Sep 23, 2015

Stamping Destroyed My Life -- Chapter One

To read the Press Release Announcing Stamping Destroyed My Life
To read the Prologue to Stamping Destroyed My Life

Chapter One --  "It's Kind of Magical"

As soon as I saw her, I knew that she would become my very best friend.  We just had too much in common.  As she weaved her way through the parking lot towards Craft Stuffing, I picked up my pace, hoping for an excuse to introduce myself.

She wore jeans and a striped navy and white boat neck top just like I did.  Her dark bobbed hair shone in the sun, and she was wearing loafers, and I believe I caught a glimpse of pennies in them!  Pink socks.  Gah, we are almost twins.  Her husband had to be named Jack, the cooler version of my husband John.  No doubt she also had two kids.  

A beach house every summer.  Gossip over lemonade, while the boys pitch a tent in the backyard and catch fireflies.  Grown up talk while our girls giggle and dream the dreams that only best friends can dream.  I could see years of friendship, the kind where the wives, the kids, and the husbands also became friends.

She walked into Craft Stuffing and headed for the craft section.  Craft Stuffing is one of those stores that needs therapy to find itself.  The back of the store is a frame shop.  But to get there, you have to walk through enough junk to fill ten of Michele Hetland's craft rooms -- beads, poster paint, spirograph kits, fake flowers, and enough styrofoam to build an Ark.  Somewhere in this mess was poster board, which Garrett, my ten year old, needed for a science fair.  Science fairs, along with dioramas and spelling bees, are an absolute abomination.  Someone really needed to put an end to this nonsense but it wasn't going to be me, particularly since Garrett always wins! 

So there I was, heading for the poster board, when I decided to follow the woman.  I swear I am totally awesome, but for reasons that I will NEVER understand, I was a tad lonely.  John was a great husband, but he was out of town a lot.  My kids took up a lot of my time, but holy kabbaba! I wanted to gossip and talk and shop with a real friend and I just didn't have any.  The neighbors ignored my attempts to get together, and the other school moms were just strange.  They clumped together at back to school night, no doubt still believing that my signature Crazy Chicken Cashew Salad caused the food poisoning incident at last year's Spring Fling. 

But maybe this woman?  She walked into an aisle filled with jar after jar of brightly colored powders, lined up next to rows and rows of ink pads and wooden stamps.  Someone had taped what looked like hand made greeting cards to the top of the shelves. They weren't great, but they weren't horrible.

I stopped and noticed a book "The Beginners Guide To Rubber Stamping."  I could do this, I thought, as I leafed through. How hard can it be to press a stamp down on ink and paper?  Maybe I'll make our Christmas cards this year!   I'll show John that I really can save money.  And I'll ask the other school moms and make a party of it.  Hot chocolate, Christmas cookies.  I could do this.  It could make up for the Spring Fling.  

I just couldn't figure out a way to chat with My New Best Friend (MNBF) without seeming stalker weird, so I stopped in front of the jars of powders and asked a saleswoman what they were.

"They're embossing powder."
"Embossing powder?  What's that?", I asked.

Before the saleslady could respond, MNBF turned and said, "Hi, I couldn't help but overhear you.  Embossing powder is stuff you use to create raised images when stamping."

I must have looked puzzled, because the next thing I knew she turned away from the saleslady and whipped out a business card and handed it to me.


Then she continued, "You take a stamp, press it in this ink pad", holding up a pad labeled Versamark.  "The ink is sticky and the stamp will leave an sticky impression on the paper.  Poor the powder over it and shake it off and only the inked up image will have the gold powder on it.  Heat it up with this heat gun and the ink will shine and end up like this card.  It's kind of magical."

WOW!  I didn't understand a single word, but she was so friendly!

I asked her what to buy and she whispered to me that she was a "demo" and could show me how to do all of this and sell me everything I would need without having to buy a thing at Craft Stuffing.

"I'm holding a workshop tonight.  Why don't you come?  There are lots of women coming and it will be fun!!  Plus cookies.  And wine."

Sold.

I took her card, jotted down the address of the workshop, and told her I would be there.  After I got the poster board, I looked at Gina K's card and dreamed of being clever and crafty.  Would we rent a beach house together at the Cape or the Outer Banks?

This is how life happens. You go in for poster board and leave with a very best friend.

Next:  Chapter Two

50 comments:

  1. Bwahahahahahahahaha! OMG!
    You are way too funny Joan! Thanks for the belly laugh today! XOXO

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  2. So well written Joan and captivating too....LOL....I am picturing it all in my head.
    Can't wait to read Chapter 2!!!!!

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  4. lol saving money.....never happens! ;)

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  5. How can anyone be as lucky as you!!

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  6. waiting for the next chapter with bated breath!!!

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  7. Joan! I ADORE your writing! I'm so glad to be reading you again!

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  8. Does Mike know about John and your other kids?! LOL. Your red-headed SIL.

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  9. Oh! There's so many roads this story could go down.......loved it!

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  10. Great story. A lot of us can relate. Can't wait to read Chapter 2.

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  11. Oh my how funny and yes, so many of us can relate. I'm hooked, Chapter 2 please.

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  12. I thought I'd save money on my Christmas cards too. The lies we tell ourselves...:D

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  13. LOL "save money" and MNBF!!!! Sounds good to me!

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  14. Love, love, love it! Can't wait until the next chapter!

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  15. WAit, wait, wait ... what happened to Ms. M!!!??? When you book that OUter Banks trip call me, J.B.! I'd love to be among YNBFs!
    =]

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  16. I have been waiting for what seems like forever for this! It's killing me to wait for the next chapter. (It's a quirk of mine - back in they day, my parents used to subscribe to a newspaper that had a serialized story in it - kind of like a chapter a week. I used to save all the issues until I had the whole story and THEN read it all at once, because I couldn't stand waiting a week in between chapters.)

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  17. I love it! Can't wait for chapter 2

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  18. this is awesome! I'm waiting to see about the "save money" part -- hahahaha

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  19. so relatable, I think I may have overheard your conversation, lol, looking forward to Chapter 2!

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  20. I still think you may be a little bit of a wacko stalker but what a great story!

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  21. *monkey clapping* I love you, Joan. *chinkle*

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  22. This is amazing. I want the whole book now!!

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  23. Love the Press Release and Prologe, too! So fun, Joan!

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  24. OMG, Joan, this is my first visit to your site (I haven't even seen a card yet and I feel as if YOU are MY TWIN!) LOL {LOVE GINA K, TOO! I just happened onto HER site the FIRST day she started it! Must be karma!!! HAHA) Can't wait to hear the rest of the story...I'll be back!

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  25. I related to every word of this story! It all started with an innocent invitation to a D.O.T.S. party nearly 30 years ago; I still have the first stamp i ever bought. Can't wait to read Chapter 2.

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  26. OH I loved this! I'm starting to agree with Julie E. about you being the best crafty blogger out there! Your posts always bring a smile to my face or a laugh to my belly! thanks!

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  27. My friend (BNS - brand new stamper) once spent $117 at a Stampin' Up! party so she could make the snowman card that was demonstrated. Is that how it works? Great story!

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  28. Waiting with bated breath for the next installment...

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  29. Love it Joan! Glad to see you are still writing!

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  30. I do not read blogs.....ever, but you, my dear, are freaking awesome!

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  31. LOL, it ended too soon. Can't wait to read the next chapter. I'm wondering though why you picked "Gina K" for her name... I remember there is a very prominent Gina K in the industry. No similarities.. right? ;D

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    1. thanks! Gina K (the real one) provided permission (prior to publication) for me to use part of her name. She is such a great person!

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    2. That is cool Joan!

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    3. Yep! I asked for it! LOL! I love everything about this story. It's funny and rings true to so many of us. Joan, you are the funniest blogger I know! Bring on the next chapter, I can't wait! :)

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  32. You definitely have the gift of gab! I love your writing and look for to chapter 2.

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  33. This is hysterical! I would have totally taken you on as a girlfriend! Your writing reminds me of Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple - have you read it? Especially the part about the strange school ladies and the chicken salad LOL!

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    1. Loved that book and completely forgot about the chicken salad. Bet it seeped into my unconscious and floated up in my own little novel!! HA!

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  34. Loving this so much and moving straight on to Chapter 2. I can tell it's fiction though - can't believe you found a saleswoman at Craft Stuffing!

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