Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Never take small children to a craft store

Must be true...what my parents always said...I am hard headed & insist on learning things the hard way.

 It must be true because after almost 6 yrs & 2 kids I still had the insane intention of a "quick stop" to my local craft store.  Some pop-dots & adhesive was all I needed so it should've been a simple in & out stop.  But no 2 minutes in and Dillon is insisting on the bathroom - never-mind that we just left Target & he was questioned about this very matter - but we go which afterwards triggers a (loud) lecture from Erin on what the difference between boys & girls is & how Dillon isn't a "real" boy yet because he doesn't look like daddy (is science sure you can't die from embarrassment?!).  After much shushing & frenzied whispered reminders about 'time & place appropriateness' we finally make it to the adhesive section.  But unfortunately I can't find what I need immediately which gave Erin time to find the stamps judging them all an "ugly mud color" & who did this store think they were selling crap like this - cue employee walking by giving derisive looks.   Then Dillon decides he needs to show off how well he knows his colors by collecting every single ink pad he can find & once named he hands them off to Erin who of course must read the label & correct him "No Dillon that's not 'red' it's 'Sierra Mud' and that's not 'blue' it's 'oceanic'" so of course he melts down & cries.  Calm him down, reassure that yes he identifies colors very well, find the cursed pop-dots & turn to leave only to find that Erin has disappeared.

Find the girl in the paper section picking out all the 'pretty' & 'cute' papers "Mom you need this one!" "Mom why don't you make me something with this one!" "Mom this matches my ballet costume!" & of course the baited "Dillon do you see Cars, you see that McQueen right there!, oh and look Mickey Mouse you love him don't you!".  As I'm making sure she puts the papers carefully back where they go, Dillon is having his usual love fest with McQueen & Mickey and when I say "no put them back" he breaks out with wails so heart wrenching that Feed the Children should utilize it to raise funds.  Just to make him stop (& ensure CPS isn't called) I decide that a $0.60 piece of paper is not going to break me but of course then Erin chimes in with "That's not fair, I want..." - again should've known better but oh well just means neither gets anything!  Finally get up to the front & of course there is only one register open with at least 5-6 people standing in line which gives Erin the opportunity to look at & move all the magazines because naturally she can't pick one, read it & put it back. 5 minutes later the call goes out for a Customer Service Manager to come settle a price dispute & realize that the force just isn't with me today. :-/

Now what's really odd about this whole exchange is that it only happens in craft stores, I can take these two into any grocery or mega-mart & they will be good as gold.  I have been stopped on numerous occasions by other parents, store workers, random strangers complimenting my well-behaved children & asking for the secret formula.  I don't get it, I really don't - but I guarantee next time I go alone!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A fresh piece of paper, a fresh start

Welcome to my online journal/ blog 3.0 ... of course I realize I'm alone, but that's ok they know me here :-P lol.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of my maternal grandma's closet, stocked to the brim of every fabric & ribbon imaginable.  You could find practically anything you wanted in there from material to make a stuffed dog to a doll dress or comfy set of pajamas.  My grandpa would tease that there was no way she could ever use it all & she admitted that this was likely true but how could she pass up a beautiful fabric much less a good sale?  As I get older I find myself becoming more like her (which is a good thing, hopefully I continue to self-improve!) in many ways but notably in my craft collections - however, my addiction is not fabric but paper.  It doesn't matter how much I already have or how little time I actually have to use them; I always find new beautiful papers that are just begging to become part of a creation.  But in the last few years with other costs to contend with I've had to limit my paper expenditures to only the projects I know will be done. 

A few weeks ago I was in A.C. Moore looking for paper to complete our Disney 2012 scrapbook when I saw the most gorgeous yellow flowered paper that looked like a quilt my Grandma would make & beside it was with "old world charm" - love at first sight!.  What I would do with these two I had no idea but they were too perfect to pass up & part of a 60% sale to boot!  Turned out a serendipitous purchase because just a few days later I received distressing news from my mom regarding my grandma.  As I put down the phone I saw these papers out of the corner of my eye & knew that this was why they called out to me, yellow is her favorite color & the patterns so strongly reminded me of her.  Card-making usually is difficult for me since I'm accustomed to 12 x 12 layouts but this one came together so easily I almost felt controlled by a force outside my physical being.  To reinforce the quilting image I stitched around a few flowers & ground it with a contrasting pattern (like a border around quilting squares) & then topped it off with the "old-world" girl & ink-edged letters.  It definitely rates in my top 5 crafts of all time :-)

Now of course a crafting project that makes me happy is all well & good but of course it was for my grandma & her opinion was all that really mattered.  And I was little nervous sending it off to be honest, first because it seemed like such a little thing compared to what she was facing & two because she is a marvelously talented crafter that my efforts always seem juvenile in comparison.  But as it turns she caught on to the references & LOVED it (in my mom's phrasing), it made her day just like I hoped it would. 

Her reaction is why I love to craft for other people, I can touch a part of their heart that I just can't access through traditional social engagements.  Nearing 30 I'm still awkward in day to day conversations, still horrible at telephone conversations (unless I have something in particular to say) & still don't play emotive 'games' very well but a well crafted layout or card can speak volumes for me :-).