It would be easy to make this week’s blessing about those I love…after all it is Valentine’s Day tomorrow. And while I’ve sent a card or two, I can’t help but feel it’s a day most appreciated by florists and Hallmark. Personally, I try to communicate my love for the special people in my life more frequently than once of year. The annual celebration of love is, however, a good time to remind us to love ourselves and be grateful for the good qualities that lie within us.
If we were to make a list of the people who matter to us, we’d have no difficulty recording the character traits we value in them. One might be giving and kind; another might be dependable and always willing to help. We can look past any shortcomings they may have because we treasure the good. So why is it so hard to do that with ourselves?
Appreciating oneself doesn’t mean engaging in an ego trip. The list of my character flaws is long, and the battle to correct them is a daily one. But I am grateful for the strengths I have to balance them out: I am loyal, logical, dependable, a willing listener and a compassionate friend. These are attributes I have called on to get me through difficult times, and they have taken me on roads I never expected to travel. I am who I am, and while I strive to be better, I’m comfortable with the person looking back in the mirror. The more I read and study about gratitude, the more I am convinced that making peace with oneself is an essential element to a grateful life.
This week’s page is a reminder that my personal strengths are a blessing in my life.
Some of the inspiration for the page came from objects I uncovered in reorganizing my room. It’s funny how certain products can start the creative juices flowing whether they are brand new or simply rediscovered.
There's not much here in terms of complicated technique. While the blessing is personal strength, the lesson from the layout is design strength. Repeating the circular elements helps unify the design and blends nicely with the curved edge on the page and at the top of the heart. If you study the layout, you’ll see that that the components appear in odd numbers: three circles, five text strips, one metal embellishment, etc. There is more visual tension in odd numbers and that’s more interesting to the eye. You’ll see this same principle used in all types of design, including landscaping.
I stamped the title on some twill using Adirondack ink and my favorite little Hero Arts stamps. While I’m a perfectionist about many things on my layouts, I’m fine with the irregular line-up of the letters…it adds a certain handmade charm to the layout, a look I love.
Handmade. Love. Now that sounds like the kind of Valentine’s Day I can appreciate.