Fueling My Imagination

 In The Artist Date, Weekly Forum Discussion

What should I schedule, just for me, that would be different, and not part of the to-do list – especially this week when I may be limited without a vehicle? I was presented with my first opportunity on Sunday afternoon: the Close to My Heart consultant had a new product launch at her home, and invited me to attend. It was two hours of hanging out with fellow scrapbookers, away from home, with no chores demanding my attention.

I admired the beautiful new colours, her page layouts, and new stamps. These sparked my imagination. Oh, the memory albums I could create for family, friends, and myself. I loved being able to see examples of how one person chose to use the pieces to create works of art. The conversations around the room as we oohed and ahhed over the possibilities, challenged me use what I already have at home instead of leaving it hidden in containers on the shelf. But, even more fun than looking, touching, and hearing about creativity, we each got to play. I made a tag with the newest colours, and glitter pen to match.

Yet, I wondered if these wonderful two hours should count as my artist’s date, and decided to plan another outing just for me. Ideas flitted in and out of my mind, but nothing felt just right. Wednesday dawned with low hanging clouds that leaked rain drops off and on all morning, leaving soggy grass, damp fallen leaves, and a dreary feeling in the air. Even though I felt like curling up with a good book, I chose to take myself out on a date.

The drizzly day made me opt for an indoor location that included two of my favourite things – ice-cream and antiques. I wandered into a little shop in a neighbourhood close to where I grew up. I felt as though I had walked into the past, as I meandered through the little paths carved out between all the antique furniture from various eras. Even the cash register was from a bygone time. Modern touches dotted the area around the checkout, with a long cooler filled with a couple dozen flavours of hard ice-cream, and a white board noting all the fancy teas and coffee. They have created an atmosphere that welcomes you to stay and browse, meet a friend, or simply be. My eyes feasted on the depression era glass in green, pink, blue, and gold, interspersed with old-fashioned china in vibrant colours, all displayed on furniture from another era. Old tins, rhinestone jewelry, tin toys, and crockery sat interspersed in haphazard fashion. Each time I looked back at a display I noticed something I had missed the first time. I wondered what the pieces would say if they could tell a story. Who had owned them? Why had they ended up here? Would someone love them again and create new memories?

I chose one of the many flavours of ice cream, and wandered over to a table by the front window. The old chrome table and chairs from the 1950s beckoned me to come and relax, while I perused small file drawers full of old postcards.

Many of the postcards were from the 1950s to present day, but in among these I found a few treasures. No fancy photos or hand drawings, but more like greetings for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Christmas with artwork, embossing, and simple sentiments, each giving clues to the older age of these cards.

I flipped them over in my journey to discover more clues. Some postmarks could not be read and yet I discovered one postmarked 1909, and several from 1911 and 1912. The penciled greetings had faded with time and handling, but enough words in the script allowed my imagination to take flight: what were these people like? What relationship did the sender and receiver have?

My artist’s date this week took place on two different days, each with their own charm and insights. Ideas on how to use the creativity displayed and discussed on Sunday added to my own plans and ideas for scrapbooks yet to be completed, and gave me a nudge to continue working on them and hand-made cards. The trip into the past at the antique store and ice cream shop fueled the imagination. Who knows, maybe the few old cards I purchased will find their way into a story or two in the future. If not, I still can pull them out to simply enjoy.

Written by: Carol Harrison; Carol’s Corner

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