Sunday, December 30, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
My car decided to go on vacation Saturday night when I got home from work. My son asked to borrow the car so when I came home I shut the car off, pulled the key out of the ignition, walked in the house and handed him the key. He went out and came back in a few minutes later and said he couldn't get the key in the ignition. I laughed at him and told him he just needed to turn the steering wheel - you know that anti-theft thing. No, that wasn't the problem. The key wouldn't go into the ignition. It went about 3/4 of the way in then stopped dead, like something was stuck in there.
Of course the dealer was closed on Sunday so I had to have it towed in on Monday (Christmas eve). Apparently something broke off in the ignition switch and it needs to be replaced. Here's where things get really bad...
I drive a VW Jetta. I love it. Or rather I did, until I found out that this particular part has to be ordered from Germany. Oh, and VW of Germany is CLOSED for the holidays until January 2nd! So my dealer can't get the part until 10 business days after that (check the calendar- that's Jan 16th at the earliest)!! Normally I would be able to use my husband's truck while my car is in the shop- I hate it. It's way too big and costs me a fortune to put gas in it, but it's a vehicle. But not this time. He and the boys had planned a snowmobile trip to New Hampshire this weekend and they need the truck to tow the sleds.
My neighbor is going sledding with them so he told me I could use his car over the weekend but I need to go grocery shopping and the truck is already hooked to the trailer and my neighbor is at work so I have no vehicle. ARGH!!!!
Update: Yay! The dealer called and they have a loner car for me. Thank Goodness. I was afraid I'd be stuck home forever.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I think working in retail makes matters worse. While everyone else is focused on Christmas, we are already looking at Valentine's Day and Easter (which is early in 2008, btw). I think the whole retail cycle forces us to move through the holidays faster than we ought to. Since Easter is in March next year, I had reps in this week selling me Easter products - Easter products a week before Christmas!!! This is just insane.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
We had to close the store at noon today because of the snow and as I write this at 6pm we have about 11" of snow and it is still coming down at about an inch an hour. For those of you in our Travel club, the Christmas Party scheduled for Saturday night has been postponed until Dec 22. Please contact Adine to let her know if you will make it.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Oh, if you haven't done it yet, check out http://timholtz.typepad.com/my_weblog/ Tim Holtz is doing 12 tags of Christmas with new techniques every day. They are awesome and the best part is if you comment on his blog you are in a drawing to win a great prize pack every day. Tim is such an awesome teacher, he makes everything so easyto learn- and he's kinda cute too!
Monday, December 03, 2007
I just got my new Sony Alpha DSLR and I am loving it. This is a photo I am particularly happy with of my kitty, Boo. She is a 12 week old stray we found along side of our barn; we think the mama was dropped off (as they often are out here...very sad). Mama disappeared as soon as we brought Boo into the house. The vet says she is perfectly healthy and she seems quite happy chasing the dogs' tails - although I think they would rather we left her outside. They don't bother with her but it is obvious from their expressions that she annoys them!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
The digital revolution has had a tremendous impact on the way that we view photography. More people than ever are taking more pictures than ever. However, just taking the pictures does not mean that more people are preserving their memories.
Sharon Cooke, of the Scrapbook Clubhouse in Westbrook, wrote in an article for Creative Leisure News:
A woman used to film 36 shots of her child's birthday party and then send or
drop off the film at the photo shop, only to eagerly await its return when she
could relive the party and, if she was a scrapbooker, could begin to preserve
the memories the pictures help her recall.
Today, however, she sees the
photos she's taken immediately on the camera and then once again when she dumps
them to her computer. It's all so easy, all so reliable. She can always look at
those photos, she can always decide which of the 300 shots she made that day are
out of focus or repetitive or too dark or too light, and she can always edit the
photos down to a manageable dozen that she might someday put together as a story
of the day itself. Only she doesn't.
You shoot your first 200 pictures on
your digital camera and download them. Then you shoot hundreds more. They are
building up with automatic ease on your computer. The task of evaluating them
and editing them looms more and more daunting every time you download another
bunch. It's much easier just to take more pictures and put off sorting
But you can't scrapbook them until you sort them (this is true for both
traditional and digital photographers). Until you decide which ones are the
best, until you decide which ones help you tell the story, which ones would make
good focal points, which ones should be enlarged, which ones reduced – you can't
possibly decide how to scrapbook them.
Meanwhile how safe are these photos?
Not safe at all. A computer can lose years of photos (none of which have
negatives) in a nanosecond. A backup drive can fail too. CD-ROMS and DVDs are
only good for a limited amount of time, if at all, as many downloads to disks
will fail when you go to look at them, even though the computer did not warn you
of that at the time. The only way those pictures can be safe is if they are
backed-up immediately to a secondary hard disk, then uploaded to a remote site.
Of course traditional photos are in danger too. They can be destroyed by flood
or fire, for example, but floods and fires are far less likely to occur than
fatal hard drive crashes, which happen to everyone – frequently.
So how can you avoid losing you precious memories?
• Get into the habit of uploading your photos to your computer immediately after each event. You can then delete them from your camera and free up the memory card for more photos.
• When you upload your photos to your hard drive, give each event its own file folder and name it with specific information. For example, In my documents folder I have a folder labeled “My Photos”. When I open that folder I have sub-folders for each year. Within that year, I have sub-folders – monthly, for generic photos, and specific titles for events like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Justin & Rachel’s wedding, etc. This allows me to quickly find any photo I am looking for whenever I want to print it.
• Edit your photos as soon as possible. Delete the ones that are blurry and unusable. You will never print them, don’t waste space on you hard drive and add to the clutter.
• Print your favorites immediately. You are far more likely to show off the great pictures if you have them in your hand rather than on a computer. When you get the urge to scrapbook, they will be there for you.
• Back up your entire photo collection regularly. I would suggest at least once a month, but definitely after each major event. There are several ways to back up photos and I suggest using more than one method. Copy the files to CD, upload to a photo site that stores your collection, or copy them to a portable drive. Keep portable drives and cds in a safe deposit box or location other than your home. You never know when disaster can strike.
Your photos are precious to you. They are your connection with the past and to the future. If they were not important to you, you wouldn’t bother taking them. So don’t risk losing them because digital has made it so easy to ignore them. Get them off of your camera and onto your scrapbook pages.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I would like to tell you how thankful I am for your support and friendship during this past year. I am always amazed at how lucky I am to have such wonderful people come into my store on a daily basis. Without you there would be no Inspiration Station. Thank you for inspiring me to inspire others!
I am also thankful for my terrific staff who also make everything possible. Thank you Terry, Donna, Michelle, Dawn and Adine - and my loyal pinch hitting crew for big events Lu (Grammy), Kaylee (my not so little girl) and Jackie (who I miss dearly)!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Cards for Soldiers
A Statewide Effort Sponsored by your Local Stamp & Scrap Stores
Help our Soldiers communicate with loved ones back home. Create handmade cards that will be sent around the world so our Soldiers can pick up cards free of charge at their local military stores and send notes home.
Stamp on the outside of the cards, leaving the inside blank for special notes. Helpful themes include: Miss you, Anniversary, Happy Birthday, Children, Mother‘s/Father‘s Day and so on. Any age can participate!
Submit in sets of 10 handmade cards/envelopes. Volunteers divide up the handmade cards so making ten of the same card is perfectly fine.
Drop off at The Inspiration Station.
Participating card makers can get a bonus in return. Submit 10 or more cards in any one month and receive a one-time 10% discount off your regular priced purchase for that month. Submit 30 or more handmade cards in any one month and receive a one-time 15% discount off your regular priced purchase for that month.
Please call or stop in with questions! Thank you in advance!
The Inspiration Station
13 Furnace Ave
Stafford Springs, CT 06076
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Speaking of classes -
Dawn has been cranking out the projects and has even started bring in samples for January! (I Love Her!) Her cookie book for this weekend is sold out but she added another class on December 1st for those that were not able to get in. There are, however, a few spots left in her Winter Tags, Bags & Boxes class this Saturday. I cannot believe how much product she has packed into this class. You will be doing a ton of projects.
You will decorate 3 bags, 3 boxes and 3 tags PLUS you will get lots of extras to take home with you.
Decorate a metal lunch tin using alcohol inks and Basic Grey Figgy Pudding Papers & matching chipboard tag
Gable box with an adorable snowman with top hat
Circle paper mache box & matching chipboard tag using Inkadinkadoo stamps
Bonus: 1 extra box for your own creation
3 gift bags using foam, rubber wooden and clear stamps with inks and paints
Bonus: 2 extra bags for your own creations
3 chipboard tags will be made during class (1 to coordinate to the lunch tin, 1 to match the paper mache box using Inkadinkadoo snowflake and snowman stamps - not shown in picture, but adorable...and another one to coordinate with one of the bags (Santa theme)
Bonus: 5 extra chipboard tags for your own creations
Supplies needed for class: Distress Ink: Vintage photo & Aged Mahogany, Black ink pad, glue dots, glue pen, adhesive (glue stick, tape runner or double sided tape), fine point black marker, pencil. Optional supplies for class: colored pencils
Monday, November 12, 2007
I had no time for writing at all this week, I was too busy tracking down merchandise from manufacturers who can't seem to get their act together. It is so frustrating to order things MONTHS in advance of classes only to spend the week of class calling and emailing repeatedly to find out where the stuff is. We had major problems with two different companies in the past month where we either got the class materials on the day of the class or not at all. One of the orders was placed in August the other in September. That should have been plenty of time but no, we got the run around constantly. I would say I'll never order from them again but unfortunately, people really like their product - too bad their service stinks.
Anyway, if you have asked us to order something and it hasn't arrived, please know that I am doing everything in my power to get the stuff here. In fact most of my day is spent placing and tracking orders.
On the brighter side - some companies are very good at shipping. Those companies will definately be getting more business. So far the one that impressed me the most was a stamp company called Inkadinkado. They have been around forever and I never really paid much attention to them because some of their older stuff in sold in the big box stores. But they started a program a few months ago that allows you to buy 2 get one free. If you buy 2 stamps from a particular collection you get the third free. They send us merchandise boards with all of the stamps in each collection and show very nice samples. The program has been quite successful for us. So successful in fact, that we have had to reorder several designs numerous times. This past week, Donna used one of the stamps in a class and everyone had to have it. Of course it sold out and we had several people ask to have it ordered. I faxed my order to them on Wednesday morning and the shipment ARRIVED on Friday!!! Can you believe that? After dealing with all of the other nonsense from the other companies I was astounded. I guess there are still some companies willing to go the extra mile.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Here's a couple of the originals:
Yes, I'm sure the men in my family find these costumes appropriate.
On a different note-
Many of you know that Terry's cousin, Scott, is a missionary in Malawi, Africa. He and his wife Maria recently had a beautiful baby girl named Mayamiko. Scott is a die-hard Red Sox fan and he told Terry that He and Mayamiko stayed up all night to see the Sox win the World Series. Yeah Red Sox!
Friday, October 19, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
OK, so that was not my plan.
All I really wanted to do was change the template for the pages on the site so it was a little cleaner and more up-to-date looking.
Unfortunately, my website program has this very bad feature... If you change the template of your pages- You destroy all of your pages!!! You have to start from scratch. The good news is, I did have the forethought to download & save all of the information before I made the change. (Thank Goodness!) The bad news is, now I have to recreate the whole darn site.
So now, 10 hours later, I at least have something back up. Check it out .
Please let me know what you think. I still need to get all of the samples back up in the gallery and add more to the class descriptions but at least it is coming along.
Friday, October 12, 2007
- Queen & Co products including the new felt borders.
- Daisy D's Christmas Line
- Junkitz Halloween
- NEW Prima Flowers including the cute little Christmas ornaments
- Flair Designs Thanksgiving & Christmas papers
- Heidi Grace Designs - Frost Blvd.
- Fiskars New Squeeze Punches
Thursday, October 04, 2007
We also received a beautiful new line from K & Company called " Wild Saffron" - The colors are warm and work beautifully for fall. There were also some of the pieces from their new Ancestry Line including rub-ons and 2 classy albums. If you are looking for a great holiday gift for a scrapbooking friend, check out the new album kit with Paper storage, the Paper Holder with 200 designer papers or the Pretty in Pink Album and tool caddy set.
Terry & I are headed up to Sturbridge, MA this weekend to set up a mini store at the Croptopia Getaway weekend retreat. This is their Scrap Pink weekend so we are looking forward to making a lot of new friends.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Get your husbands and boyfriends in to watch this one.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Of course the event didn't happen without a bit of drama...
Here's the scoop:
On Friday, we were told by the Fire Department that we would be unable to use the hall as planned... Unfortunately, the former Fire Chief (McQuaid) passed away and they would need the hall for the funeral reception. This did not look good for our event. We had a choice to move out to the Apparatus Bay (garage) or cancel the event. Since it was for charity, I certianly did not want to cancel, so we went into crisis mode and did the best we could. The fire dept brought in tables and chairs from another fire house, moved out all of the trucks and washed down the floor. We went crazy washing chairs and covering tables and got the place looking pretty good.
When our guests arrived they were quite happy with the accomodations and were thrilled with the space they had.
The assistant fire chief came in at 2:00 and said his men would move us into the hall as soon as the funeral was over. Of course by that time, the ladies were happily cropping away and didn't really want to move. So we asked the men to come back at dinner time. They did and we got everyone into the hall and the firemen tore down all of the tables and brought the trucks back in.
I have to say that we were not at all happy on Friday, but things worked out and everyone had a good time. So no harm done. Our croppers had a great day and the family of the fallen fire chief was able to say goodbye in his fire house- so all is well.
So thank you to everyone who made the day a success; including the firemen who had to move all those tables and chairs in and out of the garage!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Our big 12 hour crop to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure® is this Saturday at the West Stafford Firehouse. We have our pink t-shirts ready to wear! Doors will open at 10am with lots of fun and excitement planned. Everyone who attends will receive a goodie bag from us; be sure to look inside for your very special discount coupon. Lunch, dinner and beverages will be provided but feel free to bring any special snacks that you like to munch on while cropping. Please advise us prior to Friday if you have any special dietary restrictions or food allergies. You are free to come and go whenever you wish during the 12 hours.
In addition to the fabulous door prizes and raffle items that we have for you, we will also have a Scrapbook Scavenger Hunt and a layout contest. The theme of the contest is “A woman who inspires me”. You can make your page ahead of time or work on it at the crop. Pages must be completed (with journaling) by 8:00pm and croppers will vote for their favorite.
For those of you unable to attend we have a great gift basket loaded with product that we are selling raffle tickets for. Tickets are available in the store until Saturday for $1 each or 12 for $10. The drawing will be held at the Scrap Pink Crop at 8:00pm and you do not need to be present to win. All of the money from this raffle will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.
If you would like to join us for this fun-filled event you can call the store to register by Friday at noon. Cost is $35 per person and $10 of that fee goes directly to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. Thank you for your support!
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
If you weren't able to take part this time, don't fret. I'm sure we'll do it again sometime, maybe in the spring, we'll see.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
If you are looking for anything unusual or retired you need to be here on Sunday. I just cannot believe how much stuff is here.
Oh, and we got some very nice NEW stuff too! Most of it is still stacked on the counter because we can't fit it any where else, but you are free to buy it off the counter! Maybe if it all sells we won't have to find a home for it!
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Saturday, September 01, 2007
This weekend, Labor Day weekend, we are having a sale. We will be closed on Monday though, so you need to get in soon. Next Saturday, in addition to two amazing classes that Dawn is teaching, we will begin the registration for the next Bus Tour. The 5 Store Scrapbook Tour will be held on Sunday, October 21st. We are working with the same stores as last trip and even though the bus company tried to raise the price again we were locked in months ago so we have been able to keep the cost to you the same.
The following weekend, Sunday September 16th, we will have our first ever Customer Tag Sale. Many of our customers have signed up to sell off their unused paper crafting products and that means great deals for you on things you might not be able to get elsewhere! The sale begins at 11am and ends at 4pm. If you are one of the people who will be selling at the Tag Sale, your labels are printed and ready for you to pick up.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
We are Northeastern Connecticut's source for Scrapbook Supplies, Rubberstamps and Paper Craft Supplies and Instruction.
Here at The Inspiration Station, our mission is to "inspire" you to create your own priceless heirlooms; whether that is in the form of Scrapbooks, Rubberstamped Greeting Cards, or Special Gift items. We are always bringing in new products to help you create your special projects. Stop in and see our selection of Cardstock, Pattern Papers, Rubberstamps, and Embellishments of all kinds and get inspired!!
Let our helpful staff inspire your creativity and show you how much fun papercrafting can be.We have been your source for Inspiration since 2002!
Where is The Inspiration Station?
13 Furnace Avenue
Stafford Springs, CT 06076
(just 4 miles off Interstate 84)
How can I contact The Inspiration Station?
By Phone: (860) 684-2641