Inspired: Anna's art journal and Snapshots

It's a common sight around our house to see tools for creativity lying around-empty notebooks for filling, crayons, washi tape...I try to engage Anna Ruth (and Betsy!) in conversation that will heighten her awareness to the world around her.  So far-it's working.  If we're outside I'll usually ask her what she hears, sees, and sometimes-smells. My little one is learning that when we fully immerse our senses into the world that's right at our feet we find the most inspired, colorful playground that's ours for the taking. 

Lately I decided I wanted a way for her to save some of these colorful memories so we made an easy art journal out of an inexpensive spiral notebook from Wal-Mart. 
It's filling up with treasures found, masterpieces painted, tape collages, and scribbles from pens.  
I love to sit right at the table with Anna Ruth and sketch and try new things right along beside her. 
One afternoon I was drawing away with fine-tip markers, an image from a children's book hanging out in my thoughts, wanting me to be inspired by it and try something new.  I answered the beckoning of the illustration and went to work.  Anna Ruth looked over and admiringly said "Oh wow! A dird's nest!".  Not quite what I was going for....but beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all. 
Sometimes I'll print off color sheets for Anna Ruth,
but as you all well know-I've never been much on staying inside the lines, figuratively and literally.

I keep meeting up with the most awesome inspiration in some of our library books.  

This makes me want to grab some paints and splash some color around. 
Another playground for me is our yard.  Instead of swings and slides, it's filled with props and pretties.  As much as I adore taking pictures of THINGS, there's just something magical about taking pictures of PEOPLE.  An emotion here, a smile there....laughs, eyes crinkling, a kind face, voices chattering, feet,  Bursting at the seams life-captured in a click or two.  
This day I captured a beautiful friend's family (and her baby boy).  
 A last exercise in creativity I often partake in is going on a treasure hunt with the camera.  Instead of checking off a list of passions specified by someone else, I go with my camera in hand, ready at any second to capture what first captured my eyes.  To snap what stole my heart and imagination. 

I don't invite my all too well-known friends fear and comparison in to play.  I hang my "DO not disturb" sign on my vision and let happy, beautiful, and "I like that" take center stage.  My only rule for myself is to photograph what delights me.  No second-guessing allowed. 

Happy, indeed.

{If you do this creative exercise for yourself, send me your happiest pic to!}