I love this Guest Blogging thing. There are so many creative and inspiring people around me. My housemate is indeed very clever, she is often motivated by her daughter, almost 4 year old Sarah, and yet intrinsically driven by more practical principles. This week Claire has been busy making paper. Remember to check out the photos after Claire’s story…. Love, Sara xo
Guest Blog: Upcycled Memories
In preparing for the arrival of a second child, I felt a strong urge to ‘make space’ in our somewhat cosy unit. This included converting some roof-space into an archive zone, and purging some of my childhood clutter. But I’m a bit of a collector and a keeper, so this wasn’t all easy.
I had a file full of letters and postcards from friends and family, collected over perhaps two decades. Some of them are real treasures, particularly letters from grand-parents who passed away in my child-hood. A number made me smile: very fond memories from seasons of life vastly different to this one. A couple of bizarre letters and photos sent anonymously: still a bit of a creepy mystery?! And one letter from a guy called ‘Slugger’ had my young daughter in fits of laughter. I’d already torn it up, but had to retrieve the pieces and tape them back together so that I could read it all to her – and I explained that I could no longer recall Slugger’s real name, and I had no idea where he was living or what he was doing now, so no we couldn’t call him or send him a message.
There were letters from old boyfriends, lots of blue aerogrammes from a friend doing a gap year in the UK, and such a large collection of letters from a particularly troubled friend that it could almost constitute her personal diary! As I said, I’m a bit of a keeper, and I can tend to hang on to friendships, and memorabilia, longer than I should. I am slowly learning that sometimes it is healthy to put seasons of life behind us, to acknowledge that on this journey we come to forks in the road and take different paths to others we’ve at times been incredibly close to, and that saying good-bye is actually sometimes quite appropriate, albeit a bit sad.
That said, dumping these precious artefacts in the recycling bin seemed somewhat irreverent. Burning them seemed like overkill. So instead, this autumn heatwave has provided a perfect opportunity to upcycle them into ‘memory paper’. If I still had pen-pals it would make very special writing paper, but alas virtually all of my written communication is electronic these days. Some of this paper has already been given away to people who are important companions in this season of life, and the rest will probably be used to make cards. Very unique, very precious cards that are quite literally packed full of memories.