Thursday, March 26, 2009

Play (A Splotchy Tutorial)

There was an article in our local paper about a book called "Play."

I'm pretty sure you know why I really felt like I needed to read it!!! The author has made play his career (why didn't I think of that??) and is actually the founder of a heavenly organization called The National Institute for Play. I know it sounds like I made that up on Caturday all high on cupcakes or something, but I swear it's true.

He studies the importance of play in humans and other animals and has made some amazing statements in just the few pages I've read so far. Here's one.

"When we play, we are engaged in the purest expression of our humanity, the truest expression of our individuality. Is it any wonder that often the times we feel most alive, those that make up our best memories, are moments of play? That is something that struck me as I was reading obituaries of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, stories I began collecting because they were such poignant and gripping portraits. Soon I realized that what people most remembered about those who died were play moments or play activities. The March 31, 2002, edition of the New York Times, to take one example, has obituaries with these headlines: "a Spitball-Shooting Executive," "A Frank Zappa Fan," "The Lawn King: A Practical Joker with a Heart," "A Lover of Laughter." What dominated the profiles beneath the headlines were remembrances of play states with loved ones, which were like joyful threads running through their lives, weaving memories and binding them together emotionally."

I decided to think about that on my walk today and see how I could possibly squeeze more play in. I have been doing too much stuff lately and I need more unstructured play time. So while I was seriously pondering play on my very serious walk, I saw two things that made me smile. The first was this hilarious group portrait someone did in wet concrete on the sidewalk in a new subdivision. I love this!!!!!!!! Their play became mine today! Then, when I turned onto my street, there was a moving truck, with some movers putting things in – like a group of little kids bikes. When the second bike went up into the truck, one of the movers honked its horn – like a little Groucho Marx honk. It was hilarious, and group of six hardworking movers busted out laughing. Just a little play.

Just give it a little thought. I made a card about it to help you ponder. It's the UpsyDaisy set and the Contempo Alphabet, as well as the fabby new Urban Oasis DSP, Basic Grey and Summer Sun.

First, I inked up the stamp in Summer Sun and stamped off twice before stamping it. Then I inked it up, stamped it off once, moved a bit to the left, and stamped it again. Then I stamped it full strength, again moving a bit to the left.

Then I added shadows with my Micron .01 black pen. You have GOT to get one of these. I have them in several sizes - .03, .05 etc. but the .01 is my favorite because I like teeny precise lines. To give you an idea of how big the line is - it's about HALF the width of the fine tip of a Stampin' Up! marker. That is a fine line my friend. And makes all the difference on an image like this, where a heavier line would really interfere with the color. Click the link in the first sentence if you want to read about the pens and their archival properties if you are a scrapbooker.

Splotchy felt like he needed to do a little tutorial on play, so here is is, playing with the new mouse he got from his friend Cooper Harris, who is one of my many cat readers. The mouse makes real life mouse squeaks and Splotch went crazy when I opened the package.

You have to click the picture to see it move :)

You could learn a little something about play from the beasties. Have a great Friday. Hope you get to play. :)

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  1. Lydia,

    So true what you said about play! My most memorable memories of my (the best ever)grandmother, are times that she played with me.

    Wow, awesome card and technique, love that bright cheerful yellow. I have one of those pens from my hand drafting days (showing my age, I shall dig it up.

    Ok, tell Splotchy that was the most awesome play tutorial any kitty has ever done! She, I repeat, SHE is so cute! Tell her to make more! tee hee.

    Lisa A.

  2. wow - it's amazing what a differece that black pen outline did for that image!!

  3. Splotchy is cuter than piano cat :-)

  4. Look at won an award...

  5. Love, love, love the black lines on the flowers!

    And how true about Play. We all need to play more (now if I could just convince my boss to give me the day off ...). That Splotch could give a few lessons! Too funny!

  6. Beautiful card and excellent message Lydia! I am loving the shadow you added to the flowers. It gives this image such a modern look.

  7. So true about play!! And it reminds me that I should take the time to play more with my children (while they still actually want to spend time with me!) Love the card (I have that set and haven't inked it yet!) and the cat picture sequence (it reminded me of one of those flip books - too cute!). Thanks, Lydia!

  8. Only thing better than play is a having a playmate to share it with. I bet Splotchy would even say so.


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