When Carol Wingert came to visit and teach her classes this past weekend at Scrapbooks Plus here in northern Virginia, she left the dry heat of Phoenix early Wednesday morning expecting to cool down and enjoy the wonderful east-coast spring weather which had blessed us for so many weeks. Instead, thunderstorms and tornados rumbled, whipped and ripped through our area, setting up record conditions, and causing Carol first to be stuck in Atlanta, then to circle for a half-hour over Lynchburg on her flight's approach, and then to be kept strapped in her seat on the tarmac at Dulles for hours watching the lightning display from the plane windows. Instead of arriving at 5 pm Weds in time for a leisurely dinner, Carol and I barely made it to Clyde's in Reston before they shut down their dinner menu at 10 pm, both of us ravenous after the long wait (I'd been stuck in my car at the airport gas station for those same hours, watching assorted stuff flying past my windows, too.) We came home to a darkened neighborhood with no electricity and went to bed by candlelight.
However, scrappy stalwarts that we are, we needed only a good night's sleep to be ready for our morning drive over toward Baltimore, MD, to visit Patti and Lolly at The Queen's Ink in Savage Mill. Notice the queenly purple walls that set off the Christmas mannequin Patti set up to counter the heat. In place of the upper tree branches, the wire mannequin tops the unwiltable tree and watches over a collection of glittered keys and fleurs de lis. If you live in the MD area, you'll be pleased to know that Carol will be teaching three classes at Queen's Ink in January 2009 -- and Debby Schuh, who visited there with me recently, will also be teaching three classes at Queen's Ink in November 2008. Ready for one more announcement? Patti invited me to teach my classes at Queen's Ink starting this August! How cool is that? A trifecta, maybe? ( FYI: Wikipedia says "Trifecta" as a slang term is used to describe any successful or favorable phenomenon or characteristic that comes in threes -- like a hat-trick -- or the Three Musketeers.)
As Patti, Carol and I discussed artful bookmaking, we couldn't pass up a photo op that paired Carol with the Autumn Leaves Book Book, in which she was the lead contributor. Although this book is no longer in print, a few copies can still be found if you would like to see the introductory stages of bringing bookmaking to scrapbooking.
We still had lots of shopping places to visit in MD before finally ending up in Bethesda at Accessories of Old just before closing. Andrew, the proprietor with a South African accent, graciously stayed open to show off his wife Lisa Danziger's amazingly huge inherited collection of vintage ribbons, trims, laces, sequins, brooches, buckles, and buttons and more buttons, many still on their original cards from the 1930's, stacked in all the cubbyholes of the shop, with boxes and boxes still in storage.
You can read the Danziger three-generation haberdashery story at their website. Their prices for these vintage goodies are high, too high for Carol and me to repurpose them into class kits, but we each acquired cards and trims to savor, maybe to frame, for our studio and guest room. Other customers were in looking for bridal and party accessories. The recent storefront location augments their online business started first in 2003, where the prices are fixed. But if you visit the store, try your hand at exchanging stories with Andrew -- and maybe he'll give you a little discount if you tell a charming one.
On Friday, good friends Kitty and Amy, with Baby in tow, expanded our shopping-experts entourage and provided lots of opinionated enouragement as we visited our favorite shops in Leesburg. The heat steadily climbed, the humidity practically burst its seams, and by Saturday Carol was afraid of losing her voice as the heavy air clamped itself around us. But Debbie and Marc kept us fortified during Carol's two days of teaching full classes at Scrapbooks Plus, and after Saturday's classes we enjoyed a delightful intimate dinner with Debbie at her favorite Mexican restaurant.
To celebrate after Sunday's class, Carol and I and a few friends tried our hand at a small bring-your-own dessert party on my screened deck, but as we watched each other start to melt and the lovely desserts start to lean askew (or was it the other way round?), we hustled back inside to our air-conditioned dining room to relax and tell tales through the evening. By Monday, Carol was content to have the morning off to settle into one of my feed-bag chairs in my studio and savor her Cuban coffee. Until she returns to teach again at Scrapbooks Plus next year.
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