Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Personal Reflection: Christmas in July

Like many people my age, I remember hearing stories of the Sears Roebuck Wishbook -- Mom anxiously awaiting its arrival so she could pour through the pages of Christmas possibilities.  Of course money was almost non-existent, so the wish lists remained a figment of dreams, and eventually the catalog was recycled by making paper dolls.

I do enjoy the excitement of the holidays, although now I focus on the gift giving rather than receiving... but there is one other time of year that I anticipate with the same joy and wonder as I did when I was a child:  Back to School shopping!

I can spend hours (and often do...) walking slowly up and down the aisles looking at all the different colored pens, decorative notebooks, and colorful folders.  I try to envision a color-coordinated office desk complete with vibrant paperclips (we no longer have to settle for the industrial bland silver ones), a variety of post-it notes in several shapes and sizes, and a well-stocked pen holder filled with all the writing instruments I can imagine:  ballpoints, roller balls, gel pens, and flairs, along with bright yellow highlighters and several well-sharpened pencils.  Oh... the creative possibilities that are available right at my fingertips!

Yesterday I made my first back-to-school purchase (yes, I will go again... at least once) and I had a blast.  Many of the items are annual purchases, stocking up now while the prices are low.  But I also found a few new supplies to add to the cart.  Here is a quick run-down of my loot:

  • Index Cards (with box):  I LOVE index cards!  They are the perfect size to store anywhere, and they provide just enough space to jot a few notes.  I use them when I teach the research paper project - but I also use them when I teach a novel study:  I have one notecard per lesson for pertinent questions or information I want to discuss in class.  I also think I might use these for my own writing this semester, perhaps using them for scene development or character traits or any other worthwhile notes.
  • Colorful Sharpie Markers:  remember when the sharpie only came in black and only in one size tip?  Well, no longer!!  There are neon sharpies, pastel ones, and I think there is even a pack showcasing "80s colors"  Right now I do not have a project in mind for these... but I am hoping that having them in my house will provide inspiration for a use.
  • Packs of Pilot G2 gel rollers (the unofficial moleskine pen):  I have experimented with these pens for the past month or so and have decided they are the perfect pen to fit my needs.  Unlike a ball point pen, these pens literally glide across the page, with no skips or scratches.  The ink dries quickly (I have yet to have a smudge problem) and it does not bleed through the page (a huge requirement for me).  They now come a wide variety of colors (purple is my favorite) and I know that I will have no problem using these to their full advantage.
  • Crayons:  I have always loved to color - and now that I have a two year granddaughter I have a valid excuse to buy them!  Not surprisingly my favorite is the box of 64 crayons with the built in sharpener in the back, so that way I can have a perfect point all the time (yes... I am a bit OCD) BUT.... this year they have something new:  packs of 8 in a single color family!  I purchased the pink pack for Brynn, but they also have 8 shades of green, blue, yellow, sand, pastel, and gray.  I have a future blog post that will showcase the gray pack I purchased.
  • Pen/Pencil Bags:  I cannot pass up the opportunity to stock up on supplies when the prices are reasonable --- and come fall, the variety of school supplies will dwindle.  So, when I saw these cases in purple, I just couldn't resist.
  • Glue Sticks:  One of my favorite hobbies is to make greeting cards using rubber stamps and various embellishments.  I also use lots of card stock that requires adhesive.  At the price of 2 sticks for 50 cents, I knew I had to squirrel several away.
  • Notebooks:  I saved the best for last.  I have never been fond of spiral bound notebooks - the spiral begins to unwind and catches on clothing or skin... and tearing pages leaves a snow flurry aftermath - but composition notebooks do not lie flat and make writing for long periods of time quite difficult.  These notebooks are perfect!!  They are composition style, but the front cover is soft and malleable, meaning I can fold it back and still write with ease.  The pages lie flat and are college ruled, a perfect combination.  And the fun, decorative colors are an added bonus.  At only $1.97 a piece, I bought several and may return for more.
While several friends and family members feel I am a bit crazy to indulge in this kind of retail shopping therapy, I simply cannot imagine that I am the only one.  Do any of you anticipate this time of year as much as I do?  I would love to hear....

1 comment:

  1. Fun, fun, fun! Yes, I used to do retail therapy when I was working full time. Not so much anymore. When having to be on the job for 40-hrs each week got really frustrating for me, I would drive about eight blocks to the mall, and Michael's and JoAnn's, and haunt the aisles for sales and sometimes things that weren't on sale. Yes, most of what I bought was for scrapbooking, and you've seen pictures of my scrapbooking room.

    Though I was seldom able to give myself permission to take time to scrapbook, at that time, I did give permission to buy those items. (Aren't our brains weird?).

    So now, I have no need, really, to do any more shopping. I had an insight, which is absolutely true, that "I AM the store." Now my job is to use what I bought (happily!). Also, whenever my six-year-old granddaughter comes to visit (weekly), she likes to take home a small container of embellishments for her own artwork.