I always liked school. Oh, sure…there were times I was glad to see the semester end while stuck in a college class I was less than thrilled with but that didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for learning. It’s probably a good thing I felt that way since between a job, raising a family and going to school at night it took years to finish college. But the learning didn’t stop once the diploma was in hand. Over the years calligraphy, basket weaving, genealogy, photography and more all drew me into a classroom of one kind or another. That’s what learning should be…a life-long experience.
I’m a firm believer that in order to make the most of your time on this earth you should seek out opportunities to learn as long as you are able. What you learn and how you learn it are far less important than the concept that you are open to new ideas, you are challenging yourself and, most importantly, you are using your brain. Henry Ford once said: Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning is young. And I intend to stay young.
There’s more than just cranium calisthenics, however. In learning there’s continued personal growth which leads to a more enriched life. A pride of accomplishment…the empowering feeling to tackling something new and conquering it. And often learning brings us in contact with new and different people, adding a social dimension of the process as well.
So I’m celebrating learning as my blessing this week. I’ve just finished the Me: A to Z class, although the album to accompany it is barely started…and I’m OK with that. During the past few weeks I’ve engaged my brain, experienced personal growth and shared connections with others. In short, I’ve learned…both crafting skills and about myself. And I have every intention to keep right on learning, having signed up for Ali’s Yesterday & Today class which started today. I have no reason to doubt there’ll be more classes of one kind or another in my future. For me, learning will always be part of my life.
Here’s the page I created this week:
Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper
Patterned Paper: Chatterbox and Cosmo Cricket
Journaling spots: Heidi Swapp for Advantus and Making Memories
Ribbon: May Arts
Letter stickers: Making Memories
Pen: EK Success
Fonts: Binner, Internet, and Garamond, Adobe
The photo is of my computer monitor with the video lesson from my class displayed on it, and the pink and black colors that dominate in the photo gave me a color scheme to work with. This is one of those cases when I was headed down one design road and suddenly found myself going a new direction. The cause behind this change? The houndstooth paper I’ve used as a background. It’s actually a journaling sheet as is the lined circle behind the photo. I buy lots of journaling products but they don’t usually end up with words on them. They’re just great sizes, shapes and pattern combinations for lots of projects, especially on smaller pages like this one. I turned it upside down, too…another example of looking beyond the obvious in using your supplies. The colors were perfect, especially since the frayed edges of last week’s fabric are visible.
Repetition is the easiest way to unify your design. Here I repeated the diamond shapes that appear at the top of the page by creating chipboard accents in the same colors at the bottom. I scanned the paper to create a pattern, enlarging the diamond slightly, then traced it onto chipboard and cut it out. A few scraps of patterned paper gave me some extra dimension and interest to move the eye through the page. I save cardboard that comes in albums and paper packs to use like this but you can also buy packages of it in the bigger craft stores. If you're obsessive like I am, you can go around the edges of your chipboard with a pen or some paint to give it a more finished look.
Pre-made products made this page come together quickly but some handmade extras give it some extra oomph. I’ve learned that I like when that happens.
***Each Friday's post is part of my 52 Blessing project...an effort in 2009 to be more aware of and grateful for the blessings in my life.