Sunday, February 21, 2010

Happiness is...

Well, the Happy Book has been sent on its way and should now be in Nova Scotia, being filled with happiness by Lani.

I felt a bit inhibited, being the first person in the group to make my contribution. It would be wonderful to see what the book looks like six months down the road, when people much more creative than I have filled the pages with colour. However, I did my best, and I DID have all the pages to choose from. Here are some of the bits and pieces I added to the book:

Jamie, who started the Happy Book mail marathon, is a great collage artist, and she inspired me to have a little, teeny go at it myself. Not much collage going on here, just a picture from a magazine and some words that struck a chord, but it makes me uplifted to look at it, and it has three of my favourite things in it - books, growing things, and a view through a window - hope it does something for you too.

Now, I had great fun with this page. The brief was to draw round your hand and then colour it in in whatever way you fancied - just the kind of thing you used to do back in infant class. I absolutely loved doing this. I wasn't feeling particularly merry when I started, but I set aside a couple of hours, put Murder She Wrote on the telly, snuggled up with the dog and a blanket and a pile of felt tip pens, and had a wonderful time. I really got into the decision-making process about which colour to put where, and how to divide up the space, each decision leading on to the next, but all in a very low-pressure way. It was like being a little girl again - wonderful! I think that doing a Hand Turkey (as this is called, apparently) will become a regular creative exercise for me. It'll be interesting to see how each hand differs according to my mood.

One of the pages in the Happy Book asks you to put in your favourite picture of yourself - this is mine. It was (without getting too melodramatic or tearful) probably the last time I was truly happy as a child and I love looking into the eyes of this beautiful little girl. Sometimes I wish I could go back and make it all happen differently, sometimes I wish I could just go back and be four again, but most of the time, looking at this photograph fills me with calmness and even serenity.

Well, folks, those are the main things I contributed to the book. No jokes, I'm afraid, but it was done at the darkest, coldest time of the year. I'm sure if I was to do it again in July, I would have put in different things. It was a wonderful project to be involved in - thanks Jamie, for making it all possible, and I cannot wait to see what everyone else has come up with.