12.31.06

Ghostly Shoes at Disneyland… on Main Street?

Posted in Fun Stuff, Main, outings at 5:32 am by carrie

I’m a sucker for these sorts of things…

While going through some old photos from October of this year on my desktop, I found this…


A closer look at some odd shadows:

The look like shoes!!!!

Okay… now… click here to see the picture a little larger…

Even if someone was running through the picture, you would have seen more of a streak (since my shutter was open for at least one full second)! It’s probably a set of shadows… but from where?? It’s a ghost at Disneyland! (heheheheeeee…)

In any case, it’s a little late and most are blurry (or “artistic” as I like to say), but here are some more pictures from that evening…



So, now that I’ve posted Halloween pics, I’m sure I’ll get those Christmas pics up soon… but I doubt there will be anything as cool as this ;)

12.28.06

The weather outside is frightful!

Posted in Fun Stuff, Main at 12:32 pm by carrie

It is so windy outside… we are sort of in a canyon (“the foothills”) and as the wind pushes through it builds speed and creates chaos.

I just got back from the store and in the 30 minutes there and back (it’s 2 miles away, keep in mind) I saw windows blown out of businesses, about 10 police cars, a fire truck, many many trash cans on their sides with their contents blowing around them, the power was out and all the street lights weren’t working and I had to leave a note on the car parked in front of the store because their spare tire cover was dangling around and pulling their bumper off. As I’m typing, our power just blipped. It was hailing yesterday… this is a strange place to live sometimes :)

So, long story short, I closed the shop because the door was too hard to open and close. To get out I felt like I was jumping into a double-dutch jump rope tournament… wait, wait… now… NO… wait…. go now… go go go. I doubt it would have made for a fun day… interesting, but not fun :)

So, to pass the time… I did some drawr-ings… I’ve been influenced by fun little drawings from the 60’s lately…

I like to draw a bunch on a page. That way I’m not intimidated if some are horrid. There’s a lot going on and I’m not trying to fill one piece of paper with one glorious subject and make it my masterpiece. These are sketches and maybe 2 will be put into a painting.

I like this cat the best… our kitty Tish would make that face to say “I’m watching that toy moving, but I’m not going to pounce on it. It’s tempting, but I have to show you my great will power”.
This pointy dog reminds me of some animation I saw years ago… it makes me happy.
And… the birdie. There are birdies everywhere these days… when did our feathered friends become so trendy? I wonder what’s next? I truly hope they bring back the unicorn in full force. I used to draw those all day long. You have to admit it, they were awesome.

So, I FINALLY got all my amazon.com purchases and Nathan got his GPS thingy for the car… we will never get lost again! It brings a tear to my eye ;)

We are off to lunch! I’m sure I’ll be here again today since I’ll be bored out of my mind. I could clean the house but… it’s a bonus day off, I should do something fun, dontcha think?!??? :)

12.27.06

Christmas in retail… 4th time running

Posted in business-a-go-go, Main at 2:09 am by carrie

Okay… so I know that a lot of you like reading about the trials and joys of opening and running a shop ;) If I go on and on about it or get a little too optimistic or cranky, please let me know.. I NEED feedback ;) I thought I would take a look back at this holiday and see how I did it differently.

The pluses for the year…

I took a better attitude going into the Holiday Season
This year I actually decided I wasn’t going to get a cold. This is the FIRST year that I have truly fought it off 100% and then Nathan found this link. So I say HA, take that cold virus! (I never said I was convincing, but at least I had a more positive attitude this year… I hope). OH! and tea, lots and lots of hot tea!

Every other year I rushed to make things, accepted last minute special orders (which were NEVER delivered on time, let that be a lesson to everyone!), online orders and consignment items and I drove myself batty (and managed to annoy a few customers in the process). I have learned what my limitations are and really stuck to my guns with that. It’s well-known I’m a people pleaser and I had to say “no” more than a few times. It was super hard at first but now I can look back at years 1, 2 and 3 (stick in a runny nose and fever here) and know what I can and cannot physically do. I’m learning how to plan ahead for the “big game” and it dawned on me… you can be somewhat successful even if you get a few hours of sleep every night in December. Huh, how about that.

I asked for help…
Many wonderful friends came through this year and you know who you are :) You saved my butt and I’m forever grateful! A few of you stayed long nights until 2am days in a row… thank you thank you thank you!!!! I can’t thank you enough!!!!!! Last year I was a control freak and stubborn and basically thought “no pain, no gain”. That if I wasn’t sore, tired and run down every single day I wasn’t doing it right. I’ve since seen the light! Thanks again :) So, lesson learned, don’t be stubborn, accept the help graciously.

I budgeted a tad bit better
With prior years under my belt I had a better understanding of what everyone was buying… so it was somewhat easier to order. I figured out which companies came through and were easy to deal with and all-in-all we had a good experience this year :)

Okay… now the minuses…. (I’m feeling optimistic! I can’t think of too many)

Those damn boxes!
Some of you know that I was sent 140% of one order. Those good in math know that that would be more than the original order. Yep. They sent the order 100% then 40% again. This was the largest order I have ever received and it was 85% of our Christmas inventory. It was just massive enough to make me close for 2 days (it was blocking the front door) and lose some of my marbles in the process. Then I had to pack up the stuff that wasn’t mine after sorting it for 3 nights in a row and mail it back to them. Just the other day I got a call… “Ummm… we just got 20 boxes of stuff back… why is it here?” UGH. How do I explain it to yet another round of customer service personel what the heck is going on. I rarely speak to the same person twice, but isn’t that usually the case? :)

I really can’t think of another negative… how about that!

Now… lastly… and totally off the subject… we need a good vacation destination for a few days. I found a last minute cruise to the Mexican Riviera. Acapulco, Ixtapa/Zihuantenejo and Manzanillo. Basically beach, fishing and drinking towns… I’ve never been and I’m trying to do research but there isn’t that much online. With our Borders gift cards in hand, we’ll have to go and look at some books and magazines with actual pages that you flip thru :) We may be getting a room with a balcony!!!!!!!! Fingers crossed :) This is going to be a picture taking extravaganza!

Christmas on the home front was awesome! I got some amazing gifts, many with a “cooking with Ina” theme and thank you to everyone for such a wonderful Christmas :) I got my Mom a new camera so I’m hoping she’ll have pics of her house to share soon. The holiday decor was so creative and fun, she just has to share :)

A blog with all words! ha! well… at least one little holiday picture, even if it’s not mine ;) I can’t wait to start painting again!!!!

Merry Merry everyone!

p.s…. I didn’t send out ONE Christmas card this year due to the overwhelming nature of a retail shop in the prime of the holiday season. SO, I’ve decided to start the tradition of Arbor Day cards… look for yours at the end of April! ;)

p.s.s… I’ve already seen a lot of new Christmas ’07 stuff and I must say… SO cute!!!! I’m so excited to get it!!!

12.20.06

Cathi + Fire = Neat-O!!!

Posted in business-a-go-go, Events!, Fun Stuff, Main at 12:55 am by carrie

It’s pretty amazing what this lady can do… and in a not-so-timely matter, I’m posting the pics from the demonstration last Sunday :)

I’m willing to bet that Cathi felt completely engulfed by Christmas ornaments…
These rods of glass….
become these awesome little beads!
It was very fun to watch…
but you had to wear these so you didn’t burn your eyes ;)
never without her bracelets on :)

And Cathi’s newest creation…. CAKES ON CAKE PLATES!!!!!! SO CUTE!


And sundaes…

And a WEDDING Cake!!! :)


I have the cupcakes all pictured here and you can buy them on my ebay store here :)

And guys… I’m kind of freaked out… I have to order Christmas for next year in a few weeks. We just got the Midwest catalog in the mail…. eeeeek!!! It was SO surreal looking through the pages and figuring out what we’d want to order.

A forgotten plus about owning a store… the other night at 2 am my friends realized they needed a baby gift. We were watching a movie and it was super easy to just run over to the shop and open up for them to get a few things. Don’t you wish you had a key to every store ;)

Next post… a frolic at Disneyland with the girls… they wore me OUT! hehe

12.17.06

We’re going to have an Amazon.com Christmas!

Posted in Main, sidenotes at 2:45 pm by carrie

Which means that will happen in-between the dates of January 8 – 12th.

Because, that’s when our gifts will get here!

To avoid crowds, I parked myself in front of my computer on the night of December 10 from 11 pm – 4am.
Nine major gifts later and a few small ones, using their “Super Saver Shipping” (which had NO mention of delay… it said “get your order in for the 15th and have it in time for Christmas!”) I checked out successfully.

Most items were marked at retail price, and I was fine not getting them at a discount because it was such an easy experience! (I could have hit the after christmas sales at this rate, ugh!)

The good news is, my Mom is having the same problem so we have decided to celebrate after the boxes come.

Just for kicks, I’ll post most of the reply mail I got from amazon.com after complaining via email:

Thank you for writing to us at Amazon.com.

Please note that items sold through Amazon Marketplace are usually
shipped via USPS Media Mail, and are expected to arrive within 4-14
business days (up to 21 business days in some cases). Some sellers
also offer expedited shipping; if you chose this option when
ordering, you should expect to receive your item within 4-8 business
days from the day the order is placed.

When you placed your order with acehardwareoutlet.com on our web
site, we estimated it would arrive on December 22, 2006. I’m sorry
you haven’t received it yet. This order was shipped by
acehardwareoutlet.com and not by Amazon.com. Unfortunately, I don’t
have any tracking information for it.

When making a purchase from an Amazon Marketplace or Merchant seller,
it is important to note that your order is not being fulfilled by
Amazon.com directly. Because of this, we are unable to provide you
with any details about the shipping status of your order.

We ask that you wait a little longer for it to arrive, in case it’s
been delayed in the mail. Sometimes orders do show up shortly after
the estimated delivery time.

If it hasn’t arrived by December 22, 2006, please contact the seller
to let them know. Just click the Your Account link at the top of our
site, access your order summary, and click the “Contact Seller”
button.

If you don’t receive a satisfactory reply from the seller within 3
business days after contacting them and it’s after December 23, 2006,
we’ll put things right. Just e-mail us again using this link:

If you prefer, you can file an A-to-z Guarantee claim online to
request your money back (including shipping costs). You do need to
wait 3 calendar days past the maximum estimated delivery date or 30
days from the order date, whichever is sooner, before filing a
Guarantee claim. Our guarantee is located online at:

http://www.amazon.com/a-to-z-guarantee/

I’ve also provided some useful information about ordering from third-
party sellers below.

Thank you for shopping at Amazon.com.

*****
HOW DO I LEAVE FEEDBACK ABOUT THE SELLER?
Whether you’re pleased or dissatisfied with your order from a seller,
Amazon.com gives you the ability to let others know. To leave
feedback on a seller you’ve ordered from, visit the URL below and log
in with the e-mail address and password for your Amazon account.
You’ll see a list of orders for which you may leave comments and rate
the seller on a scale of 1 to 5 stars.

http://www.amazon.com/feedback

*****
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION?

blah blah blah and so forth… sounds EASY!

Lastly, the boxes that are really coming late are being sent from amazon.com… NOT target, ace hardware or another 3rd party… from AMAZON.

My next post will be fun, happy and filled with fun little pictures of beads….

12.13.06

All I know is that I need register paper…

Posted in Main, sidenotes at 12:34 am by carrie

and everything else is a blur :)

Literally… I can’t remember what today is. Good thing we made calendars for 2007 to help with this!

These are my pages… February and April. Not exactly what I wanted to do… (they didn’t turn out as planned… I wanted more paper layers but really only had glittered layers) but they are cute :) The envelope in February opens up and has a little glittered valentine with the Eiffel Tower on it that says “La Vie en Rose”.
Once all the pages are together and I have permission from all who was involved, I’ll post the other pages. It was super fun! I was surrounded by artists who have their finger on the pulse of the paper craft world, so I felt like a fish out of water… but isn’t that the point? To learn from our fellow artists and have a finished calendar that has interesting pictures for each month? I think so :) OH! and we ate Diane Salad from Green Street East in Pasadena… which is just delightful and made us all so happy :)

So, here I am… whining about how tired I am. Day 19 of 31 days without an entire day off… I’ve already kicked a cold! Yay to lots and lots of hot tea and cold-eeze!!! We’ve been so busy… fellow bloggers have stopped by and I didn’t even know it :( I promise to find a day this spring to invite all local bloggers over for tea and a private shop tour or tour of my Mom’s house :) (It’s not THAT exciting… but it would be fun to get together! Perhaps a jaunt to Descanso Gardens or something??)

I took some time to look at a few other blogs tonight and I must say… there is so much creativity and talent out there, you guys are awesome… I’m both overwhelmed and inspired :) Who would have thought we would all be blogging and sharing all this fun stuff :) It’s quite delightful!!! If you find a blog you think I should look at, send it my way, I love to see new stuff!!! :)

My brain is on a mental vacation while I continue to wrap presents and hum Holiday songs :) What I really want to do is finger paint…. or do messy pastel art…

I think we’re gonna need a bigger scanner…

12.07.06

Our First Official Coupon!!!

Posted in business-a-go-go, coupons, Events!, Fun Stuff, Main at 12:21 am by carrie

So, I’m still adding goodies to the website, but it has more items on than EVER! :)

drumroll please….



Click on the coupon to get it onto its own page so you can print it out and share it with everyone you know ;)

So, for the rules mumbo-jumbo…
Valid December 6 – December 20, 2006 only
Valid on our website, www.violetsareblue.net, only but we do encourage in-store pick up! (It’s an option at checkout)
Enter the code “WinterJoy” at checkout to get your discount
Valid one per customer only
aaaannnnddd… I think that’s it

I hope you guys who are local can come on Sunday to see Cathi Milligan make beads in the store! I feel quite honored by her presence ;) She’s been outdoing herself each time she brings in a batch of beads… I’m completely addicted!

Happy single digit days of December! (I got that from Cathi) Have you started your shopping yet?? I have not :( eeeeek!!!!! Everyone that I know best be getting an amazon wish list together!!!! hehe!

12.04.06

A coupon is coming soon!

Posted in business-a-go-go, Fun Stuff, Main at 11:51 pm by carrie

I’m late, but a coupon will be posted on this blog in the next day or two for the website!!!!

I’m thinking 20% off your entire purchase! :)

Please check back… and check the website to get your wish list together! I’ve been adding TONS of Christmas items and should have them up soon!!! I’ve also got a few orders coming in the mail… I’m so excited to get our new books and note card sets!


I’m also getting these candles by Skeem in the next few days…


And I got these beautiful hand silkscreened cards and card sets today! Super cute!!!

No art to share… but I still have to get Cathi’s beads up! argh! so behind! :) I ordered Easter today… it was so hard to wrap my brain around “bunnies and chicks”…

p.s…. the open house was a big success and Pat sent us the MOST AMAZING floral arrangement! I’ll post pics of that soon!!! Thanks again Pat!!!!

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