Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Puppy . . .

Today is Zoe’s 4th birthday.  We don’t know much about the first four months of her life – just the note tacked to the cage at the pound that said her name was originally “Daffodil” (seriously?) and that she “plays too rough with older smaller dogs” (no kidding – cats, too).  But since then, her life has been well-documented . . .

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The first picture we took of her – a few minutes after we got home from the pound.  And one on the front porch a few days later.

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She grew fast – the left picture was a couple of days after we got her.  The right shot was a few months later.  She loved lying on Ryan in the early days, but she eventually outgrew it.


But she never outgrew her attachment to Ryan.  This was the day his wisdom teeth were pulled.  Zoe laid on that mat for eight hours playing nursemaid – never moved except to lick his fingers and put him back to sleep when he stirred.

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We learned early on that Zoe loves snow, chasing her ball in the backyard . . .

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. . . and our family traditions.

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She loves lying in the warm sunlight through the front door in the winter . . .

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. . . lying on the driveway while I’m working outside in the summer . . .


. . . posing for pictures in the yard . . .

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. . . and going to work with me on Fridays when I’m in town.

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But more than anything else, Zoe loves people – especially little kids.  We have eight little kids on our block (four families), and one grandchild who visits his grandparents often.  Last summer, Zoe would sit in our front yard and wait for them to come and play with her.  Then two of the families got puppies for Christmas – and now I understand canine jealousy.

And I discovered something while pulling pictures for this post – I don’t think I have a single picture of Zoe and me together, since I take all of them (it’s much the same with Ryan).  I suspect that many of you can relate . . .

Happy Birthday, Zoe!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Madonna & Grandchild . . .

I was at the store on Thursday, loading for the show in Southfield, Michigan this weekend, when everything seemed to come to a complete stop.  The baby was in the house …

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Karen & David’s new grandson Bryden is now three weeks old.  And several of you have asked for pictures.


Grandma enjoys getting in on the act …


Though it would appear from his expression that Bryden gets a little bored with all the attention!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mail Call

Today, I yield the floor for a special request from Joanne at our retail store here in Dayton . . .

Hi Everyone!

I have a very special request for you.  My nephew, Tony, is finishing up his second deployment in Iraq.  He has approximately 30 days left.  I would appreciate it, more than you know, if everyone would send him a card or note thanking him for his service. It would mean so much to him as there is nothing better than receiving mail from home when you’re overseas. Our family’s goal is for him to receive stacks of mail thanking him!!

His address is:
Sgt. Anthony Regensburger
HHC 1-14
FOB Warrior
APO AE 09338

Please send as soon as possible as mail takes about 2 weeks to get to him.  It just takes a standard postage stamp (44¢).

Thank you all in advance and please feel free to pass this along…THE MORE THE BETTER!  We are so excited for this deployment to be over!

Thank you,
Joanne Callahan

Friday, May 13, 2011

Not Guilty . . .

I walked out of the dentist’s office Friday afternoon (cracked tooth – ouch) and glanced at the e-mail function on my cell phone.  Imagine my surprise when I saw an e-mail titled “Marco’s Paper Blog Post” – that I did not send.  Then I opened it, wondering if I truly had lost my mind and sent something out without remembering – and discovered that it was a post I sent more than three months ago, after the first day of the show in Lawrenceville, GA in February.  I assume there was some sort of glitch in the system.  That post made me cold just reading it – it was 85 glorious degrees here on Friday.

Even better were some of the responses I received – most of you questioned my sanity, but some simply enjoyed the post and didn’t notice that it was out of season.  Which one were you?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Pipeline Opens . . .

Since early February, we have been waiting patiently (as have many of you) for the new Tim Holtz dies and folders that were unveiled at CHA in January.  I was a little frustrated (as were many of you) that the “expected in …” dates were staggered – some in March, some April, some May, and the rest June.  And then I got a little angry (as did many of you) when those dates essentially ended up being garbage – Sizzix didn’t ship some of the March dies until May, some of the April dies shipped in early March but others not until May, some of the May dies shipped in early April, etc.

Good news – half of the June releases arrived this week.  That leaves only five dies that have not been sighted – Vintage Valise, Mini Flourish, Mini Lock & Key, Mini Labels, and Twigs.  All of those were originally expected in June, but I’ll be surprised if it takes that long.

By contrast, Spellbinders promised to ship six of their new dies in mid-February and the other 39 in mid-March and hit those dates almost exactly – for the first time.  Of course, they underestimated the demand for the most popular ones and ran out for a while, but that’s another story.

So let’s all take a nice cleansing breath and enjoy the next couple of months – because CHA comes again in July and we’ll jump back on the new-release roller coaster again . . .

Friday, May 6, 2011

Whoops . . .

Sorry about that – apparently the link to the Virtual Convention e-mail only worked on my computer because I was already logged into the system and it’s asking for a login and password from everyone else.  So here is everything that you should have found when you clicked the link (it just isn’t laid out as well) . . .

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The Return of the "Virtual Convention"
We do this every couple of years -- we "build" an imaginary space so those in the western states get some quality time to wander through our convention booth.  A space where those of you who do join us at conventions can relax without the crush of fellow shoppers.  And with skyrocketing oil prices these days, a place where you can load up on paper and accessories and have them delivered to your door for little more than the cost of a gallon of gas.  You have lots to see -- we'll hit the highlights here, but one of the advantages of a virtual booth is unlimited space!  As you see something you like, you can add it to your cart at   Hope you enjoy it -- Let's go!

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First Stop -- USArtQuest
Since you're one of the first people into the booth today, you'll probably want to head straight for Susan Pickering Rothamel's USArtQuest display on the far left.  That area is usually standing room only, but today you get your choice of more than a dozen different demos!  Take your time -- Sue has all day!  Just click here to get started and then click here for USArtQuest products when you're finished with the demos.

Back to the Booth ...
Just to the right of the USArtQuest display, you'll find almost a whole wall of Stardream Cardstock and Stardream Stationery -- and the Stardream Cardstock Assortments are on sale!

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Faber-Castell -- Our Newest Display
Have you discovered Faber-Castell's new DMC line?  Neat stuff -- pens, gelatos, colored pencils and more!  And you'll find a Faber-Castell artist at the demo table in the middle of the booth -- click here to go to their blog, where you'll find step-by-step tutorials and videos.  And the entire line of Faber-Castell DMC is a show special at 20% off!

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Here's Another Demo That's Hard to Get Close To ...
"Tweety Jill" Haglund is also at that middle demo table -- she usually promotes her products by doing a Make & Take and the lines are long.  But you can find directions for several (along with descriptions of her new products) on her blog.  When you're ready to visit the Tweety Jill portion of our booth, you'll need to remember to use that flyer that I passed out while you were waiting in line this morning before the show opened -- if you put TweetyJill in the appropriate box on the last page of your cart, you'll get 20% off all TJ Designs products (card kits, stamp sets, collage kits, and more).

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Avoid the Price Increase at Sale Prices!
We received a notice from Copic this week that the price of Copic Ciao and Sketch Markers will be going up 50 cents effective August 1 (Ciao $4.79, Sketch $6.99).  In typical Marco's tradition (we do everything backwards), we put them on sale again for a few weeks -- Ciao $3.49, Sketch $4.99.  Stock up now!



Want to join us on the road?  We'll be looking for you . . .

May 21 & 22 -- Southfield, Michigan
Stamp Scrap Art Tour (10:00-5:00 Saturday, 10:00-3:00 Sunday) at the Southfield Pavilion, 26000 Evergreen Rd.
More info at

June 4 & 5 -- West Springfield, Massachusetts
West Springfield Rubber Stamp & Paper Arts Show (10:00-5:00 Saturday, 11:00-4:00 Sunday) at the Eastern States Exposition
More Info at

June 11 & 12 -- Collinsville, Illinois
Gateway Rubber Stamp Getaway (9:30-5:00 Saturday, 11:00-3:00 Sunday) at the Gateway Center
More info at

Just Announced -- Look for Our Booth at the Southfield, Michigan show May 21-22!

Print This E-Mail and Bring It to the Show for $2.00 OFF in Our Booth!

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Of Course There Is a Big Display of Spellbinders Dies in the Booth!
If you decided to avoid the preorder rush, this is the time -- we have most of the Spellbinders Dies from the January CHA Release in stock and on display in the booth.  Anything that's missing is probably on the slow boat from China (translation -- Spellbinders is out of them) and is expected later this month.  As always, they're 20% off the MSRP!

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Tim Holtz Die Update
Been waiting for yours?  So have we!  This has been really frustrating -- Sizzix announced "expected in ...." dates for each of the new Tim Holtz dies and folders, and a lot of them ended up meaning nothing.  We have had orders in with several suppliers since early February, and this week we finally received shipments that included our first allotment of Old Jalopy dies since we received six in early March!  Thankfully, shipments are starting to trickle in -- we are shipping your preorders as quickly as we can.  At this point, we are backordering the late May and June releases and trying to ship everything else as soon as we have it.  In the meantime, the sale prices from the preorder days live on . . .

Last But Not Least, the Convention Super Specials!
We always have plenty of them underneath the Spellbinders display -- the Convention Super Specials.  Look for 50-sheet packages of Cougar Opaque White or Natural, Linen White or Soft-White, Kromekote Gloss, and more -- all for $5.00 each!

Addition to the Family
No doubt you noticed these shots above Karen's register on the right side of the booth!  Please welcome Karen & David's second grandson -- Bryden Michael Ihle, born Thursday, April 28.  6 lbs. 14 oz. and 20" long.  Mother and child (and grandparents) are doing nicely.

The Return of the “Virtual Convention”

I spent most of yesterday putting together an e-mail to send out to our list announcing our annual “Virtual Convention” – complete with pictures, links to video demos, sale items, and such.

The e-mail also included a last minute announcement that we have added a show to our schedule this month – May 21 & 22, we will be at the Stamp Scrap Art Tour stop at the Southfield Pavilion in Southfield, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit).  Stop by and see us if you’re in the area.

I considered trying to rebuild it all here for those of you who aren’t on our e-mail list, but it seemed so much easier to just provide a link so you can see the Virtual Convention as it was originally intended.

So click on the link below and start shopping!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Advance Warning . . .

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We received an e-mail from Copic yesterday that the price of Copic Ciao and Sketch Markers will be going up 50 cents effective August 1 (Ciao $4.79, Sketch $6.99). In typical Marco's tradition (we do everything backwards), we put them on sale again for a few weeks -- Ciao $3.49, Sketch $4.99. Stock up now!