On Sept. 28 I returned to my home stamping store, Stamp Your Heart Out in Claremont, CA, to demo a new collection, The Un-Usual Suspects. My timeline may be off, but I think the last time I did a demo there was around 1998 or 1999. Sunday's pencil coloring was scheduled to run for two hours and when it was over, I wished I'd signed up to be there at least all afternoon, probably all day. Not that there would be a day's worth of coloring tips to share, but if there was an ebb and flow of viewers, repeating the same information for each new group would have been a pleasure.
It was a day so filled with the most yummy goodness that I can hardly process it and I thank everyone who attended, Joan Bunte who invited me and who offered the hospitable welcome that SYHO regulars have come to know and appreciate. I thank the staff, those who were working, those who showed up in support. Familiar names and faces from classes and demos long, long ago. That I was there at all is the result of support from so many friends and family members and the good fortune which came my way when Stampington wanted to take an odd bouquet of characters and share them with the world.
Going home again, in the very best sense, is how the day felt, as though many missing elements had been found and restored and I could only wonder at the state of body and mind that caused me to let them slip away. It may not be home in any precise definition, but I believe we can find a place and a piece of ourselves, familiar as a childhood lunchbox turning up at a swap meet, where we can be comfortable, welcome, happy and grateful.
From such seemingly ordinary and unimportant acts as drawing and coloring on envelopes - busy-hands, quiet-mind - a life, a passion, a calling have emerged. It is a life I share with people who bring their dreams out into the open, people for whom half-measures are unknown, people who are sometimes willing, as my cousin would say, to let their freak flags fly (and long may we wave), people authentic and kind, endearingly unique, people who have never really lost sight of home for they carry it - and everything that matters - in their hearts.
My then-adolescent sister had a book she read over and over, "The Luckiest Girl." If they need an updated version, I have a suggestion about whom to call.
Let's do this again...soon.