Thalassophile (n.) a lover of the sea, someone who loves the sea, the ocean. Lisa Frisch: Straits of Mackinac (2015) Welcome to the July Monthly Muse! This month, we invite you to explore your relationship with the ocean, seas, lakes, rivers, and creeks (and all the critters, real and mythical, that occupy them). What is it about the seamless waves crashing upon sandy shores that draws us in? ... pulls at our heartstrings ...instills such a yearning, a desire... ...for somewhere else – an adventure! ...or for some other time. Well, maybe that’s the Capricorn in me. The sea-goat. This month, however, belongs to Cancer – the crab – a creature who exists in both emotional and material realms. Cancer is ruled by the moon... ...and so is the sea. To the evolutionists, the ocean is the beginning of life on Earth. It is a place brimming with all sorts of amazing life forms, real and mythical. The smallest plant on Earth lives in the ocean – Algae. And the largest mammal on Earth takes residence in the ocean – the Blue Whale. The sea, the ocean, is a place full of mystery. And perhaps, it is the last frontier. It is the home of the Kraken and Calypso. And, need some movie inspiration? Watch the Pirates of the Caribbean. The oceans and seas serve as a symbol of the unfathomable, of chaos, and formlessness; ...waves, churning, causing everlasting change. For me, when I look out at the horizon on a large body of water, I know there exists other lands and other cultures vastly different than my own. I will never get to travel to these exotic places. Thus, for me, the sea, the ocean, produces both wonder and melancholy. For the first Monthly Muse of July, the challenge is simple. Create a layout about the sea (the Ocean), and what it means to you. Challenge Requirements: 1. For the Art Muse, you may create any style of layout (ie. clean and simple, artsy, pocket style etc.), with or without a photo. Create any size page you wish. The Art Muse is for everyone! So, have fun and see where the mysteries of the sea takes you. 2. You can use any products in The Lily Pad store or retired products from current Lily Pad designers, (just make sure you follow our gallery guidelines). 3. Please post your layout to the Art Journaling Gallery HERE by Midnight, 02 August 2021 and post your layout in this thread by copying the "Share BB Code" to the right of your gallery image. Each post, up to four total, regardless of the week posted in the month of July earns you one chance to win a $5 coupon to the TLP store. Thus, 1 Muse = 1 chance to win 2 Muses = 2 chances to win 3 Muses = 3 chances to win 4 Muses = 4 chances to win. This is a very open-ended challenge. You may decide to journal with words or with images (or both). I simple ask that you reflect upon the prompt and let the ocean guide your soul in your creative endeavors.