Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Winners . . . and a Reminder

Last Friday and Saturday was the annual Make Your Own Coupon Sale at our retail store.  I didn’t make it to the store to see all of the entries, but pictures of the winners were sent to me and their creativity is shared below . . .

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Left to right, first place went to Chris Focke, and second place to Terrie Grismer.

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Third place tie went to Connie Schramm and Shirley Culberson.

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Fourth place to Sharon Twardowski and honorable mention to Michelle Yarbrough.  All of the winners received Marco’s gift certificates.

And here’s one more image that should be of interest . . .

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The 25% off and free shipping sale has been extended through Wednesday – and since I don’t stay up until the clock strikes midnight in Hawaii, that means I will turn it off when I get up bright and early on Thursday morning.  Take advantage while you can – and we will ship your orders as fast as we can.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

And So It Begins . . . Black Friday Plus . . . 25% Off and Free Shipping!

I almost forgot – I am not kidding.  It has been crazy around here.  There were items that were expected to arrive in October but didn’t arrive until the second week of November – and items that were expected to arrive the second week of November and DID!  On top of that, the illness bug hit our mail center for a few days, and I have been in and out a lot over the past several days transitioning my mother-in-law from a rehab center back to her home after falling and breaking her elbow four weeks ago.

Then Gary walked in yesterday and said, “Are you ready to start the sale?”  Oh, whoops . . .

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That’s part one . . .

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And that’s part two.

Now through Monday, November 26.  I’ll leave it up to you to figure out when you have the time.  Have a great holiday weekend!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Pumpkin Night . . .

Because some of you enjoy our family traditions, I present this year’s antics from our annual Pumpkin Carving Night . . .

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We never used stencils until Emily came around.  Ryan and I balked at first – I came around a couple of years ago, and Ryan finally decided to take the plunge this year.

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As usual, our supervisor was hard at work . . . but it was exhausting.

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Emily’s creation this year was Boba Fett from Star Wars.  Ryan has always been a Transformers’ fan – used to have a decal on his Jeep.

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There is nothing p0litical about my entry – I just thought it was funny.  And it turned out much better than I anticipated.

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Hope you and all of your ghosts and goblins enjoy the last few days before the time change . . .

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Fairy Godmother and Godfather Return . . .

Last weekend was our annual trip to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.  We usually get there just in time to see the fall colors at their peak – but not this year.  Way too much rain and warmth during the summer – the leaves still haven’t started changing here in Ohio, 300 miles to the north.

But we still had fun . . .

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Got to spend the weekend visiting (harassing?) my dear friends Darlene Domel and Picasso Gaglione, the Fairy Godmother and Godfather of Rubber Stamping.  They are still enjoying their well-deserved retirement in Knoxville, but come out of hiding once a year to join us.  Some of their neighbors even stopped by to see what it is they have been talking about all of this time . . .

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Steve Lindeman from Toomuchfun commandeered a scooter on Sunday and did a few laps around the convention hall . . .

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My friend Suzanne Reed took advantage of the “demo table extenders” that I designed for Sally Lynn MacDonald from Gel Press – both ladies like to stand and have the blessing of higher than normal elevation . . .

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One of my neighbors is a huge Tennessee Volunteers fan – she lost her dad last week, and she loved my idea of this as an alternative to flowers . . .

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The weather was delightful, so I took advantage and spent some time on the golf course next to the convention center – you’ll notice the Smoky Mountains in the distance.  This was my best shot of the day – and after I took the picture, I even made the putt for a birdie!  The 18th hole is right next to the building and parking lot – so when I noticed the Toomuchfun trailer next to the cart path, I veered off and took a pic to let Steve and Michelle know that I had arrived . . .

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Fort Wayne Fun Means Birthdays and Burgers . . .

We spent the weekend in lovely Fort Wayne, Indiana – and near record high temps allowed me to wear shorts both days of the show (even though it was freezing in the building on Sunday).

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Since setup on Friday was four days before my birthday, and since I was entering my seventh decade two months before our humble promoter, Steve from Toomuchfun marked our booth with a message instead of a name – the picture has glare on it, but it says “Birthday Boy”.  And one look at Robin’s foot reminded me that she had dropped a Glass Media Mat on her big toe at the Cincinnati show seven weeks before (don’t do this at home).

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Saturday morning before the show opened, there was an excited crowd ready to cross the barrier to the show floor.  By lunchtime, they were spending time at the tables and chairs closer to the wall . . .

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Saturday was Robin’s birthday – as usual in Fort Wayne, I had a cake for her that we worked on all weekend.  Her t-shirt says something about being 59 – we have fun with our ages, since she catches me for three days every year before I run off and leave her again.

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Steve and Michelle’s daughter Alana was in heaven all weekend – she has adored Keia Arnold since she was born, and they hadn’t seen each other in a year . . .

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After the show on Saturday, Robin and Keia took me to the #1 burger joint in Fort Wayne.  Bravas is just outside of downtown – the owner is a twenty-something who started with a hot dog cart, moved up to a food truck, and now has a brick and mortar establishment.

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More pics of Bravas and our food – yes, it was that good.

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Sunday started with a “vendor meeting” – Steve and Michelle always get donuts for the vendors, and they arranged a few of them for me.  I was serenaded by my fellow vendors as I blew out the candles.  I love our traveling band of minstrels . . .

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There was also a card.  I already know what you are thinking – “It’s NOT handmade!”  You are not the only one who noticed . . .

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Alana chewed out her dad, then sat down at our demo table and made one for me herself . . .

Monday, October 8, 2018

In Memory of a Good Friend . . .

I got a text on Saturday evening – the message stopped me cold.  I really have been expecting it for a long time, but each time Kathy Krivitski (Seaside Stampin’ Ink) had another health crisis, somehow she pulled through.

But not this time – she died on Saturday afternoon.

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This is one of my favorite pictures of Kathy, with one of the birds that she loved so much.  The last five years, she has had her adorable granddaughter Gracie to give her joy and lift her spirits.

Our prayers go out to Joe and the rest of the family.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

What Do You Do When You’re Not on the Road?

I get that question a lot – “What do you do when you’re not on the road?”  I rarely seem to have problems staying busy.  I have been home since mid-August, but every day has been full – I have even had some time to work on a project or two at home.

But most of what I have been doing recently is related to this . . .

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We are building a new website!  The finished product probably won’t look exactly like this, but I like the new logo at the top and I think we’re going to keep that.  I have been spending a lot of my time adding items to it – there are about 5,000 items on the current site, which was all that it was built to handle.  The new site will allow for more.  But it’s a lengthy process – I am working on the “easy” items now (items that don’t have lots of sizes and colors) and on my best days get 50-100 of them finished.

Gary asked me last week when the new site would be ready to go, and he looked at me strangely when my answer was “hopefully by the end of the year.”  He thought I was kidding – I’m not.  With three shows in October, progress will be slow.  But it’s coming – and a lot of things that our customers have suggested over the years will be included.

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On a lighter note, I put this picture and the following note on my Facebook page this morning . . .

September 25, 2007 -- I stopped at the shelter in Lebanon on the way home from my morning workout. Our family was numb -- we had lost our nine-year-old dog very suddenly the day before, and I couldn't get rid of the feeling that we weren't going to start to heal without a new focus. There I found a four-month-old pup named Daffodil, with a note on her cage that said "plays too rough with older smaller dogs" -- and after a trip back to the shelter with Carla, and another with Ryan and the tomcat who ruled our yard, she came home with us and Ryan renamed her Zoe. Eleven years later, she has picked up a lot of gray fur, but is still the same bundle of excitable energy that burrowed its way into my heart.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

We Like to Do Birthdays in My Family . . .

Yesterday was Mom’s birthday.  Her 79th – I have been around to celebrate 60 of them.  I always enjoyed having young parents – and I cherish still having them around.

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Birthdays are always a big deal in my family – honestly, any excuse to get together is a big deal in my family.  This time, we celebrated Mom’s birthday on Saturday because it was the only day we could get all of the kids together at once.  Blake grilled burgers and chicken, and Lisa filled their kitchen counter with veggies and such.  Being the family dessert guy, I made homemade ice cream, chocolate pie, snickerdoodles, and gluten-free dairy-free chocolate chip cookies for my niece Jordan – I think remnants of all of them are on Mom and Dad’s plates.

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Last night on her actual birthday, we did what has become another family tradition – we took Mom to Graeter’s for ice cream.  Graeter’s is a Cincinnati institution that has spread out a bit over the years, so there is one very close to us.  Mom got her love of ice cream from her dad – and so did I.  I have fond memories of childhood Sunday nights eating homemade ice cream on my grandparents’ porch. 

I would love to have done play-by-play last night.  Mom was between Dad and me – I had a sundae, Dad had a cup filled with ice cream.  And Mom had a spoon.  Whichever way the conversation turned, Mom dipped her spoon into that treat and got a bite – and it went on that way until both were empty.

It was some of the best ice cream I have ever had.