My dad will tell you that I am a person who lives in their own little world, "space cadet" he calls me, and while this accusation has some merit as I do tend to get lost in my own head - I do contest the idea that I prefer to live in small world. More and more I feel a little trapped by my narrow view of the world. Not unhappy with my life - just my view of the world.... as a military/ government brat turned military/ government wife I have never lived anywhere long enough to develop deep friendships. I love this life and it's afforded me a lot of opportunities not otherwise likely to occur. But socially stable it is not, I can't genuinely say I'm from anywhere, I don't have long time friends who I can just call or look forward to catching up with. And since for the last 6.5 years I have abandoned my career in favor of my kids, I don't have co-workers to connect with or even talk to - unless you count their teachers & coaches, if mothering is my "job" then they're my co-workers right?. Thus my little world is quite small: <10 family members, a few (<5) childhood classmates (thanks to Facebook), a few "mom friends" & some assorted acquaintances . Not really anyone in this little world (a) lives nearby -except the husband lol or (b) shares my love & style of crafting- my mom & grandma are amazing with textile crafts but as much as I try I am not :-( - which means I can talk about the kids' happenings or relive memories but not much else... clear as mud I know...
What? Yes, I do have a point here...my point is that for a long time I've had an intense
desire need for more things to look at, more people to talk to & an overall new perspective. Now this isn't an easy thing (for me) to do as I'm severely limited by domestic responsibilities (wonderful though they be) & not an overly extroverted person in the first place. Really, we lived here in 2 neighboring towns for 8 years & still don't have a "social network" @_@. But in a roundabout way I have sort of found a new perspective at least.
I was browsing the Silhouette store & found this shape which is perfect for a LO I'm planning, so a win right off the bat! At first I thought it was designed by a single artist as most of them are but then realized it was by American Crafts - which for the non-initiated means it's part of a larger product line. I loved this shape so much that I Googled "Shimelle American Crafts" looking for the full product line (& it is AMAZING), the top hit was not American Crafts but a site called "Pretty Paper, True Stories" intrigued I clicked on it. To my surprise "Shimelle" is not just the name of a product line but an actual living person - and an awesomely talented one at that by the looks of it. The latest posting when I found it (July 14) contained a gorgeous 12 x 12 LO of her new son - my jaw literally dropped, she pulled off the kind of layering I regularly attempt (& also regularly majorly fail) AND it was done with her own collection from American Crafts!! So like the socially impaired geek that I am, I stalked the archives to admire & write notes on all the interesting details (yes actual written notes and yes I'm that big of a geek). I found out that she is pretty much living out my dream, born in the US but living & working in England - LONDON to be exact, very rarely do I say OMG. Yes I'm several generations entrenched in US military, loyal to & love my country and I want to live in England and no that's not a contradiction :-P. Anyways, her writing and creations have that Anglo influenced flair about them & has participated in activities I can only imagine (Olympic Ambassador for one) which is hugely different from the narrow scope of the world I can access. My mind began to explode with new layout ideas & I even broke out my SLR again (which deserves it's own post) - just the breath of fresh air I needed.
This accidental discovery probably would've been enough to keep me going for awhile except I discovered that miss Shimelle (seemingly) often works with other extremely talented ladies. Last night, after the kids were
put away tucked into bed I was left alone due to John being TDY. Too tired to scrap but bored & not ready for bed I started clicking through the guest designers/ contributers. All were very, very, very talented but none really grabbed my interest until I came across Journal of Curious Things written by "Miss Smith". The little snippet on Pretty Paper, True Stories said she was a maths teacher which piqued my interest because come on maths are awesome! Then when I clicked through to the blog & saw the title I was even more interested because it sounded like something out of Doctor Who (which is of course also awesome!). Sure enough I found all kinds of inspiration, her LOs are neatly done with lots of white space & hand drawn elements, her pictures rival those of some professionals I know & being a mathematician her approach is very logical & structured but still "artsy". BUT the journaling is what really struck me, not just saying what happened or why the photo is important but truly weaving a story - which to my mind is what scrapbooking is supposed to be about. But I have always had a hard time with story-style journaling, mine tends to be purely factual or it feels contrived & stilted. In my many years of crafting this has not changed but I hope to take inspiration from these two finds & develop my storytelling skills (of course then I'll have to find more room for journaling lol!). And if not, if I am just destined to a factual technical writer then so be it, at least I still have a little bit wider world view until I can rediscover the actual world on my own :-)