This is a photo of myself, Maija Lepore and Trish Samsal. For the last ten plus years, I have gone to visit my in-laws in Mesa, Arizona. They live in a beautiful house on the golf course and it is always so wonderful to share time with them, to get taken care of by my second mom, and to watch the Arizona sunset. I have always wondered if this is where I would end up, as there are so many things I love about Arizona. The only problem...I am an "odd duck." I do not play golf and I do not play bridge. I like to play with beads and old paper. I am a bit unconventional, to say the least, and never felt that I would quite fit the mold in Mesa.
Then I met Trish, who was working in the craft store that was owned by Domestic Bliss in Downtown Mesa. I fell in love with the store (in fact, I thought Trish owned it!). Trish was teaching classes like encaustic painting and making large glitter Easter Eggs. They also offered sewing classes with exciting Sis Boom Bah and other fabrics. I was at home! She was patient and helpful while I buzzed around the store in a frenzy. I saw her at Silver Bella and I remember her handing my friend, Donna, and me some free things from her booth. So nice! When we visited this Christmas, she was again so helpful to Jud, Kat and me. I remember walking down the street in Downtown Mesa..there was an antique mall and a store called Mystic Paper! I was dazzled! This was the kind of area I have dreamed of inhabiting!
I found blogland about the time I signed up for Silver Bella and again felt this wonderful sense of finding my kindred spirits. I left my comments on many blogs and a couple people were especially welcoming. Among these was Maija Lepore. Maija always seemed to answer my little notes and I was so touched. I had a class with her at Silver Bella and she was just like I imagined her in person. What you see is what you get. She is an honest, forthright, genuine, generous person. I got together with both Trish and Maija this year in Phoenix. We had lunch and Trish taught us a class in making tiny books. I had a wonderful time.
I have strong connections here in the Twin Cities but I am getting tired of the long winters. Someday I imagine I will be living in Mesa, or somewhere in that area. It is such a relief to know that there will be true community there for me.
Maija is having a giveaway when she hits 200 friends on her Google Connect. She is giving away the coolest apron from Olive Juice and Co. Go and check it out and become her friend. You won't regret it!