Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday in an Unfamiliar Place . . .

It is Saturday – and I am at the mail center.  Doesn’t seem all that unusual – until I mention that I have not been here on Saturday since June 24.  Six of the past seven Saturdays, my surroundings have looked more like this . . .

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And on the oddball Saturday when I was at home, we were preparing for Mom and Dad’s 60th Anniversary Gathering.

So many thanks to those of you who spent time on our booth on my trips to Kissimmee, Florida . . . Shakopee, Minnesota . . . Grapevine, Texas . . . Collinsville, Illinois . . . Mount Clemens, Michigan . . . and last weekend Sharonville, Ohio.  I drove more than 7,000 miles, was pulled over three times along the interstate or in weigh stations for safety inspections, and spent seven hours in Alachua, Florida at a tiny repair shop while the alternator was replaced.  And did I mention that the air conditioner on the truck is broken and there was no time between trips to get it fixed?  Good thing I like warm weather . . .

Last weekend was Stampaway in Sharonville (northern suburb of Cincinnati for those of you in the hinterlands), which means it was also the Stamping Gala in our store in Dayton – starting on Monday before the show and ending on Sunday after it ended.


I made this collage of pictures and included it in an e-mail that I sent to our list earlier this week, but some of these pictures (and others that I didn’t include) are better with explanations.  A lot of these pics were taken during the Friday Night Preview Party, and this year’s theme (for the fourth or fifth time) was “A Night Out in Nightwear”.  Hence the jammies and other strange outfits, including mine . . .

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Connie Williams is the reason that there is a Stampaway (this year was the 25th) – with an assist from Judi Watanabe from Judi-Kins.  As I understand it, Judi took Connie to a show in California many years ago – and Connie decided that we needed something like that in the flyover states.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Connie decided after last year’s show that it was time to slow down a bit, so Ted Cutts and his Royal Acme Family of Companies (Art Gone Wild, Inky Antics, Stampers Anonymous, Darcie’s, and now Verses) took over the operation.  The roses were Ted’s salute to Connie for a job well done.

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There was a time when Ted and Michelle (in the Pinocchio shirt) had a quiet life with a 15-foot booth and no kids.  But time passes, companies and families grow, and we have had the joy of watching Trevor and Katie grow up.  And you should hear Katie sing – I part of a song from Frozen during a microphone check on Friday that was simply amazing.

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More of Ted’s extended family these days – and I missed a few . . .

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Three of the vendors who made visits to our store during the Stamping Gala – Pat Niemuth from Northwoods Rubber Stamps, Michelle Currie from Pink & Main, and Tanya Doner-Kostynuk from Riley & Company.  Pat has been so busy for so long teaching classes at Stampaway that it has taken nearly 20 years to get our schedules to mesh.

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Sally Lynn MacDonald from Gel Press was supposed to be in the store, too – but her first flight to Dayton on Friday was cancelled so she barely made it here in time for the preview party.  Sally Lynn drew quite a crowd, whether in her curlers and nightwear or in more normal attire – I got a kick out of her hat rack in the booth.

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Anthony Gilbert from Anthony’s Paper Craft had a full weekend with us, whether posing for pictures and demoing in the booth or teaching a class in the store on Sunday after the show.

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A 2016 presidential candidate took time from her post-election duties to make a brief appearance in the store (she devotes her time to underprivileged children – we have four foster kids on the block these days).  The store was a rocking place all week.

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My great-niece Amelia and her parents even took a brief tour of the show on Saturday – not too sure what Amelia thinks of all of these people.  Wonder what she would have thought of them the night before in their jammies . . .

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Speaking of which . . . a few of the dress-up shots that I took of the customers on Friday evening . . .


And a shot of most of them together during the judging for best customer costumes . . .

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And another handful of vendor shots . . .

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Including Phil Krebs from Art Impressions and Rick Holland from Our Daily Bread Designs – they give sleepwear a whole new meaning . . .

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And then there were ours – I am proud (?) to say that other than the Spiderman slippers, everything I wore was already residing in my house . . .


Late in the afternoon, I announced to the masses that at shows there seem to be two ways to draw a crowd.  One of them is to be Tim Holtz . . .


The other is to give away stuff.  Since taking a picture of those assembled for our giveaway was spur of the moment and I didn’t have time to figure out how to take a panorama on my phone, I took three pictures and got most of them.


And Judy Ferrell got one of me sending eight people home happy . . .


  1. Love all the shots of people havin' fun... great photos, all. So sorry to see that you spent 7 hours in Alachua and I didn't know it. I live in Gainesville and would have been happy to "rescue" you for a whirlwind tour of some of the beautiful places in our college town. Maybe next time... (but not if it's due to repairs; that's always a PITA). Enjoy your weekend and GO GATORS!

    1. Thanks for the offer - I appreciate your usual Florida hospitality... I was very fortunate that the mechanic was willing to shut down and drive to Ocala and back to get the new alternator so that I was able to get to Kissimmee in time to set up!