Sunday, October 19, 2014

What has happened in ten months?

Hi there!  Can you believe this..? It's been almost ten months since I posted last!  where has the time gone?
There has been a lot of new happenings on in the paper crafting world, with wonderful new products, and some great new techniques and tips being introduced....but, I'm afraid I have not been posting to my blog...So, I've decided today is a good day to catch up, and let you know why I've been silent...and, No, I didn't win the lottery and move to some wonderful tropical country...(mind you, the way world politics have been going, I don't think there is a country I'd rather live in than Canada...but, there's nothing wrong with visiting, right!?  (especially in the middle of winter when it's 20 degrees below zero...Celsius, not Fahrenheit!)

So, Here it is..My year, in a nutshell:

Autumn - Winter
I had some health issues last fall, which carried over into the winter months; but Integrity Designs Rubber Stamps and Paper Crafting Supplies was still in operation.  We were still taking and shipping orders and answering product questions.  By the time I finished with orders and updating my online catalog at the end of the day, I didn't want to sit at the computer...(now I know what my friends who work in offices mean when they say by the end of the day they don't want to look at a computer). I spent evenings either sitting in front of the television set or playing down in the studio.  I'll be honest, I spent more time in front of the seemed that I had lost my card-making and scrapbooking mojo...(over 3,000 photos from holidays, still on camera cards, so it wasn't that I had nothing to 'work with'..., lol).  I watched videos and releases from the Winter CHA show from Anaheim in January and drooled...There are always so many great new introductions!

One of my favorite times of the year...(anyone who knows me, knows that I love something about every season....and, I 'love most'  whichever season I'm currently 'in'.....(but, I admit, I do have to think a little longer about listing great things about Winter)
 Like other gardeners, I love spring and all of the promise it brings...but, this year was different...lots of promise...but, not so much 'action'. After the snow melted...I waited..and waited...My flower beds and yard still looked very sad, with gaping empty patches where some of my lovely perennials should be.  I lost a few rose bushes and my 'wine-colored' clematis (which was my pride and joy) didn't come back to life...
There's nothing that whining and crying will accomplish, but I did discover something:  There is truth to the old saying "Misery Loves Company"  I was told by various staff at local greenhouses and nurseries that they didn't think there was a clematis that made it through the winter we had, AND many others lost perennials too.  (After talking with other people shopping for new rose bushes, perennials and plants, I did feel much better.   I wasn't the only person who lost so many plants! I'm not sure why, but felt somewhat seems that...'Misery does love company'

...brought travelling and crabbing.
We had a busy first week in July.  We went to Hinton Alberta for a family reunion!  It was great!  We camped at a great campground, and spent 4 days visiting family and it was wonderful!
We headed back home on July 7, and on July 9 we loaded up the motorhome and headed south, into the USA.  We had spent our vacation last year driving down the Pacific Coast Highway 101, which was wonderful...but, there were a lot of great places we didn't get a chance to visit, or couldn't stay long at...So, we decided to go back this year, with our list of places we wanted to see and things we didn't get a chance to do....At the top of our list was Crabbing....Catching Dungeness Crab.  Last year we bought them, this year, Gord wanted to catch our own tasty treats...That was on the top of our list....
We rented the traps, etc and did what had to be done...(and, we caught some, but, none of them were keepers)..They all had to go back; either too small, or they were females which couldn't be kept...sometimes it pays to be a female, lol .....Nothing from our trap could be kept and eaten....BUT, luckily for us...we could still buy them!  It  would have been a 'kicker', if we couldn't have eaten any because we didn't catch any big enough.......Thank goodness, there were places we could go to and buy fresh Dungeness Crabs that had just been caught and brought in within a few hours....not only were they super fresh...they were also cooked and cleaned!...Nothing wrong with that!!
We had fun, the weather was beautiful, scenery was great, and we met so many wonderful people.

We made it back home at the end of August, and back to reality...

We found that we needed to remove our large Amur Maple Tree, which broke my heart...It was huge!  It wasn't supposed to get that big, and when we planted it in 2001, it was such a little 'charlie brown tree'......I'll be honest, we knew that it was ill, and that we were going to have to remove it had no idea of how we were going to get it out of our yard without ruining the fence, concrete edging, and the side deck, (which it was planted next to).  I wanted to remove it, roots and all, as I'd like to put another tree in the same area, as it gives us privacy, and shelters us from the harsh, West sun in the afternoon and evening.
    But, we did it, we got it out, (with no damage to our fence or decks...)and, after two days of digging, cutting with an axe and working hard, Gord managed to dig down 24 inches, and get all of the roots out..and new dirt put in.  We had dug out my Daylilies, Asiatic lilies and  perennials that were in the bed under the tree. They are now back where they belong, divided and healthy... We would have liked to replace the tree this fall, but, there were very few trees at the garden centers...and I don't have a clue what to plant. I'm definitely going to have to do some researching online this winter...

Autumn is here!
And, what a gorgeous autumn is is!  With my yard work done, now it's time to play.  It doesn't matter if you are indoors or outdoors...there is so much to do when the weather is this lovely!  (for those of us who want to work on our cards and pictures indoors, it's nice to look outside and view the gorgeous fall colors, and use them for inspiration!..

For many of us, autumn is the time we start getting ready for Christmas and the holiday season.  Shopping for and/or making gifts, making cards, getting vacation pictures into order for albums and more. What a wonderful time of year!  Full of anticipation and excitement....

The past few weeks I've been looking through my supplier's emails, WOW, so many companies releasing new dies and embossing folders, new inks, (and, of course, Tim Holtz and Ranger have been  busy, introducing new Distress Spray Stains (Yippee! I'll tell you more later about WHY I am so excited about the new product...)..AND, they have finally brought back the Matte Glue n Seal adhesive, in both 1 oz and 3.5 oz jars..(with the built in brushes)  I still haven't figured out why they discontinued it in the first place; it was one of my favorite adhesives and sealers!
if you've never had the chance to use it, check it out, I think you will like it!

Glue n Seal is an adhesive and sealer in one!  it dries with a non-sticky matte finish.  It's the perfect choice for a project that needs an adhesive undercoat, and a matte finish, non sticky top coat!  Glue n seal comes in two sizes, 1 oz and 3.5 oz, and both sizes come with a brush (attached to inside of  lid).

Exciting news- Tattered Lace dies-and now more...!

Before I close for now,  for those of you who like using cutting and embossing dies,I've got some exciting news.  The British company, Tattered Lace, who is known to make the most detailed and intricate dies available has branched out and expanded their product line.    Since January they have also been publishing a monthly magazine about dies and die cutting. In this magazine as well as sample cards and projects,  free decorative papers and templates and tutorials, they've included something very special...a FREE DIE!  Not just a little rinky-dink little cheapo die...Nooooo...The included die in the monthly magazines are beautiful intricate dies that, in most cases, would cost more if purchased separately than you are paying for the magazine!!  A few months ago, the retail value of the die was $31.00 and purchasers paid $21.00 for the magazine!   
What I also appreciate, is that in the magazine are several samples and tutorials that use the included die!  Can't go wrong with that, right?!
Tattered Lace has introduced their new Christmas dies (available soon)and the Tattered Lace Christmas Special magazine is available to order.  (Should arrive in November )

On the main page of our online catalog, along with new products available, you will find information about the newest upcoming issue of the Tattered Lace magazine, including a picture of the free die, shown on the cover.    These can be pre-ordered, by emailing me, and I will make sure one is reserved  for you.  Best of all...At this point in time, we are lucky, and Tattered Lace has some copies of the back issues #1 to #10.  Issue #11 is now becoming available, and we are all excited about the newest upcoming magazine, their Christmas Special Issue!  Even though it is a special issue, the price will be the same, $21.00, and it will include the Christmas Rose Free die!

I've been going through my suppliers' websites, checking out the new Christmas and winter products...WOW, New dies and coordinating stamps from 'My Favorite Things', new dies from Cheery-Lynn...., Next week new dies from Poppy Stamps/Memory Box will be available!! They can be seen in my online catalog in  Cutting dies - Memory Box and Poppy Stamps  I'm glad to see that many companies are not only releasing holiday dies and stamps, but they are also introducing new general dies, great for Birthdays and everyday occasions.

It's a gorgeous day today, and I told myself I would not go outside until I posted this.  (I have a little more work today outside, but on such a lovely day, I can't call it work).   My suppliers have been introducing new products and companies that who have great new products, and I've been putting them in Integrity Designs Rubber Stamps and Paper Craft Supplies online catalog  
I hope you get a chance to check out our online catalog, and the new dies, embossing folders, rubber stamps, inks and glues that are now available, or coming soon.  If you have any questions, please email me. You will find ordering information on the main page, in the NOTES:  (email me to order)

Happy Paper Craftin'


onenutsyperson said...

Glad to hear from you once again and hope your health has improved and that you again can enjoy special things in your life. You mentioned the new Ranger Distress Ink Sprays and said you would do a follow up on these. Will they be good to use with the stencils that are now coming out. I am a newer card maker and have bought some stencils and would like to know what and how to use themsThanks Sandra

Integrity Designs said...

Hi Sandra, Ranger Distress Stain sprays are great! I've managed to get my 'mitts' on a few and have been playing with them with my Memory Box and Tim Holtz Stencils You can use your stencils with many inks, and I personally use Ranger/Tim Holtz blending foams, I find they don't leave 'line' marks. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at: integritydes at gmail dot com