Sunday, October 28, 2007

Vacation ramblings

Again, I'm lacking greatly on my blog posts...... We've been back from vacation for over a month now. Back to a busy life.

Let me finish telling you about our vacation.
After our trip to Marseille, we finished out the week in Fréjus, then headed to my parents' house in the Loire valley. I had limited internet access there, so really no opportune time to blog. My parents live in a tiny tiny (did I say tiny?) village. Their internet connection is by phone! No DSL or cable!!! Super duper slow when you are spoiled like we are here.

But, the good part is it's sooooo relaxing at their place. You're in the middle of the French countryside, surrounded by corn & wheat fields, lots of cow pastures, and the occasional quaint village. We spent most of our time relaxing.

During our stay there, we did make a couple of side trips. The first was a 2 day trip to Normandie. The drive was only about 2.5 hours away, using mostly "national roads". In France, the highway system revolves around the big cities, so if you are going to Paris, Lyon, Marseille, etc, you can hop on a highway (I won't call them freeways, because they are NOT free!!! You'd better have some money for the tolls!). But if you are not going to a big city, then "National" roads are the way to get around. Let me tell you, for those of you used to nice big US roads, keep dreaming. We're talking small 2-lane roads that slice through little towns and big towns alike. No skirting cities... It's a whole different ball game.

We did have my mother's trusted road map book! It came in very handy. Things are well marked, but if you don't know exactly where you are, it can be a little confusing. With the map book, it was really easy. Whew!! (Matt does NOT like getting lost).

We started our Normandie visit with the quintessential Mont St-Michel. Oh wait, before we get there, we had lunch in a really really cute restaurant. It was called the Montgomery. For 10,50 Euros, we had charcuterie (cold cuts), a main course (choice of veal kidneys or turkey --- I chose the veal kidneys, haven't had them in years!! Matt went for the safer turkey), pasta, cheese plate, chocolate mouse, all the bread you can eat, wine and hard cider, and coffee (espresso). After a week on the French Riviera, we got used to paying 10 euros JUST for desert!!! Anyways, this was one of the best meals we had. Nice place, nice folks, great food!

On to the Mont St-Michel (look it up, it's beautiful --- if I had my camera with me right now, I'd upload some pictures, but I left it at home.... will have to remember to bring it and post pics for you guys to see). Anyways, we had a great time there. My mom told me I had been there before when I was 4 or 5, but I don't remember of course.

Then, we headed to St. Mère Eglise. Our main reason for wanting to go to Normandie was that Matt is a big military buff and he really wanted to see where all the D-Day stuff happened. History lesson: St. Mère Eglise is the town where the FIRST paratroopers landed at 2AM on June 6th. Watch the movie "The Longest Day" or "Band of Brothers" and you will see what I mean. In the movie "The Longest Day" there is a scene where a paratrooper chute gets hung up on the church tower as he is landing. Well, that really happened. They guy's name is John Steele and a dummy with a parachute STILL hangs on the church tower to this day. He is truly the town hero.

In St. Mère Eglise, we visited the museum, of course the church (which now has beautiful memorial stained glass depicting the landing..... again, I will have to upload pictures later). We stayed at the Aubèrge John Steele (everything is named after him there!) and the next day headed out to see the beaches where the water landings occured (Omaha Beach, etc). We also went to the US cemetary. This was a very emotial trip. The people in that part of France will never forget what the US troops did for them. I'd like to go back some day and see the many other museums and sites we didn't have time to visit.

Another side trip we made was to the Chateau de Chenonceau. Very beautiful! Not as big as you would think, LOL!! I really liked it.

During our trip, I had the pleasure of meeting many of my French customers. Béa from Toulon, Marjo from Marseille, Sofy from Fréjus, and Sylvie (Fée) de Parpeçay. (Super de faire vos connaissance!!!)

And there you have it. Now it's back to work.....


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Another day in paradise

It's Thursday evening here in France. I've not blogged since we arrived.... we've actually been quite busy, and when we aren't busy, we find ourselves on the beach or taking walks by the harbor.

Yesterday, we went to Marseille. The primary purpose was to visit a customer who lives there. We were also hoping to visit the city. As it turns out, I was incapable of driving in Marseille. Talk about a cluster!!!!!! "No rules driving" is pretty much how I describe it.

In fact, I was soooo scared, that after an hour of driving down the teensiest one-way streets with delivery trucks facing the other way, intersections where if you don't go for it and cut off someone, you will never go across, and let's not mention all the pedestrians who just step out in front of you with no warning.... oh.... and the mopeds that go whizzing by and around you forcing you to brake instantly.... well, we parked somewhere in a bad neighborhood and called to come get rescued.

Luckily, my customer and her husband were not far. They came to the rescue and Christian drove our rental car with Matt in the passenger seat, and I rode with Marjorie in her car. There is no way I was getting back behind the wheel in that madness!!!

We ended up going to the Port of Marseille and having a wonderful bowl of Bouillabaisse (a fish soup) which is the specialty there. Then we went to the beach for an ice cream, and finally, Christian led us back to the freeway entrance. We had to stop on the side of the road in the middle of a round-about to switch drivers. I felt comfortable taking the wheel back as I could see the freeway and knew the direction home.
Today, we drove along the sea coast road almost to St Tropez, but we had to return the car by 2PM, so we didn't go too far. Besides, Matt wasn't too keen (and neither was I) on repeating yesterday's experience. LOL!!!!
Tomorrow, we have slated a relaxing day on the beach for our last day here in Frejus. But the weather report is calling for thunderstorms.
Saturday, we have a travel day: first cab ride to the train station, then train ride to the Nice aiport, plane to Paris, subway to the train station, train to Vendome where my dad will pick us up. We won't get to their house until late in the evening.....
I'll write more when we get there.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

On vacation - Day 1?

It's Saturday night..... so technically, it's not day 1 of the vacation, but it feels like it. It's the first day our body clocks are adjusted to the time change.

We left home Thursday morning for a brutally long trip. Medford to San Francisco, S.F to LAX. LAX to Paris, and Paris to Nice. Got to Nice at 6PM Friday night. Thank goodness I had reserved a room CLOSE to the airport in a 2-star hotel (the French equivalent of a Motel 6). It was so close to the Nice airport that taxis won't even take you there... you have to take the bus. But we crashed and hard!
Next day (this morning), we took the train to Frejus where we are staying for a week. We rented a studio apartment overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The weather here is beautiful, still warm, but all the tourists have gone. This is the off-season. Everthing is less expensive and calmer.

this picture was taken from our balcony. As you can see, the beach is a mere walk away, and not crowded at all. The little jut of land you see on the far right is St. Tropez (where all the RICH Americans go... notice we are NOT there, LOL!!)

Since we are staying close to the harbor, there is a little pier there where people fish. We saw about 8 cats all waiting for a handout. What a life!!!
Ta ta for now, I'm off to eat my dinner. (more tomorrow)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Bind-it-All Spotlight

Today, a quick product spotlight for your enjoyment.

I just love my Bind-it-All. Sadly, I don't have much time to play..... I haven't even made a REAL project yet (I've just "play" punched so far). I have all sorts of ideas running through my head, but no time to execute.

So, I live vicariously through the wonderful project my loyal customers create. Below is a brown bag album made by one of my French customer. ----sidebar ---- I was born in France and speak French fluently. This has enabled me to serve a growing customer base in France. There are so many talented ladies who have discovered the joys of scrapbooking and cardmaking in the past few years.

But I digress. Below is a brown bag album made by Cathy (yes, a very anglo name, but it's short for Catherine!). Cathy recently took a trip to Tibet. She made this wonderful album illustrating a salty lake high in the Tibetan mountains.
Cathy used the Bind-it-All to finish off her album.

If you like what you see, and want to see the rest of the album, please go to:
The blog is in French and so are all the comments, but I'm sure Cathy would enjoy getting your comments in English too. :-)
I hope you enjoy this feast for the eyes.
I'm off to add a few more things to the website.....

Thursday, August 02, 2007

CHA Deliveries are rolling in

Decidely, some vendors are much faster than others at recovering after CHA. We've already received shipments from several companies.

Yesterday, we received 21 boxes from Zutter (the makers of the Bind-it-all). Sadly, there were supposed to be 22 boxes in the shipment, and of course the missing box is the one with all the new stuff!!! LOL!!! But I'm sure it will be here today.

Come take a look at for the NEW carrying tote for your Bind-it-All as well as an idea book and a book binding tool kit. We're also now re-stocked in machines and wires!

Another huge shipment came in from Karen Foster. I haven't had a chance to upload all the new products on the site yet, but will we working on it within the next few days. There are some nice lines, including some very "male" themes like hunting, wildlife, skater, sports, and four-wheeling, as well as some traditional themes.

Zsiage is a new company for us. Their shipment arrived yesterday and I put the products up on the site already.
One product that is very exciting to me (but hard to visualize) is the Scrapbook Film. It's a plastic-feeling material, translucent in color, pre-cut into alphabets. Now, the exciting thing is that you can use all sort of products to embellish them. You can use alcohol inks, stamp and emboss (yes, it will take heat embossing), paint and sand, etc. I can't wait to try the alcohol ink technique on them (when I get a free moment that is).

Zsiage also has beautiful papers and lots of chipboard alphabets in many sizes.

I can't wait to see what UPS brings us today!!


Thursday, July 26, 2007

CHA excitement begins

We've only been back from CHA for 4 days, and already we have received 2 products ordered at the show!!! And I know 2 more packages are on the way.

It's good to know some companies are fast, even after such a big show.

So what did we get?

We received the newest DVD from Page Sage. It's entitled Rubber Paper Scissors with Judi Watanabe (of Judi-Kins)

This DVD features lots of simple but elegant techniques that Judi is well known for. A must have for the beginner or seasoned rubber stamper! Great also for those non-stampers who want to branch out into card making.

Next our order from Zoom Albums came in. Oooooh, these are soooo cute!!! Miniature albums you print at home. I have so many ideas for these little gems!

Think of the cute gifts you could make for Grandmas! A little album they can carry in their purse. How about party favors, or Bride & Groom albums for a wedding. They take 12 pictures and turn them into a mini album. What comes in 12's? How about 12 years of school pictures, or the first 12 months of your baby's life, the 12 days of Christmas, or a "dozen reasons why I love you" book. You can make a toddler's first reader (take pictures of 12 animals and add the name of each animal for the child to read). Or a mini recipe book for a student in college with pictures of his/her favorite 12 dishes. How cute would a little travel log book be?
I can't wait to see what the UPS lady brings tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Part 2 of the CHA Summer 2007 report

Time to write a little more about exciting CHA things......

Yesterday someone called to ask me about any new punches, and I totally forgot about the 6 new McGill punches that will be available in October. These are SOOOOOOOO cool. Here are a couple of them:

and a card made with the keyhole punch:

There are 6 punches all together: Hang Tag, Brackets, Symbols, Keyhole, Punctuation and Heirloom Hearts.

Each punch will be $18.99 and I will offer a pre-order special on my site with a deal if you buy all 6 at the same time.

I can't remember if I talked about clear stamps yesterday, but we picked up quite a few new ones. Autumn Leaves of course came out with another big batch. We picked up a new company (new for us, but they've been around a while) called Impression Obsession. They have some really nice designs for card makers, so we pretty much bought almost all they make in the way of clears.

Stampendous also had a few new clears, which of course we purchased. DMD Industries put out a line of very inexpensive clear stamps (some small ones for less than $2, and some regular size sheets as well). We also saw Daisy Bucket's booth had clear stamps, so of course we bought those. Fiskars also came out with some, and you guessed it, we bought them!!

Clear stamps were definitely a huge hit at CHA. We would have liked to pick up a few other lines (such as Technique Tuesdays) but we ran out of money. I know a lot of stampers prefer rubber over clear, but clear is what most every place is going to these days. They tend to be less pricey than rubber and they do have the advantage of ease of use with clear blocks.

Oh... one more clear stamp..... Francy Pants came out with 2 new 12"x12" clear stamp sets (and yes, we bought those too)

Moving on to new papers.... OMG, this is a long list. I'm just going to hit some highlights here:

-Basic Grey -- 4 new gorgeous lines + new chipboards and rub ons!
-Zsiage --- we already have their fabulous Scrap-o-dex, but this time we picked up many of their papers, chipboards and sheer elements that can be embossed!!

-Around the block --- call me crazy, we bought everything new they had

-Dove of the East --- I spoke about them on yesterday's blog edition.
-Cloud 9 --- they had too much to choose from, but I found a few papers and stickers

-Heidi Grace -- same as above

-Prism --- specialty metallic papers and vellums. Wait til you see what I found there!

-Daisy D's -- 4 new lines of papers, stickers, tags, etc

-Fancy Pants -- 3 new lines of papers/stickers, and some fab new overlays!!

-Daisy Bucket --- I bought everything new they had!

-SEI --- again, everything new. They had the cutest Kitty papers!!!! Can't wait to have those!!

-Karen Foster --- I focused mainly on BOY themes here, but got other things too.

-Bo-Bunny --- again, I purchased ALLLLLL their new stuff.

Another booth that always attracts me is Prima. They did not fail us this time. We re-ordered their Sprites (which we ran out of quickly after CHA Winter), plus they came out with MORE new Sprites, so ordered those too. I'm not too sure when we expect them as Prima is usually quite slow at shipping.... so stay tuned.

Maya Road had done it again with dozens more new chipboard album configurations, cute chipboard shapes, etc. Oh yes, they got a chunk of our money too.

For those of you who are interested in trying out Digital Scrapbooking, we have a great product for you. It's put out by McGill, and it is called Pixel Magic. It's super easy to use, comes with dozens of accessory disks and you can print the results at home or at your favorite store.

This will be a fun new tool for me as well.

One more thing for today: Have you seen the Clip-it-up yet? It's fantastic!! Here is a picture (as I can't describe it as well as I can show you)
The unit comes as the Main Base (bottom picture) and the Upper Tier can fit on top. You can clip up all your stickers, ribbons, trinkets and have them right on hand to scrapbook or make cards. Everything is at your fingertips. It revolves and also has tabs so you can organize your stuff by categories.

My husband just came home from work.... so it's time for me to go too. I will post again tomorrow with more pictures.


Monday, July 23, 2007

We're back from CHA

Well, we're back from the CHA summer show in Chicago. We spent 3 days browsing aisle after aisle of great new scrapbooking and crafting products. Needless to say, our feet are sore and our wallets are empty, but our minds are filled with great ideas, and our hearts with anticipation for the new products to arrive.

The sad thing is on the last day, at the last booth, I misplaced my digital camera. I had it on a clip on my belt and I think it fell out (maybe when there were so many people in a booth). I had taken dozens and dozens of pictures of new products and ideas to show you. All gone...

We're still going through all our notes, and my mind is quite fuzzy on exactly all that we saw and purchased.

For today, I'm going to list a few highlights of some exciting products we purchased. Tomorrow, I will blog again with more details and scans I have from catalogs we gathered.

One of the most exciting thing was of course the new line of dies from Spellbinders for the Wizard die cutting machine. Remember that these dies also work in other personal die cutting machines!! Those of you on my mailing list already know about the Nestabilities dies with graduated circles, scalloped circles, ovals, scalloped ovals etc. Very exciting. I was able to borrow a set of these dies to make a few samples. For the moment, you can see what the dies will do by going to I will post MORE new dies to that page this weekend, including the new Christmas dies, new Edgeabilities dies and the neat new flower creations dies that make pop up flowers. Stampers, cardmakers and scrapbookers can all benefit from these new dies!!! We expect the new dies to be available in late August.

Many companies had really nice papers, but by far the most beautiful paper collections I saw came from Dove of the East. We purchased all 4 of the paper collections, which you can see at We also purchased the ribbons, the rub ons, and a few of the trinkets. In addition, we purchased a limited quantity of the 2 treasure boxes (China and India). We'll be taking pre-orders on these soon. Here is a picture of the India treasure box.

We should be receiving all Dove of the East products in approx. 3 weeks. (mid-August)

Another wonderful product we found were Zoom mini albums that you print yourself. These are the cutest 3"x3" little albums that you create with the software (included in the starter kit). You simply upload 12 pictures, add text if desired, and the software does the rest. Then print on the provided sticky back, pre-scored and pre-cut photo paper, fold according to the directions and adhere the provided covers. Here is what you get:
Think of the possibilities: Gift for Grandma's purse, Ornament on the tree, A review of your child's school pictures, Baby's 1st year by month, etc etc etc.... we will post examples of this on the site as soon as we have them. We expect this product in NEXT WEEK!!!

For those of you yearning for high-class organizational products, Options (a division of Plano, the makers of tackle boxes) are coming out with really top of the line designer products, from totes to storage boxes in fashion colors. My favorite was a purse size organizer made of ultra-suede in lime color. This small tote had many compartments to organize all your basic tools, but would also make a CUTE CUTE purse. Priced at around $35, it was a great value. I've seen similar purses in department stores for triple that price, and they didn't have all the neat features of these. They also had wheeled totes with class!!! Move over boring black cropping bag!!! We expect our shipment in October and I can't wait! I think these totes will be on many scrapbooker's Christmas lists.

Still one of the best tools is the Bind-It-All. We started carrying these after their introduction at CHA in January. Many people have requested some sort of tote for their Bind-it-All and they are coming!!! A cool blue tote with a large compartment for your Bind-it-All (the blue matches the blue of the machine) will be here in September. Meanwhile, new smaller wires are here in stock and ready to ship already.

Tim Holtz devotees will love the new Distress Crackle Paints!! I got a chance to watch Tim demo and had my picture taken with him. Too bad my camera is missing... I'm really sad not to have that picture. The Crackle Paints should be available late September and we will take pre-orders starting next week.

Well, I must go to bed now.... I will post more tomorrow, with more pictures.

If you are interested in putting in some pre-orders, please wait until I post details on my site this weekend. Many of my catalogs with prices are still in the suitcases at this time, so I don't have prices on hand.

Thank you!


Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Warehouse

People often ask me:
"Can we stop by your store?"


"Where do you keep all your inventory?"


"You must have a large warehouse"

Well, the answer is yes, it is a big warehouse. It's approximately 2,000 square feet.

Imagine a 3 bay garage, but double deep (so you could park 6 cars in here), then add an upstairs, and another 2 car garage on the back. Now fill it all with shelves, add a shipping area, an office area with 2 computers, and voila... my world.

So the answer to the above questions is:

-No, we don't have a traditional store. We are sticktly a mail order business. The zoning here does not allow us to have a store for walk-in customers.

-The inventory is kept in this huge space and we are running out of room.

Here are a few pictures:
This first picture is the "wall of paper". We've outgrown this "wall" and have actually moved on to several other shelves throughout the warehouse.
Here is a shelf with some Prima flowers. The brown boxes on top are also Primas (the ones in large tins).

The pens and inks are upstairs.
Punches are in the "punch warehouse" as I like to refer to it. It's basically the back garage. Here you can see the Marvy punch rack and in the background, all the Punch Bunch punches. We also have 2 racks with McGill punches, 2 racks and 3 shelves with EK Success punches and a shelf with Carl Craft punches. (I'm forgetting some, I know)
As I said earlier, we are running out of space. What to do?
The answer..... drumroll..... build another warehouse. Yep, that's right, we're taking the plunge.
We've already secured a line of credit, and a quote for an additional 1,100 sf building. Now for the bad news. The county building department has told us we can't build where we want because they want a 100 ft fire barrier between our fenceline and the new building. Rats. So we are applying for a variance on that. I talked to County Planners and they seem to think it should be no problem, but the plans have to go into review (all at a cost of $250 of course.... you don't expect them to let us do what we want on our land without some money, do you?).
Once the fire varience is approved, we then have to pay them a little bit more for the building permit. fun. After that, our builder can order the pre-made building (it's much cheaper to go pre-fab than standard stick-built). That will take 8 weeks. The actual building part should only take about 3 weeks. Pre-fab buildings go up in no time.
So hopefully, around September, we should have a new warehouse. Just in time for Summer CHA products to start rolling in.
That's the big news here at Frantic Stamper. New warehouse, new shopping cart, we're moving on up!!!
To all my loyal customers: Thank you for your continued support. And to my new customers, Welcome!
I look forward to serving you all for years and years to come!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A quick note + a card

Busy, busy, busy as usual..... and I forget to add stuff to the blog.

The good news is the busier we are, the more we make people happy. :-)

This summer, we are working on a shopping cart. It's a long overdue project. One that I have started many times, and dropped many times due to lack of time to finish it properly.

So I've actually hired someone. 2 someones to be exact.

I've hired Adelina from New Zealand as a consultant and technical advisor. Adelina will be making all the techincal updates to the site, making things look pretty and work properly.

I've also hired Betsy. Betsy is working in our warehouse and she is in charge of adding all the products to the site. She's been working on the cart for about 2 weeks now and already has over 3,000 products added.

We hope to go live with the cart sometime this summer. There is still a lot of work to be done on it, plus testing, and finally migrating it from its current "temporary secret locale" to What an exciting day that will be. :-)

To change subjects a little, here is a card I made a couple years ago. It's simple, but striking (I think).
Happy stamping & scrapping!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Have you seen what's new from Maya Road

OMGosh, I can't believe all the wonderful new stuff we just got from Maya Road.

They've really outdone themselves this year with dozens of new chipboards, chipboard albums, tins, and of course their wonderful ribbons.

My favorites are the Chipboard KEYS and CLOCKS. Take a look:

But that's not all... check out their CUTE purse albums

Be sure to visit my website for more from Maya Road. Start at our new products page: and click on the link.

I've got more goodies coming soon!

Happy scrapping!


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It's been a while....

It's been far too long since I've updated the blog. So sorry about that, but I've been working way too hard.

Just a quick note to let you know we are receiving lots and lots of new products. Be sure to check out the website and click on the "new products" section. Here's a direct link:

Just in are the new Luminarte Radiant Rain mists. Also, tonight I will be adding the new punches from McGill and the new products from Queen and company.

If you're wondering about the MUPPETS stickers, they are in, I just need to get them on the website. Will have that done by this weekend, promise!!!

OK, enough chit chat... I need to go add more great products to the site.

Stay tuned, I have some card ideas to share.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Rouge de Garance papers


The exquisite papers from France, brought to us by Rouge de Garance, are here!!
go to to see all the gorgeous papers!

We've also just received the 4 new lines from Basic Grey.... I will try to get those on the site tonight or this weekend. Be sure to stay tuned to

Have a great day!

Friday, February 09, 2007

I broke down and did it.....

Sigh.... I wasn't going to order the Scenic Route papers, but they are sooo beautiful, I went ahead and did it this morning. My poor credit cards!!!!

Here's a preview:

Yes, I ordered ALL their papers, even the ones I missed at Memory Trends. :-)

And last night, the UPS man delivered the NEW S.E.I papers.... so watch for those on the website this weekend.

I'm sure more new stuff will come today.... this weekend, I will be putting tons of new stuff on the site.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

CHA orders are starting to come in

Hi folks!!!

We just got some exciting news that 4 of our CHA orders are already on the way:

1) Karen Foster Designs --- We ordered everything new they had at CHA + some stuff we missed from Memory Trends. We just got notice that they shipped our order yesterday and it should be here Tuesday. So next week, we should have lots of new papers, stickers, metal charms, brads, etc.
We did order the new Scraparatus, but that won't be here for a couple of months.

2) Creative Impressions brads and other embellishments. Their new ribbons are held up for another month or so... but the new brads are on their way.

3) Hot off the Press' new Brad Buddies are coming too!! Great new designs in this series such as music, graduation, dance, tropical, zoo, and many more.

4) Lots of new ribbons from May Arts are also on the way. Beautiful new ribbons with woven checks, puffy flowers, etc. (sorry I have no pictues yet)

I think also the German decoupage papers might also be on the way.... as well as possibly some other items. Not all vendors let us know when they are shipping.

The Bind-It-All machines should be here next week. More on that later.

And lastly, I believe the 8 new colors of Colorbox pigment inks are also on the way.


Wednesday, January 31, 2007

CHA report - Day 3

Sorry I was not able to post yesterday. My wireless connection in the hotel room was sketchy at best and last night it wouldn't work at all.
Then this morning, I thought I would blog from the airport, but I found out I had to pay $7.95 per day for a connection at LAX, so I said "forget it".

So I'm home now.... and let's see what I can remember, LOL!!

Let's start with Queen & Company. Tons of new brads, sequins, jewels, felt ribbon, etc in fun color schemes. Here's a sample of the "Bold Sequins":
These will start shipping in March. We'll keep you up to date.

Next, I must tell you about this faboulous line of breathtaking papers from France. The company is called Rouge de Garance and their papers have been a huge hit in France, but until now, not available in the USA. I purchased their entire paper line (except for the background papers). Here's a teaser images. We should have these in about 2 weeks!! I will put all the images on the website this weekend.

For the Brits out there, I met Alan & Barry, famous on UK television for their craft shows. They had some fabulous clear stamps and peel off stickers in matching "step by step" geometric designs. I purchased 8 different ones (they had many more) to test the market. The stamps can be used on their own (like "outlines" stamps) but can also be coupled with the matching peel off stickers to add a metallic touch.

Speaking of metallic, I stopped at the We-R-Memory Keepers booth (mainly to purchase the Crop-A-Dile... which I did) and bought their entire new line of "metallic" papers, embellishements, etc. I can't remember the exact name of the line, and I don't have it in front of me, but it's very nice. Probably won't be here till March as well.

Maya Road was a booth were I spent a lot of time (and money) buying up most of their new chipboard books, chipboard shapes, ribbons and ribbon slides. Great designs!! Can't wait to get those on my shelves!!!

7 Gypsies also had their usual fantastic selection of collage type items. Tons of great stuff coming, including some new "expressions" stamps in oval shapes, new papers, stickers, and much more.

Going back on something I mentioned Monday: the Bind-it-All binding machine... I must say, I went back to their booth and ordered 2 more items: the chipboard book covers, and their book paper cutter. I didn't quite understand the cutter at first,but after seeing it in action, I had to have it. It will accurately cut pages for your little books in a jiffy. I'll explain more over the weekend in a special feature on this product. I'll also be offering a fantastic drawing for great prizes with special order packages. More on this later.

Towards the end of the day, I stopped at Dreamweaver's booth where they had lots of new stencils and 12 new colors of Memories Mists. They will be available in mid-March.

One last thing before I go to bed... and I'll post more this weekend. While in the new exhibitors area, I spotted a digital die cut machine under production. It won't be ready til July or so... but it is what we have all been waiting for. This little machine will cut shapes from 1" to 5" (adjustable in 1/2" increments). The cartridges will hold an alphabet and several shapes all on a standard SD type memory card. The machine will be about $150 and the cartridges about $50... but THE most exciting thing is it will have a cable interface and software to make your OWN cartridges (from true type fonts and any design you want) from your PC or Mac. Yes! Mac!!! Mac users won't be left out of this!!!

Oh.... one more thing.... those of you who have been asking me about a UK product called the "bookatrix", I finally found it. Right now, they have 8 templates, but are looking for a US distributor. They won't sell to US companies until they find a US distributor. They said within 2 month, they should be all set up. These template boards are great.... It's hard to tell from the picture below what they do, so I'll give you more details if you don't already know about them.... More this weekend.

Oh.... yet one more thing. I found some great 3-D cutting papers from Germany. These are different from the Dutch ones as they are embossed and have gold printed accents. This means they are easier to use as you just cut and stack them... no need to do the shaping part. I also found the perfect little spring action scissors for cutting the intricate designs. I purchased about 40 patterns in this line. Each sheet will be about $2 and give you 2 or more projects per sheet. I was very impressed with the quality of these.

Well, that's enough for tonight.... I'm pooped and need to get to sleep.

I'll post more this weekend after I go through my notes.


Monday, January 29, 2007

CHA report - Day 2

The first thing I did today was go back to the LuminArte booth to get the names of the colors of the new Radiant Rain mists and daubers.
-Mists will come in 12 scrumptious colors: Coral Berry, Irish Mist, Fern, Sky Blue, Cranberry, Guartamalan Green, Periwinkle, Lemondrop, Key Lime, Jasper Red, Pink Grapefruit and Golden Bamboo. Price for the Mists will be $4.99 ea.
-Daubers will come in 12 delightful shades: Mallard Green, Sunburst, Snapdragon, Olive Vine, Hot Cinammon, Pink Azalea, Teal Ziricon, Magestic Blue, Wine & Roses, Spiced Pumpkin, Nutmeg and Yellow Rose. Price for the Daubers will be $5.99 ea.
(and of course, I will offer a special for orders of all of them!! )

Now.... I must tell you about the most exciting product I saw today. A wonderful new BINDING SYSTEM!!! Better than anything I've seen before.
This binder makes very professional books at a reasonable price.
First, I'll tell you about the machine. It punches through 10 sheets of paper at a time with ease, or through chipboard! You can cut any size paper (by moving the paper and aligning with previous holes).
The binding is wire combs. The same machine is used to put the combs on. And the price is only $59.99!!
The combs come in 5 thicknesses and 5 colors. Such fun!!
The picture below illustrates how it works and what the binding looks like.

Next, I stopped at Tsukineko's booth. They have 2 new colors of Brilliance inks which will be out in April.... as well as 2 older colors no available in Dew Drops (lime and gamma green).

Tsukineko also said their GLUE PAD is finally finally coming. Yes, I know we have all been waiting well over a year for this, but it will finally be available in April/May. The pad will come WITH a reinker, and extra reinkers will be available. It will be different from the current glue pad by Stewart Superior in that you won't need to heat the ink to activate it. We ordered 150 of them and will start taking pre-orders soon. I will do that through the newsgroup... so stay tuned there.

That's not all folks....

Basic Grey is gracing us with 4 new beautiful lines at the end of February. Of course, I ordered them all! I will be putting them on my website mid-February.

Other fabulous paper lines I picked up today were from Autumn Leaves, Paper Adventures, Fancy Pants, Karen Foster, etc...

Speaking of Autumn Leaves, they have 20 new clear stamps!! I ordered them all of course! Look for a new book featuring clear stamps as well. This whole line is suppposed to come out in March.

Switching back to stamping.... Tim Holtz and Ranger are coming out with 12 new colors of the Distress embossing powders to match the 12 distress inks that came out last year. Look for those in late March.

Ranger also re-designed the whole Adirondack/Seabrights/Seashell line. The Seabrights and Seashells inks will be "sort of" discontinued..... but not really. They will be re-packaged into a whole series to match the Adirondack daubers line. So everything will be like the Adirondack daubers: 12 earth tones, 12 brights, 12 pastels. The current 10 seabrights and 10 seashells will be re-named and 2 colors each added, so all the names will match the Adirondack daubers. The CURRENT Adirondack inks have 24 colors.... so those will all remain, which means there will be more earthones than the other ranges... It's going to be a bit confusing at first, but nice and more contiguous when it's all in place. Also, the embossing powders in this line will be expanded. The pads themselves will be redesigned so they are NOT a hinged box as now, but a top & bottom and stackable.

Tim Holtz is coming out with great carrying cases for inks, powders, color washes, etc. Nice tins with compartments for storing all your Tim Holtz stuff neat and organized.

PUNCHES --- are you punch crazy? OK, Punch Bunch is coming out with several new punch shapes. I'll keep you posted on those soon..... Fiskars has new "oval" border punches, much like their border and circle ones.... but they make ovals. And I will be stopping at McGill's booth tomorrow to order their new punches.

Dutch paper craft lovers, I have lots for you too:

-Dozens of new Peel Off stickers from Starform, Mark Richards, and more

-Pergamano supplies. I will now be carrying basic Pergamano supplies including books, tools, vellum and starter kits. I will also be able to special order ANY Pergamano products you wish (paints, books, patterns, shading tools, tints, etc)

-New stencils & books, of course. I can't recall all the lines I ordered, but there are a lot of new ones.

-New 3-D cutting papers..... at least 40 new ones: flowers, animals, holiday, and more. And 2 new books FILLED with cutting papers at a GREAT value: $15 for over 20 sheets of papers, every sheet different, so you get a ton of variety at huge savings.

There was more, but I can't remember it all.... I'll have to wait til I get home and unpack/sort it all to fill you in.

I wish I had more pictures for you, but my digital camera ran out of juice today and I didn't pack that charger. DUH!!

More tomorrow!!


Sunday, January 28, 2007

CHA new products - Day 1

Woooooh, I'm tired!!
Day 1 at CHA and my feet are already hurtin'

So what great new things did I see?

Let's start with a great new product from the LuminarArte people (makers of the fantastic Twinkling H2O's paints): Radiant Rain Mists and Daubers. 12 colors in each line (24 total items). Beautiful shimmery colors, great for backgrounds and using directly on stamps. A must have.
I will have more info on this soon.... as well as an opportunity to order the whole set at a great price.

Next, Prima had of course tons of new flowers.... and papers.... and bling type stickers. I especially loved the big mesh flowers pictured below:
There were 12 colors and 4 styles per color... but I only purchased 1 style per color to test these out. They also had other great new flowers which I will add to the website when they come in.

This next photo is of the new exciting tool by Karen Foster: the Scraparatus
It's kinda hard to tell just from a picture, but basically, it's a little tiny die cutter, eyelet setter and pounder. The tool has different tips you put on. One is a pounder type tool which you use with tiny dies, or to flatten things. Another tip is for setting eyelets, another for making the little eyelet hole, etc. Very neat!! The little dies are too cute!! The starter kit come with 2 little dies (a flower and a tag), with other little die kits sold separately.

From Karen Foster, I also picked up their ENTIRE new line of papers, stickers, brads, embellishments, etc.... so look for many many new Karen Foster products.

From HEIDI SWAPP -- a TON of new things too. Great new masks, fantastic new larger ghost shapes, beautiful ribbons at $1 per little 3 foot spool, oh gosh... wait til you see it all.

SEI had 2 beautiful new lines: Morning Meadow (very soft and pastel) and Citrus (bright bright bright). You will flip for these.

Next, Crafter's Workshop is at it again with fantastic templates for doodling. I can't remember how many different ones they had, but needless to say, I got them all. :-) I also got their new line of papers.

Of course, that's not all. I also picked up Imaginesce's new lines of ... well, everything: papers, flowers, brads, you name its. My favorites are the new curdoroy brads!!! Warm!

Let's not forget the new Daisy D's lines... those should be available around March (which is pretty standard for basically almost everything we purchased at the show)

Oh... 2 more quick things:
-I found the BEST vellum adhesive from Glue Arts (not Glue Dots).... this adhesive is TRULY transparent on vellum and transparencies, and strong!!!!
-Around the Block had a gazillion great new things... ordered it all of course. My fave is the "tape writer kit" which is a lot like the old office label makers.... with fun colors of tape!!!!

Time to hit the sack. I will bring you a few more pictures tomorrow evening.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

On my way to CHA

I'm on my way to CHA!

CHA is the Craft & Hobby Association's big convention where all the companies release their new products. This show happens twice a year: January and July.

So I'm at the airport waiting for my flight to Los Angeles. Hopefully, I will have access to the internet from my hotel room, and I can post about all the new stuff I am finding at the show.

Right now, my flight is delayed. (JOY!!)...... So I'm wasting time..... LOL!

See ya guys soon!