Monday, June 26, 2017

New Distress Oxide Colors Just Announced!

The website is back up and running – thankfully!  I may tell that story someday but there is a more important item on the agenda today . . .


12 new colors of Distress Oxide Inks were just announced today – if all goes well, we may have them to ship by late this week or early next!  Full sets are 20% off the MSRP – and if your order is placed before the first shipment arrives here, we’ll ship them free in the contiguous U.S.

I won’t bother you any more today – you have work to do!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Killing Time While the Website Is Down . . .

Our website has been down for almost two days.  Apparently our database outgrew the capacity of the server it shared with other sites (nearly 5,000 items will do that) and needed to move to one with larger capacity and fewer sites to share it.  The news that we would be going dark was almost an afterthought comment by the guy from our provider – it wasn’t until I followed with “What was that again?” that I was informed that it takes time for the World Wide Web (for those of you who never knew what “www” stands for) to find us again – and that “time” was likely 24 to 48 hours.  I vaguely remember this from seven or eight years ago when we did this – like then, I hit the refresh button every couple of hours to see if we have come back to life.

As I type this, it has been 44 hours – so it looks like it will be much closer to 48 than 24.  But hopefully soon . . .

Meanwhile, I am getting ready for the annual trip to Sunny Florida next weekend.  Twenty years ago tomorrow . . . June 25, 1997 . . . Ryan and I left Dayton in an overloaded Dodge Caravan (with the middle and back seats removed and the tailpipe about six inches off the ground) and headed south to meet about 1,500 pounds of paper that we had shipped ahead to what was then called the Sheraton World on International Drive in Orlando.


One of these days, I will find the original pics and tell that story – for now, this is the only evidence I have of that first booth.  But I do recall that the Caravan was almost empty on the trip north after the show.

One other tidbit . . . from the 30+ vendors at that first show I attended, only two others besides Marco’s are still on the show circuit 20 years later – Just for Fun (Rick and Debby, of course, are the promoters of StampFest), Art Gone Wild! (Ted was in a single 15-foot booth then – a far cry from today’s Art Gone Wild!, Inky Antics, Stampers Anonymous, Darcie’s, and Verses traveling in that enormous motor home and trailer).

Here’s an unrelated item in case you have been dreaming of a pilgrimage to our store in lovely Dayton – Ken Oliver is coming to do three classes on July 28 & 29.  There is info in the store now – it will go on our site once it comes back to life.  Stay tuned . . .

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Beginning of Summer . . .

I think everyone has landmarks that note the changing of the seasons – Memorial Day, Labor Day, Christmas, Easter.  For me, Memorial Day Weekend is way too hectic to mark the beginning of Summer – instead, for the past 20 years it has been the Massachusetts show the first weekend in June.  For the first two years we went there, it was in the Boston suburb of Marlborough.  The past 18 years have been spent at the Eastern States Exposition (The Big E) in West Springfield.


It was so pretty last Friday that I arrived at the fairgrounds early and gave myself time to walk around the property.  Apparently there are replicas of several of the capitol buildings in surrounding states – I was told later that the one that caught my eye is Massachusetts.


It caught my eye because these two figures were shining in the morning sunlight – in all the years I have driven through this place, I had never noticed them.


After setup, I made my annual peppermint ice cream pilgrimage to Dairy Cream out by the Hartford airport.  A couple of years ago, one of my classmates was going to fly into Hartford for a conference, so I told her about this place.  She stopped there – agreed with me – and when I sent her these pictures last weekend, was unhappy that I wasn’t bringing some home for her packed in dry ice.

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Lots of benches for the “pack mules” to rest (some of them now tell me they prefer to be referred to as “bag men”) – or in this case for my friend Cal Ruger to read his tablet while Dee shops and visits.  This time, Dee even got to park her scooter and walk around a bit.


Why do we love New England?  These pictures were all taken five minutes after the show opened on Saturday . . .


Our friends Susan LeClerc and Sally Lynn MacDonald dazzled a steady stream of customers at their demo tables . . .


I am noticing more and more young folks taking an interest in crafting – which may keep all of us employed for the foreseeable future.  I took the pic on the right because I noticed that Sally Lynn’s demo table kept creeping forward as she stood up and sat down over and over during the day.


This lady is carrying a plastic bag because it is serving as her purse . . . someone fell in love with the purse she brought with her to the show, so she emptied it and sold it on the spot.


I am grateful to the nice folks who love my dog and bring treats for her – and I always try to get a picture of Zoe while she is tasting her gift for the first time.  Yum . . .


Went to a driving range to hit balls with a friend about an hour after I got home – we had to wait out a quick cloudburst, but got a nice rainbow for our trouble.

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The next day, I got to see the first blooms on the Bracken’s Brown Beauty Magnolia in my front yard.  This thing was about five feet tall when I lifted it out of my truck and planted it in 2006 – it is well over twenty feet tall now.  Those blooms smell as fresh as they look . . .