Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Paper Bag Journals and Memory Boxes (And the Making of a Childhood Criminal)

Yesterday, in my list of weird, personal factoids I listed the fact that I truly have a paper fetish. Along with that love for all things paper is a love of collage. I also love boxes. Boxes are paper. Boxes can be covered, embellished, and transformed into treasure chests. I also love paper bags. They, too, can be transformed into a myriad of useful objects. Recently, I tried paper bag journals...that is to say, I took several lunch sized paper bags and turned them into a book, a blank canvas on which to write, paste, or decorated to my heart's content.
I took old childhood photos and made a memory book from them. Notice the picture of me on the pony. This is perhaps my favorite childhood photo. I remember how each summer, this gentleman would visit my neighborhood with his pony and for a fee would let you wear his cowgirl outfit and take pictures of you on his pony. Even my Mom has a picture of herself as a little girl in a similar situation. It must have been a fairly common occurrence in those days. Don't you miss those days? (When people were not so worried about being sued.)

Well, I am straying from the subject at hand....paper. I will tell you a little story from my childhood. It was 1964, and I was in second grade. Mrs. Klinger was my teacher. She always kept a large stack of white lined paper at the front of the room next to the pencil sharpener. Each day, whenever we would have an assignment to write, we would have to walk up to the front to get a piece of paper. Well, I would walk to the front and very stealthily take at least 10 sheets of paper each time and then hide my loot in my desk. Now, please understand, I was a really well-behaved, good kid with no tendancies toward crime. But I just could not resist taking a little more paper than was needed. I was enthralled by paper...the feel of it, the smell of it, the things you could do with it. I just couldn't get enough! It was starting to become an obsession.

One night as I lay in my bed, waiting for sleep to carry me away, I started to feel that nauseous awful feeling that comes with a guilty conscience. My paper theivery had gotten the best of me and I had to come clean. I called my Mommy into my room and bared my soul...through tears and choking...I came clean. I confessed to my ongoing obsession with paper. I admitted the ugly truth....I was a paper hoarder. And not just that, but a sneaky, stealing, paper hoarder. Amazingly, I thought, my Mom did not chastize me but instead told me that she thought it would all be allright if I just returned all of the paper to the teacher the next day. Oh sweet relief, now I could sleep. I had been absolved...or at least absolution was imminent.

The next day I marched into the classroom, cleaned out my desk and returned every last piece of paper to the pile at the front of the room (well, maybe not every piece...but most of them!) It was then that I vowed that I would work very hard in life so that some day I could afford to buy any type of paper that I desired! My life of crime was short-lived, but my love of all things paper continues still today.


Autumn said...

WOW! That's all I can say about these journals!
That paper thing is edging on over here!!
I tried a piece of cute wallpaper for an envelope and it turned out o k . Nothing like I imagined but I can see possibilities- especially of spending money on PAPER!!!
Uh- the weird facts... they were great!!!
I'm getting a whole new idea of who you guys are- and it's funny!!!!!

smoothiejuice said...

where are ya bev..I am missing you! How are all the goat mamas?

GardenGoose said...

hey Bev,
I wanted to invite you to come join in the fun drwing over on my blog. hope you'll stop by and join in.

Bonne said...

ROFL @ the Paper thief story!!!!
And you still can't get enuff!! hugs, B

Katie said...

I do so understand the paper hoarding tendency! That childhood incident is so telling, isn't it?? How great to be all grow'd up and able to buy the bestest paper around!

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