Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cuttlebug Kudo's

December was a crazy month. My Father-in-law passed away in November. It was difficult to get into the Christmas spirit after that. We had lost my dear Mother-in-law in July 2006 to brain cancer, so last Christmas wasn't the most festive either....it looked like two Christmases in a row wouldn't be the 'cheeriest'.
A week after Dad passed away, my mother, a feisty little 87 year old who lives in her own home started having problems. Boy would she kill me if she knew that I put her age on the internet!......I won't tell her name, then no one will know who she is, lol. She went blind 3 years ago, and since falling in April and tearing a ligament in her knee had difficulty getting around. We had gotten her a cane, and that was helping with the mobility problem. A couple of weeks after Dad passed away, she developed symptoms that indicated that she may have had a mild stroke. She absolutely refused to go to a doctor, she felt that taking an Aspirin a day would 'do the trick'... I was so worried about her, and spent the majority of my day telephoning her every few hours to see if she was OK and trying to convince her to go to a doctor. I cooked her meals and my DH took them over to her. He would also 'pop in' on her 3-4 times a day as well to make sure she was OK. Of course, 'talked till we were 'blue in the face' trying to get her to go to a doctor.

During this time, I was also trying to create this blog...I felt as if I was 'up to my armpits in alligators'! I was having a heck of a time. I was too busy with Mom to sit long at the computer to figure out how to do anything... and I must admit...I'm not exactly a 'computer geek'...(and I use that phrase with the utmost respect!)...I can do what I have to do, but that's about it! It seems I can read instructions for crafts and 'get it' right away. But not so with the computer. I can read and re-read and still not get it! ..
I contacted Marlyn, from Gaslamp Village Web Designs, the lady who is designing my website. I wanted to use the Banner /Header for this blog that she had created for my website but I couldn't get it to look good!. No matter what I did, it turned out blurry! I wanted to see what I was doing wrong with the perfectly good banner she sent me. She is an Angel! She offered to put it on the blog for me...(she is one kind lady)...then, feeling sorry for me, she offered to set up the blog for me! This was December 22, and she had a sick daughter at home! I was so shocked, and releived! I had several customers and stamping friends that I had told I was going to create the blog, but hadn't had time to do it!
My blog was originally to be on Wordpress, and after creating one there, she found that a lot of the little 'extras' weren't included in the 'free version'. She then checked out Blogspot and informed me that me me that a lot of things that cost extra on Wordpress were included in Blogspot's free version. She also said it was more 'user friendly'....so, she created me another blog, on Blogspot.... She uploaded the videos for me as well as designing the graphics, etc. Not only is she kind, she is a heck of a talented lady!!
I owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude, as if it weren't for her, I think I'd still be having troubles trying to get the Wordpress blog set up!

Usually I have my Christmas cards made in November...but not this year! Last Christmas, after losing my dear Mother-in-law to brain Cancer, I sent Christmas cards to all of the stampers who had sent her cards with words of encouragement and me sympathy cards, so they would know how we appreciated their words of kindness. I exhausted my supply of cards that I had made of the years and was 'holding onto' for inspiration...this year I was going to have to 'start from scratch' I didn't have any in reserve. I send my customers as well as friends and family handmade cards every year, and I didn't want to change that...I must admit that some people on my list don't care if a card is hand made or not...so those people I send purchased cards to. But I didn't know how I was going to make the time to create over 250 cards!
After receiving many inquiries about the Provocraft Cuttlebug Embossing Folders and Dies, I had decided to carry them in the shop. Michaels had sent out coupons for 50% discount, so I bought myself a Cuttlebug machine...and I was so glad I did! It was a 'life saver'- or should i say 'Time Saver'! I had the Snowflake Embossing folder, and for 3 evenings, cranked out embossed snowflake backgrounds from Vellums, Metallic Papers & Cardstocks, Stardream Cardstocks and Mica Glimmer Cardstocks! I was 'on a roll'! Using rubber stamped greetings, brads, Ribbons and adhesive metallic borders it went very quickly! I created my cards in 4 evenings! Other than a couple of doubles, they were all different! It was so much fun, and quick...Because they went so quickly, I didn't feel that age old feeling of "I'll never get done in time!"
When using the vellum with the Cuttlebug embossing folders, I found that the cheaper vellum worked better! It was 'whiter' and thinner than the heavier weight, more expensive vellum, but Using Clearsnap's Stylus handle and blending tips with Tsukineko's Brilliance Platinum Planet and Starlight Silver, they looked beautiful! Brushing across the raised snowflakes gave dimension and shine! I did take pictures of a sampling of the cards I made and they will be in thePhotobucket website Gallery, under Christmas and Holidays section. This is the temporary website that I'm using for an online catalog until my '.com' site is done.
http://s13.photobucket.com/albums/a273/integritydesigns/
The link to the Photo Bucket Catalogue is also on the blog sidebar.
To place orders, or for information, please email me.
Once I figure out how to put pictures onto the blog, I'll put some here as well!

I'm still taking pre-orders for the new Cuttlebug Embossing folders and Dies. The new ones will be released this month, and I'm hoping they will arrive in about 2-3 weeks.
I'm looking forward to using the new 'Combo's' that Provocraft has developed for the Cuttlebug machine. These are a combination (hence the name) of a die cut and embossing folder!
Provocraft's website has a huge catalog of all of the embossing folders, dies, and Combo's that will be released as well as the ones that are already available.
http://www.provocraft.com/products/index.products.php?cl=cuttlebug

To make sure you get yours as soon as they are released, email me and I'll put your name on the pre-order list!

Note on Mom's health
While she stayed at our home over the Christmas season we managed to convince her that she should see a doctor. She had fallen at home and we thought she had cracked a couple of ribs. Because of the pain, she agreed to see her family doctor. Of course, his office was closed until January 2, 2008. He did a Chest X-ray that day and a CT scan the following day (I was impressed that we didn't have to wait for a month, he insisted that it was done within 24 hours). The doctor that read the CT scan told me to take her directly to her doctor's office, without stopping anywhere! She has multiple lesions on her brain. They feel it is Brain Cancer, secondary to cancer in another area, (probably her lungs, as there was a shadow seen there). They are currently still doing tests, as there is a slim chance that it may be something else. We are keeping our fingers crossed and praying for good results.

2 comments:

Jewels said...

Hi Ya! I happened accross your blog by coincedence. I was doing a search on rubber stamping. When I saw the name I knew it was familiar as I am also a friend of Marlyn's!! (she told me about your business) I just wanted to pop in and say hello and also send out some "Thoughts for you" as I too lost my Dad in 2007. As a matter of fact your 87 year old that you mentioned almost sounds like my moms neighbour Helen. Anywho, just wanted to let you know that I love the blog and I too share all your opinions of Marlyn. I am a card maker as well and I sure do hope to perhaps do some business with you in the future (and right here in our little hometown...How cool is that!)

Jewels

Jewels said...

Oh and yes...the CB is the most used tool in my design room...lol do you take orders from anyone and how does one (such as myself) do that? You can email me at cfg@telus.net :)