by Elizabeth Dillow
Hello! I’m excited to have the chance to be today’s guest blogger at Scrap Big. I’m even more excited that the Big Idea Festival is almost here—I thoroughly enjoyed preparing for my small part in the celebration, and I guarantee that everyone who attends the festival will leave happy and full of inspiration! Which leads me to the last thing I’m super-excited about: registration is open for the second-run of my class, Inspiration Defined, and I can’t wait to meet a new class of scrapbookers who want to challenge themselves to study the inspiring world around them! I am constantly on the lookout for inspiration, and my class is all about developing a process to find, collect, and apply inspiration from all sorts of places. In the meantime, I’d like to share ten things that are inspiring me this summer—and I encourage you to create your own list while you’re enjoying all that summer has to offer!
1. I have a new notebook, and it’s inspiring me to write things down. I know, I know, this sounds like a ridiculously simple thing, but trust me—this notebook is super-cute. And cheap. And 70% made from recycled material! Sometimes a new notebook from Target is all you need to refocus and jot some thoughts down that make you want to get busy and get creative.
2. It is the Summer of the Owl in our house—my 5 1/2 year old, Gracie, is completely enamored with drawing owls. She’s even signing people up for owl drawing lessons! Her raw excitement about creating something is definitely contagious. Lucky for her, I love owls too, and I’m excited to make a little mini-album/portfolio of her drawings so she can one day look back and get reacquainted with her 5 1/2 year old creative self.
3. It’s also the Summer of the Dillow Family’s Participation in Cheyenne Frontier Days, which is going on right now: ten days of the largest outdoor rodeo in the world, when 500,000 people attend events in a town of 53,000. My husband is actively involved this year because of his position in the Air Force (there is a long relationship between the rodeo and the base here in Cheyenne) which translates into active involvement for all of us. And you know what? There is nothing like taking your children and your camera on new adventures for inspiring some truly great stories of summer to scrapbook.
4. Orange is one of my favorite colors, and I am finding myself inspired by all things orange this summer! Great news, because I had the opportunity to work with a lot of orange for the Big Idea Festival. It just seems so summery. Picasso had his blue period, and apparently I’m in my orange phase. How about you?
5. Speaking of phases, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of pennants and banners. Every time I see one used on a scrapbook page or at a birthday party, I get a little shiver of excitement and want to stop whatever I’m doing and make one, too. Maybe I’ll look back one day and shake my head at my over-celebratory self, hanging little pennants on everything—it’s a risk I’m willing to take right now, though.
6. Do you know Tom Lichtenheld? He’s a children’s book author and illustrator who has a fantastic list of books to his credit. I just love his newest book, Bridget’s Beret—and not just because I have a daughter named Bridget. It’s about a little girl dealing with artist’s block and how she is inspired to overcome it. The appendix at the end is brilliant, so if you check it out, don’t miss it. Even if you don’t have kids of picture book-reading age, go look for it at your library! I won’t tell.
7. I love photo projects, and I’m currently very inspired by Tara Whitney’s Six People Twelve Times project. It’s a simple idea: a family portrait for each month of the year. I am so inspired to do my own Five People Twelve Times version I can hardly wait until January! I love that feeling of inspiration that literally makes you tingle with excitement to do something.
8. I’ve never subscribed to a scrapbook kit club before, but this summer I’ve been sorely tempted (and pleasantly inspired) by two: Cocoa Daisy and Studio Calico. I’ve always held fast to the idea that I prefer to pick out scrapbook supplies myself; maybe it’s the 8000 summer activities affecting my ability to find time to scrapbook, but twice this summer I’ve had the chance to play with a kit, and twice this summer the layouts and projects practically made themselves. It was nice having someone else do all the inspiring work of choosing!
9. Have you heard of BeFunky.com? I was introduced to this new company earlier in the summer. I’ve had so much fun playing around with their services, which consist of tons of one-click photo filters to apply creative effects to photos. As my friend Melissa said, it’s fun to see the different languages photos can speak by trying out different effects; one effect I tried actually inspired the journaling on this layout. Open mind = inspiration everywhere!
10. Finally, I’m inspired by my father, who turned 70 this month and celebrates his 45th year of marriage to my mother in August. He loves hearing the tales that end up on my scrapbook pages, and inspires me to continue building to the rich bank of family stories that grows bigger each year. It’s great to find inspiration in color or design, but finding inspiration to scrapbook in the hearts of those you love is the best inspiration of all.
So what do you say? Join me for a month of inspiration (and the support to apply it). It’s an exciting feeling, and I can’t wait to share it with you!
p.s. If you're ready to be inspired, I have a quick inspiration challenge posted on Inside Access. Just login to your BPS account to play along! It's free to create an account, if you haven't yet!