Saturday, December 28, 2013

Holiday Grab Bag . . .

I assumed that after clogging your inboxes for eight or nine straight days earlier this month, you could use a break.  So I just lived life, took a picture here and there, and saved stories to share.  In no particular order . . .

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The truck (and the rest of Ohio) spent most of December buried under a blanket of snow.  We would get two inches of snow here, another two there, and subfreezing temps and cloudy skies just let it accumulate.  But last weekend, three days of rain and temps near 70 washed it all away.  I was beginning to wonder if I would have to uncover it before leaving for Texas in January, but unless we get more between now and then, it won’t be necessary.


On one of the rare sunny days, I got this pic of my front yard . . .


Saw this at the post office as I was mailing another load of your packages and loved it.  The driver said his wife is a marathoner – and he isn’t.

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Our favorite holiday tradition is Cookie Night.  For the first time, we held it at my brother’s house to give us a little more room with two new participants.

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My annual wreath was a little lopsided this year – I didn’t realize the cookie wasn’t perfectly round until I had already gone all the way around the perimeter once.  So I did the best I could.

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My brother-in-law and his family came in from Maryland over the weekend, which gave two of his daughters a chance for baking lessons in my kitchen.  Mary made snickerdoodles this time, and Natalie tackled chocolate chip cookies – and both were excellent students.

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Meanwhile, Alexandra sampled retro fashion – the dress at left was worn to a high school prom in 1976, and the outfit at right was worn by her grandmother in the early 1950s.

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Christmas Eve Eve at my parents’ condo was highlighted by lots of bakeware for the brides-in-training . . .


. . . and this 16” x 20” collage of pictures from our Grand Canyon hike that I put together for Dad and Blake.


And of course, the animals got to participate.  This was Nala’s favorite, and I got her to stay still for a minute with it after several minutes of throwing it up in the air and chasing after it.  Probably should have shot video instead . . .

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Best News of the Season . . .

I went along with Mom and Dad for her visit to the oncologist last Thursday.  He ran Mom's bloodwork, checked her over thoroughly, and said "You're doing great -- I'll see you in six months."  As soon as he said it, she was off the examining table and headed for the door – Mom hates going to the doctor.

As I was standing in church yesterday morning, with Mom holding onto my arm (first time since August), I couldn't stop thinking of a lifelong friend who lost her mom last week, what she has been through, and how fortunate I am to still have mine. I remember feeling the same way when two other lifelong friends went through this recently, but Mom was in Arizona each time so I didn't have an immediate opportunity to do what they couldn't anymore. Yesterday I did, and I think it was the touch of her hand on my arm that brought it home for me -- the tears started flowing and I felt so blessed, yet so guilty at the same time. The theater was dark, so Mom didn't notice -- but when we sat down I leaned over and told her how much I had missed our Sunday mornings together.

I have everything I need for Christmas this year -- nothing else will compare.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

One Final Video Caps a Week of Holiday Favorites . . .

So have you enjoyed Marco’s Top 12 Favorites for Christmas 2013?  This is the final video – once again, thanks to Debbie Cosenza and Chris Mach (and Debbie’s husband Curt, who served as videographer/editor) for putting all of this together for us.  Today, they’ll create with Tim Holtz Distress Paints, Tim Holtz Distress Glitter, Ranger Sticky Embossing Powder, and Tim Holtz Remnant Rubs - Christmastime.

And here’s a link to the video for the folks like me who get the e-mail feed with no video box.

Now it’s your turn.  All of these favorites are 20% Off the MSRP through Tuesday, December 17!  And to make it easier to find all of them, we created a four-page section where you’ll find everything together . . .

Click Here to See All of Marco’s Top 12 Favorites for Christmas 2013!

And we added a Bonus Favorite since they arrived on Saturday – the brand new Tim Holtz Jumbo Tattered Florals, Garden Greens, and Spring Greenery Dies!  You’ll find them in the same section and they will also remain 20% Off the MSRP through Tuesday, December 17!

Now I’ll stop typing so you can stop reading – you need to watch one final video and then you have shopping to do!   Thanks for spending the week with us!

Day Six Is Dominated by Stencils . . .

We’re in the home stretch now – Day Six of Marco’s Top 12 Favorites for Christmas 2013 (and this is the first time I didn’t have to look up the title to make sure I got the words in the right order – and then I did anyway just to make sure).

Today, Debbie Cosenza and Chris Mach create a couple of great projects featuring Tim Holtz Layering Stencils, Studio 490 Wendy Vecchi Stencils, and Archival Wendy Vecchi Designer Series Inkpads.  All of these are 20% Off the MSRP through December 17.

Yesterday I forgot to provide a link to the video just in case you can’t see it in the e-mail feed.  Today, I remembered . . .

Stop back tomorrow as we wrap it all up with a long video and multiple favorites – and by popular demand (translation – Gary told me to do it), there will be a link to a single page on our website where you’ll find all of the favorites!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Day Five of Marco’s Top 12 Favorites for Christmas 2013 . . .

Are you enjoying this week filled with products and instruction?  Writing out a wish list so you can place your order when the last few items are revealed on Sunday?  Wishing I would stop typing gibberish and just get to today’s video?  I thought so . . .

Today, Debbie and Chris take you on a journey through the wonderful world of embossing pastes . . .

Click on this link to see the assortment of embossing pastes that we carry – all 20% Off the MSRP through December 17.

Stop back tomorrow for another video and more fun!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Day Four -- Short and Sweet . . .

We have reached Day Four of Marco’s Top 12 Favorites for Christmas 2013.  Today’s entry is short and sweet – a little over three minutes on the Envelope Punch Board.  Most of you have seen it – a lot of you already have one – but today Chris Mach is also going to show you how to make an envelope liner, which is a must for a truly artistic creation.

If you don’t see a video above this line, click on this link to see it.

If you don’t have an Envelope Punch Board – or if you’d like to give one to a friend – it is 20% Off the MSRP through December 17.  And if you tried to order the Metallic PanPastels yesterday and couldn’t get the 20% Off price to come up in your cart, you’re not alone – apparently something glitched in the system and the sale prices dropped out when I tried to turn them on.  I fixed it this morning – sorry about that.

One final note today for those of you who like to plan ahead – the last three videos in this series are longer, so you may want to fix yourself a cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate each day before you sit down to watch them.  The one that will appear in this space on Sunday is almost eighteen minutes long – that might require two cups!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Two for the Price of One . . .

Today’s offering from Marco’s Top 12 Favorites for Christmas 2013 features two products – the new Metallic PanPastels and Spellbinders 3-D Embossing FoldersAs with everything else on the list, you can click on the links and order any (or all) of these favorites for 20% Off the MSRP through December 17.  So I won’t make you wait any longer . . . take it away, Debbie and Chris!

Again, if you receive the blog posts by e-mail and (like me) you don’t see the video (or see nothing but a black box) above, you can click on this link and go straight to the source.

Three videos down, four to go . . . if you have missed any, you can click on this link and see all of the week’s videos on one convenient page.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Countdown Continues . . .

It’s not really a countdown – Marco’s Top 12 Favorites for Christmas 2013 is a whole series of Number Ones!  Today’s second installment features Chris Mach and Debbie Cosenza playing with Faber-Castell Gelatos – including the brand new Double Scoop Gelatos!

I still can’t figure out if the video box above shows up in the e-mail feed (it doesn’t when it comes to my inbox), so if it doesn’t you can simply click on this link to see it.

Just like yesterday’s Perfect Airbrush Color Spritzer, all Faber-Castell Gelatos are now 20% Off the MSRP until December 17!

Need to catch up?  You can click on this link to go to the page on our site where you’ll find all of the videos as they are released.  Have fun!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Look Out Letterman–Marco’s Has Its Own “Top 12” List . . .

We’re going to have some fun with our own “Top 12 List of Christmas Favorites” – and it’s going to last for an entire week!  I get absolutely no credit for this one – it all goes to two of our instructor/demo artists . . .

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Starting today and going through Sunday, December 15, Debbie Cosenza and/or Chris Mach will show you how to use something you might have heard of but haven’t had a chance to try.  Most of them were introduced this year – some just in the last few weeks.  Debbie and Chris spent a lot of time working on these videos, and Debbie’s husband Curt served as director/editor/videographer.

Each day, the video will be featured in the blog post, on our Facebook page, and on a special page on our website.  When each video is released, the featured items will be added to the list on our site at 20% Off the MSRP through December 17.  So you’ll be able to order items as you see them, or wait until the 15th when you’ve seen them all and choose your favorites.

Here’s the first – watch Chris Mach play with the Perfect Airbrush Color Spritzer.  The MSRP is $14.99, but through December 17 you can order it for $11.99.  I think if you receive the blog by e-mail, the video above will show up as a black box – to see the video, you can click in the box or on this link . . .

Enjoy – more tomorrow!

Friday, December 6, 2013

White Death Alert . . .

Southwestern Ohio is at Defcon 5 today – has been since Wednesday, when the first Winter Storm Warning was posted.  Yesterday, the grocery stores were jammed and there were long lines at the gas stations.  The forecast is for 4” to 8”.  For those of you who live north of us, there is another word for that forecast – flurries.  But if you’re in the warm and sunny (most of the time) south, you may actually envy us.

I’ll be happy to trade . . .

Usually, if the weather weasels predict something more than 48 hours in advance around here, there is a very realistic chance that none of it will happen.  But since they were right on the edge of that 48-hour window, I was a little concerned.  When I got up this morning, it was merely sleeting.  But that started to change by late morning – and for those of you who get your jollies out of watching snow pile up, I took three different pictures of the same scene . . .


11:30 – just switching over from rain to snow


1:00 – yeah, looks like it might snow a little


2:30 – look at my headlights and you’ll see the difference.  But you’ll also notice that the salt is taking effect on the street – and this is a side street without much traffic.

And since when did they start naming winter storms that produce only a few inches?  Apparently this thing has a name and what’s coming for Sunday has a different one.  Seriously . . .

Y’all have a great weekend – I’ll be here at the mail center filling your orders.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Head Start on CHA 2014 . . .

So I’m reading through my e-mail this morning, and I see the comment that our friend Sharon Lindquist-Skelley attached to yesterday’s blog post – “Greg, Tim Holtz and Sizzix just announced 3 new dies this morning. Can't wait for them to show up on the Marco's website. Thanks!”

I spent all day yesterday filling orders, so I had no idea.  Of course, Gary saw an e-mail from Sizzix but didn’t see that these three were releasing in December so he didn’t bother to tell me.  But Sharon did (thanks!) and I’m caught up now . . .


This is the graphic I put on our website this morning (and yes, you can click on it to get to the page where you can place an advance order for any or all of the three new dies for 20% Off the MSRP with Free Shipping in the Continental U.S.

And now I’m going back to filling orders . . .

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How I Spent My Cyber Monday . . .

I can honestly say that I didn’t buy a single thing on Cyber Monday this year.  Or Black Friday, for that matter.  However, I did make a quick detour on the way to the mail center on Small Business Saturday to let American Express help me buy a box of Esther Price Candy (add that to your list of “must dos” if you ever make the pilgrimage to Dayton).

Why didn’t I buy anything?  I was too busy because you did . . .

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These pics are out of focus because I was standing on a chair with my cell phone held high above my head when I shot them.  I spent the entire day at the store yesterday, grabbing things that we needed at the mail center and figuring out what we need to order so that Debbie and Patti can get your orders shipped promptly.  And as soon as I finish typing this, I’m on my way back with more order sheets.

This little weekend sale is the best way we can say thanks to all of you for your support throughout the year.  If you haven’t taken advantage of the special pricing and free shipping yet, you can click on this link to go to our site and get started.

Oh, and did I mention that today is the last day?  So get ’em in before I get to work tomorrow morning and flip the switch that turns off the discounts!