I remember it well!: Ink pens. This thought flashed through my mind, as the stage is set for remembering things waaaaay back when - things like ball point pens and felt markers didn't exist. I remember in the third grade finally being allowed to use a real ink pen - the kind we filled from a little glass bottle set into the ink well of our desks - Scripto, I think it was, and it had a little glass bowl looking thing under the lid to make filling the pen easier and not so messy as dipping it down into the bottle. (This came to mind as I was placing orders for boxes of 12 of the assortment of pens I now use for my design work and other assorted tasks.) I use a fine line permanent marker for drawing on needlepoint canvas, a fine point felt marker for inking master drawings for tracings, and medium point gel pens for other tasks, like writing copy for Needlepoint Now magazine on legal pads. This came to mind as I was putting the "lace" designs onto canvas, and the ink ran out of my pen. The high spot of getting ready for a new school year to begin, besides shopping for new wardrobe, was going with my mother to the office supply store and selecting a new fountain pen - preferably a Sheaffer's, in my favorite color at the time, which could be left to have my name embossed in silver on it. What luxury!! Anyway - on the subject of earrings, we've come a long way! My grandmother used to wear button earrings shaped like this - I found a large collection of them when I cleaned out her house a few years ago. All "clip ons" which were agony to wear, but all there was when I started wearing them myself at the grown-up age of 14. When I went away to school at 18, I had still been wearing them all those years, and they hurt really really bad, but one must suffer to look nice, I was told. Back then, one wasn't allowed pierced ears, as it "wasn't nice" - but the day I was 21, I went straight to the doctor with two other friends, and we had them done. I used the birthday money my father gave me to buy myself some fine antique smoky topaz dangling earrings, and my mother was furious, needless to say. My grandmother applauded, and gave me the diamond studs that her father had given her when she "came of age" at 16. (apparently it was "nice" back then.) The subject of this post was supposed to be remembering again that back in "the day" we had nothing for needlepoint that sparkled and glittered except that horrible gold "cloissone'" stuff that raveled if one caught a fingernail in it. Working on these little pieces has been a joy, as I have used lots and lots of Kreinik metallic ribbon, seed beads, and shimmer blend YLI ribbon floss - they really shine, and are fit for a party!!