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Not because...

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I’ve been carrying around this little tote bag recently that says ‘Happiness comes from within your heart, not your surroundings’. I carry it because I do believe it has some truth, and also because it is an lovely shade of aqua with a picture of girl in a polka-dot forest. Admittedly the picture may have a bit more weight than the saying. This has been bothering me.

I think I have figured it out though…if you are the type of person who likes to make stuff when you are happy, then the happiness comes from your heart at goes into your surroundings. That makes sense, right? Because recently I am feeling very happy but I also have a crazy need to (re)decorate my surroundings constantly. Sometimes physically. Many more times mentally. Because daydreaming is easier than moving the furniture.

Pictures of rooms shout moods to me—like this one shouts happy and this one shouts calm, though it does shout quietly. This one shouts ‘Please come make awesome cookies in here with the perfect colour of sprinkles’, but that’s an entirely different story.

If you like for rooms and arrangements of pretty things to shout at you, but in a good and polite and well-meaning way, you might like to download this lovely compilation of what inspires a variety of creative people. It’s in words and pictures and it’s ever so sweet. I found it thanks to Creature Comforts which I have found extra inspiring as of late. I think there’s plenty to see there that can influence creativity without moving the furniture. It’s the same way we move bits of ribbon and paper and ink around another piece of paper until we like it. Our rooms are much smaller, but then again, my back is pretty happy I lift stickers more often than I lift bookshelves. Yours will be too.

Inspiration is a funny thing—we know it is everywhere and yet when we need it most it can be nowhere. When I looked back at what I had planned for today’s little card, it reminded me of this ode by Pablo Neruda. So I found it online and read it and it gives me goosebumps, and yet it’s just about something normal and everyday. I am hit and miss with Neruda—some things I adore, others I don’t find so inspiring at all, but I think that’s because my everyday is not his everyday and that’s the beauty of it. Which leads us, in far too grand a way, to this little card:

free write it down online journalling prompt
Click for print-sized image.

I would really suggest trying this with an object that inspires you. Visually, like that chair I’ve still got stuck in my head. Physically, like how to this day I feel better after I drink purple grape juice. Maybe practical inspiration from an item that makes your day-to-day life easier or comfort inspiration like a grown-up version of your favourite teddy bear. Since the nice thing about inspiration is that once you find it, it keeps on giving for a little while more.


PS: That’s the woodgrain stamp you could maybe see in the package of the first sneak peek. Please be prepared that I will use this stamp far more than I should over the next year. I am half tempted to use it on the walls in my bathroom. Really.

PPS: For those who are having trouble printing the cards at 4×6, don’t just hit print from your browser. That will make it full page or bigger. Instead, save the image to your computer, then open it like a photo. Then click to print and say you want a 4×6 print, just like you would print a photograph. Obviously that can vary from program to program but you should be able to print it at a size that will work for you and not waste all your ink!

05 February 2008

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9 Comments for Not because...

  1. Annette Says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I have been benefiting from your writing excercises. Thank You. Love the stamps too.

  2. Julie Ratcliffe Says:

    Hi Shimelle

    Thanks so much for the printing tips. You are so patient, such a good teacher. Julie

  3. Marie Says:

    Great prompt again. Quite funny to me though, because when I’m feeling down, I do tend to move my furniture – having a change round always seems to cheer me up! You’re right though, it’s not so good for the back! xMx

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