Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer Mondays

Summer vacation Mondays are oddly quiet and calm, which is really quite different from the harried approach I usually take to this most unfavorite day of the week. It doesn't feel like the start of a week -- it just feels like the continuation of a very long one. The days are beginning to blend, and while that might sound blissful, it's actually disorienting. I've become so accustomed to routines that I find myself wanting to clean and organize just to feel a sense of purpose.

Something that has kept me feeling purposeful is scrapbooking. I admit, I still feel a little twinge of guilt when I start a project. An annoying little voice in my head always asks, "Shouldn't you be doing something more productive with your time?" I have to tell the voice to shove off, and it's not always easy to do so. During the school year, I counter it with a louder voice that insists that scrapbooking is stress relief, but I can't say that during freaking summer vacation, now can I?

Yet getting crafty is purposeful -- it makes me feel good. It makes me happy. Productivity is overrated. Creativity matters.

That said, here's what's been making me happy lately:
I am crazy about the Scraptastic June kits. I've been working with the "Thinking Out Loud" kit and add-on, and I love the colors and patterns (not to mention the accents). I couldn't decide which papers I wanted to use first, so I pretty much used most of them here. Lots of layers, lots of happiness.

The layout focuses on my daughter's last days of high school. She, like many members of the class of 2015 nationwide, was struggling with acute senioritis at the time that these photos were taken, so those days were likely a blur to her. I'm glad that I was able to capture some of the highlights for her.

In addition to scrapbooking, I've also been deep into ICAD mania. The Index-Card-a-Day Challenge has supercharged me creatively. I don't even really care what the cards look like -- I care more about what it feels like to create them.

Day 5: Owl.
The prompt had me a bit stumped at first, but poetry saved the day. I turned to Mary Oliver's "White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field," and incorporated some lines of the poem over a glittery feather from Things That Shine.  To create the background, I sprayed OA Sprinklers in Lagoon and SC Mister Huey's in Inky Black at close range and let the colors mix and meld.

Day 6: Taxi.
This topic was another challenging one, given my very limited experience with taxis. I've ridden in one only once, and it wasn't even of the trademark yellow and black variety. As I thought more about the concept of "taxi," I decided to riff on related ideas -- the taxicab color scheme, mileage logs, and tires and tires and tires.

Day 7: Periodic Table.
With 20 minutes to spare of Day 7, I worked at a frenzied pace to create this card. I thought about the periodic table in terms of elements and building blocks. Having recently celebrated 18 years of marriage, I created a series of eighteen building blocks of marriage, with each block representing a year. The color coding refers to the elements that comprise love and marriage, in varying combinations.

Day 8: Grapefruit and Cherry (Beginning of Week Two).
The week two topics feature culinary combos, like grapefruit and cherry, eggplant and ginger, and salt and pepper. I've been thinking about them in terms of colors. The theme/materials have also shifted for week two. The first week focused on drawing and doodling with pens, markers, and ink, while this week's focus is painting (gouache, watercolors/watercolor pencils, acrylic paint). I pulled out a few watercolor pencils in grapefruit and cherry hues, and once I had lightly sketched out a series of grapefruit slices, I brushed water over the designs. I then added some white acrylic paint to define each of the rounds, and then intensified the color a little by painting over each slice with cherry-colored ink, lightly dabbing over it with a paper towel.

I still can't believe it's a Monday.

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