Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spring Copic Sale

Hurry while they are still in stock

I went to my local Copic supplier and I was unable to find the colors I wanted. They were out of stock. Parts of the rack looked like the late stages of a going out of business sale. The sales clerk said that even their online store was having trouble keeping them in stock. Yes, Copics are a hot item.

When I got home from my disappointing trip, I looked at the Copic site to see if they had anything to say about the shortage of stock. Well they did, and this is what they said:

"2015 was a very busy year for us. We produced and shipped more product than ever before. The world wide demand for Copic grew well over 30% this year. With this great increase in demand there also came great challenges. As you all know, what makes Copic the best marker in the world is its quality and consistency. Thus, the challenge for our manufacturer in Japan, .Too Marker Products, Inc., has been to increase production without compromising the integrity and quality of our amazing products. There are many parts and pieces that come together to create an unparalleled product such as Copic: ink formulas, printing, nib construction, and the effort of many human hands that go into every single marker.
"Because of this great challenge and the overwhelming popularity of Copic, you have most likely noticed the shortage of supply from nearly every retail location or online store. We understand that this is frustrating, and we apologize. The message that I want to emphasize is that we have been working very hard over the past year to overcome this. Our production has not declined, and we are not going out of business as rumors may claim. The fact is we have simply outgrown, in a very short amount of time, our production capabilities.
"The great news is that .Too Marker Products, Inc., has invested substantially in its processes and people to manage this great demand, without compromising the quality of the product. Due to the great efforts that have been made, everyone should see a substantial increase in the availability of Copic products starting early in 2016."
— John Darland, President/CEO, Imagination International, Inc.
     (exclusive North American distributor for Copic)

I was excited to see Simon Says Stamp was having a Spring Copic sale. Is this the early part of 2016 Mr. Darland mentioned? It may be. Go to Simon Says Stamp now and get your Copic fix.

Happy Crafting,

This post contains affiliate links from Simon Says Stamp.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Happy ∏ Day

Happy ∏ Day

Eleven years ago today my friend Paula Haney opened the Hoosier Mama Pie Company in Chicago and has been making my pies ever since. Paula and her staff specialize in hand-made, artisanal pies. Pies are made with in-season, locally sourced ingredients - except apples. There would be riots in the streets if apple pie were not always on the menu. Hoosier Mama has become a local favorite and a national destination since Bon Appetit, the Food Network, and Food & Wine named it one of the top pie shops in the country.

If you are planning a trip to Chicago you should really go get a slice of pie heaven. The chocolate chess is one of my favorites, and it's on the menu this week. See the rest below. 

 The pie shop, at 1618 1/2 Chicago Avenue, is generally closed on Mondays but if Pie day is a Monday the doors are open. Their Evanston location at 749 Chicago Ave is open daily.  

This week's pies are:
  • Apple
  • Pear Apple Cranberry with Pecan Crumble
  • Apple Cherry with Oat Crumble
  • Sour Cream Dutch Apple
  • Chocolate Cream
  • Hoosier Sugar Cream
  • Orange Cream
  • Chocolate Chess
  • Lemon Chess
  • Ginger Custard
  • Earl Grey Custard
  • Lemon Meringue
  • Jeffersonville - like pecan pie but with the addition of bourbon, maple syrup, and toasted pecans then striped with a bittersweet chocolate ganache. 
Savory Pies
  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Curry Winter Veggie Pie 
  • Ham and Bean Pie
  • Colcannon Pie 
Visit their website, or search Hoosier Mama Pie Company on YouTube for great videos about the shop and their pies.

If you prefer to celebrate Pi(e) day by baking your own but need a refresher on how (or don't know how) I have a deal for you. Check out Craftsy's week long pie class sale. All pie related classes from Perfect Crusts to Creamy, Dreamy Custards are 50% off. This offer ends on the 21st at 11:59 MT so get them while they are hot.

The sale may end on the 21st but all the classes you purchase on Craftsy are available to you online forever. So if you need a refresher on how to make a pie, say around Thanksgiving or Christmas, it will be there for you.

This post contains a sponsored link from Craftsy.

Happy Crafting,

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Pinterest Curator's Apology

The last few evenings I have been elbows deep in Pinterest looking at all the cards I have pinned. I joined the social media site because it is perfect for hoarders who don't want to clutter up their homes. Unfortunately, as with hoarding at home, sometimes you have to purge and organize electronic collections too.

My apologies
At 1,000+ pins the Cards board became overwhelming. The cards have been repinned into the categories below to make finding what you are looking for easier. The Cards board has 321 followers and the individual boards each have 150 followers. I didn't want 171 followers to lose the cards they liked on the original board. I am sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. Each new board is linked here:

Fancy folds/pop-ups
Get Well/Sympathy
Missing you
Punches/die cuts/embossing folders
Shaped cards
Stamps I own
Thank you
Thinking of you/hi
Washi tape

Happy Crafting,

Card Maker & Pinterest Curator

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Playing catch up

Best intentions

Sometimes no matter how good your intentions are you fail. Stuff happens and takes your focus, energy, and/or desire away. I had every intention of posting regularly to the blog and even more regularly to Instagram. Well, I got the Instagram part right, sort of. I try to make a card or cards every day but writing a blog post each day isn't happening. I just don't have that much to say.  Posting to Instagram is so much quicker, easier, and more practical for what I do. If you want to see those daily please follow me here: 

I am still working on the "Use Every Stamp Challenge" so I am not able to purchase new stamps, even though my wish list is long. Here is the link to my wish list on Pinterest. I am not allowed to purchase new stuff but nothing was said about receiving new stamps as a gift.

stamp gift AI

Being Social

I have recently joined some crafty groups on Facebook. One of my favorites is Stamping Enablers. I think I found my people y'all. I've learned things. I've been in conversations and I've even won a stamp set. The sentiment and kitty from this card are both from the Art Impressions set Loving Feline. The shoes are from Claudine Hellmuth and the rest is me just cutting paper and coloring with Copic Markers.

I plan to make several of these cards for The Tree House Humane Society. I can't volunteer there. Can't even walk in the place because of allergies. But I love cats and want to help find homes for them if I can. I have not been able to attend their fundraisers. But I can make cards, with my friend who does volunteer there, to sell in their gift shop.

Organization Tip

One of the topics in the Stamping Enablers group is organization. But then isn't it always a topic among paper hoarders crafters. Storing stuff so it's accessible is huge for me and there was a discussion recently about storing blending foams that go on those Ranger blending tools. Divided boxes were popular but I have a system that I found works great for me.

I only have 2 blending tool handles and I don't have a lot of room to store more. I have a foam for each color I own because if you use the same foam for multiple colors it really muddies up the ink pads. I stamped the ink color on a slip of cardstock and used the blending tool to add color to the end of the card. After writing the color name on the card I slipped it and the foam into a badge holder. Once they were all colored, stamped and labeled I put them on a binder ring. I added another ring to the first ring so I can hang it on the knob under my drafting table.

Happy Crafting,

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Lasting Hearts Card Drive

It's a miserable rainy day. I don't want to leave the house so the package heading to Long Beach, California full of cards I made for the Lasting Hearts Card Drive will have to wait until I go to work tomorrow.

I learned about this card drive on Jennifer McGuire's blog and felt the need to join in. Lasting Hearts helps comfort mothers who have lost a child, whether in pregnancy or older. Losing a child is one of the hardest pains a parent can endure. I have lost a parent, and the grief was horrible. I can't imagine losing a child.

I used a stamp set illustrated by Phyllis Harris,  from Unity Stamp Co  called "Too Beautiful for Earth." I first saw Phyllis's work in Highlights for Children Magazines when my son was little. I am a big fan.

Each card has shimmery wings, a white dress, green grass and orange butterflies. Flowers are different colors. Hair and skin color are different, and card base colors are different. I don't mind mass producing a stamped image but making everything the same color is a bit dull.

I pray for all those moms, and dads, who have lost a child. I also pray for all those preemies out there struggling to fatten up, fill out and grow strong enough to go home. Each press of the stamp, each flick of the marker was a prayer.  Grow strong little ones. I pray especially for my niece who was born last Monday weighing only 2lb 1oz.

Happy Crafting,