Friday, July 11, 2008

Style Over Substance: It's OK Sometimes. Even Essential.

I don't think I'm a superficial person. I devote my daytime work to decidedly non-superficial purposes. But in my free time, I love to look at beautiful things: antique Chinese chests, exotic silk fabrics, leaves and flowers and the play between them making gardens, facades of stately houses, trees arching over deserted roadways, Bangkok's Grand Palace and Cambodia's Angkor Wat, pearl jewelry, cat's eyes, Anthropologie, and my latest obsession caught like a virus from my sister "Janthrax" ... scrapbook papers ... gorgeous vintagey, worldly, faded, distressed, layered, textured scrapbook papers. Have you ever just looked at things for hours and hours, hours without a bathroom or water break? Then you understand the obsession. If you haven't, you may miss the gene that forces you feed your eyes like you would dry up and blow away in the wind if you didn't. It's as essential as breathing air.

Here, I gather my favorite sources of online visual obsession. And I will share snippets with you from real-life travels to other lands, online virtual journeys, and creations of my own. I find these things brighten the days and make the stresses of the world recede to a back corner for a little while.

As the first source of inspiration here, a blog of beautiful handmade cards. Years ago I made my own cards and acquired quite the collection of unique cards made by others, many still in a Card Box which now has the smell of a great aunt's basement. Somewhere, I lost the way. Meanwhile others have built great talents, such as that on this site. Check it out. I love the aesthetic at this blog. Clean, and layered with just enough restraint. I could surf it until 3 a.m., see everything.

But, no, I must be responsible; I am at a professional conference and must meet a colleague for breakfast early in the morning. Visual obsession must meet balance. Balance, meet visual obsession. These two aren't at peace yet!

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