Country Adventures

Happy October, everyone. October is my favorite month. I’m a fall girl. Very nature-rich and harvest-y. I also love sweaters.

It was a day of adventure for Julian and me and I am exhausted.

A month or so ago, there was an article in The Tennessean about Richie McDonald’s birthday present to his wife…her very own scrapbook store on the square in Carthage, TN. Apparently, Lorie and her friends enjoy scrapbooking and were lamenting the lack of a local source for supplies, so the country music star (he’s a member of Lonestar) stepped up. Isn’t that cute? (Someone needs to tell Joal about this in March…my birthday is the end of April.) Ha!

So, since I like to make road trips to see all the scrapbook stores in the area pretty regularly, I decided this morning to take a jaunt over to Carthage and visit “Scrappin’ on Main” for their grand opening. Carthage TN is a classic small town about 40 miles west of Nashville…let’s say it again…it’s a very small town.

I suppose with all the publicity, I expected too much. (Or maybe I am way too spoiled by the positively amazing stores here.) I forgot that not all stores open with ghusto. It was a cute little store. Very neat and easy to find, even though today there was a community festival going on in the town square, so the streets were cordoned off for the festivities. Since I was unfamiliar with the area, J and I parked and decided to just walk around until we found it.

We browsed through the fair-like festivities as we walked around the small town square. It was so nostalgic for me. I grew up in small towns and I’ve attended bunches of these fall festivals and this one was a quaint and home-grown as the ones I remember from my childhood. There were church bazaar items for sale, a bake sale of homemade goods, several bead craft vendors, a quilt booth that I wish I could have raided more than I did, a smattering of home “party sales” companies, a handmade purse vendor and a farmers market selling fresh produce, flowers, gourds and the biggest truckload of pumpkins I have ever seen. Beautiful pumpkins.

There was music…local folks singing their hearts out with every style being represented--from an old guy playing a mandolin to a young woman doing a mighty fine Alicia Keyes song.

Unfortunately, the scrapbook store was a little underwhelming. Maybe I am spoiled…but the aisles were difficult to maneuver, the racking was too tall for the store layout, there were almost no samples on display and the selection of products…odd. There were lines of papers that aren’t even being produced anymore and in odd combinations. It was all very haphazard and eclectic.

I don’t know this to be the case, but it seemed like perhaps most of the stock was bought from another store that had closed and wanted to sell off what they had leftover. There were *no* entire collections of anything. For example, there were 2 styles of the first offering of Heidi Grace paper…no other Heidi Grace items…just two papers from her first line. There was a touch of Karen Foster and a nice selection of Frame Ups from 2002. Mrs. Grossman’s stickers abounded. The die cut wall (all in boxes) was enormous. It was just an odd selection of merchandise to me. It didn’t feel right. Nothing new-ish except the Quickutz and a few JoLees.

It feels bad to raz a new store…I wanted to be impressed but it just didn’t happen.

On the way back westward, we stopped in at The Sassy Scrapper in Lebanon. Big news there—they are moving in a few weeks to expand. That’s a good indicator, I think. Very nice lady working there…that’s always been a cool store. Not nearly enough cardstock but a nice place. I wish it wasn’t sooo far away. I found a stash of Scrapworks papers that I had to have. It’s the pink and brown collection. I had some…used it…wanted more and couldn’t find any. Until today. Finding paper I love - that always makes me happy.

I was on the hunt for more orange grosgrain with white polka dots ribbon for my Croptoberfest ATC swap, so our next stop was Hobby Lobby. No luck with the ribbon, but I found a small wooden dough roller in the Wilton (cake decorating) aisle that I snatched right up. I’ve wanted that double-ended Pampered Chef dough roller forever but the price tag is a little steep at $15 plus tax and shipping. This one only has one roller but I think it will work similarly and was only $5.

We made a few more stops and came home happily tired. It was cool to hang with J without G. J is growing up so much. He’s becoming more observant and I can tell he’s thinking about things more. He’s so much like his father. Sometimes I feel like I’m getting a little glimpse of Joal as a boy when I am with Julian. That’s pretty cool. He was happy to have a little bag of his own stickers (all fire-fighter themed of course) to bring home.

A few days ago I ventured over to the blog of a friend we haven’t seen in a while…Aaron Sands. He’s a musician. He plays regularly with Jars of Clay and is also working with a group called Little Big Town. I heard their song “Boondocks” on the radio on our way home. It’s a snappy song…very singable with catchy lyrics. I like their sound. Kinda fitting for our adventure out today, I thought.

Happy Sunday, ya'll.

1 comment:

TracieClaiborne said...

Thanks for the review! I was contemplating taking the drive to Carthage myself to see the store. You saved me some gas money! (Not cheap these days.)

Too funny. I also like Sassy Scrapper but it is so tiny it gives me claustrophobia. I'll have to check out their new space. I haven't seen their M'boro one yet but I know it's open.

I think we have that pink and brown Sworks paper! You must have missed it the last time because it's been there for a while. Oh well! See ya!