Saturday, March 1, 2008

Therapy 101

Do you have a "therapy" in life that is cheaper than Therapy? Of course, turning to the Lord and His word are the first course. But, sometimes we need to think of day 7 of creation, when even the Lord took a day off of His work to rest. And maybe my "therapy" wouldn't be considered rest by some, but, it is so soothing to me. Actually, over the years I've had different types. But there is one I have now that traces back to my childhood. If you walked into my tiny house today you would probably NOT peg me as "the child who did everything perfectly." I didn't do EVERYTHING perfectly, but I am SURE that I was the best at coloring in the lines as a child.

As I got older, I learned to sew, which is somewhat like staying in the lines. You have to cut pieces just so, and match them, then sew them oh, so carefully. The sewer's mantra is "As you sew, so shall you rip," meaning, if you don't do it right, you will be removing stitches (I've done that plenty of times, which means I obviously didn't do it right all the time). Then came other crafts: needlework, crochet, painting on fabric. In college my friend Bev (who lived with my family our first semester of college) and I would come home after a stressful day at school (who knew those people who said college was a cake walk compared to real life were serious!) and pull out coloring books and crayons. Yep, two 18 year olds would just lay their watching reruns and coloring. We always had a bowl of Bluebell Ice Cream, too (and stayed amazingly thin, which has nothing to do with coloring, but is a nice memory).

Now, so many years later I have a new therapy that has taken me full circle. It's rubber stamping. Those of you who have this same addiction, um, I mean therapy, know what I'm talking about. This isn't the old happy face stamp, or the "paid in full" office stamps of days gone by. These are stamps that take someone like me, who can't draw very well, and turn her into an artist. I am still in the amateur division of this art, but it is still so therapeutic. AND, I've discovered that there are a LOT of ways to color in the lines! I can stamp a picture, then use markers, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, or watercolor crayons to color in the the picture.

People have told me they thought I was spending too much money by having a hobby like this. We have always had to be frugal in our marriage, and this is another area where I've learned to be frugal. Stores that sell some of the things used in stamping have coupons almost weekly. That's one way to save money. Another, and my favorite way, is to host a show. I've had friends come over to watch my Stampin' Up (a company that sells stamps through home parties, much like I do with Pampered Chef) demonstrator show us how to make a card, then let us make one ourselves. Like Pampered Chef, as a host, I earned free product. I've also found a few age old ideas have come back to life. Bartering has become a way of life. Remember watching shows about the "old West" when people would pay the doctor with eggs and bread? Some of my stamping friends will swap stamping supplies for Pampered Chef items. Another "novel idea" is sharing. The first time we went into a stamp store, Bethany (about 5 or 6 at the time) asked, "Do we have to pay or do you just borrow this?" My friends and I share our stamps. And, here's another brainstorm: Generosity. If you see a stamped image you like, but you don't live close enough to borrow the stamp (though, I've mailed stamps to people far away to borrow), we will stamp images for one another. I also must say that I have been blessed by some of the kindest, most generous stampers around. I have had people give me stamps "just because." I am always shocked and amazed when this happens.

There you have it. Confessions of a stamper, Therapy 101. I'll share about another therapy in a different post.

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