Umbrellas are appearing in my pocket journal these days. Before I began the next pages in my journal, I was thinking of the True Colors collaborative and where I left off in their book. The color went from white pages to red.
I was lying on my couch thinking about the color red and looked up at a Chinese paper umbrella that I have hanging in the corner. I picked up this umbrella back in the late '80s when the Boston Museum of Science had a huge China exhibit. I was enamored by all of the artisans who demonstrated their swift needlework and making paper by pulling a screen through murky water. I fell in love with this umbrella and for years moved it cross country several times thinking that some day I would hang it with a light on the other side. When my husband and I moved in together, it was one of the first things he took care of for me.
I took a photo of the umbrella and printed a section for my journal. I pulled out my journal one day while having lunch with a friend who was giving me this helpful piece of advice whenever I find myself in a challenging situation: STOP!
Stop - Take 3 Breaths - Observe - Proceed with Kindness and Joy.
I love that my art journal fits in my purse and I can carry it around in times like these when I come across something that I want to remember. Now come to think of it, stop signs are red. I'd say this STOP message is perfect for my red page.
Several days later I was in Rockport, Massachusetts where I came across this lovely display featuring a white umbrella.
I loved the creativity of the shopkeepers in Rockport. Creativity is one of my top virtues/values.
I add little dots and affirmations: I treasure my imagination.
I remember to play.
I take time for inspiration.
I am resourceful and intuitive.
Discover your gifts and use them -------> innovation.
Turn the page in my journal and you'll see another one of my red umbrellas. It was a gift from my friends who recently brought it back from Indonesia. I asked my husband if we could run over to the park to take some photos.
As I was journaling I was thinking how fun it would be to design my own umbrellas. Then I thought back on an umbrella that I had when I was a freshman in College.
It was a yellow paisley umbrella that matched my Swatch watch. At the time, I was going to school at Emerson College in Boston and working part time with a hairstylist/makeup artist and a photographer. I'll never forget how this guy (the stylist) scoffed at my umbrella. He would likely have called it garish.
I recently saw this documentary about Bill Cunningham, a street photographer who would capture the fashions on the streets of New York City. I think Bill would have appreciated that paisley umbrella. Sadly, I was young and impressionable when I had that umbrella and I traded the paisley in for a dull, pedestrian, black umbrella. I also wore a lot of black from that point on.
Now I wear color and patterns and I'm no longer interested in what self important people think is cool or fashionable. If I like it, I wear it. Amen Sista!
I have another page in my journal waiting for some journaling. This photo shows some of the intricate detail inside my red traveling roof from Indonesia. I'm not sure yet what ideas or memories will fill this little page. That is part of the joy of journaling, you never know what the next page will bring.
Until next time,
Kathryn Costa, Collage Diva and Creative Dabbler