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It's finally winter!

March 2012

News Highlights

TGYSE 2012

New Arrivals

Scrapbook Class

Mike is Coming!

Dear friends....

As I write this, it is SNOWING! We have had no real winter and here we are on Leap Day with snow falling. We really want winter to come and go so by the time we get to Stamp Escape, we will have great weather. By the way......have you sent your registration in for The Great Yosemite Stamp Escape 2012? And if you mailed a deposit only, this is a reminder that the final payment is now due. We had the opportunity to meet with all of our teachers at Winter CHA and they are really excited about our event. With a great mix of teachers, there will really be something for everyone. Don't delay, send your registration today!

As for CHA, our annual winter trade show, we had a great time. The show was back in Anaheim which is a better venue, and the attendance really showed it. We found several new companies that we either have ordered from or are working on orders.
  • You will (hopefully soon) see stamps from Stampavie, the French company with the cute kid images. These stamps are great for those who love to color.
  • We have two beautiful boards coming from Penny Black. They should have shipped last week, so we are hoping to see them today or tomorrow. Along with the stamps supporting these sample boards, we will also receive several colors of their solid cardstock. We are considering stocking it in all colors so will want your input when it arrives. I really like the fact that is comes in three shades of each color, and I love the feel of the paper. The color is printed on one side, so it lends itself to embossing and sanding for a great look. Several of our regular 8.5x11 cardstocks that have been basic are no longer available, so this would fill in nicely.
  • We have received our third paper collection from Authentique, a new paper company. We have Loyal, Genuine, and Celebrate in stock with a new collection arriving each month. Each collection includes nice double sided 12x12 cardstock with great texture, 6x6 pads, small alphabet stickers, sheets of word stickers, and kits with everything included so you can grab and go!
  • The gorgeous collection, Honoka, from Anna Griffin is meeting with rave reviews. Ginger has made several sample cards for us and as always, they are outstanding. We have another collection, Haven, coming soon. I have to say these are the best collections I have seen from Anna Griffin in several years.
  • I think you all know that we ordered a big ($2000) bunch of dies from Cheery Lynn at the show. Actually, I just sat and wrote down numbers while Melissa and Robin brought me sample cards with lacey die cuts on them. I think what sets Cheery Lynn Designs apart from other dies is the piercing the die does in addition to the elaborate cutting. Yesterday I placed a second order......yes, even with $2000 worth of dies, we sold so many we need more! One of the products in demand is the Cuttlehug. It is a metal plate that acts as a shim for those hard to cut dies.......yes, we know some are harder to use than others. We do have some shimming tricks we have learned from BJ at Cheery Lynn and Dave at Memory Box that you might ask about if you have dies that don't cut as well as you'd like.
  • You may have already seen the Memory Box spring release. Melissa used some of the dies and stamps for her last class. We really like the paper with this release. We had been looking for purple at CHA and only found lavender so we were excited to see this collection with small print that included purple. Again, there are beautiful stamps and dies in this collection...I think it is one of the best yet for Memory Box.
  • Hanko has shipped several new yuzen papers which are great for anyone wanting to do Asian themed cards. They are a weight that also works perfectly for Iris folding. The Japanese inks are truly the best, especially the metallics. I don't think you will find more beautiful papers anywhere.
  • We love our magazines...but as you know, they are getting expensive. I have considered some options and think I have the solution. I really like having magazines for the inspiration but feel the prices are preventing many of my customers from a book of ideas? or but the materials needed to make a project? I have actually considered not carrying any magazines but that is not really what I want to do. I have looked at my costs and at freight fees and have reached a decision. As of March 1st, all magazines (even the newest ones) will be sold at 25% off the MSRP. This way I cover my costs and you get lots of ideas for more projects......Good solution?
I wanted to let you know about a temporary problem related to inks made in Japan. Due to the earthquake/tsunami several months back, the supply of inks from Tsukineko has been interrupted. A number of their inks such as Stazon, Brilliance, Memento, VersaFine and others have been on back order and should start to arrive soon. I noticed yesterday that one of my suppliers expects a shippment of VersaFine today. We have been scraping to keep inks in stock. Although Clearsnap and Ranger are made in the US, the shortage in Japan seemed to put the crunch on everyone and keeping all colors of ink in stock has been a challenge. We apologize if this affected you.

Be sure to check out our classes on the website. You will notice that this month, Robin is teaching a scrapbook class that is a four-page layout. This is different from previous classes that were two pages with a class fee of $15. She will have a four page layout class every other month for $25, and on alternate months, she will have a paper crafts class with varying themes. You might see something for the wall, a mini album, or other dimensional pieces. These classes will be $30. The April class will be a mini-album in blue-green colors. The nice thing about these classes is that absolutely everything (except adhesive) is included. If you need an inkpad for distressing, it will be included. The one thing you need to know is that we cannot take last minute sign-ups for these classes as we have to order all materials farther in advance than usual, and likewise, if you cancel after we order your class kits, you will need to pay and will receive your kit. If you think you might want to make additional projects, please order these in advance, too. We are working with Quick Quotes on these classes and think you will really like your finished projects.

Another bit of news about classes....I talked to Michael Strong a few days ago and he and Carla are planning a trip to San Francisco in September to visit friends from the Netherlands. They will make a little side-trip to The Cat's Meow so Michael can teach a couple of classes. I will keep you posted on class times and content, but keep Friday and Saturday, September 14th and 15th clear so you can attend.

I would like your input on our new way of doing Stamp of the Month. If you haven't noticed, we now make kits (thanks, Melissa) with all of the stamps we receive. When you purchase your kit, you get everything you need to make the card shown on the sample board along with instructions for all of the different cards shown. When youcome to class, you use your kit to make your card with help if you need it. Previously, I chose a card and everyone made the same card at the class. What do you think? Is one way better than the other?

Good news, I ordered fill in's of Art Institute Glitter while they are having a sale so I don't have to raise my prices! I guess it is the same with everything, you get what you pay for.....fabulous glitter from Art Institute and Elizabeth Craft Designs are a bit pricey, but ooooooohhhhh are they worth it!

Still waiting for........all of the new colors of Liquid Pearls...yum yum! New Letterpress products...can hardly wait for Chris to teach at Stamp Escape! New penny Black boards......UPS just came, not here today! New stamps from Our Daily Bread.....beautiful and inspiring!

For updates during the month, join us on on the link below!

Have a great March......get ready for the E Bunny! See you soon.....