Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Sunday was my mom’s 72nd birthday.  Back in the spring, her sister Nancy came up with a good way for us to spend it – she gave us four tickets and a parking pass to the Dayton Dragons game.  This is a big deal – the Dragons have sold out every home game since their first one eleven years ago.  This summer, they broke the professional sports record for consecutive sellouts (815 – now it’s in the 830s).

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So off we went.  Fifth Third Field is in downtown Dayton (and Fifth Third Bank apparently likes to buy naming rights – there is a Fifth Third Field in Toledo and a Fifth Third Ballpark in Grand Rapids, and I suppose there may be more).  Our seats were in the first row of the second level, and we really enjoyed the extra legroom.


Since we got there early, we had time to ask an usher to take a family shot . . .

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There are warehouse buildings along the street and behind the outfield walls.  Longtime readers of this blog may have seen similar pictures before – I have announced a couple of high school baseball games here.

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Nancy had arranged for a birthday greeting on the big scoreboard (look under the video board) and Mom was pleasantly surprised.


When a Dragon hits a home run, the dragons on either side of the scoreboard put on a show – their eyes flash red, and smokes comes out of their nostrils . . .

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These two folks were playing “The Newlywed Game” on top of the dugout between innings.  They were the second choice – the Dragons’ entertainment team had asked Mom & Dad first.  Dad turned them down (Mom would have done it).  And we got to see the team celebrate at the end of a 6-0 victory that clinched a postseason playoff berth.


When I got home, I made up a collage of photos from the day, printed it on photo paper, and dropped it off for Mom on Monday morning.  She really enjoyed the memories of her day, and she’ll get a chance to see them again when she and Dad get back to Arizona (they read the blog when they’re out there, so they’ll spend some time catching up on what they missed while they were home this summer).  Happy Birthday Mom!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Thrill of Zoe’s First 50 Cent Cone . . .

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I didn’t even think to take pictures until Zoe had already taken three or four licks.  And then I thought the fun was over – and completely missed the look of joy on her face when she chomped down on the cone . . .

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Terrorizing Your Children . . .

My friend Tyra Smith has a unique way of keeping in touch with her children during the electronic age.  Her daughter Shyekara is a student at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, and her son Blake is a student at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.  And almost every day, when they check their mail they get a postcard from home.  Tyra has taken pictures of family outings, special events, and general goings-on in their hometown – and created special postcards.  So she jots a quick note, addresses them, slaps stamps on them, and off they go.  And I’m told the kids can’t wait to check their mail.

That may change very soon – Tyra saw the blog post with our costumes from the Stampaway Preview Party, and sometime soon this image will be polluting Wisconsin mailboxes . . .

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Kara and Blake have been friends since they were little.  Poor kids may never speak to me again . . .

Monday, August 15, 2011

Flower Power . . .

I know there are a few of you out there who weren’t able to attend the Preview Party at Stampaway XIX in Cincinnati and have just been sitting on the edge of your computer chairs waiting to see our costumes.  Wait no longer . . .


The theme this year was Flower Power – we didn’t know that until a customer told us the Sunday before at the show in Novi, Michigan.  And of course that led to two possibilities – hippies or flower pots.  So we decided to do both.  Karen and I discussed costume ideas on the way back from Novi, and that was all I knew until we got to Cincinnati for setup on Friday.  Since the “stem” needed to be green, my contribution to the cause was the shirt and pants.  Longtime followers of our costume capers might recognize them . . .

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. . . from five years ago when they were part of my Klinger getup for the M*A*S*H theme.  But when we got there, I found that the “flower pot” Karen had picked up fit me like a red micro-miniskirt, so I had to run out to Lowe’s and find something a little broader.  This was the shot I texted back to the convention center so they could choose their favorite – then I had to borrow a hacksaw to cut out the base!

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Karen tie-dyed her own shirt – and I loved the John Lennon glasses.  But my outfit was truly painful – I had to hike it up to climb stairs, couldn’t bend over to pick anything up off the floor, had to stand so far away from the cash register that it made my back hurt, and anytime the cash drawer came out, the flowers coming out of the flower pot got in the way of making change.  And because I know what the reaction would be, I didn’t even mention that I couldn’t keep my straps up . . .

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The vendor winners this year were Ted and Michelle Cutts from Art Gone Wild, Inky Antics, Stampers Anonymous, etc. – and I completely agree.  Ted’s costume was amazing, and the customers kept pulling on his chest hair, thinking it was fake (it wasn’t).  By contrast, the year I was Magnum mine was fake and no one ever touched it!

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Ted truly made a sacrifice to get his costume together – he shaved off his moustache and goatee for the first time in ten years or so. I told him that with every costume I had ever done, I could look at the mirror the next morning and see no difference between the previous morning – but he will see a difference for several weeks!  I think Margaret from Stampers Anonymous should also get an assist for the victory – she looked so much like Goldie Hawn from the Laugh-In days that it was scary.

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The customer winners were the Dauber Sisters from Christy’s Main Street Memories.  We really don’t call each other up with costume ideas, but this is the second year we’ve been on the same wavelength!  The military shot at right was from the “My Superhero” theme last year.  Their costumes were great this year – and so much more comfortable than mine!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Start Salivating – the Stamping Gala Is Coming!

It’s coming . . . starting Monday, August 8 . . . and lasting all week . . . leading up to the Cincinnati convention . . . and even the day after . . . you can almost taste it . . . it’s the Stamping Gala at Marco’s Paper in Dayton!

Get ready for a full week of demos, make it/take its, classes, and more!  For those of you planning to spend the week (and those of you who are just planning to come into town a day or two before the convention), here are links to the schedule of events, project photos, and such:

Schedule for the Entire Week (just the schedule of events - no pics)
Monday, August 8 (schedule and project pics)
Tuesday, August 9 (schedule and project pics)
Wednesday, August 10
(schedule and project pics)
Thursday, August 11 (schedule and project pics)
Friday, August 12 (schedule and project pics)
Saturday & Sunday, August 13 & 14 (schedule and project pics)

Our local artists are very talented!  But one of the advantages of having a convention in our backyard is a schedule of quality time learning new techniques from demo artists you just can't get close to at a show!  This year, we'll have four of them during the Stamping Gala.  Sue Wichman from DRS Designs will be here for a three-hour demo/trunk show on Monday, Lisa Murphy from Flower Soft will be here for demos and make it/take its Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Sue Rothamel from USArtQuest will be here for classes Wednesday and Thursday, and Darlene Domel from Stampland will be here for a class Sunday after the convention.  Don’t miss them!

Julie from USArtQuest sent me a neat graphic yesterday that they had sent to their e-mail list to promote Sue’s classes in our store – seems only fitting to share it as well . . .


If you have not seen Sue in action, this is a great opportunity – much better than what you can get at a show when there are others jockeying for a better view.  And after nearly three years next to her demo, I can tell you from experience that she truly puts on a show!  Sue has spent the past month getting ready for a big event on HSN (that’s Home Shopping Network for those who are TV-challenged like me) in September – she did the British version of QVC back in the spring and with the response it’s getting harder to get her when we want her.  Don’t miss this chance – here are the links to Sue’s classes . . .

It’s All Experimental ($5) – Wednesday, August 10 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
USArtQuest Extravaganza Part 1 ($40) – Thursday, August 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
USArtQuest Extravaganza Part 2 ($40) – Thursday, August 11 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Taste buds salivating yet?  Stay tuned – there will be lots more coming over the next ten days . . .