Sunday, June 04, 2006

Shoppin' & Stampin'

That Saturday morning Marylou and me set out for a shopping spree. And shop we did!! I had never been to a real dollar store yet, so that's where we went first. Marylou told me that the different dollar stores have different types of things and took me to the Dollar Tree. Oh my!!! Everything is just one dollar, and they have some NICE stuff too! I got some stamps (for just $1 each!! I couldn't believe it!!), papers, small scrapbooks (or were they photo albums? I'd have to check), we each got a few skeins (only $1 each!!!) of nice fibers that we split (that's the sensible thing to do, right? LOL), also got some travel themed stickers and probably more. It was fun shopping at the dollar store!! LOL
We also stopped at the local Walmart where I stocked up on ziplock bags as they are very hard to find in Belgium. I can get the really strong quality kind, but they cost a fortune. I wanted what we can't find here, the regular fridge or freezer kind, and in every size available of course. heheh....
After that, Marylou took me to a Joann's. oooooooh wow!!!! All this interesting stuff under one roof!!! You guys are so lucky to have these types of stores!! Everything crafty over here costs big bucks and you have this big chain stores where you can get a lot of stuff for very little money!! They had this scrapping set that included an album, stickers, sheets, ribbons and more for only $15!!!! Nice color scheme too. Of course I got one of these!! heehee...
After that we needed something to drink and a bite, so we stopped at a little bar and asked for a coffee. "We just tossed the coffee" huh?? "okay, how long will it take before the new pot is ready?" "um, we're not making new coffee for today" HUH??? "but it's just before lunch time!!" "um yeah, we close at noon" Duh!! That doesn't make much sense for a place that sells drinks and donuts, does it??? oh well, got a bottle of water and a donut and had to eat it in the car. Crazy americans.... LOL

And THEN Marylou took me to Rubber Rainbow, a real stamp store right there in Galesburg!! Well, when we arrived there, we looked at each other and thought yeah right, like she's gonna have 5000 stamps as she advertises. There was only a tiny sign in the front yard with the name of the store and if you don't know there is a store there, you'd drive right by and think it was gone. But no, we went in and were quite surprised!! The store was actually in this lady's basement and FILLED with stamps, cardstock, ribbons, markers and samples!! WOW!! We were blown away by the variety of stamps she had!! Owner Marge showed us around and told us all kinds of stories about the samples, the stamps she carried, etc.
While we were there she got a call from a lady from Tennessee that wanted to come to the store and a lady from Alabama walked in!! Boy, this store must be well known all over the country!! And dear Marge was not gonna let us go without having a cup of coffee or soda and a piece of cake!! So there we all stood, with a drink and cake in our hands!!!! How nice, but how funny!!! LOL
This would absolutely be unthinkable in any store in Belgium, not coz of the law, but coz the store owners would never allow this for fear of getting their wares dirty or spoiled.
Too bad she didn't take credit card or I would have bought more there. Now I just got a few of those flower stamps for the faux watercolor technique (that I still don't know how to do... LOL) and some ribbon and nice cardstock. I didn't shop til I dropped there, now did I??? I did that at the other stores.... besides, it was time to get back to the hotel where Karen and Aleta were waiting on us for a stamp session in Marylou's hotel room!! We were running late already. aiaiai....
We got back to the hotel, rushed in and left all the goodies we bought in the trunk of Marylou's car. She was gonna empty that when Jan wasn't around... like all good stampers do... heheh...

They were waiting in the lobby when we arrived where Jan had been entertaining them, showing them the digital pictures of our trip so far that were saved onto his laptop computer. Pheww!! We quickly went up to Marylou's room, I got the necessary bits 'n' pieces, and we started. At some point in my haste to help out Aleta who was very new at stamping I completely forgot to put my latex gloves on, so I ended up with my hands dyed in bright pink ink!! No way to get this off with the hotel soap! After trying that, I just commented "oh well, at least it matches the shirt I'm wearing" and they all laughed their heads off!! LOL
We had a ball and even Karen and Aleta had a lot of fun, as first time stampers!
I have to keep it a secret though, coz Karen's project will be a gift for her mom when she gets back home. So now you still don't know what it is, uh???? (ggg)

Late afternoon Jan and I were invited for dinner at the guest parents' house and a few of Karen's fellow exchange student friends joined us too. Rick had been busy in the kitchen making us a slimmed down version of a Thanksgiving dinner, as we don't have that holiday in Belgium, so that really was a treat with turkey and all!! :-))
First time I tasted cranberry juice too, yummy!!!
Karen's friend Annie from Korea had asked for a set of euro coins so we brought her that. In return she gave us some typical korean drinking cups. Imagine this being wrapped in lovely black and white paper with an asian print on it. So I said to Jan "be careful opening the gift, don't tear the paper!" Everybody looks at us funny, and he replies "oh yeah, she needs that so she and Marylou can play with it later. They will probably tear this in two so they each have a piece!" They all look even more puzzled now, but couldn't care less. LOL
But maybe Jan is catching on now, after meeting so many of my cyberfriends and seeing that I'm most certainly not the only insanely obsessed one??? LOLOL

Later that evening I joined Marylou in her hotel room again for some stamping. And of course to collect my goodies bought that morning... LOL
But we got so much into talking and sharing life stories that we completely forgot about stamping! Imagine that!!! LOL
We still had so much fun and a wonderful time together! I couldn't have asked for more on this trip! Meeting Marylou was definitely one of the highlights since we have been "e-mail friends" for an incredibly long time already!! :-))
Jan and I were leaving early the next morning so before going to my own room again, we hugged and hugged again and said our goodbyes, in hopes we might get to see each other again some day!

Oh man! It's been a wonderful journey so far!! :-)))


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