Coffee and Pretty Things

“I just want to drink coffee and make pretty things.”

keurig
One of two coffee cups I got at Hobby Lobby. I had absolutely no need for new coffee cups. But they were pretty and they were turquoise. Need I say more?

When I first saw the phrase on Pinterest,  it was one of those things that rang true as soon as I read it. I thought, yes, that’s a pretty accurate description of me at the moment. Let me explain…

villagio
April 25, 2016

One of the first things I discovered about myself after Mark passed away was that I draw comfort from looking at pretty things. My main purpose in life for the previous five years had been to be a help meet for my husband/best friend during his/our cancer journey. The Monday after the funeral, I felt as if I were rattling around in an empty world. Perhaps without even realizing it, the first thing I wanted to do was to go somewhere and look at something pretty.

pillows

It wasn’t even as though I wanted to buy anything. Just looking things I considered beautiful  seemed to do something for me. Wandering aimlessly through aisles of pretty things seemed to help in a way that I still can’t effectively put into words.  I’m actually only sharing this because it might be encouraging to someone else.

garage shelves
Oddly enough one of the first things I did was paint the shelves in the garage. It was comforting to see bright colors take the place of the drab and dusty off-white.

I discovered that making pretty things was as helpful as looking at them. Creating something beautiful became a refuge for me. This isn’t surprising, I suppose, since art had become a refuge for me in 2011 when Mark was first diagnosed with cancer.

bear with pot
This is a detail of one of my notebook drawings. It came to my mind today when I was saw the vase pictured below.

And to think I thought I invented the large intricately decorated vase idea!

There is no amount of crafting or art materials that can fill a void the size of a loved one you have lost. That’s God’s department. But creating things can really do something for you. Someone mentioned that this could be because we are made in the image of God, and He is, after all, a Creator. That makes sense to me.

barnes and noble coffee
You can always go somewhere with your drawing book and work on something while having a snack if you start feeling extra lonesome. Or you can spend time looking at colorful things someone else has created.

osh talavera

pretty rhings featured

Examples of some things I’ve looked at lately.

Naturally just about everything I see I have to try…

Of course it’s not the same not being able to show Mark what I’ve made. I think he would like my Talavera Kitchen and Whimsical Garden. I think he would look at some of my little “creations” the way he looked at my Whimsical Armadillos when he was in the hospital. He would throw up his hands in mock dismay at all the shelves I’ve added to the windowsills for Foster, and I can still hear him saying “Woman, you’re going to break me!” when I bring home the materials for yet another project.

yellow cat 2

Yep, I think he would be happy with my coffee and pretty things!