I Had An Emergency At My House This Week – Not The 911 Kind

My emergency this week was that I opened my last jar of strawberry jam that my daughter, Joy Day, and I make.  Strawberry is my favorite although we make peach, plum and apple butter. It is getting close to time when those beautiful strawberries will be in season and we can make more for us to stock up for the year.  It is quite a production as we make enough for her family and me.  It is also very messy and time consuming but sooo worth it. The jam that you buy in the store does not even begin to compare to what you can make at home.  We look pretty scroungy in the pictures of us making jam, so I though that I would put one of us together where we are looking a little nicer.

 

 

 

AN Excel Guru I Am Not

Working on a mailing list today, I got very frustrated when I lost about 30 minutes of work. Now I don’t usually do files for mailing but this was a list that I wanted to go over to take out names that were no longer relevant.  Fortunately for me and for Burns Mailing & Printing, I have an employee who is way beyond Guru when it comes to Excel and our mailing lists.  She has many tricks up her sleeve when it comes to getting our customers files ready for mailing.

I am a mailer and I am about to do a mailing, so yes, I definitely believe in direct mail.

If you are ready for your next direct mail project, email me at phyllis@burnsmp.com or call 865 584-2265 for a free print and mail estimate.

 

 

 

Checking Things Off My Bucket List

 

 

 

I have been blessed to travel with my family over the last 5 years. Our spring trip this year was to Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic. This was one of the most relaxing trips we have taken.  I think that everyone recharged and relaxed. I read 4 novels while I was there and got lots of sunshine and good food.  We also celebrated Michael’s 24th birthday.

We did drive to Samana, about a 3 hour drive from Juan Dolio to do some whale watching.  Samana is where the mother whales come to give birth and train their calves for the long trip back to the Boston area.  We saw two mother whales with their calves.  One of the calves breached and gave us a thrill. I have tried to see the whales in Hawaii, Boston and California, to no avail.  Either it was the wrong time of year and in the case of Boston, the weather was so bad the boats could not go out.

Back at work today, doing what we do best..graphic design, printing & direct mail.  Thanks to all my great employees for keeping things going while I was gone.

 

 

What is Digital Printing?

Digital printing does not use printing plates the way that conventional offset does, but instead uses toner.  In conventional offset ink is put on paper and the ink is absorbed into the paper.  In digital printing the toner sets on the paper and is not absorbed into the paper.  This gives a different look to the printed piece and often digitally printed pieces has a brighter color. Digital printing is usually used for smaller quantities.  We usually run up to 10,000 on our digital press but if it goes over that quantity, we move it to an offset press.

A big benefit of using the digital printing is the variable data capabilities. Variable data printing is a form of on-demand printing in which elements (such as text, numbers, graphics, etc.) can be changed from one printed piece to the net, without stopping or slowing down the press, using information from a database. For example, a set of personalized letters, each with the same basic layout, can be printed with a different name and address on each letter. At Burns, we can print and address double-sided postcards on one pass of the press. When we personalize a letter we add a bar code on the back of the letter and our smart inserter can then read the bar code on the back and insert the letter into a non-window envelope.  This is like a hand match without the expense of a hand match.

Advantages of digital printing

  • Setup costs are lower for short runs (up to 10,000)
  • Print only the amount you need, when you need it
  • Lower minimum quantities (as low as 1,20 or 50 pieces)
  • Inexpensive black and white digital printing
  • Improved technology has made digital quality acceptable for more uses.

One thing that the buyer needs to be aware of is that if you print a small quantity on the digital press and then decide on a larger quantity that requires the printing job to be put on an offset press, the two jobs will not look the same because of what I described above, ink being absorbed into the paper and ink setting on top of the paper.  They will both be quality printed jobs but will not have the same look.

One of our digital presses at Burns Mailing & Printing.

I Love Cooking

Before my late husband Ken and I got married, he ask me if I would cook breakfast for him every morning.  That was probably his favorite meal and he was a big breakfast eater.  I agreed that I would and for 52 years, I did just that  and enjoyed seeing him enjoy the biscuits, pancakes, waffles and such.  When our two daughters, Kathy and Joy were in middle school and were old enough to have overnight visits with friends, they discovered that some families did not have a big breakfast like we did at our house.  In fact, one day Joy asked me “can’t we just have cereal like our friends have at their house”. However, when their friends came to our house, they were surprised that I cooked every morning.

I don’t cook like that now that Ken has passed away and sometimes I miss that very much.  However yesterday, I cooked all afternoon because we were celebrating Kathy’s birthday. I enjoy cooking for people who enjoy eating and last night was one of those nights.

Today, I am sharing one of my favorite recipes, pecan pie.  I have been making this for 40 years and it is the easiest recipe to make.  I usually have pecans and the other ingredients required so if I need a dessert in a hurry, this is my go to recipe.

Pecan Pie

3 eggs, slightly beaten

½ cup light brown sugar

1 cup white corn syrup

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

¼ cup butter, belted

1-cup pecans

Beat eggs slightly, add brown sugar, corn syrup, salt and vanilla. Mix well by hand. Stir in butter and pecans. Mix well. Pour into an unbaked pie shell. Bake 45-50 minutes at 375 degrees or until set. I use broken pieces of pecans but you can use whole pecans as well.

 

Emails – good or evil?

If you are like me, you get a lot of emails throughout the day.  If you don’t control them they can over take you.  With the Christmas holidays, traveling and generally lazy about deleting them, I had a real mess on my hands.  I have spent considerable time the last two days cleaning them up and deleting about 700 emails.  I feel good that I can start the New Year with a little more control of my emails.  It is not that I do not like emails, I actually love them.  Especially the ones with purchase orders, requests for quotes, customer emails, church emails  and the ones from family and friends.  The ones that overwhelm me is the ones from where I ordered something for Christmas (and will never use again) that send me things daily. Some I have no idea why they are sending me emails.  Some of them start out with dearest, we would like to have a financial partnership with you, and I know that all they want to do is fleece me for money.

So if you are a customer, a potential customer, family, friend or church family please keep sending me email.  For the others I will try to be more vigilant and not acquire 700 before I clean them up.  This is my New Year’s resolution, hope I can keep it.

Little Surprises Pop Up From Time To Time

Ken, my late husband liked quotes, and reading poetry. I have a picture of him reading poetry to me while I cooked breakfast shortly before he passed away.  From time to time I find in books or in drawers little quotes that he has written down.  The other day I found one that he liked.  Running a graphic design, printing and direct mail company that requires tight deadlines, I sometimes  find myself up to my ….. in alligators.  Fortunately I have great employees who keep things running very smoothly most of the time.  That is what makes a great company, team players who care about our customers.

Another thing that I found today was how many years I had been doing business with my biggest customer.  Time goes by fast and although it did not seem like a long time, it has been 20 plus years.  We must be doing something right.