Monday, May 23, 2016

Another Update on Ellen from Tessler’s . . .

Cristina Tessler gave me an update on her sister Ellen as we were tearing down our booths in Syracuse yesterday...

"Our brother Chung has been taking care of Ellen since January 1. Now he is going back to the Orient and our sister Jean will take over and care for her in my home in California while Ellen continues her therapy.

This is her new address:
Ellen / Cristina Tessler
3503 W. Hillhaven Dr.
West Covina, CA 91791

Thank you all for praying and caring for her."

Cristina says that next time she will bring me a fresh picture of Ellen . . .

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Fond Farewell . . .

Best wishes to our friend Joel Bechlem – after 3½ years on the road with Heartfelt Creations, he is moving on to a new challenge (starting his own business).  This past weekend in Syracuse was the last time we had the pleasure of working with him – his last stop will be in a couple of weeks at a scrapbook show in Orlando.


Joel is one of the nicest guys I have ever met... he will be missed.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Time Passes . . . the Bond Remains Strong

A call came on a Monday in March 1994.  It was my dad, telling me that my brother and his wife were at the hospital delivering their second child.  He was heading to the hospital and wanted to know if I wanted to tag along – as if there was any doubt.

A little over an hour later, I met my nephew Tyler for the first time.  And a few minutes later, I was asked to be his godfather.


One of the advantages of living nearby has been the opportunity to share many of the special moments in Tyler’s life.  This is one of my favorite pictures with him – Father’s Day 1995.

DSCN0613 (2)

This is another – taken two days ago, shortly after Tyler graduated from Miami University.  Today, he started his new job with an engineering firm near Cincinnati.

TylerJordan TylerJordanEngagement

It has been a busy couple of months – last month, Tyler dropped to one knee at Hueston Woods State Park near Oxford as he and Jordan were engaged to be married.

TylerFamily TylerGrandparents

When Jordan graduates in December, all six members of my brother’s family will be Miami alums – along with our dad, my wife, and me.  And the story wouldn’t be complete without a shot of the proud grandparents who made it all possible . . .

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A New Twist on the Make and Takes at Our Store . . .

Trying something new today -- shot video of Lynn Brown's make & take project in our store Wednesday morning for those of you who aren't able to attend. 


It's not perfect -- I stopped recording before the final larger butterfly was attached (Lynn had those in a separate bag). 

In the e-mail feed of this blog, videos usually show up as a black box – so here’s the link you can click on to go directly to YouTube . . .

Would love to know what you think and if this is something that would be beneficial on a regular basis. 

FYI -- the dies that Lynn used on this card are both Memory Box – "Delicate Butterfly Arch" #98982 and "Peaceful Butterfly Wings" #98880.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Two Shows’ Worth of Pictures . . .

The fourth weekend in April we were in Akron at Adventures in Stamping – the first weekend in May we were in Novi (Detroit) at the Great Lakes Mega Meet.  In-between, I was on a golf trip in Georgia (and didn’t take a single picture – you’re welcome).  Pictures may not be worth a thousand words – but they surely make storytelling easier.

So in reverse order . . .


There was definitely a purple tint to the Novi show – at least in our booth.  Rita Barakat from Faber-Castell’s Design Memory Craft design team was dazzling customers at our demo table, and off and on throughout the three days customers would come by and compare their purple locks with hers.  This purple-doo happens to belong to the daughter-in-law of Linda Verdier, who was one of our first out-of-state customers when we started doing mail order well over 20 years ago.


Rita has quite the following.  She “Periscopes” live from Texas (I know just enough about this to be dangerous – but am considering doing this with the Wednesday Make & Takes in our store to see if there is an audience for it), and was telling me about people she encounters during her travels who have watched her online.  No kidding – 1,200 miles from home, three or four customers came running up to her shrieking “I know you . . .”

20160505_093055_resized 20160506_151446_resized 20160507_105259_resized

My view didn’t change much for three days – the only differences were Rita’s outfit and the occupants of the seats across the table from her.

20160505_112848_resized 20160505_163245_resized

Speaking of outfits, I get a major kick out of the t-shirts (or in cold climates, hoodies).  I know the one on the left is out of focus – it says “4 out of 5 lakes prefer Michigan . . . Ohio is just Erie”.  And the one on the right makes much more since if you read/sing it to the tune of “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey . . .

20160505_202726_resized 20160507_121904_resized

How to keep your demo artist happy when you find out she likes to have a little chocolate around to keep her energy level up during a busy day at a show.  Yes, that box on the right is empty – we shared the contents with Rick, Kelley, and Lisa from Our Daily Bread Designs and it was gone in sixty seconds.  If you’re not from certain parts of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Florida, you have no idea how good these cakes are.  Bill Knapp’s was a regional restaurant chain back in the 70s and 80s – I think the last one closed about 2001.  You could get a free cake on your birthday, and they started showing up again at local Kroger stores a couple of years ago.  They are every bit as good as the ones I loved as a kid.

20160507_122938_resized 20160507_123523_resized

The young lady in the picture at left watched Rita’s demo for a while, and when Rita left to get some lunch she sat down and started putting what she had learned on paper – and passed her knowledge on to her demo table neighbor.

20160507_124134_resized 20160506_142514_resized

We really hadn’t planned for our demo to be a make and take – but some of our customers got creative and turned it into one . . .


My final laugh during teardown – I heard it was courtesy of Chase Richardson from – this sign originally said something like “Welcome Scrapbook Vendors Move In”

And a few images from Akron . . .

20160423_092403_resized 20160423_100147_resized

Our demo tables were swamped – Judy and Donna from our store in Dayton were showing Wink of Stella Markers, and Kristin and Naoko from Faber-Castell were showing their new products.  Wow, could they draw a crowd . . .


And I always watch for the gang from Christy’s Main Street Memories in New Concord, OH – they always dress in matching t-shirts, but this is the first time I noticed the handbags, too.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Looking Forward to a Big Weekend in Detroit . . .

It’s going to be a busy, busy week at a big, big, big show . . .


Join us Thursday thru Saturday at the Great Lakes Mega Meet in Novi (Detroit), Michigan -- it's the Midwest's biggest scrapbook show!


Rita Barakat from Faber-Castell's Design Memory Craft will be at our demo table all week!  She does amazing things with Gelatos and everything else from Faber-Castell so you won’t want to miss her.

Specials, Freebies, Giveaways, and More . . .

More than 25 Cardstocks in 12” x 12” and 8½” x 11” priced 30% to 70% off – Mix & Match – $5.95 each or 2 for $10.00

Copic Markers and Wink of Stella both on sale!

First 100 customers each day who spend at least $10 in our booth get a free scrapbooking manual from TJ Designs (limit one per day -- different manual each day).

And of course there will be a prize giveaway each day an hour before the show ends -- you'll get a ticket as you check out in our booth.

Print this post and bring it to our booth (or show it on your phone) for $2.00 off your purchase (limit one discount per customer per day).

Come and see us -- bring friends!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

An Empty Chair in Our Classroom . . .

Our retail store community was saddened this week by the passing of longtime friend and customer Dolly Haley.


Lisa Nelson described Dolly as "a much loved and talented woman. Dolly was a regular attendee of the Tuesday night coloring group at Marco's where she readily shared her talent and her smile. She will be sorely missed."

A memorial service will be held at her church at the end of May.