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Monday, September 29, 2014

Flash Contest #14 "And the Store Keeps Growing"!

Flash Contest #14 is sponsored by me!!!!  I will put make an ATC for the winner - I'll give you my best work!

The questions are over to the right of the blog page.  It's a fun one!  Good luck!

Please leave your answers (1 per person) attached to this blog post.  The drawing will be Wednesday afternoon.  You have a little over 24 hours to answer the question.  This Flash Contest will be closed at 9:00am Central time Wednesday!  I live in St. Louis if you need to check time zone!

Have fun and good luck!!!

Hugs, Jane

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Time Again for some Sunday Morning Chat!

Hello Everyone! 

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.  As you know I really love this time of the week.  I prop myself up in a comfy place with loads of pillows, Mike and Tupelo are at the park, the house is quiet, and I get to share our week and our life with you all.

I will share some updates on things at the end of this post, but first I wanted to share part of a story about my life that I am asked about from time to time. This has nothing to do with Mike or Tupelo, this all happened before I ever met them. Many of you have picked up on the fact I lived a short while in Alaska.  Well, I did live there, and it was very brief.  It was in 2004.  The whole experience is quite the story!  For those of you that don't know, I was married for 10 years, long ago.  It took 20 years for me to find Mike, so there was quite the span where I dated and "looked for love".  For about 7 years of that time I travelled all over the US and a bit in London with my job.  Since I was on the move so much, I decided to use the internet to find "Mr. Right".  I didn't really have any ties to St. Louis and since I travelled all the time I decided I didn't need to limit my search to here. Well in early 2004 I met a man on Match.com named Fred.  Fred lived in Salcha Alaska.   We spoke all the time and I learned a lot about him.  He was a widower, his wife had sadly passed away from brain cancer at the age of 39 and left behind two girls whom he had adopted and was raising on his own.  He lived on some property and had 30 mushing dogs. He also had 3 children from a previous marriage that were older and gone from the house.  Fred and I spoke for hours every day, we sent thousands of text messages, and it seemed like he was just wonderful.  Since I travelled for work I managed to get a couple business trips up that way and was able to spend some time with him.

Here's where things get interesting... if you've never been to rural Alaska, well, let's just say it's not like the lower 48.  It's beautiful beyond words, but it's hard work to live there.  As you can image it gets very cold so the ground never completely melts, making it very difficult to put a well in, or septic system.  The majority of the rural homes are built by the people who live in them, have outhouses, and many people haul their water from the nearest town and put it in holding tanks attached to their homes.  There are a fair number of home fires because most of the homes are heated with wood stoves.  It's a lot of work to live this way.  For us, we turn on the facet do our thing and pay the bill each month.  In AK, you can turn on the facet, but at some point you're going to have to find more water to put in your water holding tank, and you're going to need more wood to heat your home, and on and on.  Fred's house was a typical AK home, he built it out of logs himself, it had plywood floors (very typical), it had an outhouse (gotta love that at 3:00am when it's 25 below zero out), and was heated with oil stoves. 

By now I had fallen for Fred so I decided I would learn to live the AK way, enjoy the scenery, and the freedom that being so self sustaining gives you.  Despite all the things I've said, I would be leaving part out if I didn't mention how rewarding it does feel to provide for yourself this way.  Fred raised his own pigs and chickens for meat and eggs, he grew a garden for vegetables, and he did all his own meat processing.  He also took a couple trips a year to Valdez to catch Halibut and bring it back home. He had 4 real big chest freezers outside in various places that had more meat and blanched veges then you could imagine.  He kept it all organized and dated.  When the meat got to be one year old, he moved it to the freezer that was for the mushing dogs and fed it to them.  But I have to say, we ate well, very fresh, "clean" food.  You could tell the meat came from animals that had not been given hormones or anti-biotics, and the garden food was so yummy. And to have fresh Halibut..OMG, I ate it all the time, it was so good.   So Fred was very self sufficient and had made his own way.

Let me just say though, I am a lower 48 girl from the Midwest, so this was a major adjustment for me.  But I decided I would go for it. Fred asked me to come live with him and I said Yes.  So for the next 6 months I prepared for my big move.  I sold almost everything I owned.  I had a good size truck already that I drove, but I traded it in for a big One Ton Dually Diesel truck that we bought together.  When the big day rolled around to move, Fred flew to St. Louis and we got in the truck, loaded with what was left of my possessions and made the 7 day drive to Salcha.  That drive is something I will always cherish.  I have see the entire AlCan highway.  I saw so much beauty on that drive I can't begin to describe it all.  I saw herd after herd of Buffalo, and all sorts of other animals.  It was amazing  I wouldn't take that ride back for anything.

We arrived safely in AK and it was now late August 2004.  Life as I knew it was gone, and a new adventure was beginning.  Here is where this story is going to end for today.  Next week I will tell you about my life adventures living there, and the next week I'll share about how I left (that part is a scary story).

Before I signed off for today I did want to give you a few updates in general.

Overall things are going really well.  The store is finding it's stride and the "extra" work that went along with setting it all up is slowing down, and we are no just doing the routine work of filling orders, sending them out, and ordering inventory.  Mike did a fantastic job of setting the store up.  I'm sure most of you either saw the pics on Instagram or saw the video I did of the store.  It's very organized, clean, and well set up.  When orders come in, it's quick and easy to just grab the item you need, wrap it up nicely, run postage and it's ready for the post office run.  All of his hard work is paying off that's for sure.

Thursday was Mary Ann's official first day and she was a huge help.  She really enjoyed it too.  For 35+ years she has sat at a desk doing office work, so to be filling orders, wrapping them, and going to the post office for us, was a nice change of pace for her.  She's really a huge help and our arrangement we have with her is perfect.  Mary Ann doesn't need to work, she is well set financially.  But she likes the idea of having something like this to do a couple times a week and earning a little "mad money".  The nice part for both of us is, if we don't need her for a day or a week, and don't want to spend money from the store to pay her we can just tell her and it's fine.  Likewise, if she has something going on and can't work, she will let us know and it will be fine with us as well.  The hours are equally as flexible, so everyone's happy. 

Mary Ann is a very helpful person too, for example, when she got here last Thursday we finished up a couple of orders we had and she did the post office run.  After she got back we had more orders, so she worked on them, while I did a few other things and then some inventory was delivered that was way to heavy for me to even begin thinking about moving around, but it wasn't for her.  So she brought it all downstairs and we were able to go through it and get it in the store.  Normally I would have had to wait for Mike to come home. So that was great!  When it was time for her to leave she even volunteered to run to the post office one more time on her way home.  This was wonderful because the orders that had just came in, went immediately out!  That's the kind of service we love to give.  So, I think having Mary Ann on board is going to be great for all of us!
Many more things are going on, such as OWH, Gareth's amazing work on Instagam for the store, items I want to add to the store and more - all of which you will find on FB.    I hope you enjoyed today's post. It's a little different then the usual that's for sure!

Love you all!
Jane....vv08



Sunday, September 21, 2014

Project Share - Graphic 45 Mixed Media Box - This is going to one of my September Swap Partners!

Of course my normal swap item is the ATC!  Every month, as most of you know, I swap 5 ATCs with 2 different people.  Well this month I really wanted to make one of these boxes and show you all what one looked like complete. I actually thought it had ATCs inside, but it has photo mats, so it's a wonderful box to have out with photos o display.  So, I asked Erica (CraftingErica) if she would mind if I swapped this box with her in lieu of ATCs.  She graciously allowed me to do so!  Erica, thank you for that!!! I hope you love it!

I used loads of product from Mike's store.  You can click on the link to Mike's store either at the bottom of this page, or over in the left margin and it will take you right there.  Below are some photos, and below the photos is the product list.  I hope you all love it!!!  Oh, and I'm sure you all know there is a series of videos I recorded making it on my YT channel!






Here's a list of what I used:
Graphic 45 5x5 Black Mixed Media box
Graphic 45 Raining Cats and Dogs 8x8 pad of paper
Graphic 45 Silver Shabby Chic Ornate Metal Keys
Graphic 45 Silver Shabby Chic Ornate Metal Key Holes
Canvas Corp Twine (we have natural and chocolate)
Scotch Quick Dry Tacky Glue
Art Glitter Glue
Art Glitter Glue Metal Tip
Heat Resistant Acetate
Versacolor Pigment Ink (for embossing)
Versamarker
Lindy's Stamp Gang Embossing Powder
Black Soot Distress Ink Pad
Ink Blending Tool (Mike made)
Tim Holtz Craft Pick
Tim Holtz Distress Glitter - Clear Rock Candy
Assorted Flowers

My FB page:
www.facebook.com/jane.klindworth
TupeloDesigns FB page:
www.facebook.com/tupelodesigns
Pintrest:
www.pintrest.com/klindwworth

Sunday Morning Chat!

Happy Sunday Everyone!

I hope you all are having a great weekend!  I always look forward to this time when I can sit in my recliner or in my bed and just write to you all.  It's truly my time to share my gratitude to all of you and connect without interruption.

There are a few things I do each week that are really special to me.  Here they are in no particular order.... I love doing my "From Me to Who" card.  It's kind of funny, it's not even the card making part I enjoy the most, it's waiting for Wednesday or Thursday to roll around and hear how excited the person is who was surprised by my little card.  I love making someone happy.  I think the receiver of this weeks card will be happy too!  We shall see mid-week...lol   I also love my blogging time.  You know how many of you say you like to sit down with a cup of coffee and watch my videos, well that's how I feel about writing this Sunday morning blog.  I get a glass of ice water (I don't drink coffee), and I get comfy in a quiet place and just start to write.  I love it.  And last, but certainly not least, I love walking Tupelo.  It's a great break in my day.  I love to watch him re-explore all the same places he checks twice a day, every day.  I guess you never know when a new rabbit or squirrel may have been by your favorite areas to sniff.  There is a house a few doors up where a young girl lives, she's probably about 12 now, she's a tiny little thing and Tupelo loves her to no end.  If she's home and sees him she comes out to pet him, but it takes all she has to keep from getting knocked over because he's just so excited to see her.  If she's not home when we walk by, Tupelo is so cute, he stands in her front yard with his ears up and his head held high, looking at her front door, as if to be saying, "Gabbi, I'm out here, come see me"...lol  He will stand there a long time if you let him.  He's so hopeful...lol

Lots of new changes, for the better have happened for Mike with the store.  It's still going gangbusters which has us both happy as can be.  We still can't thank you all enough for coming to Mike's store and giving him a shot to show you his level of customer service and his integrity with shipping costs.  Some really significant things have happened for the store this week - the most exciting being the addition of MayMay Made It as the Designer for the store.  This is huge, for TupeloDesignsLLC and I can't believe we were lucky enough to get her as the Designer for the store. She is everything anyone could ever hope to have with helping the store grow and then some. I know she is loved by her subbies, she is so talented, she is so devoted to teaching, and she is just an overall sweetheart. MayMay will be doing a project a week for Mike's store, so make sure you check her out and see what she does with Mike's products. 

Adding MayMay is a really big help for me too.  There are so many wonderful items in Mike's store, but there is no way I can possibly show them all on video and the possibilities with them. So having MayMay's help is going to really make a difference. 

Secondly I added two fun FB groups.  TDLLC, and TDLLCMM (Mixed Media).  They are closed groups, but if you want in, no problem, just send a request.  I set them up for two reasons.  I wanted  a fun place for you all to exchange projects you've made, even if you didn't use items from the store to create them.  If you did use items from the store though, please tell everyone.   I think it's fun to share your own work, but it's also invaluable to have a place to go to for inspiration.  Well you all jumped right in, shared your work and were chatting away!  Next thing I saw was swaps being set up!  I was so happy to see this happening.  So that's fantastic.  The other reason I set up the group was to offer discount specials Mikes comes across.  These are pre-order items he is able to get on special occasionally.  We needed a way to offer them in a organized manner so this works out perfectly.  He has an offer out there right now for the Avery Elle Pigment Ink Pads.  It's for 10% off.  Now I know Mike sells most of his items 10% off every day, but there are few companies that do not allow that, such as Avery Elle and Crafter's Companion because they also sell their own products. So getting a chance to offer these Pigment Ink pads to you at a discount for a limited time is truly a great deal.  All of the information is in the FB group if you want to check it out!

I'm hoping the Mixed Media groups takes off well too.  I think it would be great to have an active group that posted their inspiring work, shared ideas, and could also participate in the "Special buys".  We also want to help these group of crafters find the items they want to craft with, because typically they are not always readily available for them in stores.

Another big deal for me is - Mike is hiring some help for me during the day when he is still at his regular job.  I know many of you have been concerned I've been doing too much, and to be honest I have, so changes had to be made.  Mike agreed to hire a good friend of mine to come help 3 days a week. This will really be good for me. She recently retired so she is excited about doing this.

So, as you can tell, TupeloDesignsLLC is growing quickly and we're doing our best to keep up and continue to add new products. We have so many cool things coming.  Here are just a few:  White Signo Uniball pens, Gelato's, Gem Pick Up Stick, Twinkling H2O's, Silk Acrylic Glaze, and some more Graphic 45 collections.

To keep the store growing so Mike can one day have this as his full time job, the store is branching off into other areas as well.  We have just started selling on the Scrapyard1.0.  There's a lot of work to be done there to get the album completely set up.  This is something my friend we've hired can certainly help with.  We've also started collaborating more with Jamie from PunchPlacePlus.  Jamie's acrylic items are sold to select groups she works closely with on the web.  These are not YouTube groups like you all are to me. She works with different groups on Yahoo, and places like that.  Many of the ladies she works with make their living with their crafts, selling them at craft shows and such.  So I'm working to find ways to use the products Mike sells with the acrylics she sells.  Then she can present these ideas to her ladies.  This opens up huge new avenues to sell products from Mike's store in addition to what we're doing now.  So this is very exciting.

So, as you can tell there are a lot of irons in the fire and loads of opportunities for the store to continue it's growth.  We are excited to no end.  Mike can see light at the end of the tunnel when he will be able to make TupeloDesignsLLC his full time job.

Before I leave this super long blog message today I need to say a HUGE Thank you! again to all of you.  Many of the messages I rec'd this week were so touching. You shared your insight into my little family and how well we are all working together, and not only that, but how well we just go together, and shared well wishes for our journey ahead. I appreciate those message so much, they're so supportive.  A lot has to work out for Mike and I to still reach our dreams, but it seems the time is right and we have to give it a fair try, so all of your support really helps!

I'm going to stop here and wish you all a great week.  I plan to get back to blogging more then once  a week, but for now, I will definitely be blogging every weekend.

Much luv!
Jane....vv08

Monday, September 15, 2014

My DT Project for TupeloDesignsLLC - Mixed Media Tag

I really had fun making this mixed media tag.  I used almost all products from the store which made it even more exciting to me - to know we had so many fun items to use.  There are two videos I am in the process of uploading. I recorded making the tag in real time so you could see every technique  I did and the products I used to make the different effects on the tag.  The videos are a bit long, but just fast forward through anything that gets slow for you.  I know some people don't want to miss any of it, so I don't want to short change them.

Here are some photo's and below will be a list of the products I used.  I hope you enjoy it!




 
 
 
Products used
Ranger Giant Tags - #12
Dina Wakley Scribbly Insect Stamp Set
Avery Elle Pigment Ink Stamp Pads - your choice of colors (but white for sure)
Ranger Embossing powder in Silver Pearl
Prima Texture Paste - Platinum Crackle
Tim Holtz Layer Stencil - Measured
Alcohol Ink - Raspberry
Judikins Embossing Powder - Iridescent Sparkle
Tim Holtz Distress Rock Candy Glitter
Art Glitter Institute Glue with Metal Tip
Gelly Roll Glitter pens
Micron .05 Journaling pen (not in store)
Happy Bugs Static powder bag for embossing
Versamark marker
Milwaukee Heat Gun (not in store)
Shimmer sprits spray

Check out the store for all of these products plus a whole lot more! 
www.etsy.com/shop/tupelodesignsllc

Big Hugs
Jane  vv08

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Flash Contest #13 is up!

Flash Contest #13 is sponsored by Jamie at PunchPlacePlus!!!  I will put together a really nice prize package for the winner!

The question is over to the right of the blog page.  It's a fun one!  Good luck!

Please leave your answers (1 per person) attached to this blog post.  The drawing will be tomorrow evening.  You have 24 hours to answer the question.  This Flash Contest will be closed at 5:00pm Central time tomorrow!  I live in St. Louis if you need to check time zone!

Have fun and good luck!!!

Hugs, Jane

It's Time to Chat!

I know I sound like a broken record but you all just keep amazing me with your kindness, support, encouragement, and friendship you extend to me and my little family. Thank you so much for all your Happy Birthday wishes from yesterday.  I couldn't believe all of the sweet messages!  I'm so lucky to have met each and every one of you on here. Thank you all so much.

I had a really nice Birthday.  Mike let me sleep in and I must have needed the sleep because I didn't wake up until 10:15am and I never do that.  He took care of everything around the house so when I woke up there wasn't anything that still needed to be done.  It was great!

Then once I got going he took me for quick lunch and we went out to see the car.  It looks so neat.  So much has been done. The engine is in.  It has power steering, the new shifter is in, the air conditioner is in the works, and the new wiring is all getting connected.  I will include some pictures I took yesterday at the end of this post.

After that we came home and I got to enjoy crafting for a while, that was really nice.  I haven't been doing as much lately, but that's going to change and things will be getting back to normal.  I really enjoyed working on an ATC that the video just went up on (Honey Bee ATC).  Then Mike took me to dinner at my favorite Chinese restaurant in the whole St. Louis area.  It's one of the few that is still a restaurant and not a buffet!  Then it was back home to craft a while longer.

It was a wonderful day, very relaxing!  Mike also bought me a beautiful new charm for my bracelet.  It's a "Love Letter".  I'll show it to you all when I get it soldered to my bracelet. It's the perfect charm, it has smooth edges so I won't catch it on things, and it's not delicate - because I'm hard on my charms!

Thanks to all of you the store is going so fantastic! At this rate it won't take long for this to become Mike's only job.  We thought it would take a year or more, but it doesn't look that way.  We plan to continue to add new items so the store can grow bigger and bigger. Our other plan is to take the store off of Etsy and have it be simply www.tupelodesignsllc.com.  When we started this, I immediately bought the rights to the name just in case we wanted to go this direction.  Well, after selling on Etsy for a while, it's clear we will need to.  The fee structure on Etsy is crazy high.  Here's a bit of how it works.  When we list an item, lets say a stamp set, it cost $.20 to list it.  Well that doesn't seem like much, but let's say we list 5 of them.  It's still $.20 at the time it's listed.  Then let's say someone comes along and buys one.  Well Etsy charges $.20 again to "renew the listing".  Now the original $.20 was to list it for 4 months, but apparently if someone makes a purchase of one it needs to be "renewed" for another 4 months, so you get another $.20 charge, plus you get charged 3.75%  of the price it was listed for.  It even gets worse - let's say we listed 5 stamp sets for $.20 and someone comes along and buys all 5 sets at one time - Etsy would charge 3.75% of the listing price on each one plus $.20 for each one to "renew" the listing - so we would get charged $1.00 for that on top of the 3.75%.   So, as you can see, Etsy takes a big chunk of the profit.  The only way to get away from all that and increase our profit margin is to go out and create our own site.  So, I think Mike will be doing this sooner rather then later!

I do all the product ordering and I've found a great deal of frustration trying to get various items from the distributors that are available to work with.  The original purchase of some items were fine, but it seems I bought them out of many items and they don't re-stock very quickly.  Meanwhile Mike has buyers wanting these items.  Well last night I went to re-order some other basic items that sell quickly, such as the Xyron Adhesive erasers, 3D Crystal Lacquer Starter Kits, and a few other things and now all of those item are out of stock with the distributors.  So, I decided the only way to do this is to go straight to the Manufacturers.  I stayed up until the wee hours applying for wholesale approval with the actual companies that make the items you all like to buy.  This will hopefully make it easier to keep the items in stock that you all want. I'm determined to keep the inventory up for you all and to continue to add more choices of the crafting supplies you all want. The Collall glue is going quickly.  Faster then I would have imagined.  I did order another 20 bottles which should be here pretty quickly this upcoming week, so that's good.  The Lindy's is on the way, as well as the new Tim Holtz Distress Stain Sprays. Those items should be in by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest.  And, finally, the Scribbly Bird Stamp set will be here Monday evening. Many have pre-sold, but there will be a few available still.

A few of you have asked if we could get some specific items just for them.  We're happy to do that. So if, let say, you're an art journal style person and there are some stamp sets out there you want that we don't normally carry, let me now and I will be happy to order what you want.  We do that on a pre-order/pre-pay arrangement because of course the items are being purchased just for you, but we order them right away and can usually get them pretty quick.  There are only a few things we can't do this for, mostly they are Prima items, because they require we buy either 3 or 6 of the items.  However, if there is a special Prima item you want, please still let me know.  It may be an item we would love to carry in the store so it would still work to order it for you.  If you have a special request please send it to Mike through the Etsy store.  Just click on "contact store owner" on the left hand side of the store page.

Mike really is driven to provide a high level of personal service to you all.  Our goal is to have the items in stock when you want them, and to be able to do special orders for you if you need them.  Mike realizes the only thing he has to offer over any other store that sells craft supplies (and there are many) is his high level of service, and fair postage prices.  So that's what he's striving to do.  We so appreciate how many of you have given him the chance to show you what he can do for you.

Well today I get to celebrate my Birthday one more time at Mike's Mom's house.  It should be nice and relaxing.  I'm looking forward to it.  Its so nice she loves Tupelo so much and allows him to come along.  She just adores him. So that's where I'm headed after I get done writing to all of you here.

I miss blogging more with you all, but it was a little hectic at first when the store opened. Now that Mike knows how to do pretty much everything, I'll have more time back to blog, craft, and stay in touch. All of those things are so important to me.  PLUS it's about time for another "Flash Contest' wouldn't you say!  I have one in mind, so keep your eyes peeled!  LOL 

Well I better get going, it's so nice to connect with you all, and thank you all again for the birthday wishes, they really made my day!  Before I go, here are a few photos I took yesterday of the car, you won't believe the progress they've made!

Love you all!!!
Jane vv08






Sunday, September 7, 2014

From Me To Who!!!

Here's a little card share for you.  I did the video as a tutorial, so you can see step-by-step.  It's a fun, easy card. I hope some of you will give it a try!

Now I can't wait to find the person I'm going to send it to! That's the best part!



My Weekly Chat.... (Store Inventory Update at the end)

I love this time of the week when I sit down and relax, and simply write to you all.  It's one of the most peaceful things I do in my entire week.  It truly does feel like I finally get to sit down and chat with you all.

I can't start this out without saying how AMAZING you all are.  So many of you have made purchases from Mike's store, but here's the part I find the most amazing... if he's run out of something (which has happened often), you all have waited for him to get it back in so you could buy from him rather then going elsewhere! That's so sweet of all of you.  Many of you have sent really encouraging messages to him which have helped more then you know.  Mike is very nervous right now.  If his comfort zone had a number it would be 10.  Right now, he's hitting right about a -4!  This is way out of his comfort zone. We've had some long chats about it and I think those really help him.  I'm able to put things in perspective for him because I grew up with a Dad that went into business for himself.  And it doesn't hurt to remind him that he's been hauling 15-20 packages a day to the post office! I'm excited as can be an have taken over ordering product - so ladies and gents watch out!!!

Stepping back a bit, I want to share a little history that will make Mike's nervousness more understandable. Before I met Mike he lived a very quiet life.  He had lived in his apartment for 18 years.  He had a girlfriend for about 18 years as well, but that was going no where. She never moved away from home and had no desire to.  They were down to only seeing each other about twice a month.  Mike had his truck and replaced it every 5 years.  He fished with friends now and then, hunted once a year, and once a year went to Canada to fish.  That was Mike then. 

Six years ago I moved into the apartment across the hall from him.  I had already heard there was a single guy living in the apartment across from me, so I was curious, being single myself and all.  So I started watching for him.  Let me tell you ladies, he's one quiet guy, it was like he was stealth.  I knew when he left for work and when he came home, but it seemed I always missed him.  We pretty much shared a balcony, it just had a divider between the two and I would look out my back door and see he had meat on the grill so I would watch for him to come tend to it so I could step out and say hi, but it never failed, I would step away for a moment, come back and his food was off the grill and he was back inside.  It literally became like stalking..lol  I couldn't catch this guy to save my life, so I came up with a plan.  We all had individual garage doors in the lowest level of the building (4 family building) and I knew he came home from work about 3:45, so I went out back about 3:30 and started waxing my car.  No mind you, my car was just a driver, it was nothing I ever bothered to wax that's for sure, but on this day it was getting some TLC.  So, there I was waxing my car, like it was something I always did...lol  and here he comes home from work, right on schedule.  Of course being the nice man he is he came over to introduce himself and welcome me to my new apartment.  Me being chatty, kept him out there for a good hour.  I really enjoyed our chat and he never mentioned a girlfriend so I thought he was 100% available.  I was excited, good men are hard to find and I had a feeling I was on to something good here.  So he went in and I put that car away lickity split, I didn't even finish waxing it...lol  Soon after that I started running into him more on the balcony and before long he was looking for me to be out on the balcony (I didn't know that at the time).  Then one evening, being the person I am I asked him if he would like to go one evening to get a snow cone.  I told him I loved doing things like that, but it was no fun alone.  He jumped on it and offered up night we could go.  I was like a little kid, I was so excited.  So we went on our snow cone date and really had fun getting to know each other.  I loved he was so stable, he had a solid background and it made him a solid man.  I can't tell you all how attracted I was to that because I had nothing solid in my history.  Shortly after that he asked if I would join him for dinner and he was cooking, he set it for the upcoming Friday night.  Well I was already falling for him, so I couldn't say "yes" fast enough.  Let me just tell you ladies... I was ready to marry him that night I had dinner with him.  He has always been an amazing cook and what a meal he made for us.  He fried fish he had caught, he made bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers, coleslaw, potatoes cooked in foil packets with butter on the grill, and even had home made cookies for dessert!  The conversation was wonderful and I still hear nothing about a girlfriend so I was heaven.

From then on the rest is history to a point.  Since the old girlfriend thing had been dwindling anyway, he officially ended it and we went forward from there.... kind of...  remember the part where nothing was stable about me, well I've been full of life changing ideas since he met me.  Since we were together all the time and were paying rent on two apartments it only made sense to buy a house, well that was easier said then done. Talk about nervous wozzer.... he couldn't pull the trigger even though we had found a perfect house.  Now mind you he bought the house in his name back then since we were not married and he did the down payment, but he was approved for a $300K house and we were only buying a $167K house, so he could easily afford it and he was scared to death...  I pushed and I pulled and he's now been in the house for almost 6 years and loves it.

Then I hit him up for the Corvette.  OMGosh, I thought his arm was going to fall off when he was writing the check for it.  He was literally trembling.  Not because we couldn't afford it, but because it wasn't a necessary item in life, it was being frivolous.  Now he's on his second Corvette and just bought the '54 Ford...lol  So he loved that too.

Next was the dog idea.  I said one day, "I would really like to get a dog to keep me company during the day now that I'm not working".  He said, "ok, I guess we can o that, what kind did you have in mind?"  I said, "a Greyhound".  He immediately came back with, "anything but a Greyhound, I don't like them at all and I'm not getting one so what other kind do you like".   I gave him the business and asked him what a Greyhound ever did to him...lol  He even went to work and told the guys, "I'm not getting any blanketie blank dog".  So funny.  Now he and Tupelo are inseparable. They go for walks every day and Mike takes him the car everywhere he goes... So, he loved the dog idea too.

And of course he had to make the decision to marry me... who knows what he went through to decide that, because he surprised me on my birthday 5 years ago with a ring.  He had to be shaking in his boots then too, but I'm pretty sure he's happy he made that decision as well.

So Mike has had his world turned upside down and sideways since meeting me. He lives a life he doesn't even recognize..lol  But he's also "living" for the first time and he loves it.

When we chatted the other night I reminded him of these things and how they positively impacted his life and it helped him put this new business venture in the right perspective.  Yes, it's a big change, but nothing he can't handle, and the risk is not near as big as if he were to try going out on his own in the tile business.  In fact the next day after he slept on all the things we discussed he seemed to be much more excited about it all and a lot less nervous. 

So, there's a little background.... I'm still glad he's the stable rock in the family though because someone needs to balance my "try anything" nature. lol

Now for a store update!  Ladies and Gents, I can't even begin to list all the new items that will be coming to the store. Here are a few that come to mind - First I ordered a lot more of the things Mike keeps running out of, hopefully we can now re-order when we are low instead of trying to get product here quickly after he has run out.  I ordered from a different distributor I had not ordered from yet and got Mod Podge, Fiskars stamp presses, Inka Golds (in great colors, I even found the "Gold Brown"), Soy paints, a bunch of Crafters Workshop Stencils (some I have never seen before that were really neat), Martha Stewart clay molds, Sculpey Original clay, and loads of other fun items.  I was able to find the metal tips for the Art Institute Glitter glue.  I ordered a bunch of the tips and the glue.  I have more Judikins embossing powders coming, more glitter glue, 3D crystal lacquer starter kits, Tombow glue, glass beads, and the list goes on and on! 

The big news to share is the Dusty Attic order.  I went through each item in their store and put together a really big order.  I purchased items from I think every category they have. I got a lot of flourishes, Christmas designs, nautical items, and I ordered all of their flowers, some leaves - it's the biggest order TupeloDesignsLLC has ever placed, so for those of you who love Dusty Attic I think you'll be pleased.  It won't arrive for a while though, their website states it takes them at least 14 days to ship and then it has to come to the states. 

In the mean time you will see the shop fill up with loads of fun goodies. I also want to remind everyone we are still working on perfecting the shipping charges, it's quiet the challenge when trying to figure out how much to put in the category for "when purchased with another item", but we are getting there.  I do want you to know though, if your shipping seems out of proportion, and it turns out you did pay too much, after Mike weighs it and pays the shipping, he will refund you the overage if it's was more then $1.00.  At first he had a lot of refunds because we were still working on getting it right, but we've been tweaking here and there, and he said he's had a lot less refunds to do so that's a good thing.

So, wow what a long blog post today!  It's nice to catch up though and I'm now going to get myself going and make my "From Me to Who" card, another highlight of my week!  I just love making and sending those. 

Thanks again for all of your endless love you share with us in the form of friendship, encouragement, support, and kind words.  We are so blessed to have you all in our lives. 

Love, Jane...vv08

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fish Bites it is!!! And the WINNER is.....

Congrats! Lida Amey you have won Flash Contest #12!  This one was sponsored by "TupeloDesignsLLC"!  We hope you enjoy your prize (in the video on YT).

I hope you all will come take a look at Mike's store.  He is stocking a variety of item, and is going to have a lot more.  He placed 4 really large orders last night so he could get the store really stocked up.  You're going to see everything from Spectrum Noir markers to stickles!

We do have a question.  Would there be any interest in having the prize for this (on occasion) be a 40% off coupon for one item valued at $20.00 or less to his store?  Let me know.  I didn't want to do that without asking because to use your prize you are then required to shop.  So, curious about your thoughts.

Lida Amey get in touch with me so I can get your prize winnings out to you!  Way to go!

Hugs
Jane...vv08

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Flash Contest #12 is Up!!!

I hope you find this Flash Contest fun!  I'm so excited that it is being sponsored by TupeloDesigns LLC.  Mike has a few new goodies from his store to use for these giveaways, so I'll be putting together a great little prize package for the winner.  I will show it off on Friday afternoon when I do the drawing.

This Flash Contest officially ends at 8:00am central time on Friday morning.  Remember, I live in St. Louis, MO, so check your time zone information so you don't miss out.

Please leave your responses as comments to this blog post for Flash Contest #12.  I will use these correct responses for the drawing!

Have fun and good luck!!!

Jane....vv08

I Love the Way....

There is something I say to Mike often.... "I love the way you love Tupelo".   You can really learn the true character of a person by how they behave when no one is looking.  You all don't have the benefit of being in our house, but I can tell you, it gets my eyes teary at times when I see how Mike loves Tupelo and cares for his needs. I catch him loving on him, talking to him, and enjoying the relationship that is special between the two of them. That's when I tell him "I love the way you love Tupelo".

So...why in the world would I share this? Because I love way you all are caring for my husband.  Not only are many of you buying from his new store, but he has received so many kind emails from many of you, complimenting how he's doing and reassuring him "you all are in his corner".  It's one thing for a woman to get a complimentary email, but send a email complimenting a man who's made his living setting tile for the nice note he sent, or how nice his packages looked when they arrived and you've made his week!

You all have been so good to me, that's been the case for a very long time, but to have you all extend your kindness with open arms to my husband, who I love dearly and am so proud of means more to me then anything you could ever do for me. To watch him read a note you sent, or an email telling him he did good is wonderful to watch.  This is why you all mean so much to me. How did I ever get this blessed...

Jane vv08

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

This is a Day to Remember for Us!

The essentially "Grand Opening" of Mike's Etsy store TupeloDesignsLLC has begun.  The store is still small, but it is on it's way to growing!  We just received a UPS notification that two of his Ranger orders have shipped, this means there will be Dina Wakley products in the store! Yea!! 

And, the question I have been asked more times then I can count, "where do you get that glue you use with the really fine tip" is answered  - it's now in Mike's store.  We have 5 bottles left of the Art Glitter Glue and 5 of the Precision Tips kits!   They're already selling!

Tomorrow we will have two choices of an off brand "scor-tape".  It will be a lot less expensive and works very well.  The width will be just under 3/8" and there will be two choices in length, 50 yards and 20 yards.  The price is good, the 50 yard roll will be $3.95 and the 20 yard roll will be $2.50!

Thank you again for your patience as we anxiously wait for the shipments to arrive.  You should have seen us when the box came today.. you would have thought we were 2 kids on Christmas morning!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to convo Mike on his store (so he can come ask me what you mean)...lol....  Also, Mike is always interested in knowing what you would like for him to carry in the store. He does his best to accommodate!

Hugs...Jane...vv08