The Story Of Dutch Lockdown Told in Crafting Paper

My “Don’t Know What You Got Until It’s Gone” – crafting pad as sold by German bulk store Action (stationary departments are closed until January 19th, 2021)

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup..

Dear Sara,

For 21 days, I m test driving 2021.
As opposed to business coach Katrina Ruth, who once baffled the car dealer when he asked if she didn’t want to test drive the car before ordering it, by answering:
“It’s a three-hundred fifty thousand dollar car.
I assume it will drive.”

I am making no such assumptions about next year.

With a year of Covid under our belt, I think we’re all done assuming anything will drive.
We’ve learned even the most obvious things, cannot be taken for granted.

Oh! This brings me, about five paragraphs early to the crafting paper story I wanted to tell you.
So I ve added a photo of my crafting paper pad – let me rephrase: of my favorite crafting paper pad – and I ve also added a German video about a haul at Action, featuring this pad.
You can find it at the bottom of this post.

Thanks to this video, I can not just give you a good viewing of this pad, but I also know the price.
Bulk store Action, who also has stores in the Netherlands with similar prices, sold it for € 1,33
Just to compare:
The last listed price for this pad on Etsy is € 10. 

So in 2019 I bought this pad on one of my own Action hauls.
The first time I really started appreciating it was when I used it for my continuously updated and expanding vision board card deck, which I started last summer.
I used them as the back of my cards, and particularly liked the process of selecting the card size frames on every page.
I wanted the paper to be used economically, but I also wanted to keep certain prints (such as one unicorn) whole, and not end up with two backs of the cards both featuring half a unicorn.
I was making a vision board not a puzzle.

Yesterday, on my daily walk  – and also the only 2 hours I did not spent news binging to an unprecedented level which has taught me I m not bringing THAT to 2021! –
a friend asked me, which products I would have bought, if I could have had one more go at them before our current lockdown, which will last to January 19th.

I confidently answered:
“Crafting goodies!!”

I think the look on his face was comparable to the look of the Mercedes dealer in Goldcoast Australia.

Since you are an assemblage artist, this is of course preaching to the coir. You understand perfectly well, why the final minutes shopping before lockdown should be spent on buying crafting goodies, but just to make my point, I present to you the mouthwatering, scissors rattling, glue pot waiting,
Crafting For Adults assortment of the Action store.

Action does not have an online store, so for five weeks I will not be able to access these products.
Among which I detected a crafting notebook which I have baptized “man cave” (design #3, on this product page).
Twelve years ago, Nijmegen did not have an Action, but I knew exactly where to find it in Arnhem. Even though, traditionally, the Action is never located in the main shopping areas to save on rent.
But it’s things like crafting pads man cave, that make it a store I will never get tired of visiting, and even travel for!

So when my friend asked the hypothetical question, if the non-essential stores had not been flooding with people the final few hours before lockdown (although my neighborhood Action which opened this summer, has had people waiting in line every day)
then which products would I have hoarded?
The answer was crafting materials.

But the underlying premises was that it were not just crafting materials, but a haul at Action, where you can buy anything you want on impulse, leave it on your shelf for a year, and then start using it for your vision board cards and be blown away by how amazing it is.
My wish had not been to have a go at €10 paper pads which demand immediate use to not feel like you wasted your money.

I need to have a lot of space around my crafting materials, and for them not to be utilitarian purchases. 

So this summer was the first time I realized I loved this paper so much, I started looking if I could get more of it.
But the few times I visited Action, they never had my glitter and unicorn crafting pad, and the others were nothing alike.

Ever since then, and totally unaware my time window to visit Action was rapidly closing, the realization had come that even though I would not be able to stock up on my favorite crafting pad:
That I should buy more crafting paper, with a different print.

That I should stop browsing the Action crafting shelves looking for just my own design, and then be disappointed it wasn’t there.
And instead let myself be surprised by whatever it was they did have.
Just like today, when because I m writing you, I visited the Action site and found us this man cave pad.

It was probably there all along, I just didn’t see it because I was too focused on getting a duplicate of the one I already had.

So, the crafting department of Action and this particular paper pad had been on my mind for months, when yesterday The Netherlands went into a new 5 week lock-down.
And this time it DID close all the non-essential shops. 

Stores like Action are only allowed to give access to their essential product aisles*

Being a notorious stationary hoarder has never been more rewarding.

Next to crafting paper, I own:
– a laminating machine, supplemented with ample laminating covers
– a small basket full of stickers
– about 20 rolls of paper to cover books and wrap presents
– a large basket full of gift ribbons, textile ribbons, gift cards
– a large assorment of postcards
– and an assortment of notebooks in various sizes, that probably requires a “We need to talk first” conversation before I let a man into my life who claims to love me, and wants to take things next level

There is a genuine possibility that my love for stationary exceeds my love for sex.

If you would drop me on a deserted island with the stationary and crafting assortment of an average Action store, I would not even miss people, Sara.

I think Dutch government has not realized that what they call “non-essential” is actually more essential to some people than human interaction.
If you delete human interaction for five weeks, it will be the next go to for even more people!

After Netflix.
But – and this is the story I really wanted to tell you, before I realized that this story should be all about stationary – I quit Netflix.

I had JUST quit watching Netflix, where I had become a heavy The Black List user, and just like with all addictions it had become progressive and I now needed two episodes a day.

I should probably have reintroduced myself as:
“My name is Lauren Harteveld, and I am an addict.”

Because the first day of quiting Netflix had been so easy, I had not noticed that I was still carrying a hole the size of three seasons of The Black List with me;
And that ANYTHING could have jumped in there!

For me it was binging unapologetically on news about the lockdown.

New ethical low in the history of the Netherlands:
All schools including for little children and daycare, are closed for the upcoming five weeks.
The reason is not because our government have new evidence or suspicions that the children are spreading the virus, but because the parents who come to school to drop their children off are spreading the virus, AND because the parents are going to work at the office and do not work from home, as long as the children are taken care off by school.

So the Dutch children have lost their right to education, as stated by the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, to serve as human ball and chain to their parents.

I don’t know, maybe it was not just coming down from my Black List addiction that made me go under in a 24 hours binge on the latest news on how our politicians were rationalizing that.

Maybe I really am a little concerned over this.
A little more than not being able to buy crafting paper.

Maybe, when the rights of an entire new generation are violated so brutally, and a right for education is apparently valid until we need you home to shackle your parents:
Maybe that asks for uproar, aggression, and a mother fucking revolution.

But if it doesn’t? 
Then the VERY LEAST it requires, is more crafting paper.
And no I do not mean for me.

An unexamined life is not worth living

* Within 24 hours the rules changed, and now Action and other stores with less than 70% of products essential, have to remain closed during lockdown and are not allowed to open to sell essential products.

At the bottom of this post you can find a video on my design paper. (not my video)


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Nederlands blog:

video (German): At 11 minutes 55 you can see my beloved crafting paper