Sunday, March 27, 2011

Birthday Love the birthday girl go the spoils! Seriously, my friends spoiled me rotten showered me with love and it's not over yet. Traditionally, my birthday lasts about a month. When my husband and I first got married, he couldn't believe how much mileage I got out of my birthday. Now he just thinks it's funny.

The fact that the celebration lasts so long mainly has to do with the fact that my nearest and dearest friends are scattered all over the place-not all of them are local and so birthday goodness comes in the mail and by phone and often everyone's so busy that plans are made for several get-togethers. I am very blessed that way. As I've said before, I have THE BEST friends in the world.

My pal Penelope sent me a gift in the mail. Inside the envelope was a sweet little card that read "I thought to myself "What would Lelainia like? Lelainia would like to choose." and attached was a gift certificate for Regional Assembly of Text, a local store. I love everything in it, so it wasn't hard to choose. I picked this set of Cavallini stamps, Vintage Office that I'd be coveting for some time. I am a sucker for office themed stuff. I love it all and the telephone is so cool. I know I will use this set ALOT!

 I also spotted this paper that was office themed and picked it up. It will find its way into an ROD. This was made in the shop-they do their own designs. You can't tell by this photo but it's a deep vintage gold paper. (The light is bad in the studio today.)

 This was another paper that was calling my name. Penn gave me some fabulous scissor fabric for Xmas, which you've seen in a previous post. I love old scissors-I've actually begun a collection. This paper will also become ROD fodder. THANK YOU Penn for such a sweet and generous gift. It so much fun shopping with gift certificates for art supplies. Very happy-making indeed!

 I picked these up in my travels yesterday too. I've seen them online and finally happened across them. They are quite wet, but as they dry, they have a 3D effect to them, in that the ink is slightly raised. Not entirely sold on them just yet, but maybe if I play with them a bit. I hate waiting for stuff to dry and I didn't know these were so juicy. What made me want them is the colours. They remind me of gelato and are supposed to be really good on black paper. Now I just need to find some black paper! You used to see pads of it everywhere. Now, not so much.

 Friends in NY sent me a birthday card (that made me cry-they said the sweetest things to me. I love them so.) and a cheque. I spent part of it on a few goodies this morning. I had to go to get a re-inker I'd ordered from a scrapbooking store and while there found some odds and ends I "needed". I love this flower shape. Kind of like a pomegranate, but don't quote me on that. Whatever it is, I like it. I bought a stamp awhile ago that is the same flower.

 And then of course, I spotted this ephemera pack and if the labelling didn't entice me, the little bits inside did. Yummy! It's from House of 3/ PinkPaisley.

Lastly, there was paper that I couldn't go home without. (I'm sharing just a small sampling-I am such a paper junkie.) This one had a fabulous selection of bits that I can fussy cut and add to my RODs. How could I resist? This line of paper is by House of Three. (Who have a very cool chair as their logo-gotta love that!) Click the link-they have a really fabulous website full of amazing art fodder.

I don't know how long they've been around, but their products are new here in BC. I'm giving them a big thumbs up! I will definitely be on the lookout for more of their stuff! (Or purchasing it online, 'cause that works too!)

 The next three are by a company called Simple Stories. They have some great digital freebies on their blog so be sure and check them out. I got this sheet because I loved the camera. I have plans for it!

 Same with this one-cool numbers. I love numbers and alphabets. It's ridiculous how I collect them. I have a whole drawer full, though I can honestly say that I do use them-I'm not just into the collecting.

 More fabulous little bits. I love the colours in these. 

You know, as I was shopping today, I was thinking about how 8 years ago, I was trying desperately to encourage my local scrapbooking stores to lean even just a little bit towards mixed media and no one wanted to hear it. Now when I go in, there's a tons of mixed media worthy products available. Do you know that a shop owner once told me that 7 Gypsies stuff would never sell? That's insane!

At that time, I was teaching mixed media classes freelance and occasionally I would do workshops at one of these stores. The classes always filled up. Why the owners never got on board, I'll never know. It's kinda of sad-I was ahead of the curve here in Canada (BC) and everyone thought I was nuts. I used to have 5 scrapbook stores within 10 minutes of my house. Now the closest one is 20 minutes away and the other, 1/2 hour away. All the local ones are long gone.

I don't think it's a sign of the times so much as an inability to read the market and respond to it. You have to keep a creative based business moving and growing. People who are crafty or artistic thrive on learning and growing their skills and you need to have something new to offer them. Once you build a following, you can't just keep doing the same thing over and over and expect them to keep coming back. There has to be an evolution of products and classes to keep things fresh and engaging.

In any case, I digress. The point is, I am thrilled that these delightful companies are finding their way into the store I frequent. It's wonderful to see all the cool papers and goodies they're coming out with. I came away feeling really inspired to get busy in the studio, something that's been lacking the last month and a half since I've been so sick. I can't wait to dig in and play with what I purchased today.

Oh and one last artsy thing-Penn also gifted me with these Washi tapes. If you're local, Loomis De Serres is carrying them and they're on sale at the moment for $3/roll. After the sale, they'll be $3.95 I believe. Hopefully these tapes are flying out the door so they'll stock more and continue to get new prints. Here's hopin'! (And thanks again Penn!)

The girls in my MS group gave me a gorgeous bouquet of yellow Gerberas and a card yesterday. It was very sweet of them and I have no idea how they knew that's one of my most fav flowers. (Freesia, Snapdragons and Sweet Peas are the other three. I love poppies too, but you can't pick those and bring them in the house. They are strictly outdoor flowers.)

My friend Karen gave me Water for Elephants, which I devoured in an afternoon. If you haven't read it, get thee to a library! It's so good and the author is Canadian and was born in Vancouver. I liked it so much I've already got 2 more of her novels in the to-read stack on my bedside table.

The rest of my friends who had dinner with me last weekend gifted me with cash to go towards my DSLR camera fund. It was the one thing I really wanted, so that's what they did. I haven't purchased a camera yet. I am still doing research because I want to be sure and get the one that will serve me best. The choices are endless and a bit overwhelming, but I'm in no rush. I'd rather take my time and get something that I will be happy with.

My son rushed into an upscale point and shoot just before the Olympic started and he's had major buyer's remorse. I've given it a try and while I am quite mechanically inclined and good with electronics of all kinds, I HATE his camera. It's not very user friendly and as I am setting up a shot, the lense closes and pinches my fingers every single time! It's enough to make you want to smash the heck out of it. (Which he's mentioned wanting to do as well!) It's worth it to do some research.

I hope to have it in hand by the end of April. That's my plan, so I can have the whole summer to get used to it and then in the fall I'm signing up for You Are Your Own Muse with the fabulous Vivienne McMaster. I learned so much in Wading In and I want to expand on that experience.

This birthday has been an embarrassment of riches, really. I am just so blessed by my peeps. I have the best friends in the world. I'm grateful for them every single day. They certainly know how to make a girl feel loved.

Okay, I am off to shape fresh bread dough into two pizzas for dinner tonight. There's nothing better than pizza made from scratch. MMM! Pizza and The Amazing Race. That's how I'm capping off this weekend. :)

**I'm not affiliated with any of these paper companies, but I sure wish I was!


Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig said...

WOW!! Great gifts! Glad your birthday continues to be wonderful!

(And...I'm getting a bit worried...Penn received her valentine last week...any sign of yours yet?)

greta ann said...

mmm! delicious papers and tapes and graphics!
and yes, who says birthday celebrations should only last one day?! not me!!! ;0)
glad you are enjoying your pressies and feelin' the love of friends!