THE HAPPY SCRAPPERS got together last week to do a simple craft project, share a few laughs, and just get out of the house for a little while. Anyone who wants to join them is welcome — there are no meetings, no commitments, just fun.
In a winter that is unrelenting in dreary days, there is a bright, cheerful place offering a regular midday escape.
Maggie Tyler invited a group of friends suffering from cabin fever to her home last week to make burlap flowers. They are officially now a "group," although there is no membership, no commitment to attend meetings, no dues and no requirements other than having a good time.
They call themselves the Happy Scrappers, despite the fact that they dabble as much or more in crafts than scrapbooking, and they've decided to meet twice a month through the winter to work on simple, inexpensive but unique craft projects. Each participant just pays for her materials.
What the participants get in return is a lot more than the do-dads and goo-gaws - and the more practical items (Why can't burlap flowers can be considered practical?) they take home.
Last Friday, while getting organized, the gals talked about whether or not Chicago Pat was expected to come, and explained that there was a Pat, a Patty and Chicago Pat; that's how they told the women apart. There may have been multiple Karens and Nancys too, The Free Press Advocate can't say for sure.
They chatted about the melting snow, snow plowing and the need to get away from their "better halves" for a little while, they discussed movies, critiqued their own haircuts, laughed a whole lot and tossed out ideas for the next project.
That was all before lunch, and while the number of women in the room was fluid throughout the afternoon, some had such a good time they hung around for a couple hours after the last thread of burlap was pulled.
Right now, Tyler has so many craft projects she wants to do she'll run out of weeks in which to do them. But that's OK. The best lesson to be learned from this group is that the most important thing is to not stress about what has to be done.
"We want to keep it fun, like we had it last week," Tyler commented.
The Happy Scrappers meet again Friday, Jan. 24, at 10:30 a.m., at Tyler's house on Cambridge Court. They'll be making a DVD quick note pad, a pocket Kleenex holder and a Post-It-Note purse, the cost to participate is $8 for all three projects or $5 for the DVD quick note pad.
The get-togethers are held in Tyler's warm and inviting basement, although handicap access is not an issue.
Contact Tyler at 815-476-5832 for additional information or to join the fun. As free and easy as the group intends to be, it will be necessary to RSVP, so that there are enough materials for all.