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Christmas ads lead to creativity — and shopping

December 17, 2011
Messenger News

Nothing looks better than something you created after you found out it wasn't possible to do so.

Oh, yes, yes, that makes sense.

Once the Hobby Lobby ads start going full page in October, my brain tells me if other people can do something creative, I can do something creative. So it was, I'm standing in front of clear glass ornaments at Hobby Lobby thinking of the beautiful ornaments my friend made for me out of similar balls one Christmas years ago in Wisconsin.

My brain buzzer goes off, and the word creative appears as if in hot pink neon on the back of my eyes. How hard could that be, I wondered, and headed to the paints, where I bought eight bottles of tempera paint. With those eight colors, I could make any color I wanted.

I invited my neighbor over to play, and we sat in my kitchen one afternoon laughing and talking - OK, gossiping, but talking just the same. My husband has been at Friendship Haven for almost a year, and having somebody at home to talk to made the afternoon special indeed.

We mixed paint and planned our action. It might have been the good company that juiced my creativity, but I did some mighty fine work that day. Beautiful stuff. She left, I went to see my husband, and late at night went shopping, just for grins and giggles. I hate to shop, but I really was psyched from the great afternoon.

Came home with shampoo and toothpaste, stumbled into a dark house, flipped on the light and wailed like a banshee. All my beautiful paint jobs pooled in the down side of each glass ball, mixing colors of their own. One by one, I picked up each ball and swirled and shook, repainting the inside in more nice patterns. No longer beautiful, but nice.

A week later, globs of paint could still be shaken from inside the balls, ever changing the look. I never noticed the errant paint until I happened to look down on my shirt to see tiny glitter green, metallic gold and mauve paint balls hanging from it. The mauve started life as violet, a bit of blue and white.

I've been able to paint three sets - eight little balls, six regular-size and four big, frosted balls. Others are still in the fix stage. That's when it struck me - I might be able to get help on the Internet. I don't do Internet often, but I gave in and looked.

It told me you just can't paint on glass unless you've got special paint or a primer. Go figure.

With that new knowledge pinballing in my mind, I went into the living room to watch TV and think. A Hershey commercial comes on - that one where chocolate people play in lakes of chocolate - and my first thought was how much I'd like to bite their heads off.

And I don't think it had much to do with liking the taste of chocolate.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Sandy Mickelson is the former lifestyle editor of The Messenger. She is retired. She may be reached at



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