I N S P I R A T I O N S C R A P B O O K S
When my mother was a little girl, she went to stay with her grandma, Alice, for the summer, on her farm near Sioux City, Iowa. She fed chickens, gathered eggs, picked apples, hung clothes on the line, made cakes, and rolled out pie dough with Alice; and she played pick-up-sticks on the porch every night after dinner, with her best friend Alla. Moths beat around the porch light, crickets chirped in the dark, while her grandma, still wearing her apron, knit and rocked in her creaking chair; grandpa Walter listened to the radio, just inside the window, at the kitchen table with the yellow oilcloth. Probably listening to this music.
It was another time, in a world gone by. But there was one thing at least, besides the love of baking and cooking and crickets chirping, that carried through my mom and on to me.
One day Alice was folding clothes, putting them away, and she said to my mother, “Patty, come here, I want to show you something.” From her top drawer, Alice pulled two pieces of paper. Glued onto them were pictures of chairs with turned legs and upholstered seats, and a wide polished table; pictures Alice had cut out from a magazine.
Alice said, petting my mom’s head (which my mom used to do to me so I know how good this felt), “See this Patty? This is the exact table and chairs I want for the dining room. See how I glued on eight chairs? That’s because I want eight chairs, I don’t want six. Every day I pull these papers out and I look at them and remember that this is what I want. And someday I know I’ll get it. You remember this honey, when you know what you want, what you really want, it’s important to write it down, and if you have pictures, then use pictures.”
I loved this story, because Alice did get her dining room set; and now I make dream books for inspiration (for me) which came through inspiration (from my mom and great grandma)! I don’t know where Alice learned to do this, maybe her grandma taught her; but I have used her technique for a long time. Remember my “six-foot-two, Leo, who can cook?” That’s what I wrote in my diary about the non-existant man of my dreams long before I met Joe, who turned out to fit that description perfectly! Thank you great-grandma Alice. And for the cooking too. ♥
My dream books aren’t fancy . . . they’re just normal three ring binders I fill with plastic sleeves. You can have a dream book for anything you’re wishing for; this one I’m showing you is my Garden Dream Book; I also have a “House Dream Book,” because at one time, Joe and I rebuilt a house, so I have pictures of wonderful cottages and bungalows , interesting wallpaper; porches, farm sinks, paint colors, kitchen floors, cute shelves, refrigerators, architectural things; everything there is in a house, all cut out of magazines, or photos I’ve taken myself. My own private style reference book. You could have a book that dreams of a new kitchen; you can have an antiques dream book, or a clothes and shoes dream book. Or a vacation dream book. Or if you wanted to start a Bed and Breakfast, you could collect all the things you want to have in it! Including recipes! There’s lots of magic in books like these. Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets!
A dream book helps you focus, and when it comes time, you can look at your pictures, and really know what you want. I started this one years ago, when I was struggling to figure out how to make a garden.
I sort of had an idea of what I wanted my dream garden to look like, what I wished I could have in it; so whenever I saw something I loved in a magazine, I cut it out, and into the book it went; just like my great grandma.
I included all the little details; the kind of bird houses I liked . . .
The kind of roses I wanted . . .
All kinds of inspiration . . . for walls, gates, fences, trees …
I needed to have these daisies! Especially number two, and number nine … and number one!
There are small charming gardens in my book that make me think, “maybe I could do this!”
And amazing gardens like this one that I knew I’d never have, but I didn’t care, too beautiful to leave out, plus I thought that by including it, I could maybe up the ante a bit and make whatever I did even better.
I even have dogs in my garden scrapbook. Because I thought by the time this garden was grown up, I would be retired and have all the time in the world, and would get a dog, or three, and these would be them. ♥ Aren’t they adorable?
The first time we went to England, besides my diary, I kept a tiny little dream book, where I wrote down everything I was learning about English food, houses and gardens.
I kept it in my purse; it’s not very neat, but there’s lots of good information in this little book. . .
Even quotes I gathered along the way . . . and the bathroom layout in my English friend’s (Rachel) mom’s house! Such a wonderful bathroom!
And recipes too . . . all the inspiration I can find, if I like it, in it goes.
So here is my bird house under the wisteria, and here
are my roses on the arbor . . . inspired by my dream book and England.
I still do lots of things my Great Grandma, Alice Carpenter, of Sioux City, Iowa did; I make pie crust, I hang laundry on the line, I knit in my chair; I wear my apron sometimes too, when I do it. The beat goes on.
So far I haven’t seen this kind of garden decoration in any of my magazines, it’s not in my dream book, but you could put it in yours; I think it’s almost as pretty as a bird feeder!
Have a wonderful day Girlfriends! We are so lucky, we have plenty to do, many many things to love, and lots to hope for! And we’re going to England! XOXO