I finally arrived in Dallas on Wednesday, June 13th, without further tire incidents. Dealership #3 did call to ask if I was satisfied with its service. I explained that the “check your tire pressure soon” message had returned the day after he fixed it and that dealership #4 had said dealership #3 had not put the pressure right or reset the computer. Dealership #3 said flat out that dealership #4 was wrong. “Why”, I asked, “did the message flash then?” He had no explanation but said he would get back to me. He hasn’t yet.
Driving to Dallas I passed yet another Mount Vernon, I cannot understand the lack of imagination when it comes to names. There are at least six towns named Mount Vernon in the USA (Ohio, Virginia, Texas, Illinois, Washington and New York), but the only one where George Washington lived is in Virginia. There’s a plethora of multiple cities with the same name in the USA. On this trip alone, I have passed Charlotte, Illinois, and Charlotte, Missouri , not to be confused with the Charlotte, North Carolina I stayed at a few months ago. I am not sure if this is an American thing; one would be hard pressed to find another Saskatoon or Toronto anywhere.
The pedestrian names continue into Dallas and Arlington. While the freeway is called George Bush Expressway, my hotel is on West Road to Six Flags, which leads to, unsurprisingly, the Six Flags Amusement Park. The directions to my Scrapbook Convention are equally pedantic. Take the Road to Six Flags, turn left on the AT&T Stadium road, (where the AT&T stadium is located), go to the I-30 Frontage street (the road fronting on the I-30), then turn right on Convention Center Drive to arrive at the Convention Center. What the street names lack in inspiration, they make up for in usefulness. No GPS needed here.
I am in Arlington for the Great American Scrapbook Convention. For those that do not know what that is, let me explain. Scrapbooking takes photographs and elevates their preservation into an art form. Scrapbookers do not take a bunch of photos, throw them in self-adhesive albums, maybe add the date and let them collect dust on the shelves. Rather, scrapbookers (or scrappers as we like to call ourselves), take photos, adhere them to colour co-ordinated papers (some plain, some with designs), journal the who, what, where, the feelings the photo generates and other memorable tidbits, insert fanciful titles and embellish the page with brads, stickers, paper flowers, stamped images and a host of other paraphernalia. A scrapbook page, or layout, can take anywhere from ten minutes to ten hours to create.
A whole industry is devoted to scrapbooking. Scrapbook.com is one of the largest sellers and if you click on Gallery, more than a million different scrapbook layouts may be viewed. YouTube also has scrapbooking videos; everything from layout ideas to tutorials on using different products. Amazon.com has thousands of scrapbooking materials for sale.
Back to the Convention This one is supposed to be one of the biggest. Like all scrapbook conventions, it has three components: a vendor fair, where over 50 exhibitors sell all things scrapbook-related, classes and a crop. Close to a 100 different classes are offered with such tantalizing titles as Classic Petunia Foldout Card Class, Disney Darlings, Simple Stamper Tricks, All About Adhesives and two I attended: Mixing Pattern Papers and Technique Tutorial. Crops are where the pages get made. Hundreds of scrappers sit at tables and create albums, cards and pages from early in the morning until late at night.
This is me at the crop. And now back to my scrapping.