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Crafting My Way Back to Happy

I’ve been so unhappy lately.  A lot of it has to do with the fact that on Thursday the 5th, we lost our sweet Powder Puff.  Y’all know I’m a “cat person.”  But he wasn’t just a cat to us.  He was our precious boy, so having to say goodbye to him so unexpectedly really tore us up.  I don’t actually want to write about that, though. It’s still a very open wound (and a deep one at that), but God has been pouring his healing power into the middle of the mess and is bandaging me up and changing the dressing every. single. day.  So I’m hanging on and slowly getting my happy back.  Through it all, He’s shown me how absolutely powerful and therapeutic it is for my creative heart to get in my bright and pretty craft room to play through the pain.  So part of the way I’m taking care of myself these days is by intentionally creating happy things.  Like this:

This book is heavily inspired by Suse Fish… by heavily, I mean I pretty much tried to copy exactly what she does.  LOL!  (What can I say?  I want to be Suse when I grow up.)  😉   If you’re not familiar with her loveliness, for the love just scroll through her Instagram and be amazed.

If you’re reading this, “Hi, Suse!”… But to everyone else, I wanted to share some things I’ve learned from devouring her creativity and wisdom:

– It’s ok to not get e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. on your wish list… Cause there are SO many ways to create beautiful things using just a few supplies.

– Thriftiness is totally an art of its own… and you can make an entire scrapbook layout using just a few small scraps.

– Albums don’t always have to be full of family photographs.  (That probably seems like a “no duh!!” statement, but for me, letting go of feeling like I could only use my creativity for photographic memory keeping was a big deal!)

– God loves being invited into our craft spaces, and sometimes the best and most rewarding pages or projects come from knowing you made it with our Creator.

– If you have a color scheme you absolutely LOVE, don’t force yourself to use other colors just to add more variety.  It’s totally ok if everything you make is pink and black… and light blue.  Or covered in cats.  Gimme all the cat paper, please.

– Cutting the cute stuff out of magazines and catalogs can be as satisfying as opening a new ephemera pack.  Or better… cause you only cut out the stuff you’ll use and not have extras that you don’t know what to do with.  Boom!  😉

I knew I wanted to make a “happy book” full of all sorts of pretty pages and bits of ramblings from my brain (as well as pretty papers and images that give me all the heart eyes), but somehow just the act of building this book has already been therapy to me.  I suppose that’s why Suse calls it “Scrap Therapy.”

I’ve been feeling kinda unsettled about how much stuff I have- I know that seems silly considering I don’t have nearly as much as most people do, but there’s part of me that remembers how much happier I was creating and documenting when I had very little to work with.  When I had less options, I actually found myself feeling more grateful for the few things that I had.  But now, with my room of pretty papers and journaling cards and tons of alpha stickers and pieces of ephemera, I feel overwhelmed at times and can’t seem to just get in my groove.  So my hope is that I can use up a chunk of my stash in this book and learn to create things using magazine cut outs instead of new ephemera packs.  Just the few pages I’ve done are already making me feel lighter and more free.  This kind of creativity really is therapeutic!

On my grumpy days, I told my husband to just hand me this book so I could look through it.  I know that some of the images in it will make my heart happy and fill me with joy.  Also, I started adding in some of the funny things my husband says, and if the pretty papers and pictures don’t cheer me up, his quotes sure will.  He’s a hoot!  Mildly inappropriate at times, but a hoot nonetheless.  😉

I’ve used envelopes from snail mail letters as pages, cards from my Mom’s Group at church, and… wait for it… wait for it…. Papers I pulled out of the garbage can.  (Pshhh… Don’t say “eww!”  It was my craft room trash-  Not the kitchen!)  😉

I just love this book and am so thankful I made it.  It’s been a rough couple weeks, and throughout the day, when my head goes to reliving our last hour with Powder, I walk straight upstairs, get into my happy place, and invite God to be with me in my Happy Book.

Let me just say it one last time… It’s been pure therapy, and I’m just getting started.

XOXO, Marybeth

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