Saturday, October 25, 2008

No news is not usually good news.

Greetings Earthlings,

I again apologize for my silence. I've been trudging through spinal hell with a komodo dragon on my back taking juicy bites from the back of my neck. Or so it feels. It seems I must be doing something horribly wrong or it's just sucking because my spine sucks in general. To be honest, I haven't been *as* good about my traction, though I am doing it each day, because the more I hurt, the less desire I have to lie on the floor with my head in a vice. Forgive me father, for I have sinned. My penance is loud and clear.

So, cooped up for a week, unable to do much of anything, I decided to go to Scrap Mania at Archivers last night, pain or no pain. I figured I'd at least get an hour or two out of the house, which shines like the holy grail before me. After about 30 minutes, I was having trouble focusing and holding onto the watercolor pencils I'm using on a batch of halloween cards I've been trying to finish all week. (With a little luck, many of you should be receiving one on the mail shortly. I'm pleased with them so far. And to my ATC swapper friends, I haven't forgotten you either. :))

40 minutes, I'm up and down trying to find whether standing, sitting, or walking helps reduce the pain any. They don't, but I get a chance to take a look at the discount bins that I don't have to bend over for. I am tempted by Cloud 9 Christmas paper packs for $6.99 (Heidi Grace too!) and some net-like flowers from Autumn Leaves (I think) reduced to $1.99--they even come in those handy clear bags with the snaps at the top! but thinking about actually having a conversation with another human in order to buy them is just more than I can handle. I go back to my table where I run into my friend Darlene (remind me to do an entry about how much she rocks, sometime) and try very hard to listen to what she's saying and say something sensical in return. I stumble over a word (begins with a b or d, I can't remember) and feel stupid. It's like trying to talk to someone while standing in the middle of three techno bands trying to outdo each other. My focus is bad, despite actively trying to latch my attention onto anything but the pain. I'm losing.

60 minutes. I am trying to compose myself before returning to the table. I have tried to call Scott several times to ask him to pick me up and take me home, but he's not picking up. I try to call again. I have to find a place to sit down so I go back to the crop room.

1 hr, 15 min. I try holding my head in my hands to take the weight off of my neck and I can't help it, I start tearing up. I try to be quiet about it, but next thing I know I have to sniffle or drip on the cutting mat in front of me, and the sound gives me away. I try to call one more time, and when I open my mouth to leave a message, my voice comes out wailing. The others at the table, ask if there's something they can do to help, and I see genuine concern on their faces, but I have to tell them there's nothing anyone can do except Scott and he can't hear his phone or something.
I try to explain why there's no help, and I feel bad for a) making a complete specticle of myself, interrupting their evening that should be relaxing and fun, not awkward because your table-mate bursts into tears on you, and b) sounding like I want pity or something. I just want the pain to shut the hell up and let me focus. Please.

1:30 Scott is coming. The phone had accidentally been turned off. Again I feel like a total jerk for pulling someone else away from what they were doing, though he's always more than gracious. While I wait, I try to stay away from the other croppers in an attempt to call less attention to myself.

1:35 I discover that if I sit on the floor behind the Doodlebug display, I can rest in a less painful position while appearing to be shopping. The muscle relaxers must be working because I have the brain capacity to notice the sparklrific tree card someone at the store made for the display. The main trick to it is using like $20 worth of shiny jewels to embellish the tree, but it's still a cool effect. I think if I could have an endless supply of any thing for scrapping, it would be those things.

I end up moving to the Bazzil Cardstock area when I think someone is catching on that I'm not on the floor to pick something up or check out the bottom display. I decide that I'm really into the "Swimming Pool" colored cardstock, though there's a deep red dotty design that isn't to be ignored either. Of course, buying either of those would mean standing up, so forget it.

By the time Scott arrives I am so ready to leave that I ask a totally non-employee bystander if she can open the handicapped exit door, which makes me feel like a total genius.

So, that's my most recent exciting night out. I'm sorry I couldn't make your crops today, Teresa and Barbie and sorry I had to cancel on you Laura. I hope you aren't too upset with me, but I just couldn't do it. To everyone else, sorry if this entry is a bit mororse. I don't mean to be, but I wanted to let you know where I've been.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Product Playground 2: Super crafty fun for shut-ins. ;)

Okay, so I'm not really a shut-in, I'm certainly not a go-out either. My spine gave me a bit of a break on Saturday and I took the opportunity to go scrap with Teresa, my silly-fun-also-a-francophile-like-me friend and Creative Memories Consultant. (Make her rich. Shop her site.) I finally finished the mini album I was making for my friend Darcy. Yep, the pics were from March and it took me this long to finish them all. Considering I made three albums, that's not so bad. I made a big album for me:

One for Dan and Steve, whose house we visited in Sonoma:
Yep, that's their dog, Piper. I love photographing animals, so my albums have a disproportionate number of animals photos in them. Anyway, I finished the entire set of pics when I completed the last mini album:

Hooray! We just had glitter week in the Product Playground class at Big Picture Scrapbooking, hence this album ended up sparkly sparkly sparkly! If you know me, you know I thrive on glitter, so this week was my favorite. I went nuts. If you skip over to my other blog you can see a set of cards I carefully glittered using a weensie glue pen and superfine glitter. I love how they came out. The cover, above, was glittered using Stickles. I began my relationship with Stickles by being completely opposed to them. I thought they were just a crappy glitter glue that couldn't hold a candle to the real thing. But lo! I had apparently bought a defective bottle, which the lovely ladies at Archivers were nice enough to not only exchange, but to check each new bottle on their shelf in an effort to replace it, discovering that the entire batch of that color was defective. Once that problem was solved, they also showed me that I was using them incorrectly, holding the tip away from the paper and letting it glop on like a thick worm. Touching the tip to the paper (or nearly so) was the key and now I am addicted to these neat little bottles. I get all excited about what color I'm going to get next time I can, choosing the new one long before I finally get it. Last week I obtained the long dreamed of "green". Now I'm obsessed with the new "Holly" one that is green with wee little flecks of red. Oh yeah! It's xmas card time!

I still don't think Stickles will ever replace the real thing when it comes to glitter (see the super sparklerific tree, above, made using Stampin Up glitter and crystal effects and Doodlebug superfine glitter, but they are an easy way to play with the sparkly stuff when you're in a situation where you don't want to make a mess (nod to Jen K. and her studio floor. :)) or if you're in a hurry (though the drying time is much longer than with real glitter.)
Oh! And on the subject of glitter, I had a new "find" this week: Creative Memories Precision glue pens are my new favorite glitter adhesive. I know I've spent a lot of time extoling the virtues of Quickie Glue pens, but they shy in comparison. I've been converted. The CM ones are a bit more generous with the glue, allowing more glitter to stick to your project, and they are just as easy to use as the Quickies. I think they are bit more expensive, though they appear to hold a *lot* more glue, so even if you use more, my hypothesis is that it will still last longer. I'll have to get back to you on that, but in the mean time, give them a try.