Wednesday, January 31, 2007

candy box goodies

A precursor to her charming Valentine eye candy box featured in her webstore, this sweet little treat box was a Christmas gift from Amy at Inspire Company. The silvery ball and pinecone immediately enhanced my hall tree, right at home on the tall blue spruce glimmering with silver, crystal, and green glass ornaments. The little bonbons spilling up front are actually candy-colored buttons; inside more buttons are surrounded by flowers made from felt and paper, just right for a scrapbooker like me. Already I'm feeling pangs of spring fever -- and the need to make something deliciously fresh.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

change of date for rules of the heart

Woe is me, we have not received all the supplies ordered for my next Scrapbooks Plus class. So the date has been changed to an evening closer to Valentine's Day but with still enough time to add all your desires. There are even more pages besides these, including room for photos. Wouldn't it be fun if you could join me at the store to create this mini album "Rules of the Heart" on Wednesday, February 7th, from 6:15 pm to 8:30 pm? In your honor, I'll bring the chocolate!!

Monday, January 22, 2007

weird? let me count the ways . . .

Ah, the blog-tag game of weird: A kind and gentle friend like Amy decides you're fair game for exposure (after all, she's been tagged first and what's good for the goose . . .), and while you're preoccupied with important things like shoveling snow off your mile-long uphill driveway, she sidles on over to your blog and puts the bite on you. Lathering up in the shower after all that shoveling, primed for your most brilliant thinking of the day, you puzzle over other lists that never tapped you (like best-dressed, most popular, 101 million richest people) and wonder whether this may be your chance for 15 seconds of fame.

As you quickly pull on one of the 3 dozen black Calvin Klein t-shirts you wear every single day (hopeless in the best-dressed department), you ponder the question: 6 weird things about you. As a scrapbooker, you've learned that dictionary definitions can help bring focus. And you have this well-thumbed humongously-thick Webster's Unabridged Dictionary from 7th grade (published in the 1950's) that still has your unabridged loyalty. Everything you ever wanted to know about a word (unless it came into use in the last 50+ years), even if the definition isn't to your liking. Ok, definitions can be subjective things; maybe you should look up loyalty instead of weird.

Thing #1: As a Scorpio, I've decided to be an Eagle rather than that over-the-top arachnid, but one thing rings true: I'm a loyal friend all the way. Unless someone does the one egregious thing I can't stand, which is to make a habit of purposeful stupidity. I can overlook crooked pictures, burnt steaks, getting lost on the freeway, being late in traffic, buying me size medium instead of size large -- things happen. But people who know better and act stupid anyway (like narcissistic newscasters, pandering politicians, daredevil drivers cutting into my lane, mothers who yell back at their screaming children in public . . .) earn my disdain rather than my loyalty.

See, that's what a shower does for you, lathers things up, especially for a non-water sign like me. So you mix up your morning enzyme shake, load it up with fruit to cool you down, and walk your winter morning route through the living room, dining room, kitchen, breakfast area, music room, hallway, living room, dining room, kitchen, hallway (shortcut) . . . , keeping tabs on your step-count while mulling over the wretched issue of weird and admiring all the red on your route.

Thing #2: It's no secret that red is my favorite color. It invites me, energizes me, assures me that life is a vital matter. My dining room and family room walls are painted tomato red (my own mix) with lots of white woodwork, the living room upholstery is red, my self-published cookbooks (both editions) are red, there are 26 tall red plastic Dansk mugs in the cupboard above the sink for my day-long drinks (always with ice and a red-and-white straw). Much of my dress-up clothing is red, most of my paintings employ red, my car is red, my cell phone is red. I think a room without at least a spot of red is dead. When I wear a lot of black, I think I am in camouflage. But the only blue I like is in the sky (seen here through the winter woods beyond my deck) and in my husband's eyes. Or the blue denim shirts that emphasize the blue in his eyes.

Thing #3: Speaking of blue skies, my favorite way to greet the morning is atop a mountain range. Over the years, I've climbed many mountains during the night, including Mt Sinai in its desert, in order to watch the soft dawn colors ebb in over the peaks until the blue washes them away and stamps the scene with its clarity. I think it's no wonder that many religions affirm themselves on mountain peaks after a night's watch.

Thing #4: But getting lost, even when I'm heading toward a looming mountain, is my real skill. The running joke goes something like: I'm driving my (red) soccer-mom van filled with women expecting to go out with me for lunch, when my youngest, on his way to the babysitter, pipes up, "Mom, are we lost yet?" On one occasion, with my husband asleep at my side, I've even driven into an armed Syrian encampment, somehow mistaking it for the desert route to Damascus; the guards, unfamiliar with the term "lost," waved me in. Now that I'm blessed with GPS in my current (red) SUV, I never turn it off, even to drive home from work. Nothing taken for granted in this category.

Thing #5: Because I have this finely-honed skill for getting lost AND because I don't care for daredevil drivers in my road space, I've developed this imaginary James-Bond-style (I know James Bond and imaginary are redundant, but go with me here) defensive road equalizer device. When a car flying down the road rudely ramps in front of me (or my EO neighbor) without even a signal, or when he's impatiently tailgating and jockeying around or otherwise dangerously trying to prove the laws of physical matter (two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time), I don't have to curse or pump my fist at him. Instead, I push this button that seems to do nothing else in my car and vividly picture a set of silvery sharp rotating blades levering out from my wheel axle (you've seen the movie), aiming straight for his tires, shredding them and (voila!) reducing his speed -- to zero. Plenty of time then to rethink his hurry. (Haven't figured out yet what to do with his car stopped in the middle of traffic, but I'm working on it . . .)

Thing #6: What, still one more thing? Really, I'm not cut out to handle this. My graduate studies in behavioural psychology alerted me to my problem. Taking the Myers-Briggs psychological typing test at the Army War College in Carlisle, PA, only confirmed it. Short and informal as that test was, I had to retake it several times before they agreed I belonged in that small and pitiful group who refuse to be typed. "Fill out this form, ma'am" is now a phrase guaranteed to bring on the shudders and strip away all my self-confidence. I stay healthy so I don't have to go to the doctor's office and fill out those endless forms; my kids didn't dare get sick. I have a library card because all the librarian wanted from me was my driver's license and a piece of mail; she filled out the form. When we bought my new car, my husband had to fill out everything but my signature, while I walked around the showroom and admired the sleek colors and newest buttons.

So, dear Amy, much as I love you, I hope you did this because you're fond of my quirks. (See #1.) And I hope Linda, Korie, Maili, Corey, and Amy and Kelli will forgive the audacity with which I pass this on to you.

Monday, January 15, 2007

rules of the heart mini album class

Four balmy days along the west coast of Florida proved a relaxing tonic after the holidays, although the Gulf of Mexico waters rolled in too cold for more than beach strolling and shell collecting. But we gratefully emerged each evening from the freezing hockey rink at Ft Myers, where my youngest son was playing, to thaw out among palm trees and late sunsets -- not bad! Also tried to research some local scrapbook stores, but not much to be found, with several closed up and others keeping tropical hours!

However, I'm happy to share with you a glimpse into my latest class offering at Scrapbooks Plus in Chantilly. Just in time for Valentine's Day, you'll create your own whimsical "Rules of the Heart" album to clearly show your significant someone how you really wish to be treated in the game of love.

With lots of pages for journaling your intimate desires and detailed "instructions" beforehand and more for posting your celebratory photos after, your personalized little album will add to the Valentine fun and commemorate your special day together.

Stop by to see my sample album and enjoy the latest goodies at the store. Class time is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, January 28.