Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Tiny Green Room of Her Own

I'm absolutely obsessed with looking at photos of scraprooms! I can look at craft rooms, scrap rooms, art studios -- whatever you want to call them! -- for hours on end. Not only do like to see the various styles of decorating, I love to get storage and display ideas for my own room. When someone posts photos of their scraproom, I never think of it as being "braggy" in any way. I think of it as a contribution to scrapbookers everywhere -- A gift to man-kind!

I love so many types of scraprooms -- big ones, tiny ones, rustic ones, green ones, you name it. I have favorites saved on my computer all the way back from 2002. I recognize a scrapbooker's profile pic on a message board and think, "Oh, she's the one with the lovely red scraproom with the cute Pottery Barn Samantha Bench..." You get the idea!

My scrap "space" started out in 1997 as cozy nook with a card table in the corner of my family room, right next to my new baby's Pack'n'Play. He played or napped, and I learned how to scrap, and the rest, they say, is history. Over the years, with moves to different houses, I've had "shared spaces" for my scrapbook supplies ranging from a really large laundry room that had built-in shelves and a desk, to my kids' playroom which had a mural of hot-air balloons painted on the wall, and my little added counter-top in the back of the room. None of these spaces were perfect, but I managed. Of course I kept hoping for my own room, and would constantly reconfigure rooms hoping to find space JUST FOR ME. That finally happened about a year ago. We shifted the boys around, and I took over a tiny bedroom. It was great fun to decorate, and being the only girl in the house, it was quite a new experience buying PINK things! All in all, it turned out well for me and it is indeed my favorite "go to" place.

Although I would hate to think of giving up my room should we move, I do find it ironic that scrapping was actually much easier back when I simply had one Iris cart and a Rubbermaid tub in the midst of teething toys and plush baby blocks. Yes, sounds pathetic, but I swear, I got a TON of scrapping done back then! I'm not going to say that the layouts were exquisite works of art, but they were completed quickly, and the process wasn't at all stressful. (And when I look back at them, I love these early pages!) As I type this, and look around my room which is overflowing with patterned paper of every hue, and printers and die-cut machines covering most surfaces, I can't help but think of one of my husband's favorite quotes: "“The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously.”

Hmmm... what a concept! Scaling back? Out with the old, in with the new? Simplifying? Definitely an option to explore in 2010.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Handmade = Love <3

Happy New Year! I've had over a week now to ponder New Year's resolutions. Every year I contemplate various things, and frankly, I don't usually stick to any of them. They usually involve either fitness & diet, or home organization. I must be honest here -- these are not things that I excel at, or enjoy working on. And overall, these aren't things that are really going to matter 50 years from now. [Note: My husband just read this sentence and laughed loudly. He said, "Of course your diet and fitness is going to matter in 50 years!" Let me clarify -- YES, it will matter and I do hope to make some positive improvements. However, my kids won't care in 50 years if I wore a size 8 in jeans or a size 12, know what I mean???] The bottom line is this: In 2010 I want to focus on doing what I love and loving what I do, and doing it for my loved ones -- the people that really matter.
Last night I was taking down my Christmas trees and had time to think about what each ornament meant to me. What memories each one held, the story behind it, and for some, the hands that made them. The hands that made them with love for me and my family.
The top photo is my favorite ornament this year. My seven year old son created this just for me! He made these adorable snowmen with his hand print. Words just can't express how much I cherish this ornament. I love that little hand print, and love those brown eyes that just sparkled with pride as I opened his gift! As the years pass, and his hand grows, I will treasure this ornament all the more.
The next two photos are ornaments that my grandmother made for me over the years. Each little person, or kitty, or gingerbread man was created with her hands. Each eye stitched by her, with love. This is my sixth Christmas without her, and each year I miss her terribly. But it makes me feel close to her when I hang these ornaments and touch the fabric she has touched. It also makes me know I want to be the kind of person that she was. The kind of person who loved to make things for her family; the great mother and grandmother that thought good food was a way to show her love for her children, and that it was worth the effort; the hardworking person that never sat idle and always had a project going for someone she loved. That's what I want to do, and that's the gift I want to give my children.