creative breathing room

I can’t believe I have scrapbooked now for well over ten years. My obsession began, as most of them do, with a simple desire. Our first child was too incredible, and the memories we were piling up were far too precious, to be captured by standard photos slipped into boring albums. I started with a blue Rubbermaid tote, construction paper (that deteriorated within the year) and oodles of stickers…It had a tight lid to keep Josiah from sharp scissors and sticky gluesticks but I was such a paranoid new mother that it was still put on a topshelf! And I’d pull it out and work at
our dining room table while he napped. I look at those first pages and I just cringe at mutilated photos and mismatched colors and journaling in ballpoint pen. But Josiah loves them and that’s all that matters, really.

Five years later we remodeled our 1920s bungalow and John turned an old, spooky, dark, cobwebby (is that a word? but you get my drift-it was horror-movie-background-creepy) fruit cellar under the stairs into a light, bright craft room. It was “just for me” because at not quite 5’4″ tall, I alone fit under the 5’6″ ceiling. How I loved that little room! Since it was “just a cellar” and no one but me was ever in there I chose to write all over the walls. Whenever I found a favorite quote I would dash downstairs with a Sharpie pen and, in my sloppy penmanship, add it to a corner-filling in blank spots with new verses and fresh inspiration. I often wonder what the new owners think of it? Did they paint immediately? Most likely. But I like to hope they loved it and added more, of their own.

Since we moved here, I have had a desk tucked in the corner of our bedroom. Love this house, don’t mind that it is “cozier” than the last two we’ve enjoyed but I do sorely miss having my own space. 3 bedrooms for 5 people doesn’t allow privacy for overnight guests, much less a space dedicated to just pasting photos onto paper! In just a few way-too-short years the boys bedrooms will be empty and it will be very bittersweet when that space is available. It will mean that my three little sparrows have flown the nest, and my “scrapbook material” (known to the civilian world as children) will be gone.

All this rambling is just to set the context for this praise…I am so blessed that my husband loves and supports this hobby.The way he rarely hesitates to spend our small amount of “extra” money on MORE?! paper. How he will often let us stop in Salem (when he is in a hurry to get to Portland) so I can browse my favorite scrapbook store. I love that he happily watches the boys all day when I go to a Saturday Crop, and when I get home he is eager to see the newly completed pages. He has always encouraged my creativity and knows how it fills, when I get depleted by the repetitive work that is homemaking. When I get blue he is quick to encourage me to either garden or scrapbook (depending on the weather) because he knows me so well. He has spent years observing that these two pursuits refresh his wife and perk her up. (and in the words of wise Aunt Hilary….happy wife equals happy LIFE) And so, John-always-my-hero, came to my rescue again and created a custom scrap area just for me, in the alcove of our bedroom. In between televised football plays last Saturday he installed crisp white shelves, rearranged and added much needed lighting. Eventually we’ll add a better desk system, (for more spreading out!) but right now it feels pretty close to perfect. Every time I walk in and see it, I grin happily.
Love this man, love this life. And can’t wait to scrap!

About sparrowjourney

Christian homeschooling mom to three boys, married to my best friend, John, for over 20 years. I love gardening without gloves, learning history with my kids, cooking with lots of butter, serving others, great books, rich coffee, studying the Bible, camping outdoors, scrapbooking, vintage home decor, the smell of rain and cut grass, authentic people, poetry, laughing until your sides hurt, and babies. oh and black licorice is pretty awesome.
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2 Responses to creative breathing room

  1. Anonymous says:

    looks fabulous!Susan

  2. Anne says:

    You’ve inspired me to make 6 scrapbook pages in the past two days. That’s an average of like, one every three days this year. Good thing it’s January! Heh, heh. I also now have the fever to organize my scrapbooking mess (no small feat) and sure wish you lived closer so that you could show me how! Plus, it would be great to “borrow” John’s handyman skills. = ) Nice job, both of you.

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