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Today is one of those days when I wish I had an elegant writing arrangement like this, with space all around it and a distinct lack of clutter that keeps eyeing me suspiciously because I haven’t cleaned it up yet.  I love my writing desk, not least because it’s been in my family for almost a century, but it keeps getting used as a flat surface to put things on.  I also adore the little writing desk that we bought for my Christmas present so I can write more easily on the couch and in bed without straining my neck, but a lovely little space like that would be wonderful.  It looks calm and attentive, just like a new notebook with fresh pages just waiting to be filled.

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Isn’t the desk pretty?  It’s really light, fits easily on my lap, and holds lots of notebooks, pens, note cards, and anything else I want to keep close by.  I’d post a picture of my full-size desk, but it’s covered in stationery and boxes and papers right now, so I’ll wait until I clean it off before doing so.  I still haven’t figured out a good way to store all my stationery and note cards so that I can access them easily without having their storage take up space on the few flat surfaces I have, but that’s on my list to figure out this week, along with baking a strawberry cake.

And speaking of strawberry… I’m desperate for color right now, and this wallpaper is so fresh and cheerful that I’d love to put it somewhere.  Changing the walls isn’t an option right now, though, so they’ll stay beige and I’ll have to get my colorful walls from pictures for a while longer.

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Journal/Sketchbook "Down in the Meadow"

From the time I was little, I received beautiful things and never used them. When I was given sweet pea body wash or lotion, I would use only a little of it so that I would never run out. I collected pretty horse and fairy stickers, but it was rare that any of them made it onto a letter or a piece of paper. I was the save-it child, keeping everything for the perfect moment, because I wanted my pretty things to always be there.

Those stickers are still in my file drawer, but I’m using them now. They find their way onto the backs of envelopes when I send letters, and, strangely, I almost feel as though this is that “perfect time” that I was waiting for when I was younger and refused to use them.

Beautifully made journals and notebooks were treated the same way: a place of honor on a shelf or in a drawer, but no words to make them live and breathe and truly be mine.  I am encouraging myself to use those lovely books now, as I am with my stationery.  For stationery, I took an idea from Alexandra Stoddard and keep one of each notecard or stationery set in a box for me to look through and remember all the letters and notes I sent.  It also means that I’m more likely to use the notecards and stationery because I don’t worry about never seeing that exact one again.

The pretty chocolates that I used to save for months because I didn’t want them to be all gone are now savored one by one, but eaten nonetheless.  I’ve learned to appreciate them for their edibility as well as their beauty.

Most of all, though, I’m learning to take my pretty dreams off the shelf in my mind where I stored them, and to follow them.  I always told myself that when I grew up, I’d make pretty aprons and cook down apples into homemade applesauce and write whatever stories I wanted, whenever I wanted, without worrying that I should hide them in case people didn’t like them.  I kept all the dreams that a little girl has for when she grows up, and now I’m taking them off that shelf.  I made applesauce yesterday, and it’s the most delicious applesauce I’ve ever had.  I bought a pattern for vintage aprons, and five yards of white broadcloth, and I’m going to make myself an apron just the way I want it–long and ruffled and covering my entire skirt.  And once I finish it, I might get up the courage to try my skills at making a dress–long and pretty and rather old-fashioned–because I can’t find day dresses that I like in the stores.

I’m going to use my pretty things–the family china, the scented candles, the delicate teacups, and the notecards–and I’m not going to let my fear of things being “all gone” prevent me from enjoying them while they and I are here.

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