February 2013 – Things We Like to Love in February

February is a month that can be as sweet as you would want it to be.  If you love the color purple,  February has the violet as its birth flower and the amethyst as its birthstone.  For those of us who deeply adore chocolate, this beautiful little month holds Valentines Day as one of its special days.  Chocolate loving couples have the fun of choosing delicious chocolates that come in a variety of styles.  From dark or light, cream or fruit-filled, fresh fruit pieces dipped into rich dark chocolate or perhaps a steamy, frothy cup of coco, our taste buds savor the flavors and we relish the experiences.  Not into chocolate?  No problem, it’s also a day that is a Florist’s dream.  Red roses are a perfect way to carry a message of love to that special someone.  Mark and I loved the month of February so much that we chose it for our wedding date.

February gives adults and children the chance to create lovely drawings for those special ones who look forward to getting a personally decorated handwritten note.  In my cedar chest there are many such cards and notes, all bearing messages of why we rated getting an “I love you” note.  In many craft stores, there are packages of blank cards with envelopes, in sizes that give lots of room to draw and paint a “treasure”.   Moms will be very happy with the nice assortment of  washable markers.  Make sure to watch for the weekly 40% off coupons that will save money on your art supplies.  It has been my experience that Michael’s and AC Moore craft stores are most generous in both coupons and sales.  It is my experience that customer service is good at both stores.  Most of the staff that I have talked with at both stores are into creating lovely works of art and eagerly enjoy sharing details of their current projects.

As an artist that is reluctant to order art supplies online, I must share an experience that I had last week when I placed an online order with Blick Art Materials.   I needed to have a roll of acid free double-sided tape to use in attaching  my finished watercolor paintings to poster board.  Unfortunately, all I could find was Scotch brand 924 which is not acid free.  I needed to have Scotch brand 908 and it was not to be found around in local stores.  I had heard nice things about www.dickblick.com so I started my research there. I located the tape and also decided to treat myself to a new Scotch ATG 700 tape gun.  I did have a couple of questions so I called the “800” number and spoke with one of their CSRs.   After answering my questions about using FW Acrylic Artists Ink, I ended up ordering some of the kits and 16 individual colors.  I work with air brushes and think that this might be a good paint to use.  The CSR was friendly and made sure that I got a 10% discount and free shipping.  Well, free that is up until she told me that for $3.00 my order would be direct shipped by Fed Ex to my door within 3-5 days. My order was placed on Thursday night,  January 31st and arrived this morning at my door. I opened the box and may I just say “Hat’s OFF!!” to the best packing job I have had the pleasure of seeing.  Individual jars were securely wrapped with no danger of a dropped box breaking the containers.  Everything was there and I must say it was a pleasure to shop with them.  I will certainly be doing it again soon. The reason I know that I’ll be doing that is because of  the 103 pg. little sales catalog that came tagging along with my order.

For those of you who are local to my area,  I must give a shout out to Raleigh Rubber Stamp and Seal Company.  Located at 1420 Brookside Drive, Raleigh, NC.   (919) 832-7515,   this is a business that gives great service because I don’t believe they know any other way to do business.  I showed up with some ideas and “can we do this ” questions.  Jeff Pearce and Manager Truby Oakley listened to my ideas and it was like a bit of creative heaven.  Thanks to Jeff’s talent,  I now have a perfect signature seal that will leave an imprint on heavy-duty water color paper and not pop the paint off the design.  Truby, understanding my need for an acid free stamp with four info areas,  designed the lay-out for my art stamp.  As a result,  I now have a perfect stamp containing the number area, date area, title area and signature area, plus it has acid free non-smear ink.   When I found out that they also handled business card orders, you can bet that I asked them to please handle those for me as well.  Jeff did the lay-out work, using my artwork as the background for the cards.  Friends who have seen the proofs are amazed at how great they look.  I expect them to be in at any time.  As soon as I receive them, I’ll be sharing them with you all.  Let me end with saying that I hope you get a chance to enjoy using their services as much as I did.

Doing this month’s newsletter has been so much fun.  I hope that each of you have a wonderful February and that whether in friendship or love, that each of you will give and receive something nice in honor of Valentine’s Day.  Just a thought, if you happen to know someone who isn’t able, for whatever reason,  to celebrate Valentine’s Day and you know that they would like to, maybe it would be a good chance for you to be a bit of sunshine in their day.

Take Care and Happy February!

Dianna & Mark Carter