You were introduced to my friend, Mari; when I wrote the appropriately, titled "There's Something About Mari." In this post, At the risk of sounding disrespectful, I told you that "Mari is the BEST scrapbooker that I know." And I also said that Mari is remarkably creative; and she is. So suffice it to say, that a crop at Mari's house isn't your run of the mill crop.
I consider myself a very detail oriented individual, but I must give credit where credit is due and admit that I pale in comparison to Mari. I could go on and on about Mari's special talents but I think I will just describe the crop to you, so you will have a better understanding of why I lavish so much praise on Mari.
Mari has an EXTRAORDINARY, home; and when I say it's extraordinary; I'm not referring to the architecture but the way in which Mari has created an warm, loving, immaculate, family friendly home, and adorned it with tasteful and creative accents for the different seasons or holidays. I have never been at Mari's home when it didn't look like it could be photographed for any number of magazines. Honestly, it's the kind of place that I'd love to live and I admire her immensely because of it. From the fall garlands and wreaths that trim her front door, to the candy corn wreath that she made for her formal, living room. As soon as you approach Mari's home; you are captivated by the spirit of the season.
Other than using the rest room a couple of times, ( I know, tmi;) I didn't spend much time in Mari's house last night; because her crop was being held in her hobby house. Yes, I said hobby house. A number of years ago, Mari had her own little craft retreat built in her backyard. Last night there were six of of us there including Mari; but she can comfortably seat eight. Now when I say hobby house; let me tell you that if this conjures up the image of the most perfectly decorated, shabby chic haven; you'd be correct. As usual, Mari hasn't missed a step. From the curtains on the windows, to the crafty decor; Mari's hobby house is a place I always enjoy spending my time. It's a girly getaway, if only for an evening.
Now I don't call Mari the Hostess With The Mostess, just because she shares her hobby house with us; oh no. What would you call someone who sets out Styrofoam cups with each of her guest's names on them, each one hand designed and inclusive of pumpkin bendy straws. Then she provided a favor for each guest. We were all presented with a little, pumpkin purse that contained a Stickles, a spool of ribbon, a crysta,l spider sticker and a pumpkin sticker. As if that wasn't enough, Mari had set up a candy bar; (in addition to the dainty, dishes of candy that she had placed on the table.) The candy bar, had various sizes of glass containers and canisters, filled with everything from Lemon heads, to orange and white Nerds with a scooper, my fave; pretzel M&M's, as well as Halloween gummies, Jelly beans, 2 kinds of candy corn (regular and caramel,) Hershey bars, Mr. Goodbar, York Peppermint Patties, Reeses's Peanut Butter Cups and Halloween themed lollipops; and as if that wasn't enough; she also had some gorgeous, Halloween cupcakes for dessert. The candy bar was an awesome, array that made you smile just to look at it. Mari provided plastic bags (and I'm not talking ziplocs;) with lush pipe cleaner ties; and being the Hostess With The Mostess; Mari's generosity and ingenuity didn't stop with the candy bar, cups and favor; NOOOO; she also provided an opportunity to do a make and take of a fabulous necklace; using a washer (not a dishwasher or a washing machine of course; but a washer from something that I can't explain because I was too busy focusing on writing my blog last night; to be able to give you that information.) But what the washer is from isn't the point; although I'm sure that some of you would like to have instructions for this craft and see a picture of the final product (which maybe I can provide at a later date.) How's that for A Bumpy Ride? Let's round the curve...
Besides for the make and take; Oh yes; there's more... Mari devised her own version of "Let's make a deal;" the only catch was; we didn't have to provide anything (like a nail file from your purse;) we just got to pick gifts. Mari's teen daughter, Taylor; served as host for this game; and one at a time she would offer a woman an item, or give them the opportunity to choose what was in a purple bag or a green bag. On my first round, I won a chipboard, FAMILY album. On my second try, I won a Heidi grace 347 piece card stock punchout of numbers and symbols; and on a subsequent turn, a flower shaped chipboard album with paper. It was at this point the we took a brief intermission from the game; because Taylor had to excuse herself; and upon her return, she was dressed in her prom gown and did her best Vanna White impersonation. Taylor gave us all such a great laugh; and she was a beautiful, and charming hostess; following closely, in her mother's footsteps. The game resumed (I know; hard to believe) and on additional turns I won, rhinestone brads, shimmery pumpkin stickers, Bazzil jewelry boxes; and an acrylic, picture cube; which Mari assures me will look adorable, once I adhere some rub-ons. Now is it any wonder that it took me 5 hours to write my blog last night? Between trying to catch up with friends; enjoying all that Mari had offered us; and playing umteen rounds of "Let's make A deal," I got very little done other than my blog; but I had a terrific time.
I finally finished the layout that I started when Jenny and Tina had come over. The one that I had written about in "Calling All Scrappers;" since I was looking for advice about photographing my layouts and how to get rub on letters off." Well, I went with Julie's suggestion and covered the rub-ons with a piece of the same color paper that the layout was done on; and it turned out just fine.
I had a glorious, time at Mari's; just as I always do. I mean how could you not. When I told you that Mari has a way of making you feel special; I meant it! It is an honor to be one who she bestows with her thoughtful ways. I love to look at all of her latest craft projects and I am just blown away by her imagination and her perfection. I encouraged Mari to submit her work to various magazines and blogs; but she's so modest about her creations, that she's reluctant to do so. I wish that i'd taken pictures of Mari's hobby hideaway, so you could experience the loveliness for yourself. But I hope that my description of Mari, her hobby house, and everything that she did last night; have done her justice. Just imagine the most special scrapbooking experience that you could ever have; and you'll know exactly what it was like to be there.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING