It might be the season for eggnog, but my Friday night croppers were obsessed with wine-- make that whine. Our annual Holiday Scrapbook Party, otherwise known as a "crop," was quickly turning from festive to futile. Seems that the tough economy was taking a toll on my papercrafting friends. I set aside the a scrapbook page I was creating to give them my full attention.
"What am I going to do?" Luella Fitzherbert threw up her hands and wailed. "I'm broke--and even if I had the money to buy my niece and cousins gifts, I don't have big bucks to send anything that'll require expensive postage."
Clarissa Stufleven nodded in agreement. "Kiki, my husband has been out of work for a year and a half. We just don't have the money to buy fancy gifts--and my teenage girls are incredibly picky."
"Tell me about it," said Elora Jones. "My son Tyrone doesn't like anything unless it has a designer label on it. If it isn't something special, Ty turns up his nose! He's furnishing his first apartment and everything has to be just so."
"I told my husband that if anyone knew how to stretch a buck, it was you," Luella said, admiringly. "You're always broke and but you're still creative. That's a great combination! What can you suggest?"
I have to admit: I'm a whiz when it comes to cheap but good. So here's what I told my customers...
"Zentangle?" The three of them asked in chorus.
"Zentangle," I repeated patiently. "It's zen for the mind. Using pens or markers and paper, you can personalize just about anything. And, it's easy to learn. Let me show you some gifts I made with this neat art form."
|This lovely journal starts with one of those cheap composition notebooks and turns it into a memorable and useful gift. Who couldn't use a place to keep a diary or take notes?|
"And finally, ladies," I said, "I think you should be thinking about gifts for yourselves."
"Huh?" Luella raised her eyebrows. "What do you mean?"
"How many holiday parties have you attended? Hmmm? Were they fun? Laid back? Did you leave with a gift in hand?" I challenged all three of my scrapbookers and none of the women could say, "Sure did!"
Elora tapped her finger to her lips. "What are you on about, Kiki Lowenstein?"
"Consider this your official invitation to an online party on Thursday, December 22, at 9 p.m. EST to Midnight," I said. "All you have to do is visit this Facebook page--and you'll be able to attend. You can even attend in your pajamas! Guest authors will be Monica Ferris, Betty Hechtman, Joanna Campbell Slan, Gloria Alvarez, Diana Orgain and Julie James. All the authors will have something cool to give away. Most of them are contributing something handmade or a signed copy of at least one of their books. All you need to do is show up at Joanna's Facebook page."
"Speaking of what to wear to parties, I'm amazed that you are improperly dressed," said Clarissa.
"Me?" I try hard to look nice, but with a limited budget I rely on clothes from Goodwill and sales. Now I swallowed hard. Had my standards slipped?
"That's right," Clarissa said, shaking a finger at me. "With all that great holiday advice, you should be dressed like one of Santa's helpers!"
What could I say but, "Ho, ho, ho!"
For more information, email Joanna at email@example.com or visit her at http://www.joannaslan.com/ You can pre-order the next Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-n-Craft book -- Ready, Scrap, Shoot -- today! (April, 2012 release/Midnight Ink)