A distressing end to a love affair

A distressing end to a love affair

The first time I walked into a an Archiver’s store, I was in love. I had been in scrapbooking stores before, but this was something different.

Archiver’s was classy. Archiver’s offered scrapbooking options beyond those cutsey stickers–you know, the ones I told you reminded me of Precious Moments figurines. This in itself is why Archiver’s was, at least in my eyes, something extraordinary.

It probably didn’t hurt that I fit perfectly into their niche target market. I was middle-class mom with a two-year-old son and a daughter on the way, who yearned to express my creativity in some way other than Duplo structures and pudding painting.

My stash of bargains

My stash of bargains

I always thought “distress” at Archiver’s would only apply to products

Fast forward 14 years to Archiver’s announcement about going out of business. I’m genuinely distressed, and I’m not talking Distress Ink. True, I don’t shop there as much as I once did. Like a lot of other folks, the economy forced me to scale back on art materials. Plus, I had accumulated so much cardstock, glitter, dies, adhesives and ephemera that I just didn’t need much. Still, I often found a reason to stop in and Santa always left me an Archiver’s gift card in my stocking.

My distress over losing Archiver’s, as well as the fact that I’m still watching the bottom line (like that will ever end), meant I wasn’t in any hurry to head to the Going Out of Business Sale. However, it just so happened that I actually needed supplies. I had an ever-growing list on Springpad (a great app by the way), of materials I needed for upcoming projects.

So today, I headed over to my nearest Archiver’s. I am proud to say, I practiced restraint. Then again, most stuff was only 25% off and I have ridiculously high expectations when it comes to bargains.

Speaking of which, I’m thrilled about scoring slightly used stamp pads, paints and embossing powders–that were all on my need list, mind you–for under two bucks each. I also splurged on some acrylic die cuts because they were a total of 75% off and I have some nifty ideas for them. The thing I am most excited about isn’t in my possession yet because it’s a store fixture and still in use. Soon, however, a tall wire paper storage rack will be helping hold my 12 x 12 paper woot! woot!

Acrylic die cuts 75% off and sooooo many possibilities

Acrylic die cuts 75% off and sooooo many possibilities

Enough about Archiver’s, what happened to the valentines I promised

I know, I know. Really, I kept my promise and began working on them that night. The trouble is, I’m still working on them. So far I’m not happy with any of the results. It’s just one of those weeks where nothing seems to come together. Grrr.I wonder how often this happens to other people. It’s not a block per se, since I’m making stuff, it’s just the results–how should I put this?–well, they suck.

So instead of valentines, I will leave you a picture of another kind of creative mess: a baby picture of my daughter from several years ago. Although I was a regular at Archiver’s by this time, I hadn’t yet achieved full-on mom burn-out. Thus, I still did great mom things to encourage creativity like singing songs, playing toy instruments, reading books and of course continuing to offer pudding painting. If you look closely, you might find the paper she’s “painting” on her tray. As you can see, she was a true mixed-media artist who would not allow her creativity to be confined to a two dimensional rectangle of paper. (Ever wonder how our kids are ALL geniuses at that age?)

Nurturing the budding artist (or the chocolate lover)--A couple years later my daughter was also pudding painting

Nurturing the budding artist (or the chocolate lover)–A couple years later my daughter was also pudding painting

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