The Namesake

As a small human, I spent a lot of time CREATING.  I credit my parents for passing on their artistic genes to me, but also for giving me a space in which to create.  A special place.  A secret place.  A thinking closet of my own.

The closet was deep and wide, but the ceiling was too low for big humans.  It was almost as if it was created with my exact height specifications in mind.  With an audible “boinggg!” the closet doors would spring open, and much like the Pevensie children inching through the enchanted wardrobe, I’d crawl through dresses and coats into a magical land–not of fawns and talking beavers–but of…wallpaper books!

See, my Mom would rescue expired wallpaper books from our local paint store and give them to me as my very own paper palette for cutting, gluing, and molding.  I distinctly remember the pearly finish on the textured pages of creams, tans, and icy blues.  (It was the 80s.)  Each page presented a new possibility for a creation.  A new Christmas gift to be given.  I could shut the doors and get lost in a project for hours.

I grew to call it my thinking closet.  In my thinking closet, thinking was done with my hands.

At age seven, when my parents shared the news that we would be moving to a bigger house in a neighboring town, I took the news awful hard.  An excerpt from my middle school autobiography project says it all:

“I didn’t think anything was wrong with our present house.  I ran up to my room and opened up my thinking closet.  Boxes were piled up high taking up all my thinking space.  I was very angry, so I threw the boxes out and entered.  It was like a very small room.  A very small room all to myself.  I didn’t want to loose [sic] my closet when we moved.  I sat in a corner and started crying.  Where would all my memories stay?  Where could I hide my secrets?”

So, fast-forward 22 years to tonight.  I need to name my blog–come up with some kind of title to encapsulate it all: the projects, the stories, the creating I hope to share, the dialogues I hope to foster.  I toss around a lot of really lame ideas I won’t write here.  Then, I think back the place where I first used my hands to create something beautiful.  A place of magic.  A place of wonder.  A place of…wallpaper.

So, like magic, The Thinking Closet is back.  As though I never left it.

Come on in!

Childhood photo of Lauren & Lisbeth rocking the 80s style.

Little Humans: Lauren & Lisbeth
Oh yeah. Rockin’ the side pony.

Lovely comments so far...

  1. says

    Thanks, Mama! And thanks for being such a cultivator of creativity in me when I was young. In addition to your gifts of the wallpaper books, whenever I asked what you wanted for Christmas or your birthday, you’d always say, “Something you make! Those are the best gifts.” Now you can see where my inspiration began!

  2. Tracy says

    I remember how creative you were as a child and I actually remember you sitting int he downstairs closet going through all of your mother’s materials. If I remember correctly, Lisbeth and you would wrap random objects just so you could “surprise” each other with “gifts” to be unwrapped (like Christmas). Thank you for reminding me of our childhood :)

  3. says

    Thanks for reading, Tracy. And your memory about the random gift-wrapping rings true in my memory. We had a drawer designated to projects and crafts we had created in school, and I loved rummaging through it for gifts to give…probably to Lisbeth! I even remember preferring some of her artwork to my own and giving hers away as gifts to others (surely without the artist’s permission). “This is my confession….” Sorry, Lisbeth!

    • Marmie says

      Wow!! Was this at 100 Inwood or 319?….I think of the family room craft area.
      You and Lisbeth are both creative in so many ways…and Tracy, too!! Tracy writing all those books with her Dad, which we still have!! And now creating through teaching and canning pickles, etc. That creativity just can’t stay bottled up in our family!

      • says

        Unfortunately, I don’t remember that drawer, so no worries Lauren. I probably was guilty of snagging a craft of yours as well! :) But I do remember that closet and what a haven it was. I love that you have that written excerpt from middle school…it’s a beautiful theme in your life of God providing spaces where you are free to create and share your heart. Who knew that the next space would be on the world-wide web!?! God’s so creative Himself in providing you a new creative space. Thank you for inviting us into the thinking closet with you. We are blessed to be here!

  4. Nancy says

    Thanks Lauren for inviting me into the closet. I enjoyed all of your posts… I recently used a shadow box frame to solve a problem too – my necklaces were hidden away and constantly tangled so I never wore them. A shadow box with a hinged door solved that problem and they hang on straight pins where I can see them and they never get tangled. Looking forward to you next project!!


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