absolutely nothing (of course, if you do it from my description you have to use your own materials -- that should be incentive enough to come to Dayton). You might even learn something along the way. So here goes . . .

You'll need the following paper -- a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of black cardstock, a piece of 5 1/4" x 4" textweight in both white and cherry, a piece of 8 1/2" x 2 1/2" green textweight, and a piece of 5" x 3 3/4" peach bristol cardstock.

And the following supplies -- purple Daisy Design flower stamp, EK Success paper shaper matching flower punch, 1 1/2" Marvy Clever Lever circle punch (the yellow one), a black ink pad, four photo corners, an X-acto knife or a pair of scissors, and a glue stick.

First, stamp the flower three times on the peach cardstock (it's OK if the image goes off the edge of the cardstock).

Then use the circle punch to punch three holes in the peach cardstock, cutting off part of the stamped flower each time.

Stamp the flower three times on the green text paper (don't go off the sides this time).

Carefully punch out each stamped flower with the flower punch.

Match up the green punched flowers behind the peach stamped circles so the green shows through the holes. Glue them in place and trim off whatever sticks out from the edges of the cardstock.

Layer the cherry paper and the peach bristol on top of the folded piece of black cardstock.

Then add the four corners.

Paste the white text inside the card to give you something to write on, and you're all done!

So how did I do? Too much info? Not enough?

One more thing -- I got a major kick out of Leslie, as she did the whole Make It/Take It barefoot. She was quite proud of her pedicure -- I was more intrigued by the amount of dirt she was accumulating from the floor. So I took a picture of both . . .

If all goes well, I might try this again with Saturday's Make It/Take It. New project -- same feet . . .

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another of those "Turning 50" things . . .

I assume that one of the things I'll want to do on this blog is post step-by-steps on some of the fun things we do in the store. Will probably start with Wednesday's Make It & Take It -- we have free MITIs in the store on Wednesdays and Saturdays. So for those of you who don't live within shouting distance, perhaps it will give you an idea of something quick and easy you can make at home. Stay tuned . . .

I just got back from my first experience of the joys of the colonoscopy. The prep stuff is definitely not my idea of a good time. No major findings and I'm fine, but I'm grounded for the day -- can't drive and can't work. So maybe some yardwork -- the weather has turned decent here for a change.

Spent my "liquid diet day" running the floor camera at church all morning, watching some basketball (my brother and I have tickets for the first and second round games in Dayton this weekend -- we get to see two #1 seeds), and taking Zoe for a walk. Also baked cookies for Carla and Ryan -- since I couldn't eat them, I made something they like and I don't (gingersnaps).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Welcome to the Blog" Offer . . .

I want to see how fast word travels in the world of blogdom -- what better way than a free shipping offer? So I'm going to mention this here -- one time only. Feel free to cast it to the wind and see how it flies!

Get FREE UPS Ground Shipping with Any Purchase of $30 or More Through March 31, 2009 (Retail Purchases Only) When You Subscribe to the Marco's Paper Blog and Then Mention the Blog and Your E-Mail Address When You Place Your Order! Place your order with Marco's anytime between now and March 31, 2009, and if it's $30 or more, we'll ship it FREE by UPS Ground anywhere in the Continental U.S. Retail purchases only. Not valid on prior purchases. For customers in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, APO/FPO, we'll ship by Priority Mail for half the regular rate. For Canada and other international customers, e-mail your potential order to and we'll check to see if it can be shipped economically for half the Priority Mail International rate.

Thanks, Indy!

We were in Indianapolis last weekend for Heirloom's Indianapolis Rubber Stamp & Paper Arts Festival at the fairgrounds. Gorgeous weather and a great crowd -- and thankfully just enough clearance to get the truck under cover, since it poured rain just as we started teardown.

Three demos in the booth -- we were hoppin' all day on Saturday.

Susan Pickering Rothamel from USArtQuest joined us for the first time in nearly eight years, and we just confirmed that she'll be with us in both Allentown and Akron in April!

Marvy Rep Sherry Coupland from Impressive Pages lives in Indy -- she demoed new Marvy products and showed customers how to use their new acrylic markers.

And the Zindorfians came to the mountain! Michelle Zindorf has a national following from her blog on Splitcoaststampers and her sold-out brayer workshops.

You can tell a true Zindorfian by the color of her fingers . . .


This is a work in progress, so don't be surprised if the layout and a lot of the content changes over the next few days. I have suspected for a long time that we needed to start a blog where we could post information, pictures and such. But it took Cheryl Darrow from Ten Seconds Studio to finally convince me to take the plunge.

When I started building our website eleven years ago, I barely knew how to turn on a computer. I learned a lot and got a lot of good advice along the way, and now I can update it in my sleep. I suspect this will be much the same -- I have only a vague idea how this page will best serve our customers. I think this will be a place to post pictures from conventions, tutorials, a quick sale notice, some of my stream of consciousness thinking, and maybe even a picture of my dog from time to time.

But you'll tell me. You folks are great -- most of the best ideas we've ever had weren't ours at all. They came from our customers.

Someday I'll tell the story of how we entered the world of rubber stamp conventions, mail order, wacky costumes, and more. Again, it wasn't our idea -- two of our customers get all the credit.

I hope you'll come along for the ride.