Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Update for the Spellbinders and Tim Holtz Preorder Crowd . . .

For those of you who have been eagerly awaiting (yeah, right) the pictures and narrative from my Arizona trip, I haven’t gotten to that yet because we’re frantically filling preorders for the new Spellbinders dies.  The first batch came in on March 16 (the same day I left for Arizona – timing is everything), and we have gotten at least four or five more shipments since then.  But we still haven’t seen S4-328 Foliage – we’re shipping partial orders without those and we’ll catch up when they finally arrive.  I suspect we’ll get pretty much caught up by the first of the week, and hopefully we’ll have some left over to take to the Allentown show next weekend.

Our first decent batch of new Tim Holtz dies arrived about noon today.  But it’s disjointed – only about half of the dies expected in March (and NO Mini Paper Rosettes), and five dies that weren’t expected until April!  We’re filling what we can and shipping partial orders when everything you ordered that was expected in March (or April, or May, etc.) arrives.  We’ll be leaning on Ranger and Sizzix to send us some Mini Paper Rosettes – when they get here, a lot of preorders will get shipped (we probably sold 150 0f those, maybe more).

Stay tuned – we’re working as fast as we can!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Except for the Weather, There’s No Place Like Home . . .

I am back at work today.  It’s a strange feeling.  My brother and I agreed yesterday that it was time to go home – but we weren’t ready to leave the Arizona weather behind.  Thankfully, we got a day to get acclimated before the climate reverts to normal – we have temps in the mid-60s and the haze that passes for sunshine here.

But I have a warm feeling that will last for a long time – even the pace here at work won’t be enough to make it go away.  Years from now, I will remember these trips that Blake and I have made to visit our parents and share their retirement lives.  For a few days, it’s just the four of us again – and it has been incredibly special.  And I know how fortunate I am at age 52 to still be able to do it.

I walked outside this morning and discovered that Ohio has changed in the six days I was gone.  The grass is green and the daffodils are in bloom . . .


. . . and our 16-year-old tomcat was happy to see me.  This photo was not staged – Tom just wanted to see what I was doing and wandered into the frame just as I pushed the shutter.

An hour later, I was at the kennel picking up my favorite canine.  Zoe was just as happy to see me . . .


. . . and Ryan can’t wait to see her when he gets home from work today.  Pictures from the trip will come in a couple of days – Blake and I shot lots of them, and I have to edit them down so I don’t bore you to death!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Just a Tease of Things to Come . . .

We are having so much fun here in Tucson.  It probably wasn’t the nicest thing I have ever done when I dropped that snake photo on you a couple of days ago – but that was fun, too.  I will share three images from our trip with you now, but the rest will have to wait until after I get back next week.

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We spent all day Thursday at the McKale Center watching four NCAA basketball tournament games.  It was a great time and we’re going back for two more games on Saturday.  We were some of the first people into the arena on Thursday, and our seats were so close to the baseline that it just seemed fitting to walk down and have my brother take a picture.

On Friday, Dad, Blake and I spent seven hours hiking at about 8000 feet in the mountains north of Tucson.  It seems that we always find a sign warning us not to do something or other, and it has become a bit of a tradition for Blake and me to get a picture taken with the sign.


And this was the moon Friday night – I shot the picture from just outside my parents’ place.  The sky is so clear here!  Have a great weekend, everyone – I will . . .

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Passage of Time Makes Old Technology Obsolete . . .

One leftover image from the Indianapolis show a couple of weekends ago – if you have read my musings for more than a year (hard to believe this blog is now two years old), you might remember this picture of a pay phone in the back of the building where the show is held.  I rarely see them anymore . . .

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. . . and this year it was gone – pay phones just aren’t necessary anymore.  Still, it’s rather sad.

I am in Arizona this week – my brother and I are visiting with our parents.  The last couple of years, Dad took us straight off the plane and out hiking, but this year he was in the park bocce tournament so we were spectators during the afternoon.  But when the match was over, Blake and I decided we needed to hike a little to get ready for the marathon that Dad will take us on tomorrow.  And we made a friend along the trail . . .


It’s just a little one, and not poisonous (we think) – didn’t seem to mind sharing the trail with us at all.  Today, we will spend the entire day at the McKale Center at the University of Arizona – Blake and I are taking Mom to the NCAA basketball tournament (four games today, two more on Saturday).

Monday, March 7, 2011

What Happens When You Bring Dog Treats Home from a Show . . .

One of the nice things about the Indianapolis show comes when it’s all over, the booth is torn down, and the truck is packed – it only takes 2½ hours to get home.  And trust me, it’s nice to put the key in the lock at 9:00 p.m. and see a friendly face and a wagging tail.  But it only took seconds for Zoe’s attention to divert away from me . . .


. . . and to the bag of dog treats that came in the door with me, a gift from a customer at the show on Saturday.  So I flipped the bag to Ryan and told him to put Zoe through her paces.

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Wish I had a stop-action cell phone camera – at times Zoe was a couple of feet off the floor going after those bacon strips!

I also told Ryan about the autograph request on Saturday – he said I should make up a stamp with Zoe’s pawprint on it, which would surely draw more attention from our customers . . .

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rain, Dog Treats, and an Autograph?

Welcome to the monsoon that is Indianapolis, Indiana.  The lead story on every newscast has to do with rain, flooding, or some variation of water.  And the scary part for me?  My house is only two hours away, and it’s doing the same thing there.  Can’t imagine what I’ll come home to . . .


This sight was in a Kohl’s parking lot in Fishers, northeast of Indy.  When I first saw it, I assumed they had set up skating rinks for the kids during the winter.  Then I found out that three days earlier, the entire parking lot had been underwater (the drains were clogged), so this was the solution to uncover parking spaces.


A change in our booth layout that you’ll likely notice if you see us on the road this year – Faber-Castell’s new Design Memory Craft line.  Big Brush Pens, Watercolor Pencils, Gelatos, Artist Pens, Sampler Kits and more – you will definitely want to check this out.


Ten minutes before the show opened on Saturday, there were less than 20 people in the building.  They must have been waiting for a break in the rain, because shortly after 10:00 they started pouring in (bad pun) . . .


I was very careful in taking this photo – Sue Rothamel has used this saying to explain Perfect Paper Adhesive for so long that she finally had it imprinted on a shirt.  That said, when she assumed this pose, I almost put my camera away . . .

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Suetta knows that the way to my dog’s heart is definitely through her stomach.  And I still haven’t gotten over this nice lady asking for my autograph (this has never happened before).  I assumed she was asking me if Sue would sign her book (she wanted that, too), but she really did want mine.  The inscription -- “My First Autograph . . . Ever”


And I have no words to describe this.  Yes, it’s real hair . . .