The holiday season is upon us and Thanksgiving will be here in just a few hours. It’s a great time for reflection and reminds us of how thankful we are to have you as a blog follower, customer, or stamping friend.
In appreciation we are offering 20% OFF all our rubber stamps and other goodies on our website over this long holiday weekend. Place any order on our website Thanksgiving Day through Monday, November 26th. Then simply enter code THANKS20 at checkout to take advantage of the special pricing.
Our office will be closed on Thanksgiving Day but we’ll be back at work on Friday and working hard at getting your orders out as quickly as possible.
Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving and all the best for the upcoming holiday season!
PLEASE NOTE: This offer is only applicable to purchases made through our website Nov. 22-26, 2012. May not be combined with any other discounts or special offers. Does not apply to gift certificates or wholesale orders.
For those of you who visit this blog regularly, you may recall that Repeat Impressions took a two week break earlier this month. December is usually a fairly quiet time in the rubber stamp business so we were able to sneak off for a little fun in the sun. As usual, Aruba was our destination of choice.
Before I give you this year’s trip report, I need to start with a little background story that began in 2010… Last December while checking email in Aruba I was astonished to see an online order come in from a stamper who was living in Aruba. What were the odds of that?! I was so excited that I just had to write to the woman to tell her that I was actually in Aruba for vacation at that very moment! She too was equally surprised and excited and invited us to come meet her. Of course we said yes, so Bill and I headed into town to meet our new friend, Lysiane.
Since that time we have kept in contact with Lysiane now and then via email. And this November when I saw an order come in destined for Aruba I wasn’t quite so surprised. Lysiane was in need of a few rubber stamps and crafting supplies that couldn’t be found on the island. And since we were planning to visit Aruba again this December anyway, we agreed to bring the order with us and deliver it to her there. How’s that for great customer service?!
When we got together with Lysiane to deliver her order, I had more questions for her about the availability of stamping and crafting supplies on the island. Despite all the many trips we’ve made there over the years we were not aware of any outlets for paper crafters. Rather than just tell us about it, Lysiane volunteered to take us on a little field trip to the crafting shops that she frequents in Aruba.
What a fun day! We made stops to several shops that sell scrapbooking and/or other crafting supplies. Rubber stamps were scarce or limited at best, but the rest of the supplies were fairly well covered. Most of the shops were a little out of the way from the usual tourist haunts so we were not aware of them. Here’s a look at a few…
Masy-Fral is a true craft store with quite a big variety of supplies. And it turns out that we had actually passed by a couple of these other shops in our travels before and never realized what was hidden behind their doors. The paper crafting departments were sometimes an add-on to an existing business. Like this shop that was primarily a photography store and now has a growing scrapbook section. Who knew?!
And this shop that sells basic craft supplies in addition to the school and office supplies that they advertise.
We also stopped by the Craft Shop. This little shop carries beads, scrapbooking supplies and a small selection of stamps. They also hold classes. A group of young girls were paper crafting holiday picture frames when we visited.
One of the larger and well stocked craft shops is called Hindu Palace. I had actually made several trips to this store in the past. At that time they were primarily a wonderful shop to find Christmas ornaments, wedding and decorating supplies, and housewares. Imagine my surprise when Lysiane showed us that they now feature a large paper crafting department where the housewares once were.
The highlight of the crafting portion of our field trip was to a little out of the way home-based stamp shop called Quality Marking Systems. Here we met a lovely lady named Alice who offers stamping classes, supplies and custom stamp services in the shop attached to her home.
It turns out that Alice makes a couple of trips to FL each year. When we told her that we participate in stamping conventions there she was very excited to hear more about it. Now we’re hoping to reconnect with Alice again next June at the stamp show in Orlando. We also tossed around the idea of getting together with her next year in Aruba and maybe giving a class together. How cool would that be?!
Lysiane also introduced us to a couple of staples in the Aruban diet. We enjoyed a mid-morning snack of pastechi and krokets. The pastechi is a sort of half moon fried dough pocket stuffed with either cheese or meat or both. The outside was warm and sweet and very similar in taste to the fried dough we see at the county fairs here at home. We indulged in the gouda cheese pocket. And the kroket is a snack of the Netherlands. (Aruba is a Dutch island.) They look like a fat mozzarella stick but are filled with some kind of smooth meat paste. These are eaten with a spread of spicy mustard along it’s length. Both we’re quite good!
In addition to all the crafting stops and goodies, Lysiane also shared a little of her island life with us. We visited her lovely home, got a peek at the new craft room her husband is renovating for her, met her many fur kids (both cats and dogs), and marveled at her beautiful orchids. Among other things Lysiane also has a mango tree growing in her yard. She generously picked one for us to take with us. It made a delicious addition to our breakfast a few days later! We also made a stop to meet and visit with Lysiane’s mother at her home. I think we may have discovered where Lysiane gets her green thumb!
The rest of our vacation was all about relaxing. Much of our time was spent reading by the pool, taking walks on the beach, and dodging rain showers. (It was a lot wetter there this trip than in years past.) The only real downside of my trip was the lack of regular Internet access. I learned it was much harder for me to cut the cord than I expected, but somehow I survived!
Here are a few other photos from my trip I thought you might enjoy…
And there you have it… a little glimpse at this stamper’s trip to paradise. Thanks for reading!
Ok, so today’s post is a little off topic… well, maybe a lot! Bill and I will be celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary tomorrow, but tomorrow also happens to be WHAT IF? Wednesday so I thought I’d post this a day early. This has nothing to do with stamping of course, but I think it may make for some fun reading anyway.
If you have been following me since my first blog post, you may recall my story about The House That Stamps Built and how we came to be. You may also recall that much of this we “blame” on my mother. In addition to her love of stamping, my Mom also had a passion for writing. She had a real way with words… she could write some wonderful poetry, weave great stories and also tell you jokes that could make you wet your pants! My mom wrote this poem/story shown below as a wedding gift to Bill and I twenty years ago. I like to dig it out every few years and revisit it on my anniversary. Today I thought I’d share it with all of you. It’s rather long, but I hope you’ll bear with me.
In my mind I have stories I’d like to relate;
Of events all pertaining to July twenty-eight,
In the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and ninety.
If recorded on paper it will help to remind me,
Of the doubts and the mishaps, the fun and the thrill,
In preparing the wedding of Wendy to Bill.
On a Sunday in April I was told of the plan.
That’s when my troubles, my joys all began.
By the end of that week many things had been done.
Time and place were decided, preparations begun.
The minister, church, and musician agreed.
The caterer’s hired. We’re picking up speed.
I’ve purchased the napkins, the cups and each plate;
Always reminding myself of the date.
Invitations are printed. We’ve ordered the flowers.
It seems that the days just don’t have enough hours.
Bride to-be lives in Portland, so the next time in town;
We’re off on a search for that “just perfect” gown.
A miracle’s happened, everybody agrees;
When the bride comes back home with the first gown she sees.
Fit and color are perfect, it’s the gown of her dreams.
Everything’s right on target, or at least so it seems.
Well, we’ve hit our first snag; Our first problems arise,
When a dress for the bridesmaid can’t be found in her size.
Many stores have been called, they all answer the same;
“We’ve no two gowns alike,” Now I hate to complain,
But why can’t they carry gowns alike – different sizes?
They sales they could make could hold many surprises.
Hallelujah! Amen! Praise the Lord for He blesses!
I’ve just found a new store, we can order the dresses.
Oh, and that isn’t all, there is more I must tell,
We can order men’s tuxes at this new store as well.
Now we’ve just made the plans for her first bridal shower.
On the thirtieth of June, three o’clock is the hour.
She’s a dentist appointment, meets the pastor as well;
The girl’s getting nervous that’s easy to tell.
But the shower turns out as a total surprise.
All the people and gifts sure put joy in her eyes.
We have a new roof. We have a new deck.
The fireplace mended; everyone is a wreck.
Our porch has been painted. Wicker furniture’s sprayed.
We’ve new cushions and covers, have we got it made!?
Oh boy – we’ve got problems! It seems havoc wreaks.
It’s raining like crazy! Guess what – the roof leaks!
Out comes the tar bucket, some shingles and nails.
All over the floor we have odd pots and pails.
Dear God, we’re all praying, don’t make it our fate,
That it still will be pouring on July twenty-eight.
The reception, you see, will be held at the lake.
So a nice sunny day all the difference will make.
Well, we’re down to the wire; Things are pretty well set.
Can we say we’re all ready? Oh Good Lord, not yet!
It’s July twenty-seventh and what do you know?!
It’s not only raining, there’s a terrible blow.
There are windows blown in! The roof is still leaking!
Decorations are soaked. Everybody is shrieking!
We’re mopping – we’re sopping, we’re all feeling blue.
If it’s like this tomorrow GOD! what will we do?
Tonight’s the rehearsal. After that there’s a dinner.
If this just can run smoothly it will sure be a winner.
The Reverend O’Brien who’s so hopeful he’ll please;
With his charm and good humor, soon had all well at ease.
Having him do the service filled us all with delight.
He’s our friend, well as Pastor; he made everything right.
Now the big day is here, everyone’s in a sweat.
What should I remember? What did I forget?
It’s a beautiful day with bright sunny skies.
We all thanked the Lord for this lovely surprise.
Where are we getting dressed? Where are we taking showers?
Will the church doors be open for the placing of flowers?
The men stay at camp while the girls go in town;
To get their hair braided; to put on each gown.
Everyone seems quite calm for some reason or other;
But guess who fouls up? You’re right – the bride’s mother!
The wedding’s at two; she’s got less than an hour.
To steam out a few wrinkles, hangs her dress o’er the shower.
She’s combing her hair; gives her face a quick scrub.
Turns around and “Oh Damn It” her skirt’s in the tub.
Yes, the shower is running, the skirt’s more than damp.
It’s just soaking wet and the iron’s at camp.
Now what will you do?, everybody is crying,
As she plugged in the gadget that’s used for hair drying.
She ran to the neighbors, got an iron and board.
Her niece pressed the dress. All is well, Praise the Lord.
We arrived at the church just a few minutes late;
From then on we’re dealt such a glorious fate.
At the front of the church stood the groom and best man.
After seating of mother the procession began.
This heart tugging sight was a joy to behold.
First came little Katie, her hair like spun gold.
She looked oh so sweet, like an angel from heaven,
Seeming oh so grown up, though she’s only eleven.
The bride’s sister came next, being her maid of honor;
In a beautiful dress that looked wonderful on her.
She’s a real pretty girl, with a dazzling smile;
Which just lit up the church as she came down the aisle.
Now comes the hard part, not too easy to mention;
As the music grows louder to get our attention.
At the back of the church, an emotional sight;
Of a very proud dad with the bride on his right.
There is such joy and sadness on this wedding day;
When a dad who so loves her, gives his daughter away!
But he has to remember when all’s said and done.
He’s not losing a daughter, he’s gaining a son!
After giving the hand of the bride to the groom;
When dad took his seat, a hush filled the room.
There wasn’t a doubt that the couple was nervous;
They practically whispered the words of the service.
Yet the vows were repeated. Ring exchanges were made.
The groom kissed the bride. The recessional played.
Of the wedding itself there’s not much to tell.
But I think you should know Brent rang the church bell.
A receiving line followed. In the heat it was strife.
While everyone greeted the new husband and wife.
The wedding was lovely; There was no mistake.
After taking of pictures, all returned to the lake.
The reception went perfect, lots of food – lots of beer.
Everyone seemed to be full of fun and good cheer.
Best man gave a toast to the new bride and groom.
After cutting the cake all guests left the room.
Twas time for the traditional tossing bouquet.
Taking, tossing of garter that traditional way.
Becca Welsh caught the flowers; then we all had to beg
To get Scott with the garter even near Becca’s leg.
Well, traditions are over. You’ve been given the facts.
Time for drinking and eating, it was time to relax,
There was plenty to eat. There was plenty of booze.
Some people sat talking. Some went for a snooze.
But they all will remember July twenty-eight,
Nineteen hundred and ninety for it really went great!!
With our families and friends it was truly a thrill;
To be part of the wedding of Wendy and Bill.
Is that great or what? Thanks again, Mom! I hope they have internet in heaven so you know you’ve been published! Love you and still miss you everyday!
And thank you all for stopping by today. I hope you’ll be back tomorrow for WHAT IF? Wednesday when we reveal our latest Sketch Challenge and announce the winner of our July challenges!