Friday, September 24, 2010

Treating Myself to a Pretty Notebook

A Decorated Notebook - Right now this one is my absolute favorite.  I don't know why I love vintage, and lace, and postmarks, and stamps, but I really, really do.  I have such fun making these, and in using them. I feel really privileged when I write in this notebook.  This one I'm using to keep my Auntie Kit and Cousins Blog ideas...How do you like that?  You have your very own special notebook, and it is my favorite! (at least for now...)

Here are the four notebooks that I created that day.  I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!  I feel so much better when I use something that means something to me.  If you're interested, I can post instructions (complete with pics) when I do my next set of notebooks.  Four won't keep me for long, so let me know and I'll be happy to do that with you!

I used to be so utilitarian...but then I discovered how very nice it felt to treat myself to something nice.  I became acquainted with scrapbooking, just about the same time the entire world did, and yet I didn't jump on that bandwagon.

I suspect that I'm actually afraid of getting sucked in, buying too many (more) things that I don't need, spending money that probably should go to buying shoes for my children...OK, so they can probably buy their own shoes now, but you get my drift.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE scrapbooking. I adore looking at finished pages that my friends show me.  I will even go to an occasional scrapbooking party.  But I just can't bring myself to jump on board.

What I WILL do, however, is I will decorate a note book.

I guess I can't quite see why I would spend three hours creating a beautiful scrapbook page that I will only look at for a few seconds each time I flip through a photo album.  But, if I decorate something that I USE every day, then those three hours will be a tangible extension of that creative side of me that tries to hide from time to time.

Here are four notebooks that I created. (Yes, I created them at a scrapbooking party...I will tell the truth, I was supposed to be scrapbooking, but I was SO interested in getting this project done that I simply could NOT stop working on it. I hope my friends forgive me and will continue to love me anyway...)

And not only did I create that one at the scrapbooking party, but I finished a couple others.  Actually, I should go ahead and get photos of those so that you can see that my six hours spent was quite productive. shot, not the best, but why procrastinate?

Here are closeups of three of the four notebooks I created that day (the closeup of the fourth one is at the top of this blog):

This one was done with a vintage photo, a scrapbooking background page (see, I did SOME scrapbooking), and then the edging is from a napkin with this border.  I just liked how it turned out.

This one didn't come out as well as I had expected.  It was my last one of the day, and maybe it just isn't quite done.  That isn't keeping me from using it!  I LOVE my decorated notebooks!

This notebook was created from some wine napkins that I absolutely adored.  They decoupaged beautifully in place, and then I just crafted the Wine Notes label.  We've recently gone to some wine tasting sessions and the only way I can keep track of things is to take notes.  I used to bring a big spiral-bound notebook, but the presenters always looked so alarmed when I did that...making a smaller, more discrete and tasteful notebook has done wonders in allaying their fears!

Fun with Customers

My friend Laura has the most beautiful shop, Willow Creek, a Country Attic, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  From the time she opened the doors, I was part of her "Willow Creek" family. Over the years, all the women who worked there became known as the "Willow Creek Ladies".

Most of us began working at Willow Creek because we knew Laura, and we had been involved in her in-home craft shows all those years prior to her opening her store.  Others came along either as a result of meeting Laura at women's networking groups, or just by being customers in the store.

One of my most vivid memories was the first Easter we were open.  We'd been struggling, our location was good, but not excellent.  People were getting the word that we were open, but we'd still have long hours in-between customers.

Part of our brainstorming included coming up with ideas to help customers to remember us.  That Easter I had just finished helping a friend make an adult Easter Bunny costume that I wore to help her with a non-profit "gig" the week prior to Easter.  You see, my friend, Lisa, is a clown. That's not just a descriptive word, she really is a registered clown, named Binky.

In return for making the costume for Binky, she let me borrow it to wear while I worked at the shop the Friday before Easter.  It turned out to be one of the most memorable things I did.  One of the customers who came into Willow Creek for the very first time that day thought at first I was a little off my rocker, but we chatted.  After a bit, she didn't seem to mind chatting to a 5-1/2 foot tall white bunny.  I did have to remove the fuzzy paws in order to write up her sale, but by the time she left she was chuckling. She told me years later that she thought I was out of my mind, but it did cement the name, Willow Creek, in our memory.

Later that afternoon a few moms brought their kids in on their way home from school, so we took a few photo opportunities.  I know I have a picture somewhere, and when I find it, I'll be sure to post it right here.  You just never know what it is you do that will make your customers remember you, but that was one of them.