Sunday, April 17, 2011

Inspiration from "North and South"

It’s been a little longer than I intended since the last post, I’m afraid. I’m not sure why I always anticipate that school holidays will give me more creative time; I think the opposite is the reality!

Happily however I have found time to indulge in watching my favourite DVD, North and South.  (NB: BBC version, not US Civil War. Much less carnage.) It’s so utterly wonderful, it’s beyond words. To any scoffers, I would like to point out that an hour after the first screening of Episode One in 2004, the BBC website forum crashed due to all the traffic. I’m not alone on this, girls J

I got to musing over what made it so satisfying a love story. And here’s my conclusion: restraint. Now I know that doesn’t sound remotely alluring, but bear with me…

So much of what would just be normal today was taboo back then. But before we start muttering “repression”, here’s the thing: when the big things are taboo, the little things – a glance, a touch, a word – become incredibly powerful. They don’t get lost or overlooked – they mean something.

That was the inspiration point for Layout Thirteen: restraint. Now, yes, I love new products. Buying stamps makes me smile. My heart sings the Hallelujah Chorus when I spy new papers. But just occasionally, isn’t it good to just strip it back to the essentials? A photo. A word. An exactly-right accent. Just to make sure the emotion… the story... the moment… isn’t lost in or obscured by the ‘stuff’ (wonderful though it may be).

So that was the challenge I set for myself this week: essentials only.  Here ‘tis:

Verdict: Essentials only is hard! There’s definitely more on that page than I thought there’d be. And I think the trickiest part was finding the right photo. A stripped-back layout needs a really strong focal point. Mine’s not technically brilliant, but for me, it captures the emotion of the moment. (Though I admit, I could be biased ;) )

All in all, while I’m not sure that I accomplished what I set out to, I had fun along the way and ended up with a layout I’m happy with. So we’ll chalk it up as a success.

Until next time, then...may your holidays be relaxing and refreshing :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Looking beyond the obvious...

Had a nice little reminder to do exactly that the other day. We’re living just off a fairly wonderful shopping / cafĂ© strip at the moment, and are finding plenty of excuses to meander up and down its length most days. A few days ago there was an obviously  homeless man sitting on the ground outside one of the shops. He waved cheerfully at my five year old as we walked past, who promptly waved cheerfully back. The next day, the man was again sitting outside the shop, and Mike watched him intently (with another answering wave) as we passed. I could just about see the wheels in his head turning, and, sure enough, he looked up at me with brow furrowed and said, “Mummy, that man was sitting there yesterday.” “Uh huh,” I replied, and mentally geared up to explain ‘homeless’. His eyes grew huge as he exclaimed excitedly, “Mummy, he must own that whole shop!”   

Oh how wonderful to have eyes that see beyond the so-called obvious! Eyes that don’t dismiss what they see, or miss the magic in the everyday….Thanks, Mikey – I needed that reminder.

Now in a perfect world I would have a layout inspired by that, but I don’t – busy, busy week. However, I did find time to do a couple more mini canvasses for New Project Part Two (must come up with a better name than that…;) ) Have a feeling those are going to be my creativity fallback position – the art you do when you’re too busy to do art. J

Kinder artwork makes me so happy…Think I may need to redo my teacup photo though – it’s just a bit large for the canvas. Will see if it bugs me when it's up on the wall...

Until next time, then! Happy scrapping :)