What gets your creativity going? What inspires you? Sometimes, for me, inspiration can come from the most unusual places. Take for example my senior year in college. Because my roommate was a resident assistant, my housing was in a teeny tiny room in a freshman dorm. I was completing my accounting degree and just beginning my classes for an education degree.
Getting from the business building on one side of Georgia Southern’s campus to the education building on the other side was like going between two different countries! The business building was near the freshmen boys’ dorm. The education building was near the lake. It was spring, and that made for a very pretty walk (or jog if I was running late. 🙂 )
One of my first education classes was Children’s Literature (aka Kiddie Lit. 🙂 ) After several years of being in courses that dealt with profits, losses, taxes, and all things financial, Kiddie Lit was a whole new world for me. No boring business books to read, but instead, beautifully illustrated literature that allowed my head and heart to go places.
One of those books from Kiddie Lit was Keep Running Allen by Clyde Robert Bulla. It is out of print now, but you can still occasionally find used copies on Amazon.
Keep Running, Allen!
(My Amazon Affiliate link.)
I’ll tell you about the sweet story in a minute, but first I want to talk about the decorating inspiration that came from that little book…yes decorating inspiration. 🙂
The artwork in the book was done by Satomi Ichikawa, a Japanese storyteller and artist who lives in Paris. Keep Running Allen was filled with her gorgeous watercolors of children running through various scenes. There were beautiful blues and greens throughout the story and especially vibrant ones near the end.
It was those bright blues and greens that made me want to change the red and ivory quilts and accessories to blue and green everything in that teeny tiny dorm room that spring. It didn’t take much to change the room because every piece of furniture was built in, but I did what I could – even down to the makeup displayed in a basket on my desk. (Do any of you remember all the bright blue things Revlon used to make for their Charlie fragrance line?)
Anyway, as I was thinking about decorating for spring this year, I remembered that book and that long ago course in children’s literature, and I decided that once again I would revisit that blue and green color scheme that seemed so fresh to me decades ago. After all, it is spring!
I swapped the wicker chairs in the playroom and the family room to bring in a bit more green there, and I did the same with a couple of baskets.
The red geraniums that were on the mantel and elsewhere in the house went to live outside, and a few fresh green maidenhair ferns took their place inside. And of course bunnies were a logical thing to add for spring decorating. 🙂
The other throw pillows, the ones in that vibrant blue that I love, were old ones from our daughter’s former apartment. Blue books on the coffee table and a bowl of blue and green wrapped candies finish off the color scheme for the family room.
And of course some other rooms in our home here are now dressed in blue and green for spring. I’ll share those with you next time, but right now I want to finish telling you about Keep Running Allen – the story part of it.
(I edited out the power line that runs through there so you’d notice the sky and trees. 🙂 )
The main character is Allen, a little boy who had to run and run and run just to keep up with his older brothers and sisters. The story takes you through a day with all of them stopping to do numerous activities in a variety of places. Near the end of the book, Allen gives up on being able to keep up with them. He stops chasing after his siblings and just lies down on a grassy hill…happy to take in his view of the sky and all of nature around him. Of course his brothers and sisters notice he is no longer running behind them and come back to find him there in the grass. They too decide to stop being so busy and just lie down beside him. They find being there is as wonderful – if not more so – as hastily going from one activity to the next.
(The sky this morning…totally unfiltered.)
Since then I have run across an old copy of that book. The colors in the illustrations do not seem as vibrant to me as they once did. Perhaps the pages have faded over time. I’m sure back in that spring semester years ago, I latched onto the psychological lesson from the book as well… changing majors…not running in the business world anymore…just wanting to stop and slow down to take in the beauty of things around me.
I took the photo above outside this morning. It is totally unfiltered. The exterior of our home is one big mess and is being worked on, and that entire end wall is going to be replaced very soon. But overlook that mess. Look at that amazing blue blue sky! Sometimes we just have to slow down, look beyond the mess, and appreciate the beauty that we have been given. Right? 🙂
So what does inspire you? Children’s literature? A shop window display? Art?
We’d love if you would share with us in the comments below.
Until next time…
(when there will be more blue and green for you!)