Gorgeous Day In New York City and Other Happy Thoughts

It was a little chilly and grey when I walked out the door, but I left without a coat or a jacket. 70 degrees by the end of the day with the sun up high, and 70 degrees is what I got when I walked out of the office late this afternoon. Just gorgeous! I like it just this cool because a sweater will keep you toasty and a light scarf will do the job nicely.

I’ve been working on some quotes for a journal swap I’m sending out over the weekend using freehand lettering over watercolor backgrounds. While I’m using the originals for the journal, I’m photocopying the finished work on cardstock and high-quality paper for other uses. (Cards, my “Font Love” folio, and maybe as embellishment for future journals.).

Watercolor and Ink: Quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne on Happiness

I enjoyed painting the backgrounds ahead and then writing freehand, then drawing the letters as I shaded in and defined the alpha individually.  It’s part of a “Happiness” ensemble I’m creating for the “Decorate a Journal” swap over at Swap-bot.com.

Yesterday was a rather interesting day, but I was too tired to write about it.  I’ve been fortunate to have had a nice past couple of days, and I have to start writing about it before the news gets old and I get lazy again.

The Ink PadWell, for starters, I went on a “craft-day-for-me” field trip last Saturday to Allentown, Pennsylvania.  (Typing that actually literally made me smile.)  Angelo and I had taken a trek to The Ink Pad over at 7th Ave and 13th Street on our birthday date last April 2, and not only did I finally lay eyes on stamping/papercrafting heaven this side of town, but I found out about the bus trip being organized by the store to join “Heirloom’s Allentown Rubber Stamp and Paper Arts Festival“.

It took me a while to make up my mind about going, and when I finally called to reserve my seat ($69 for a round trip ticket on the bus including fair tickets, raffle drawing both on the bus and at the event, and a goodie bag..!), I ended up grabbing the LAST ONE before the trip closed out.  It was on the 13th, Saturday, and my biggest problem was hauling myself downtown to meet the 8am bus departure.  It meant waking up at the crack of dawn and getting to the bus stop in time for the first weekend bus run at 6:30am.   To make sure I made it to the store on time, I hailed a cab right by the Empire State Building on 34th and Fifth Avenue.  I made it to the bus with enough time to spare.

It was a bus full of ladies and a man.  (Mickey, who goes by Scrapamale on Youtube was quite a breath of fresh air and humor — and now, inspiration.  Check out his Youtube Channel here.)  I sat next to Pam who was a retired housewife from whom I learned a lot about classes and offerings, including a craft retreat she is suggesting I attend.  We all went our separate ways when we finally got to Allentown — and we didn’t meet up again until we returned to the bus.

Allentown Rubber Stamp and Paper Arts Festival, April 13

There was much to see and learn about at the craft fair — and it was such an experience watching products and techniques being demonstrated live by the various vendors who were participating.  I ‘oohed’ and ‘aaahed’ over the art tools, many of which I had seen for the first time.  (I am still a craft novice at this point!)

I’m not a heavy stamper, really.  I’m just starting in that department.  I have always tried to get interesting clear stamps but I left much of them with my sister, Ofie, when I went home in December 2011.  I’m just beginning to see their use as far as paper crafts are concerned, and I’ve incorporated them into my artist trading cards and handmade postcards.  I am trying to use more of them in my journaling as well.

I browsed the stores from one end of the hall to another.  There weren’t that many, and the “experts” were saying it was a smaller venue and less vendors — but it took me close to an  hour to do my initial “ocular”.  Then I went into each store to see what was of interest.  Each store seemed to offer something different, so you had something to buy in each one.  Stores from as far as Ohio were participating.  (Little wonder there was a mini-RV section in the parking lot.)

There were samples galore showing what you could do with all the tools around.  I was too busy learning about the products to pay attention to many of the works of art displayed, and I had taken most of my photos really to document what I was putting on my mental wishlist.  It was crafting heaven!

The craft fair experience itself deserves a separate post with all the photos I took — hopefully posted here by the weekend.  Lunch was out in the parking lot where I had earlier seen a cheese steak, hotdogs and burgers concessioe.  I picked through the meat and the fries with a fork and had quite a meal.

Italian Cheese Steak and Cheese Fries in Allentown, PA

There was a Farmer’s Market across from the hall where the craft fair was, but I had to restrain myself from walking in, saving that for the end of the day just before I went back to the bus.  (Grabbed a whole gourmet pecan pie that was totally worth dragging my aching feet through the huge indoor market for… yum!)

I was exhausted by the time I settled down.  I drifted in and out of sleep and was pleasantly awakened in the middle of a snooze because I won a prize.  (I have a video I will post later of the goodies I won.)

I am actually seriously considering doing the next one near me which will be in West Springfield, MA on June 1 and 2.  I need to plan my logistics because it won’t be worth staying over, but there are buses that head to Boston.  Hmmm..  I am keeping my fingers crossed that The Ink Pad will organize another trip.  Maybe.. We’ll see.

The boys went around the city and picked me up in Midtown at the end of the day, saving me the longer commute home.  My feet were almost numb from all the walking.  (Craft shopaholic!)  But it was SO WORTH IT.  I’m glad I spent the money I did to get there.  The things I saw and learned are worth so much more.

I haven’t really had the chance to unpack the stuff I bought because I’ve been working earnestly on my journal.  I can’t wait to try the new materials I haven’t tried yet.  In time.

Down at work, things have been pretty light because the boss is on holiday.  Still, it only meant a lighter work load, but not the absence of workload.  I have been trying to catch up with the filing.  The meeting requests never end.  I’m already scheduling into June.

Meanwhile, I have a trip to plan in May for Cousin M’s wedding.  Do I really want to fly out and get dressed?  YES!  =)   I wish I could shave off the fat and lose the equivalent of my two thighs but that is not happening in the next couple of weeks.  LOL.   I fly out on the 17th, back on the 19th.  I haven’t even picked out my dress.  But — I have the dress shoes and bag and shawl to go with it, and I already have the pearls I will string into a necklace as my main accessory.  =)  I’m going solo so that’s another “me” trip.  Never been there… that should be interesting.  Oh, and I guess I should book the flight and the hotel this week.  (Panic time!)

In the midst of all this hustle and bustle, the universe asked a question, I answered, and I got an answer back.  Someone once told me that “everything will eventually fall into place.”  (My friend failed to tell me, though, that they won’t always fall where I want them to.  Ha!)   Sometimes, things work out in the strangest of ways.  Sometimes little acts of kindness can be so precious.

I have e-mails to write but I was given a new blackberry today, so I have to reconfigure my e-mail settings again tomorrow.  The e-mails will have to wait.  I can’t believe it’s only Wednesday.  It feels as if the weekend was already here.  Not quite, I know.  Maybe it’s the exhaustion talking.

Watch out for my craft fair post.  I have a couple of videos for editing so watch out for that, too.  I just need to figure out a way to shoot my tutorials from above my hands.  I finally found my video cam (tucked in one of the drawers of my credenza at work — forgotten for non-use.) — I’d need to be able to snap it onto something to do the tutorial, though, and it will need to be plugged into my laptop or PC.  Dilemma there — I can’t do the video at my desk.  I usually sneak away into an empty office or conference room to do my videos.  Plus, it’s quite a production to lug my laptop to work.  (I can, though, if I want to.)  Ipad?  Still have to figure out how to suspend it above me to take an overhead shot.

Midnight creeping up on me in 6 minutes.  Almost there yet my stomach is debating on whether or not to go for a slice of pie — and maybe a scoop of vanilla ice cream?  (Hungry tummy, simmer down!  LOL)  A yawn just slipped out and there goes my answer.  Time to tuck in.  The pie can wait until tomorrow.  Maybe for breakfast?  (Oops.. just remembered, I have to grind some coffee beans for tomorrow’s breakfast.  I guess I’ll just have to do it right before brewing.)

Watercolor and Ink: Quote from Fyodor on Happiness

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2 thoughts on “Gorgeous Day In New York City and Other Happy Thoughts

  1. Thank you for the wonderful craft journey, I feel like I am in your backpack (that is if I could fit in it). I love the first quote but the second one happens too. The rain poured yesterday but even though there’s more rain today, at least we’re going to have that 70s weather today. I’ll take what I can have. Have a great day!

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    1. Lou, I haven’t even begun yet! I have a dozen pictures to upload… all gorgeous stuff! That’s why I’m seriously thinking about going to the one in Springfield come June. we’ll see… Have a great day, too!

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