Today you don’t have to go very far. You don’t even have to start your car. Today your field trip is to your own neighborhood.
Slip on your favorite walking shoes, grab your cell phone or camera, and walk around your neighborhood for 15 or 20 minutes. As you walk, let your mind relax. Watch for interesting patterns or things that are outside of the norm. Previously unnoticed architectural details. A shape, a texture. Even a thought you didn’t expect. Snap a few photos, but not with the goal of taking great photos. Just try to record the inspiration so you can refer to it later. Then, when you get back home, use one (or more!) of what you photographed on a layout in some fashion.
When I went for my walk, I noticed lots of things: the way that the ivy is starting to grow over the chain link fence that lines the short cut. My neighbor’s orange tabby cat mewling at a bird. The sinuous walkway another neighbor is making out of cobblestones in her yard. But more than anything, I noticed the persistence of green. Everywhere in my little corner of the world is green right now, a seeming million shades of it.
I walked all the way to the junior high and past the track where my son had recently competed in several track meets. His track season—which didn't go exactly like he'd hoped—was the focus of my thoughts for the rest of the walk. I knew I wanted to combine the shades-of-green concept with the things I wanted him to know about training hard and winning and competing and finding pride.
I wrote the journaling for this layout the second I got home!
The color scheme came from this photo:
These poppies are growing in my yard, underneath my maple. The little splash of orange in the expanse of green caught my eye when I turned the corner.
And here's the layout my walk inspired:
Donna was inspired by this sight:
to make this cute layout:
Donna said this about her inspiration field trip:
Instead of going for a walk around my neighborhood, I was inspired by the nature in my own backyard. My next-door neighbor has several lemon and orange trees in her yard, one of which hangs over our shared fence. In the summer she brings us bags and bags full of these summery fruits. I was inspired by the memory of all those fresh lemons and oranges to make a layout about my favorite thing about summer: summer foods.
Even though I've never been to Monika's house, her descriptions of her land make me envious (in that friendly sort of way). I mean...she has buttercups! She took her daughters walking with her and found the process sparked a realization for her:
I thought my walk would present a new color combination to try on a layout, maybe something out of my comfort zone. Instead, as I turned from taking a photo of some wild roses, I saw my oldest daughter taking photos of flowers herself and then just beyond her, the youngest was sketching a patch of day lilies. I stopped in my tracks and at the moment knew that what I learned from our Nature Walk is that time together, and familiar things, is what's most important. We were happy and having fun just "being."
I think that is a perfect argument for a little field trip—it might inspire more than a color combination, but an entire piece of new understanding about life.