Stopping to Smell the Flowers

Alison Day
Alison Day

Many of us go about our daily lives moving from one indoor space to another. Think about it. You leave your house to go to work or run errands and what’s the first thing you do? Get in your car. Then you get out of your car at your destination and go straight into your workplace or the store you’re visiting. When it’s time to leave you reverse the process and by the end of the day you’ve hardly spent any time in the outdoors.

Why am I calling attention to that? Because for me, it’s when I purposefully get outside that I feel refreshed. Literally the fresh air helps me breathe more deeply and cleans out the inner cobwebs which renews my soul. At the beginning of 2018 I was low. Like really low. I tried many things to improve my mental health but the winner was going for a walk every day. I think it started with the 100 Day Project and morphed from there. I started taking photos of the gardens as I walked. I loved seeing them change, bud, mature, and go to sleep again as the seasons passed. I’ve scrapbooked about it before but there’s one thing I’ve never scrapped about …

Cherry Blossom Season!

Shimelle calls this time of the year Pink Tree Week so I borrowed that wording for my title. Just like Dani, I made a half and half layout. I think Shimelle is really onto something with this design concept! Make sure you check out Dani’s layout too because as much as she claims it was out of her comfort zone, she ROCKED it!

The two photos above are taken a couple weeks apart. One when the tree was in full bloom (love those laden trees!) and then one evening after most of the blossoms had dropped. I just loved how the setting sun caught the carpet of blossoms. See, this is what I’m talking about. Unless you get outside on a regular basis, you miss all this beauty!

I am working through my April and May Best of Both World’s Kits (my versions of them anyway) for LOAD521, but for this layout I knew Shimelle had a perfect paper in her Sparkle City Collection so I chose papers from outside the kit to use as my background. Then I dipped back into my kits for the journaling boxes, the tags, and all the embellishments. 

See what I did there? LOL

Sometimes getting outside is more a mental thought process than a physical state of being. Get outside the box. Get outside the kit. Get outside your comfort zone. For me, both go hand in hand. When I am physically outside my mind slows down to allow all those buried thoughts and ideas to rise up and be considered. 

Thinking outside the box also allows me to be flexible with my page designs. I was pretty set on having the photos and journaling in a line across the bottom of the layout and when I found that dark purple image from a Paige Evans cut apart I wanted it on my page but couldn’t make it work in the horizontal design I had in my head. So I stepped outside of my own design parameters and tried it above the photos. As soon as I did that it all came together!

Sometimes you’ve got to get out of your own way to make it work.

How can you incorporate some of my trials and errors into your life and craft?
1 – Literally get outside. 15 minutes a day in your garden, around your neighbourhood, or at a local park will do wonders to your mental health. Boost your enjoyment by calling friend for a physically distanced walk.
2 – Think outside the box/kit. When I’m using a kit I try really hard to stick with it but when you’ve got the perfect element to tell your story in your giant stash, USE IT! Why wouldn’t you? There are no scrapbook police ready to pounce and give you a ticket for deviating from the kit! LOL!
3 – Get out of your own way. If a design or element isn’t working the way you want it to, switch it up. Move it to a different spot. Flip or rotate the entire design. And if all that fails, walk away from your desk and hey, go outside! I bet a few minutes in a different environment will let you return to your page with fresh eyes.

Oh, and in all things, have fun. Stop taking yourself so seriously. And give yourself some grace. 

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