What's a mantra, you might ask? Well, according to my own search for a specific definition, it is a sacred word, sound, or statement repeated frequently in order to focus or concentrate on in prayer or meditation... Oftentimes, mantras may even be used in psychiatric practices to achieve a hypnotic trance, or just a deep state of relaxation. In association with specific methods of breathing, you'll often find mantras recited during yoga exercises. But all in all, mantras are considered to be an aid in transformation, and an instrument of thought, even a vital method of "being".... In the case of art-journaling, a word, a quote, and, it seems, even the stroke of a paint brush could be considered a mantra!
The first prompt for the year is "Live Simply"; and the technique required is to use a stamped image in your work.
For whatever reasons, gingham came to mind for me, as one symbol of simplicity. It is such a simple pattern, mostly found on cotton fabrics... even said to be considered cheap by some standards. It is often used as a test fabric in the world of fashion design, an inexpensive tool in fitting a garment before creating it in a more expensive designer fabric. It almost sounds mean, doesn't it? Why might just a simple, less expensive weave be so unappreciated for what it is?... Well, not here at my house!
You can find gingham scattered here or there, in any room of my house, but most predominantly in my kitchen! I find it to be absolutely beautiful! These simple little-checked patterns, in blues and reds, seemingly whisk me away from city life, such as it is, and bring me to a quieter, perhaps rural/farm-like place, complete with cows, chickens, roosters, ducks, and wild flowers... A place where I can walk out the door, into the evening, onto a small wooden porch, watching the sun set, and listening to the crickets chirp...
and where, back inside, on any given day, I find myself, wearing my apron, baking homemade cookies, muffins, cakes, and pies for my family... Tim McGraw, Jake Owen, Taylor Swift, or Montgomery Gentry music playing on the radio... (sigh... Isn't it wonderful? Yes, my little country kitchen feels kinda like my own little "my town".)
Anyways... for the first entry in my 12-Life Mantras journal, I started with an old styrofoam meat tray to use as my palette. I then cut up old packaging styrofoam into squares, to use as stamps.
I needed three shades of blue acrylic paints, light, medium, and dark, to make a gingham background for my page. I titled my page, "Simplicity", and added a quote beneath it...
making the journey of this life
with just baggage enough."
~Charles Dudley Warner
I made the suitcase to open and close, with hidden magnets, so that I could include journaling inside. The stamped-monogrammed "S" is from Close To My Heart.
Underneath the suitcase, a paper doily, to represent my love for simple-but-pretty things. I added a spool of thread, made from thin cereal box scraps and embroidery thread, to represent how simply a quiet night at home, in front of the t.v., with maybe a candle lit... creating whatever I might be at the time, by crocheting, painting, journaling, scrapbooking... or simply just reading... This period of time, at the end of a day, is a wonderfully peaceful and relaxing retreat from the rush, responsibility, and stress that seem inevitable in day-to-day life. Finally, my stamped image is of a bird, from Stampers Best. I love watching and feeding the birds. It is a simple, and perhaps even boring pastime by some people's standards, I suppose; and being in the city, I don't get to see, nor feed the birds like I used to, but I still love it, whenever I get the chance...
So here it is, and my thanks to Cathy, and Paper Traders Art Blog, for hosting this event; and for including those of us who may not (yet) be official members. If anyone else is interested in joining in, it's not too late!
Thanks for stopping by today,
and remember; "Live Simply"!
and remember; "Live Simply"!