Sunday, August 12, 2012

Share a Minute?

So, all of you who know me-- pretty much know my all time favorite “LSS” (Local Scrap Store) is none other than “Absolutely Everything” in Topsfield, MA.  Even while working at Michaels and every time I teach a class or buy my SCS secret sister a goodie, I boast about “AE”.  Kate, the owner and her hard working crew, really keep this store fresh, filled with new exciting things for each visit.  She offers great customer discounts and everyone who works there is knowledgeable and eager to assist the customer.  It is truly mine and others therapeutic experience to walk into this store—all negative things drip away with each impending aisle of creative ideas, fresh merchandise and handfuls of freshly printed decorative papers. Oooo lah-lah! It is the best place to go if you are experiencing any temporary lack of creative mojo—I guarantee you will walk out with a head full of fresh ideas and a bag full of the latest merchandise on the market!  If you take a break to the restroom it too is decorated with incredible hand painted artwork and wise inspirational literature and song phrases!  There is no escaping the elevation of excitement here!

So, for the past few months, Absolutely Everything has had a promotion going that if you spend $25.00 in the store, you fill out a chance coupon and entered in the “Marathon Run”.  Easily, I had  5-6 of these chances sitting pretty in the lucky bag and today was the day for the 1 minute (think about this) à1 minuteà to grab handfuls of items (“No duplicates and no stuffing things in our girlie underwear bits, no wearing an oversized sleep shirt to serve as a carry-all, no stretchy head bands where you think a few dies or blingies might hide in your tresses and definitely no busting the seams of your favorite stretchy work out pants—hands/arms only!) I took this seriously and had the notion to have my darling husband roll up the sleeves on my “lucky t-shirt” so I could jam things under my armpits and my skin would hold it in place-- before I left the house this afternoon!

There had to be at least 100 crafters storewide. We were mingling; shopping last minute chances were ringing up at the register like it was lottery day!  The Marathon Bag was bursting with little scraps of white paper and all of our names were in that bag!  We could slice the tension with a paper trimmer!  All of us casually milling around the store and memorizing where your favorite things were on display.  I had so much fun chatting with my peers and cracking ‘what if jokes’-- about people getting carried away –the lack of space to run and grab—oh we were giggling with nervous anticipation and then all of a sudden, it was time…

Kate, in a very loud inside voice, announced the rules which some were suggested by her good friend Mr. Tim Holtz and he’s a toughie when it comes to rules—hence the no putting goodies in one’s shirt and no substitute runners-regardless if you have a broken leg! Ha-ha

Kate reached into the large clear plastic bag…the room was so quiet you could hear a pack of charms hit the carpeting…no one answered the name.  Sigh of relief, again, Kate called out another name….silence….no answer!  If your not present you cannot win….stated in the original bylaws small print…Then, Kate pulled and looked at the third chance ticket and said…”Oh she’s here”…(all the ‘she’s in the room knees got weak) the entire room gasped and leaned foreword…

”Kathleen S-----“!

All of a sudden, a woman, a few display racks away from my circle of fans move back.   Kathleen drops her purse and runs towards the other room.  We hear she is at the Tim Holtz section of the store. (We all stood frozen.) Kate was Kathleen’s shadow calmly counting down the seconds and then, they reappear with Kathleen lugging a Vagabond die cut machine and armfuls of Tim’s dies as she puts it up on the counter, one die drops to the floor and she announces; “I’m Done!”  We all urged her to continue...she had some second’s remaining.—“RUN…GO…Kathleen!!!”  Kathleen threw her arms up in the air and she was done!

I called out to her name to ‘look this way for a picture’….She looked-I clicked haphazardly but I got it!  Applause and excitement and congratulations were hollered from the sea of crafters in every gully of the store...”Ahhhh, that was fun!” was announced by a lot of us.

They tallied up Kathleen’s winnings and Kate said, I think there are more seconds left over on the time clock—I am going to choose another name…all I heard was a huge sigh of a deep breaths from everyone standing around me—no way—yes way…another name!!!

Kate announces another name…..<silence> (“good for us!”  comes from the immediate audience)…Kate announces another name…<silence>… Kate picks another name from the bag and very slowly announces Suuuusaaaanne <my pounding heart> Gleeeeasonnnnnn!  10 seconds………..

My body went into shaking shock mode—and I think I screamed, “THAT’S ME!!!”  I dropped my purse, camera and turned around…running over two aisles of the Spellbinders dies on the wall—my eyes were blurred out of focus my head felt on fire and I grabbed one die, then somewhere I said the word “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE” to myself (that slow motion dream like sensation) I ran back to grab the very large Copic storage bag and with the other hand grabbed the pack of new Copic markers and I heard. “That’s 10!” As I turned and ran towards the front of the store counter and crashed my bulky winnings on top of the counter!  I was so-so shaky happy, nervous, excited tears were welling-up…my new friends had grabbed my camera and were signaling me to look their way taking MY picture this time! (In my head, all I am thinking is I forgot to put make-up on today!)  I had to calm myself with 100 deep breaths and my new friends that I had been joking with just moments before were hugging and congratulating me!  It’s that feeling like your head is at the top of a rocket headed for outer space and your body is limp from shock!  Unreal and so much fun!

Thank you Kate @ Absolutely Everything, Topsfield, Ma and thank you to a very generous Kathleen S for sharing her BIG minute of fame and fortune with me! ---This is going down as one of my favorite days! J


  1. Congratulations !!! I was sure you win something. And now look great on these things. On the copics bag I'm really envious. Even better, if she was already full ;-) Have lots of fun with your new goodies !!!

    And I am very pleased to see a recent photo of yourself !!

  2. Sus, what a fabulous story! You had me holding my breath with anticipation and screaming with excitement at your win! You are not only creative, but a great storyteller, also! Kate and AE sound wonderful....I will have to come to MA someday to meet her (and YOU) and see the store you always rave about-- in person! Congrats on your win! (and to Kathleen, too!) And, I agree with Imke, happy to see a photo of YOU!!

  3. Great story...great haul...way to go, Susanne!

  4. Woohoo!! I was there too Susanne and could not be happier for you or Kathleen! It was truly a blast to be a witness and the excitement from everyone made it even more special.

    Like you, AE is my Absolute Favorite store and every moment I'm in there, is truly a joyful one!!

    Congratulations again! I was thrilled for you BOTH!! :)