"This is a wonderful day. I've never seen this one before."— Maya Angelou
A purple finch is eating at the feeder near my studio window. He doesn’t seem to mind the melody of the wind chimes as the soothing breeze plays their song. The afternoon is unusually quiet. The day is perfect for celebrating the Summer Solstice.
Slowing down allows me the opportunity to be fully in the moment. Even if we have the best of intentions, so often we are distracted by the commotion of daily life. But it is when coming back to center that I experience what truly makes me grateful. And this is when creativity envelopes me like the soothing sounds of the wind chimes and lets my heart sing.
A few months ago I facilitated a journaling workshop at my local library. We each altered a 3.5” x 5.5” notebook. Our objective was to create a Gratitude Journal…a special book to keep with us throughout the year. The art produced was delightfully unique. The evening filled with laughter. The more we spoke to each other the more we realized how often we each experience fleeting moments of bliss. Now we had somewhere to keep them safe.
Here is my journal. I lightly sanded the cover and applied a quick coat of gesso. I began stenciling with Artistcellar’s Ocean Waves from the Traditional Japanese Series. Once it was dried I covered the back and spine with an assortment of acrylic paint colors. I then added bits of ephemera: a page from an old dictionary, postage stamps, trading stamps, a leaf from a poinsettia and images I found pleasing. Keeping watch at the back of the book, I stenciled the word I am most grateful for: Create. The Artistcellar Creative Words Pocket Stencil was perfect. I wanted the journal to feel “special”. I added a paper flower, altered tags, and keys to unlock my spirit of gratitude.
My Journal is filling up with all sorts of bits and pieces captured from my day…from simple observations to newspaper (yes, I still read them) clippings and ideas for new work. But all in all, I can’t help feeling a sense of wonder in the fact that joy is the essence of gratitude. And reveling in each new day is an adventure in itself.
As we change Seasons I ask you…what unlocks the joy in your life for which you are truly grateful?
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