Sorry I am late!
The end of January and the beginning of February have been crazy. So far 2021 is not on my happy list! Our Mono winds (Santa Ana's to those of you in southern California) were the worst we have seen in years. Other than getting NO sleep, just waiting for a tree to come through the house, and making rounds once an hour all night to make sure the house was intact, I fared pretty well. I think I had some standing dead pines that I had not removed come down on their own. It is hard to tell on 10 acres with lots of trees, but there was no real damage. I can't say the same for so many others who had major damage to their homes and property. The homes in the area of The Pines Resort that those of you who attend The Great Yosemite Stamp Escape may be familiar with took a huge hit. Enormous old trees wiped out houses throughout the area. There were millions of dollars in damage in just that one area. People who live in manufactured housing thought they were going to be blown away. One weather meter in the North Fork Area clocked sustained winds at 90mph and gusts at 110mph. It was really crazy.
Then..... at the end of January and the beginning of February, we were blanketed with snow. About every three years or so, I have enough snow at my house that I wouldn't be able to get out without having the driveway plowed. This was a 2-plow storm. Last week, I had the plow come Wednesday. I was able to get out Thursday to get to Oakhurst for my Covid Vaccine appointment (YAY!) then left work early to get home in daylight. It is a good thing I did because I was only able to make it halfway up the driveway before a layer of ice stopped my forward movement, even in 4 wheel drive! Sooooo...I hiked the rest of the way and didn't get out until yesterday (Tuesday) when I had the driveway plowed again. This morning I had a very happy big buck lounging in a spot where the snow is melting.
A few hours into the storm A table outside my window A visitor this morning
The snow is definitely beautiful and I love seeing it, but it can be inconvenient after a few days. A pine tree near where the buck is laying broke from the weight of the snow and just missed the carport...I think! There was a bit of snow in Oakhurst, but nothing to worry about. We did have the store closed a few days, which we hate to do. One day after the wind the roads were so littered with trees and debris that it was not safe to be out, and a couple of days when neither Melissa nor I could get out due to the snow we were closed. We rescheduled Robin's class from the last Saturday in January to the first Saturday in February. Anyone who saw the class that I was planning to teach the first Saturday in February will now see it is listed for the first Saturday in March! Confused?????
So, on to store news! We participated in the Spellbinders, Altenew, and Waffleflower event in January and we have already received our first shipment from Spellbinders. I have a class planned with some really gorgeous dies. Robin will be teaching an interactive card that is beautiful, and I believe Kathy also has something up her sleeve using the new dies, too. The rest of the product will ship in March. That will mainly be their Glimmer (foil) line. Frankly, we had waited to bring in any type of foiling machines and back-up products until we had the opportunity to really be informed about the tricks and tips that help make everything easy. We ordered the machines and will have one for class use, and we also ordered foils and some really useful plates. We plan to introduce the products and techniques in April as we are unsure of actual shipping dates. Keep an eye out for more information as the product arrives. Kudos to Spellbinders who organized the little "show". It went smoothly and was informative. They were also right on target with their shipping as quoted!
I also participated in a Facebook Live event put on by American Crafts. They own lots of companies that you might be familiar with...Bazzill, BoBunny, EK Tools (formerly EK Success) WeR (formerly We R Memory Keepers), Pebbles, and many others. Their presentation was done by representatives of each company showing what is new or in the works. It gave a brief overview of each company and what 2021 might look like for them.
We have still been disappointed with shipping from our vendors, and also the timely availability of seasonal products. For example, we should see what is new for Valentine's Day in November, not January. I believe this is happening because they are experiencing manufacturing and shipping problems that prevent them from staying ahead of the game. Hopefully, that will change soon so I can quit complaining. After all, the snow is melting so I can't continue to complain about that...what's a girl to do?
We are working on putting together a selection of curated collections that will be shipped to you in"Special Edition 2020 Great Yosemite Stamp Esccape Tote Bags). After all, we do have 100 of them! These bags will contain seasonal product collections or special merchandise collections. They will not be just "random stuff". For instance if you receive a spring collection it may have matching stamp and die set, appropriate ink colors, Spring themed cardstock with matching solids, matching gems.....you get the idea. Every bag will be different. We are working on a set price and will let you know more when we get the details ironed out. We think it will be fun to put together these surprise packages and fun for you to receive them!
Since we have no idea what 2021 holds, we are looking at different ways to stay in touch. I lean toward Facebook Live (with follow-up videos) as a way to bring products and techniques to those of you who cannot attend classes or shop at The Cat's Meow in person. I feel that the Zoom meetings I have attended can be distracting and often have technical issues so that would be my second choice. If you have experiences you would like to share, I would love to hear from you.
Stay in touch!
The latest Tim Holtz Distress color, Kitsch Flamingo, a beautiful pink has been announced. We had already put it on pre-order without knowing what the color is. The different products will most likely arrive at various times. We do not have shipping dates yet, although it should be sometine this month.
We have wonderful new stamps from Lavinia. Robin is teaching a class later this month with the new stamps and blending techniques. I think you will love the cards. The vibrant colors and unique images make them really special.
An order from Taylored Expressions is on the way. Watch for the St. Patrick's Day collection as well new slime line dies and much more!
We have ordered the entire Graphic 45 Elegance paper collection. We will have open stock paper, 8x8 pads and the embellishments. I LOVE this like. If you know me you know that I love paper with black background and this gorgeous black, pink and ivory paper is amazing! It should arrive later this month.
We have really nice Gem collections from Spellbinders. They are adhesive backed, a couple of color selections, only $3.99 and are VERY sparkly!
Check out some new (soon to be available) products here:
Penny Black Link
Avery Elle Link
My Favorite Things Link
Click here to see the February classes and be sure to follow us on Facebook!