Saturday, February 25, 2012

I've been sucked into the black hole that is "Marthadom"...yet again!!!

Years ago I was an ardent fan of Martha Stewart.  When Martha told all of us to put our cakes on pedestals I followed her bidding like a three year old listening to mommy each and every day.  When Martha yammered on incessantly about folding sheets and towels "just so" in order to get that PERFECT LOOK in our linen closets I followed her like one of General Patton's loyal troopers.  I have THREE types of Rowenta irons, not just because I'm anal retentive to the max, but because Martha carefully explained the various need for having them...and it made COMPLETE sense to me. say I was blinded by Martha's "heavenly glow" is putting it lightly.  I adored her, I worshiped her...I would have run over small children and lame animals to snatch up her latest merchandising offer.  Yeah...I got bitten by Martha's bug...soooo fiercely there was no antibiotic that could touch the allergic reaction that resulted! 

But "Martha Life" changed for me the Halloween season she introduced her "pumpkin snake"(check out her archives for instructions).  Ah yes...the pumpkin snake...he was beautiful...he was glorious...he was freakin' spectacular!  I spent an entire day hittin' EVERY pumpkin patch in town to gather up twenty two perfect pumpkins in ascending sizes to recreate that cha cha snake for my front yard.  Martha made it look soooo easy!!!  Long story was a freakin' nightmare!  More pulp than anyone would EVER want to see in an entire lifetime...seeds EVERYWHERE...and THEN came the drilling!!!  Oh lordy!!!  Pulp flyin' two and half miles down the took me almost three hours to clean up my kitchen...have I mentioned my lack of Martha's fleet of slaves?  But every kid in the subdivision screamed in delight as they approached my home that Halloween...I LOVED it!  Until two days later when I went to pick up said pumpkins...MASSIVE groan!  Martha said to use the BIG Christmas light strings to illuminate it.  In Texas this means the dang thing COOKED each and every pumpkin in our October heat.  Yup...twenty two PIES crawling with fire ants!  Martha lost her "glow" that day...BIG TIME!  I quit watchin' her shows, stopped my subscription to her magazine, and lived my anal retentive lifestyle quite happily on my own WITHOUT her help!

But THEN came her Michael's crafting explosion!  Oh Lordy!!  I was briefly sucked back into the vortex once more.  I think I can safely say ALL of us were.  I was a goner as soon as I saw that all of her tools were "white" in color.  I HAD to have many as I could get...whether I already owned another version or not...if she had it in a white version I was going to buy it! 

My "Martha Drawer"...filled with my favorite MS punches...DIVINE aren't they? I tremble with giddy glee EVERY time I open this drawer!!!  At times a single tear has been known to slide down my left cheek!
 My "Martha Tools"...both circle cutters...her latest slice cutters...her scoring board...that FABULOUS fringing scissors...and, of course, what would one do without a couple of her bone folder tools?  I mean REALLY???  Naturally I have ALL of these tools from other companies, but NOT in "Martha White"!!!  I didn't have the energy to haul out my "Martha Ribbon" collection, or the strength to wheel out the cart filled to the brim with "Martha Glitters" to photograph for you...however, I know you don't have to use your imagination to conjure up the image I'm yammerin' about...y'all have the exact same crappola in YOUR homes too!  Am I right, or am I right???!!!???!!!

Fortunately the rush faded quickly and I moved on...distracted by the myriad of other crafting company offerings to be had.  Then last week a little nugget landed amongst my email messages.  Hmmmmm...Martha has a new line of sum-sumthin' at Staples???   Interesting!!!  I ADORE wandering through office supply shops...ALL anal retentive maniacs do...we can't help ourselves.  The email message offered up a five dollar off coupon on a twenty dollar purchase.  FABULOUS!  Droppin' twenty bucks at Staples is easier than blinkin' my eyeballs!

So off I zoomed in my Cruiser to check out what her latest gig was all about.  OH MY GAWD FOLKS!!!!!!!!!!!  I not only got sucked back into the vortex...I entered an entirely new astral plane!  I thought I'd be strong enough to fight off the "hold" Martha had on me so long ago...but I have to admit she's got me lock, stock, and barrel this time...I've been sucked into the black hole that is Marthadom!!!

I strolled into Staples with that little coupon clutched in my fist and THIS is what was laid bare before me:

OF COURSE I WENT INTO AN IMMEDIATE APOPLECTIC FIT!  I KNOW Howard Carter felt EXACTLY the same way when he first laid eyes on King Tut's tomb!!!  Martha's "treasures" are an anal retentive's dream come true!

 If you want to organize it, she's got something to "put it in" for you!
 Martha's shagreen desk top filing systems and storage boxes are simply gorgeous...I swooped in on them immediately.  They're fanfreakingtastic!  Ya gotta get 'em!!!  I'll be going back for more soon!

If you want to label it...well, let's just say MARTHA IS THE LABEL QUEEN!  I couldn't stop grabbin'...the assortment is just that vast!!!!  And I didn't even get a photo of the chalk board ones!!

If you want to revamp your filing system, Martha has the goods.
 I LOVED the top shelf expandable file folders...they have a wide elastic band on the bottom for extra closure control and the elastic button closure loop can be placed in slots on the bottom back to keep the file open and free standing...brilliant!
An assortment of Martha's "hanging" filing systems.  ALL of her filing systems can be purchased in the beautiful shagreen option...I love it!!!

If you want to take up journaling...whew!  Martha has some of the sweetest little journals around!
Pictured here are Martha's "smooth" and "leatherette" finished journals.  You can also get the shagreen finish option as well.
I thought these little "smooth" finish journals were sweet 'cuz if you have a Zutter binding tool the "spacing" of the holes is exactly the same...hmmm...can I see some "altering" in the future???  AMAZING!!!!!

I have to admit I got a tad bit carried away tossin' items into my cart.  At one point I was drooling so profusely a puddle had formed on the floor and the shop clerk who had been restocking the label section shot me "the hairy eyeball" stare...what a harpy!!  Of course it could have had something to do with the fact that she slipped in all that drool, went down like a house on fire, and cracked her head on an unopened box of Martha's 30 pack NoteTabs!  She didn't even say "thank you" when I handed her two Advils!  Harrumph!!! So I took that as my cue to skeedaddle towards the check out stand where Martha snagged me for MORE big debit card was smokin'! does she do that to us??  I'm gobsmacked every time!!!

For now I'm back in her fan club and reorganizing in my office a la Martha style.  I've NO idea how long this current pro-Martha adventure is gonna last.  Unless she comes out with her own large appliance line, I think she's done it all hasn't she?  Hmmm...Martha washers and dryers???  Sounds like "a good thing"!!!

just me...goin' broke once MORE with Martha...jan

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pen Pals and Presents!!!

      Remember waaaayyyy back in elementary school when pen pals were the rage??  When your fifth grade teacher began yammering away one winter's day about the exciting writing adventure the entire classroom was going to partake in until the school doors flew open and freed everyone to summer's sunshine?  No???  Well, I do!!!  At least "somewhat".  

   I have no earthly idea just where Mrs. Carrigan got the names for our classroom project...but 28 names were clearly written on crisp white paper strips, neatly folded, and dropped into two boxes on her desk, one for girls, one for boys.  In orderly fashion we each drew the name of some "stranger" that would soon become a bosom buddy.  At least that was the plan.  Naturally, as luck would have it, every letter I scrawled to "my buddy" remained unanswered.  However, it did fuel a fondness for letter writing in me that remains to this day.  Soooo several months ago I decided to take part in something I normally would avoid like the plague.

   I was blog hopping and discovered a woman hosting a "vintage brooch swap".  Well, since all these mixed media gals go into apoplectic fits when spying ANY kind of vintage jewel, I figured this proposal was ideal for me....I'd end up with something pretty cha cha and a new friend to boot!  Thankfully my partner was just as "up" for the project as I was...and so my kinship with Mary Lea Wolf was born.

                                 Mary's frame and vintage brooch to me                            

   The task was to purchase a vintage brooch, "present it" in some kind of special fashion, and have it posted within 1 1/2 months.  During that time Mary and I wrote brief notes back and forth, discussing introductory topics, family, career, etc.  But mainly focusing on our projects.  

   Mailing day came and I have to say when I received mine I was ever so pleased to have a "piece" of my new found friend's heart.  Mary's frame was so sweet...she even included a tiny photo of herself as a young cha cha is that?  I ask you?!?!!

my stitched needleroll and mother-of-pearl brooch to Mary

   I was totally stumped for a presentation idea, but chose to stitch up a needleroll where her brooch could reside front and center, above the words "forever friends".  I adore stitching needlerolls and have a small collection of them.  

   Since the swap's conclusion Mary and I have continued writing back and forth...sharing the hum drum of daily life and the excitement of any and all adventures.  I have to say Mary is bit more bold than myself...her last major adventure was touring the backroads of England in a horse-drawn caravan where she cooked her own meals over open fires!  Me...I tour those back roads in a rental car and sleep in B&B's that offer cuddly warm duvets and traditional English breakfasts!! 

just me...sayin' "Hey Mrs. Carrigan!  After 50 years I FINALLY got that pen pal!"...jan