It all began innocently enough. But like many disasters-in-the-making, there were no warnings that it could spiral out of control the way it did. Looking back, I can't say that I regret what happened; it is now a part of the rich tapestry of my life. Would I have done things differently? Possibly.
But it's too late now.
I remember the day had been long, the work had been hard, the children difficult to deal with, snarking at each other and driving me to a state of mild dementia. So when I sat down at the computer and started reading my favorite website, Splitcoaststampers, the fun banner with penguins and polar bears at the top was like a drink of cool water to a mailman at the end of the day, pouring it down his parched throat as he props his tired feet up on the LaZboy recliner and turns on the ball game. But I digress...
So, yes, I clicked on the banner...what harm could it do? After all, I had been happily faithful to my Stampin' Up! stamps for some time. Having lots of lovely new rubbah from the Fall/Winter collection and then from the Holiday collection was enough to satisfy my cravings for new rubbah experiences and excitement.
Or so I thought.
Once I clicked on the banner, though, I was propelled into a world of wacky cats and intriguing scotty dogs. A world where retro is cool and whiskers are drawn at angles impossible to real felines, but that looked entirely natural and right on these stamps. New stamps, new possibilities. But which set to choose? This one? That one? There were three new ones, all very reasonably priced. The money from my last ebay sale still sitting in my Paypal account whispered "Get 'em all...you've got the money...get them...get them...."
Fifteen minutes later I stared at the screen at the message in my email box proclaiming that, yes, I had bought them all. All, all! But that wasn't the end of it...
The next day I took my children to Michael's, on their urging, I tell ya! They wanted to buy something there; Will (the new name for William) wanted a castle for his knights and Laurel and Emily are always willing to spend money, especially if it's mine. Faced with a long holiday weekend and children who are BORED, I doubt you would do any differently.
And I found a nice castle that I used the coupon on...YES! I sacrificed my coupon for my son and bought a Klutz book with a cardboard castle building set to make HIM happy! Yes, it was his allowance for the week, but it made him happy! And the only thing I purchased for myself were these:
DCWV's Rock King items for my husband's music career scrapbook (sadly languishing for a couple of years now.) So not only am I a good mother, I am a good wife. My sense of self-satisfaction at these sacrifices probably contributed to the further disaster that awaited in the evening hours.
That evening, I returned to my favorite website and saw the banner again. What cute stamps they were...I would just remind myself which ones I had gotten and anticipate the day they arrive. I clicked again. After looking about a bit, I found a category called "Hobby". If I had only known, I would have backed myself right out of the website, but I didn't know! Knitting kitties! I ask you! Could you resist them? I think not.
I certainly resisted not and now have a second package on it's way to me. I made sure, though, to make remarks on the order screen regarding the peculiar psychic resonance permeating their website and it's effects on vulnerable consumers such as myself.
That should have ended things, but like a snowball rolling down a hill or a train shrieking out of control as the brakes fail and the driver desperately attempts to manage the curves of the mountain descent, it wasn't that easy to stop once I got started. Michael's sealed the deal by offering coupons this week, coupons that were not only for the usual merchandise, but no longer had the proviso forbidding their use on Martha Stewart products. Martha, my polar opposite. The one who is crafty, yes, but who also likes to clean. So I have purposely avoided purchasing her products, for the most part, afraid that these products may be imbued with a different kind of psychic resonance, one that impelled the buyer to clean their house. Shudder....
But with a coupon, these products became irresistable! I ventured out on Monday, sneaking out of the house on the pretence of buy food for my family, wretch that I am! And I bought these things:
I had been eying this punch for some time after seeing it on Julie Ebersole's blog. Now with my 50% off coupon, it was mine, all mine! And what would life be without glitter? A desert! Black glitter was entirely cool and the glitter pens in their cute little corked test-tubes were meant to be mine!
But that's not all. There was another coupon good for this week. 40% off another Martha product! I went to a different Michael's this time...after all, I didn't want the first one to think I had no control.
And I bought these things:
The bat punch was my 40% coupon, which at first the sales clerk said I couldn't use. But I proved her wrong. It worked fine, didn't it? This other stuff...well, the American Crafts ribbon was on sale, wasn't it? And the stamps were only $1 a piece...the real failing on my part was the Martha ribbon. But I wanted it, didn't I? Sigh...
And to cap it all off, I placed a Stampin' Up! order this week to take advantage of the new special. And somehow, I ended up buying all the wrapping paper. All, all. Plus three of the sale sets. Hmmm...
Anyway, I hope that's the end of the buying frenzy. Luckily, I've reached the point in my stamp room that new additions simply cannot be noticed amongst all the previous ones.
But you didn't come up here, looking for me, just to hear all about my rubbah-dultery, did you? You wanted to see a neat new project! And I'm here to show it to you! Behold!
THE SUPER COOLIO COASTER CALENDAR!
I have been beavering away at this project for the past two days, which is why I haven't been posting. I kind of beat myself up about not getting it done more quickly, then I realized that there were 12 pages plus the cover. If I had made 12 plus cards in two days, I wouldn't be beating myself up, I would be patting myself on the back! And since I finished it, let me tell you, I have told myself repeatedly what a wonderful artistic genius I am! (YILM!)
Now, I didn't invent this project. I've seen others and decided it would be a great class for November for people who want to make Christmas gifts. So I decided on the stamps and colors I wanted to use and got to work.
Now, for the ingredients I'm going to give them all to you for the whole calendar at one fell swoop:
Stamps - All Through The Year, Year After Year, Voila Accessories, Holidays & Wishes; Ink - Basic Black, Certainly Celery, Rose Red, Almost Amethyst, So Saffron, Old Olive, Purely Pomegranate, Pumpkin Pie, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Creamy Caramel; Paper - Designer Prints (Certainly Celery, Rose Red, Almost Amethyst, So Saffron), Basic Black, Certainly Celery, Rose Red, Almost Amethyst, So Saffron, Whisper White; Other - 5/8" Certainly Celery Grosgrain, 1/4" Whisper White, Apricot Appeal & Certainly Celery Grosgrain, Black & Red gingham ribbon, Buds & Blossoms On Board Accents, Rose Red buttons, Lovely Lilac button, crochet thread, Pewter Hodgepodge Hardware, Olivia Alphabet Cuttlebug Dies, Scallop Punch, Star Punch, Spring Bouquet Punch, Three for You punch, Rose Red brads, Certainly Celery Brads, So Saffron brads, & silver brads.
And now I'm really sorry to do this to you, but this is so STINKIN' CUTE and I know I'm going to get lots of agreement (YILM!) Here are the pages:
Because I chose to stick with one color scheme throughout, it was hard, especially for those fall months, to come up with something that looked appropriate to each month. But I think I managed it!
One thing I did learn was that the holes in the cover should be done with the 1/8" hole punch on the Cropadile. That keeps the rings from falling over. I went ahead after I had punched all the holes with the 1/8" punch and punched them again with the 3/16" one. ANd now the rings flop over. I am going to try to find some large silver eyelets that I can use to narrow the holes down and hopefully cure this problem. But the next one I make I will not make the same mistake.
It stands up quite nicely all by itself. I might also make the pages slightly smaller than the covers, but I'm thinking this works fine the way it is. The covers, by the way, are coasters and the pages are cardstock. I got the rings for binding from the teacher store.
The 4 leaf clover and the turkey were both cleverly made from the Scallop Circle punch. Yes, yes...I am a genius, thank you for saying so! (YILM!)
P.S. I know I'm going to get asked, so I will give you this link. It is for a freeware program offered by Red Castle that allows you to print off these calendars for different years. It's really nifty! I printed all of these off by printing the entire year on one sheet, landscape, then cut them apart to make the calendar. I was able to use any font I had on my computer. Cool, eh?