It is time for yet another Ella Publishing Take 12 Challenge!!
CONFESSION: My twelve photos are not actually from May 12th. Shhhhhhhhh! I had a very special day on May 11th. I had a very special day on May 13th (Mother's Day). On May 12th... not so much.
Don't get me wrong. We had a fun day, but it was not a day that was conducive to good photos. Nor was I in the mood to force myself to take photos, as much as I tried.
I call myself "The Moody Photographer." And when the mood isn't there, I don't take photos.
So, I decided to do my layout with the TWELVE photos that did inspire me. On the 11th I went on a special tour with a group of other moms who live in Beijing. We went to a village just outside of the city. It is the one place in the world that makes the special glazed tiles (many 3 dimensional) that adorn the buildings at The Forbidden City, the city gates (including Tian'anmen Square), the temple buildings in the parks, etc.
It is a workshop where they mine shale in the local mountains. They turn that to clay and packing molds by hand, they create these amazing decorative tiles.
After which, they dip them in glaze (made from cobalt, copper & iron) and fire them in old fashioned kilns.
One reason this trip was so meaningful to me was that I have taken ceramics classes at various times in my life; for two years while in Japan, one summer in college when the visiting professor told me I should be an artist and in California with my kids at our local community center. [How cool that they had Mommy & me ceramics classes,no?!]
I chose this paper from the Far East (Die Cuts With a View) paper pack because the crackling reminded me of the dried mud turning into clay in huge troughs at the front of the workshop.
I wanted the attention on my photos so I chose a sketch (Template 1 in the Template packet) from the Ella Publishing Take 12 Guided Inspiration Kit. And I LOVE how it turned out. The photos are definitely the stars of this layout. They tell the stoy.
There is more journaling I would like to add, so I might add a 6x12 insert and if there is space, I might add a few smaller accent photos along with my journaling.
I just loved this day.
I loved interacting with the artisans, being able to be right in the heart of their workshop - literally stepping over the wet clay shapes waiting to go into the drying room (essentially a giant oven).
This is the drying room. Notice how the pieces are different shades of grey? The darker pieces are the wet ones and the lighter grey ones are almost dry and ready to go to the glazing workshop.
It was like stepping back in time to simpler times before over-litigation and the chaos of the modern world got in the way.
A day like this is one of the magical treasures that seem to happen or find you when living abroad. It's a wonderful surprise to find amazing things that still seem undiscovered. Hard to find any more!
Oh! I almost forgot! The best part was that we got to take home some of these amazing tiles. The lady who organized the tour is fascinated with the mythical creatures on the tiles that adorn the roofs of the Forbidden City.
This is my lion.
It is this fascination that inspired her to arrange the tour. She worked on our tour guide the entire time trying to convince him to let us purchase a tile or two and he finally broke down when she told him, "My life won't be complete until I get to take some of those animals home!" With that, they opened up their storehouse and we had a great time shopping in the dark, dusty (such thick dust you wouldn't believe it) store house, picking out our treasures that cleaned up very nicely.
This is my dragon.
To see all my Flickr photos from the outing, including photos of the village with a faded painting of Mao Zedong (I'm pretty sure that is who it is) on one of the walls and a train rushing past within mere feet of us as we stood on a bridge, click here.
More inspiration from the Take Twelve Design Team:
Like the Car
Scrappy Wife, Happy Life
Day by Day
Right Here-Right Now
The Scrapbooking Haven Diva
People of the Scrapbook
My Little Blessings
Life is Sweet
A Swoop and a Dart
Visit Ella Publishing Co. to link up your layout or photos for a chance to win this month's prize.