Steve here: OK, so this morning I walk into the shop to say ‘Good Morning’ to everyone and Ginny spins around (top photo) and totally surprises me with that look. Yes, I’m a little dense and I was not up to speed about Halloween. Ginny is quite the character and prankster…. but just you wait and see what I have in store for her.. heh, heh.
Steve here: Customer Marc from California, to show his appreciation for Tammy, designed and assembled this holiday wreath and sent it to her. It arrived yesterday. And what a wreath! Marc added blue and green ornaments along with blue lights. Yes, this wreath lights up. There’s a cord coming out of the back of the wreath plugged into the wall.
When Marc loans out his puzzles to friends he also includes a photo album with pictures of most of his Stave puzzles. That way he gives his friends a jump-start. Now, you know I would never, ever do that because I enjoy tormenting our friends with no picture. But Marc has a heart of gold and he wants everyone to be happy. And Tammy supplies him with many of the pictures, which Marc appreciates very much and therefore the wreath.
Today, Tuesday, is next-to-last day for our Pumpkin Photo Contest, and let me tell you, we are getting some wild and crazy submissions. Below are two pumpkin designs prepared by our gang, just for the fun of it. The upper one should be titled "So that's where all the missing pieces have gone". Note mouthful of puzzle pieces.
Yes, Jennifer and Tammy are in the middle, and yes, they are a pair of TroubleMakers. But the REAL TroubleMakers are the 'bookends', two long-time customers ….. who descended on Staveland this past Friday and raised the roof.
Jennifer here… I'm so excited to be able to help Steve out with his blog. He knows I love to share the goings on of the shop and this is the perfect venue for that. But here's the thing. It's my first week as guest author and now I'm leaving on vacation for a week! Some might call me a slacker but I would have to defend myself and say that no, I'm just well trained. Look at who trained me- the Chief Tormentor himself! And what does he do best (besides design puzzles)? VACATION! So let's just say I'm following in his footsteps. I'm heading to Mexico to spend a week with a friend but when I come back I'll be rested and ready to share all the crazy news from the shop.
And speaking of crazy goings on… just today our pals Patsy and Barb stopped in for a visit. Patsy and her hubby live in Illinois and Barb lives right here in little ol' Vermont with her husband. They've been puzzling with us since 1998 and are true blue and green Stavers. We had a great visit and spent much of it laughing. It's days like this that make me so thankful I am doing what I'm doing. Steve should be posting a photo of us next week.
I'll chat with you when I get back from the sun and fun!!!!! I hope Steve can keep things under control while I'm gone. Jennifer
Maybe the headline should read Staveland Goes To New York Society, instead. Last week a New York customer approached us about donating a puzzle to their charity event benefiting The Council of Literary Magazines and Independent Presses (www.clmp.org). "Let it Bee" (the event) is hosted by the Diane von Furstenberg Studio 440 W 14th Street, NYC this coming Monday. It's a spelling bee with some of NYC's best and brightest participating. Anyway, we agreed to help out and below is what we shipped them for their silent auction….. 'clmp' are letters for this org.. we'll let you know if this stimulates any interest. PS: that's Jennifer holding the display.
OK, I admit it. I need help with my blog, particularly when I am away. So I've asked Jennifer to give me a hand. You'll know who is doing my blog by the intro. Either it will say "Steve here" or "Jenn here". Most of you know that Jenn has been here over 20 years and today she is in charge of 10-saw puzzle crafting department (while Paula is in charge of marketing). Jenn sees all kinds of interesting things going on in Staveland and she is perfect to help me out with my blog. So fasten your seat belts!
Hopefully tomorrow/Wednesday we will be re-introducing our popular Gobble-Gobble game but with a new twist: 2 special coupons can be earned when you hit certain scores. For instance, tomorrow when you hit '100' points you get Free Shipping. And when you hit '180' you get 15% off you entire order. But you can only use one coupon per order. These coupons are good for 24 hours. Two new ones appear each day. Check it out…. Gobble-Gobble!!
Last month Martha and I flew into San Francisco on our way to Napa Valley. But before we got to Napa I wanted to meet the infamous Erik, MY chief tormentor. So we took Erik to lunch at The Claremont in Berkeley (bottom photo). Many of you know that Erik is an active StavePuzzleNut and he has a fabulous collection of Stave puzzles. Recently I decide to let Erik test 5 of my small TroubleMaker prototype designs, puzzles that have 2 arrangements. I wanted to demonstrate to Erik my appreciation for all the positive energy he sends towards Stave. So what does he do? He completely 'destroys' my designs with outrageously fast times. I mean, he polishes off each small 25 piece puzzle in under 5 minutes each…. FIVE MINUTES!! Yes, he does both arrangements in UNDER five minutes. Mind you, my other testers are taking 30-60 minutes on each puzzle. As you can imagine, I found Erik's impossibly fast times to be VERY, VERY irritating.
But, get this. Erik is totally stumped on my "Little House of Horrors", my 5-bolt Trick puzzle, a masterpiece, if I do say so myself. And he brought this puzzle to lunch maybe thinking I would take pity on him and give him a hint or two. But, no way. Not after what he did to my cute little TroubleMaker designs. I am taking great pleasure in watching Erik twist in the wind… wouldn't you?
Oh yea, that's Erik on the left, me on the right.
Hey. wait a minute! What's the deal? Martha and I could not go for our morning walk because of SNOW!!!?? There I am on our back deck here in Norwich being pelted with giant white blobs of snow. And there's a photo of a local car with snow on windshield… HELP!!