A little Orphan Annie? And thoughts on new ideas.

I’m feeling a little like Orphan Annie tonight. So sorry if this gets a bit sappy. :P

We were a little scared to move into this house. To be part of a new church congregation (since where you go to church is determined by where you live). What if people didn’t like us? What if they thought our noisy kids were just too noisy? What if we are too weird/nerdy for them? Would we really feel at home in church?

Last Sunday was our first Sunday there. And we knew from almost the moment we arrived that this was a good place for us. They have over 20 kids the same age as Rowen. They totally don’t care that we’re out walking in the hall with Elliott. Everyone was so welcoming, and genuinely friendly. Awesome. And since last week, we’ve had visits from three different sets of people, just stopping by to introduce themselves and say hello. It feels good to feel like this.

So in the immortal words of Annie.. I think I’m gonna like it here. :) (And fortunately for all in hearing distance, I  won’t be belting that out at the top of my lungs tonight… but I kinda feel like it. :)

I must be on this super positive spin today, (it could be partly the sugar high. Some new friends from church stopped by bearing some truly delicious peanut butter cookies. AAHHHH. yum.) but I’m reading a really GREAT book, called Creativity for Graphic Designers, the text book for an online design class I am taking. It’s so different from your usual “idea annual” full of slick graphics and great high-effort graphic design projects, this is a book about how to be more creative. And here’s why I am loving it tonight:

The section titled “Identifying an Original Idea” starts out with the (what I consider to be) cynical remark I hear so often:

“Is anything new? .. the answer seems to be “no”. It looks as if every possible variation of any technique or style has already been implemented in the service of good, creative design.

HOWEVER, if you approach design with the attitude that the content, context, and objective drive the development and implementation of all ideas, everything is new.”

I love this.  And of course it relates to every kind of idea, and of COURSE it relates to scrapbooking. ;) Something in me just says NO every time someone says, “Everything you can do with a photo on a 12x12 page has been done.” I disagree. And I haven’t known really WHY I disagree, or been able to put into words exactly where my rebellion against this idea comes from, until tonight.

I have a very recent photo I took of Elliott open over in Photoshop, and he’s looking up at me with this look. He’s grabbing onto my legs, and just looking up at me. (Yeah, scrapbook page coming soon..) And I thought when I read that great quote from this book, that yes. It might seem on the surface that everything has been done. All the schmaltzy speak about how great your kid is has been written. And how many photos out there feature a little kid grabbing onto mama’s legs while she snaps away, right? All of the chipboard and flowers and papers have been tried and used and positioned just so, and there’s nothing left. No orginal ideas.

But, nobody ever scrapped this picture that’s in front of me now. Nobody ever thought long and hard about a title and a format that would do this precious photo justice. And nobody (but me) will take the time and the effort to put THIS photo, THIS page together in a way that really SAYS what I want it to… And so THIS page, when it’s done, will be new. And if I don’t make it, nobody will.

And if you know me, you know I love a mission statement. Love to get rallied to a cause, whether it’s wiping out cupboards with gusto (having given myself a great pep talk), or scrapping a photo that means something to me (also having given myself a great pep talk). Words of encouragement, genuinely spoken, mean a lot to me. It was good to read this quote tonight, for a lot of reasons.

Want a sneak of the pic that brought this all home to me? It’s here:


I don’t know. Just thought I’d offer that thought tonight before I go watch a Simpson’s DVD with Jared. :)

Edited to add one other thought - did you know that Rachel Thomae (writer and CK editor) has a blog? (She doesn’t know I’m doing this. Ha.) She has such a warmth and way with words, thinks deeply about things, and then asks questions that ask readers to think deeply. I immersed myself in her blog for about an hour today (and then chickened out of posting! Ack!) But seriously. It will be well worth the visit. :)

Jessica Sprague7 Comments