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.


Ginny said...

I love all three of your enteries to the happy book as well as your explanations of why you did what you did. Each page is special and now I feel I know a little about you. Have a great week.

Jamie Ridler said...

How absolutely beautiful! I'm just beaming here from your contributions to The Happy Book! What a joy. Thank you for sharing your happy. May it be just the beginning of lots more play and joy to come.



PS Thank you so much for your kind words about me as a collage artist. That meant a lot to me :)

Coffeecup said...

I'm so happy for you Puddock! Your pages are wonderful. I love that hand turkey! So tenderly created and coloured. I must get some pens and give it a go. How cosy sitting in the afternoon just enjoying your own imagination. The collage looks so professional! Adored it. It's certainly inspired me.

Thank you! :)

Helen said...

Don't be so hard on yourself -- I love what you added to the book! Both the collage and the hand turkey are great and very happy in feeling.

Lisa @sacred circle said...

Your creative juice shows in what you've shared with us! It's simply beautiful! And very inspiring.... thank you for giving us all a little glimpse into who you are!

Ellecubed said...

I love the pages that you did in the Happy Book. Thank you so much for sharing.

Puddock said...

Thank you, thank you everyone!

Ginny - welcome to Rosehip or Prune! It's one of the best things about the internet, I think, that you get to meet new people and make new friends. Thank you for your kind comments and I'm glad you liked my pages.

Jamie - you really made me smile. Thank you so much for starting this wonderful project. :)

Steph, you little star! Get those felt tips out now - you will love it! I've done another two already and was surprised to find that one of them tackled the darker side of my emotions. It became an image of how awful being widowed has been. Strange experience. I don't often allow myself to dwell on it but here I spent an hour or two feeling all the pain and then translating those feelings into colour and image. Really powerful, really cathartic. But you can choose to do a happy one. In fact, I'm heading off to do a jolly, sunny winter's day one as soon as I've finished here!

Helen - thanks! I really enjoyed doing the Hand Turkey and am now addicted to them. I looked at your lovely blog - looks like winter has been pretty cold and snowy in New York - hope it's thawing out now. Love the collage work you're doing too.

Puddock said...

Lisa - thank you so much for your kind words. I did feel completely inadequate and inexperienced compared to some of the fabulous artists taking part in this project, but I really enjoyed the experience, especially sharing some of the things that bring me joy.

Ellecubed (love the name btw!) - it makes me very happy to think that my pages might be spreading sunshine. I had a quick look at your blog and was really touched by the Rumi quotation that you shared. Your reaction is much the same as I have been behaving in the last few years (or maybe all my life). 2010 is going to be the year I start to dare to look at the sadder, darker things in my life, instead of pretending it's all okay. Jamie's collage techniques and the Hand Turkeys, are really helping here. Good luck with your journey in 2010.

Lissa said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful stories for The Happy Book. I hope you have wonderful week.

KathrynAntyr said...

I love your additions to the book. The book arrived at my house on Friday and I've just posted some photos of what I added. I thought you would have fun to see what I did when it stopped by my place.