March 26, 2011

I'm off to see the Wizard...

Hello everyone! Happy Saturday!!! I'm excited because I'm off to see the Wizard today. Actually, I'm off to see the stage play Wicked for the second time. I LOVE this play!!! Best of all, I'm taking my youngest boy Avery and this will be his very first live theater experience. I remember my Aunt Patty taking me to see live theater when I was about age 11... I wore a red dress and a faux leopard coat. Boy did I ever think I looked chic and stylish, especially in that coat!  LOL!!! Good memories.

Speaking of Aunt Patty, who is the beloved sister of my mom Frieda, I'm in such a good mood that I've got a very special offer for you. From now through Tuesday, March 29th, if you purchase all three Little Friedas (Little Frieda's Daisy, Little Frieda's Flowers and Little Frieda & Lulu - Mischief) you can take 20% off your purchase of those three stamps! Just enter the code 3LittleFriedas at checkout.

To inspire you, take a look at these two lovelies created by my dear friends Kris Breach and Nina Brackett:

Now off I go to get ready for the theater! Before I go, though, I'm going to tantalize you with a little teaser. Something exciting this way comes! And there's a hint in this post. Bwaaahaaahaaaa!!!

Have a wonderful day my friends!

March 24, 2011

Let's have a look at Little Frieda again, shall we?

Whew! What an exciting week I've had! I'm especially excited because the shipping thing... although still not perfected (every company I've talked to claims it's the other's issue...ha!), I'm thrilled to say that the postage is coming out just fine! I've been a few cents short in a couple of cases, and refunded a couple for overpayment when I was able to condense into less expensive packaging, but so far so good! It's just a matter of making sure you use the scroll bar during check-out to choose the most realistic postage for what you're purchasing.

FYI, the average shipping within the US is running around $2 to $3, and International for less than $10. That isn't too bad, is it?

Since I have a chance to draw breath and think today (lol), I thought I'd share with you a few of the cards made by some of my Friends of The Craft's Meow. These were featured on their individual blogs on Monday (you can find the links HERE), but just in case you missed them...

Here are just a few featuring Little Frieda's Daisy

And here are a couple featuring Little Frieda's Flowers

And we can't forget Little Frieda & Lulu - Mischief

I've saved a few for later. (*wink*)

Thanks so much for sticking with me, folks! I thought after announcing the prize, I might see a huge exodus from my mailing list and followers, but the numbers keep growing! I have some exciting news to share with you soon... along with more kits and stamps... so please stay tuned! One thing I can tell you is that some very exciting designers are going to be making... ta da...card kits for you so that you can be them for a day! LOL Personally, I can't wait because I LOVE these ladies' artistic flair and I personally want to be them!

Have a wonderful day!

March 23, 2011

Blog Candy Winner!!!

Fanfare of trumpets...we have a winner of the 72-piece Copic Ciao Marker Set!!! And the winner is...

Congratulations!!! Please email me at with your mailing address and I'll get your prize right out to you!

Thank you everyone who entered for a chance to win the blog candy and who have shown me such kindness, good wishes and support as I kick off this little venture of mine!!! I hope you'll stick with me because there's lots more in store. This is only the beginning!

Have a great day!

March 22, 2011

... just a bit longer...

... until I'm able to announce the winner of the Copics. Yesterday was a blur, lol! I finally had to just stop and rest before I fell over (literally). I'm about halfway through double checking all the entries to make sure there are no more than two entries per person, then I'll be ready to spin the wheel (so to speak) and see who pops up. In fairness to everyone, I will, of course, verify compliance with the rules before announcing the winner.

In the meantime, thank you all so much for your wonderful words of encouragement... and your orders!

March 21, 2011

Welcome to The Craft's Meow

Okay, It's five hours later than I anticipated, but finally my store is open! I apologize again for the delay. Why didn't I think about shipping sooner? I did! But I kept forgetting to follow up. lol Trust me, this is a learning experience for me. The shipping issue is especially daunting because I know (as an on-line shopper myself) that shipping costs are very unpopular. So I want to provide you with realistic and cost-effective shipping options. At the last minute, I discovered I could activate weight-based shipping through the USPS. Little did I know that it would take a bit of time to clear through the USPS and then to get ahold of my store host to figure out how to limit the shipping choices to just those that are realistic. When I tested the cart, it offered me a shipping choice of .28 cents! I thought, what the heck? Then saw the drop down menu. The .28 is for a postcard, which obviously isn't going to cut it. But I was afraid folks would get confused by this and then we'd have a mess on our hands.

Unfortunately, I could not get ahold of my store host, but I do not want to hold up the opening one moment longer. We will deal with the shipping issue! Just please note: When you get into the check-out process, it will default to the least expensive shipping option...a post card... which is, of course, not feasible. Therefore, please please please use the drop down menu to select a realistic shipping option... First Class Mail, Parcel Post or Priority Mail.  If you're short on the postage, I'll have to email you and have you remit the correct amount before I ship your item. If you pay too much, I'll refund the difference!

This may well be the first big mistake I make as I open my doors, but please bear with me. I'm hoping for the best!


...on eternal playing over and over again...going crazy

Hi all! Okay, I WAS on eternal hold with my store host and just got a message to leave a message and they will call me back. Argh!!!! The good news: I was able to resolve part of the shipping issue with USPS... I think. ;)

I could just default to some sort of lump sum shipping amount, but I want you to only have to pay as much... or as you want to pay for shipping, so I'm working to set up a way for you to select your preferred shipping method. First Class Mail and Parcel Post are by far less expensive options than Priority Mail, but it's a bit of a trick (as I'm finding out) getting the settings just right. So please hang in there with me a bit longer. Let's say 1:00 pm Pacific. I'll keep calling back until someone picks up the phone!

Trumpets begin to sound... and then... pause

Yes, it's true... I've hit a small glitch with setting up the shipping, so my store opening will be delayed a few hours. :( This is a steep learning curve I'm on, so I hope you'll bear with me. In the interest of fairness, since initial quantities are very limited, I'll set the new time for opening to be 12:00 pm Pacific rather than just open when I get the problem fixed. I'm pretty sure I can have it resolved by then!

In the meantime, I have something to entertain and inspire you! Many of my dear friends have very kindly created cards with some of the stamps being released today... you'll mostly see Little Frieda, but there's a smattering of Claire Brennan's wonderful images, too. I didn't have kits in time for the ladies to use with Claire's images, but you'll see how versatile the images are... workable with lots of patterned paper you already have on hand, and they will continue to delight even after you've used up everything in the kit!

Which reminds me... some of you might be wondering if Claire's images will be sold separately. The answer is not at this time. They will only be sold as part of the corresponding kit. But that doesn't mean that at some point, after all the corresponding kits have been exhausted, they won't pop up for sale individually!

You'll also catch sight of Little Frieda's Flowers, the stamp I haven't previewed yet on my blog. I meant to do that, but got buried in bagging up kits and stamps...another learning curve... that takes a bit longer than I thought it would, probably because the labor I employ (i.e., the sons of The Craft's Meow) are reluctant participants... a bit like herding cats! lol

Anyway, here are links to the blogs of the Friends of the Craft's Meow (in no particular order), to whom I'm eternally grateful!

Tip: if you want to navigate back and forth between my blog and these links so that you don't lose your place, use Control+Click. One of these days I'll figure out the HTML code to make it happen automatically. Another thing for my to-do list! lol

And, yes, I will reveal the winner of the 72-piece Copic Marker Set later today as well, so stay tuned!

Thanks for your patience... I'll see you back here in a bit!

March 20, 2011

Introducing Little Frieda's Daisy!

Hi there! I can hardly believe that tomorrow is the big day... the grand opening of my store! Yikes! I hope I'm ready. lol

Someone once told me that the definition of an entrepreneur is someone who is willing to work 16 hours a day so they don't have to work 8 hours for someone else. I'm beginning to see the truth in that... it's 2:00 am as I write this post. But it's a labor of love!

Today I'm showing you Little Frieda's Daisy. She comes with three greetings, one of which you see on the card ("smile"). The other two are "he loves me, he loves me not" and "thinking of you."

I made this card for this week's challenge at Stampin' Sisters in Christ, which is to create a card or project that has something hidden from first view. I used one of the fabby kraft envelopes from Maya Road which you will find in the Emma's Shoppe kits on Monday!!! And yep, that's Emma's Shoppe paper and embellies. I'm in love love love with this collection!

I'm so happy to announce that tomorrow I have several Friends of The Craft's Meow (i.e., some very special friends of mine) who are joining me in celebrating the Grand Opening of my store. I'll have a complete link list so that you can visit their blogs for more looks at Little Frieda and the wonderful stamps created for me by Claire Brennan. Plus, I'll be announcing the winner of the Copic Ciao markers set! I hope you'll be here at 8:00 am Pacific... 'cause that's when the fun begins!

Thanks so much for hanging out with me this past week!

March 19, 2011

Are You Ready to Meet Little Frieda?

I think it's high time I introduce Little Frieda to you, don't you? ;)

As I mentioned in my very first post, I've named the little girl in this series of stamps after my mom, Frieda Clark Allen. When I was pregnant with my first child, Mom asked me what I'd name the baby if it was a girl. I said I thought we'd go with Katelyn. She said, "how about Little Frieda?" Well, I had a boy... and then three more... so no Little Friedas... until now!

The first three in this series of stamps will be released on Monday. Two of them are single images with three greetings, which you'll soon see. But today I'm showing you one that's a little different...a scene. Do you remember loving to color when you were a kid? And do you still love to color? Well, then this little stamp is for you! Introducing Little Frieda and Lulu - Mischief!

Little Frieda is being naughty and letting her birdie out of his cage while her cat Lulu sleeps. The actual stamp is taller... showing more curtain...but easily cuts down to size. I went with a square to fit this week's sketch challenge at Sketch Saturday. And I really did have fun coloring this cute scene. I hope you will, too!!!

I'll be back again soon with more previews of Little Frieda! Have a great day!!!

March 18, 2011

Another Fabulous Kit Collection!

Me oh my, me oh my, did I miss posting a preview yesterday? Yes I did! And no it wasn't because I was drinking too much green beer. :) The day just raced away from me. It's like that right now... I feel the clock tick tocking away towards the grand opening on Monday, and there seem to be so many last-minute things to do. PLUS, I've been making arrangements for some fabulous things to come, which I can't share with you quite yet, but you will be as thrilled as me I'm sure! Don't you hate those teases? lol

Back to the previews...

Here's another of the initial three kit collections releasing next week, the Portrait Collection by Crate Paper. Lovely!!!

And of course there will be lots of lovely embellies to go along with it, including these beauties...
Oh, yes, you are going to LOVE these kits. And if that weren't enough, one of the two companion kits will have yet another of Claire Brennan's wonderful wee stamp sets designed just for me... image and greeting...which might just be my favorite. (*wink*)

Speaking of Claire, I owe her a huge debt of gratitude. Not only did she treat me like royalty while I was part of her Design Team and her "Mousekeeper" (DT and Sketch Challenge Coordinator), but I learned a great deal from her example. She's a very special lady and I treasure our friendship. I was blown away when she offered to design these stamps for me. Do folks get any nicer than this? I don't think so! And I have no problem saying that a piece of my heart and crafting dollars will always belong to Waltzingmouse Stamps.

Okay, I promise I'll be back tomorrow with some peeks of Little Frieda! It's about time she made her debut, don't you think?

Have a wonderful day!

March 16, 2011

Introducing LaBlanche Stamps and Specialty Paper

When I was at CHA in January, I ran across this new vendor... LaBlanche Stamps. I was mesmerized watching the artist create the most beautiful pieces of art with her wonderfully detailed stamps and distress inks. And I loved how they looked when embossed with UTEE. The stamps are also unusual in that they are made of silicone and mounted on a foam block.

Well, what can I say... I was hooked! And I thought perhaps some of you might like them too...especially if you like the more artsy look, altered art, distress inks and the like. Any Tim Holtz fans out there besides me? I thought so! I hope to stock more Tim Holtz goodies as time goes by, but initially I've stocked a few things that will help you create the look that Blanche is demonstrating in this video...

And, of course, the stamps! Here are a few of what you'll find in stock on Monday...

Plus, I'm stocking some of that wonderful specialty stamping paper Blanche uses in the video. I'm telling you, I've never felt such smooth cardstock in my life! I'm stocking the card size, which is perfect for these images, and will cost less and weigh less for shipping. If there are enough requests, I'll see about stocking the larger full sheets.

As with everything starting out, with no idea of demand, quantities will be limited. However, if you all love the stamps and paper as much as I do, I will certainly reorder and add more images as quickly as possible!

See you tomorrow for more previews of coming attractions!

March 15, 2011

Another Preview for You!

I am in LOVE with Emma's Shoppe by Crate Paper, how about you? Yes, my friends, you will see two companion kits featuring patterned papers and embellies from Emma's Shoppe, including plenty 'o chipboard accents, which I happen to LOVE using on my cards.

One of the two kits will include a wee stamp image and greeting from the fabulous Claire Brennan of Waltzingmouse Stamps!!!

Before I go, I just wanna say... I wish I were my cat. She's out there in the patio room, laying in a patch of sunlight, soaking it up. I guess it's appropriate that the patio room has become the headquarters for The Craft's Meow. lol Now, to figure out how to put her to work...

I'll be back tomorrow with more! Thanks again for all your wonderful comments and emails!!!

March 14, 2011

The Countdown is On! Let the Previews Begin!

Yikes, I can't believe it's only one more week before the store opens! Gee, I sure hope I'm ready! lol There's still so much to do...

I'm thinking you might want to get a taste of things to come? Well, for one thing (or should I say, two or three?), there will be two kits featuring patterned paper from the Curtain Call collection and embellies from Graphic 45...

... plus a few other bits and bobs to coordinate. And, the most delicious part... a wee stamp set (image and greeting) designed by my dear friend, the one and only Claire Brennan of Waltzingmouse Stamps, will appear in one of the two kits!!!

Oh yes, it's true! And there's more to come!

A note or two about my kits: the paper will be cut down to 6 x 6, which will save shipping costs. A friend has suggested offering 6 x 12 strips for scrapbookers, and I may well try that soon. If you have any feedback for me on this, please let me know! I don't know about you, but I cut into a lot of paper and have many scraps left over. I like the idea of buying just a bit and using it up so that I can move on to the next latest and greatest thing.

Generally, I'll be dividing up most of a particular paper collection and many of its coordinating elements into two different kits...adding a few other things (the bits and bobs) to enhance the kits' possibilities. One of the two kits will have a wee stamp set included. If you purchase both kits, you get everything I have to offer for that particular collection!

Starting out, I have no idea what to expect in terms of demand so the kits will be limited. But I'll do my best to restock the most popular kits asap, and keep things fresh.

Thank you all so much for following along with me on this journey. I've loved reading every single comment... all of your encouragement and good wishes have lifted me up considerably! I could not be more grateful.

I'll be back tomorrow with another peek of coming attractions! Have a great day!

March 8, 2011

A Little Reminder

Thanks to all for your kind wishes...they truly mean the world to me! But I need your help. I notice that very few are putting my blog candy blinkie on their blogs. The HTML is right there on the sidebar. I would really really really appreciate it if you could do me the favor of helping get the word out about my blog candy opportunity and the eventual opening of my store. Even a little mention in a blog post would help since lots of folks read blogs through RSS feeds. Besides, in order to win my candy you must have the blinkie on your blog. ;) I sure hope you understand... and I thank you sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, for your help and support.


March 7, 2011

Ta Da!

The day is finally here! Well, almost. (*grin*) You might have heard through the grapevine or read on my blog that I've had a little somethin' somethin' cookin' behind the scenes. Yep, it's true...I will soon open my very own on-line paper crafting supplies store!!!  

The Craft's Meow will open on March 21st!!!

Opening this store is a dream come true for me... I'm following Henry David Thoreau's advice to Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. I've imagined this for a very long time!

The Craft's Meow will offer a wide array of paper crafting kits with coordinating bits and bobs to make your crafting time easier and more fun! We will also carry some basic supplies that will compliment our kits, and some limited edition grab bags where everything old becomes new again.

I'm also very excited to introduce you to Little Frieda and Friends, a line of stamps that will be carried exclusively by The Craft's Meow. I've named the little girl after my mom, Frieda Clark Allen. I remember when I was pregnant with my first child, Mom asked me what I'd name the baby if it was a girl. I said I thought we'd go with Katelyn. She said, "how about Little Frieda?" Well, I had a boy... and then three more... so the birth of my on-line store seems a good place for Little Frieda to come to life! And yes, that's Little Frieda and her cat Lulu peeking from behind the curtain in my blog banner. (*smile*)

And this is just the beginning... I hope you'll stay with me for more delectable things to come!

I still have lots to do behind the scenes to get ready, but I plan to give you periodic glimpses of what's to come over the next two weeks and there may be a few interesting announcements made here and there. (*wink*) So, to gather up steam and get the word out, I'm offering a blog candy opportunity. The prize will be a Copic Ciao Markers 72-Piece Set B!!!
Yep, that's the reason I had a little survey going on my personal blog... to find out what folks want most in terms of blog candy. Copics won the day!

Here's how you can qualify to win the prize:
  1. Become a follower of this blog and/or
  2. Sign up to receive email updates (the one that says "Sign Up Here to Receive Email Updates" in the right column of this blog)
  3. Add your name to Inlinkz below. You may enter your name once for becoming a blog follower and once for signing up to receive email updates, so if you do both, please enter your name twice!
  4. Spread the word by putting my Blog Candy Badge on your blog sidebar
  5. I'd love it if you'd also add my Store Badge to your blog, but that isn't required to win :)
  6. The blog candy opportunity will end at 11:59 PM on Sunday, March 20, 2011
  7. The winner will be announced right here on Monday, March 21st when the store opens!
Thanks so much for taking this ride with me!

Edited to add: I'm hearing that some of you are having a hard time getting Inlinkz to take two entries. Please just try again...eventually it will work. It's just being glitchy sometimes. :) 

Further tip: try eliminating the URL of your blog in one of your two entries. I've set Inlinkz to make URL optional, so that should help. :)