As you can see by the challenge header above, our topic to muse upon this month is centered around TREES. Trees are such an integral and important part of the world around us so I wanted to explore how they intertwine with our lives in so many different ways. WEEK 2 - THE MAGIC & MYSTERY OF TREES I love to wander through the forest, there is something so very magical about them. The colours, the sounds, the sheer vitality of the place often gives me goosebumps! It doesn't matter what time of day, or what season it is, I always find myself just looking around with awe. Often I have imagined that the trees standing in front of me, seen through early morning mist, looked just like a army, standing very still and silent. Walking along the overgrown paths and tracks, my thoughts often turn to Ents and my imagination will often pick out a face in a tree's trunk! There is a mysterious aura about these trees, especially those trees that have been alive for hundreds of years, that simply dumbfounds me. Last November we went on a picnic with some friends that were holidaying from the mainland. We were going to a place called Dip Falls, located on the North West Coast of Tasmania, in a little place called Mawbanna. On the way there we stopped at a little forest reserve and in it, was one such, old tree! It was simply called 'The Big Tree' and it was estimated to be was over 500 years old! I just stood there entranced, looking at it, what sights this tree would have seen! I mean, it was only a little seedling way back in 1520!! Those sorts of facts are something I just can not comprehend! What do you experience when you go walking in the forest or woods? Have you come across any OLD trees? Or have you ever seen a tree that reminds you of some fantastical other-worldly creature? What about walking through the forest on a hot summer's day, do you find the coolness beneath those big branches overhead simply wonderful and refreshing? A forest is a place where the soul can go find peace and simply refresh itself. For me, and no doubt for a lot of people, the forest is also a very spiritual place, where you can commune with the spirits of nature, where the daily routine is forgotten and where you can get in touch with your own higher self. Your challenge this week is to scrap a layout about how the forest/wood affects you. What do you like about going there, what do you feel? Do you imagine seeing faces or shapes when you look at some of the trees? Or is it your spiritual 'go to' place to find or refresh yourself? Here is an inspirations board I have created using Pinterest, take a look and see if any of the images or quotes will inspire you. Credits: All pictures are from Pinterest except for the bottom one in the left hand corner. That is my own photo, taken in another forest down here Tasmania, at a place called Weldborough Pass Forest Walk (That forest also had so very old trees!!). It was taken in 2008 and I used it to create a fairy house layout for my eldest granddaughter who was only 7 years old at the time. Here is my page: I did a layout of the little rain forest reserve at Mawbanna that I mentioned above. I was feeling in a painterly mood so I 'painted' on one copy of the photo using the Photoshop Mixer Brushes, and then I ran a copy of the photo through the Topaz Simplify program and then merged the two together and finished it off with products from Rachel Jefferies. Credits: Please see layout in Gallery. You may create any style of layout (ie. clean and simple, artsy, pocket style etc.) you wish, with or without a photo. Create any size page you wish. This is for everyone, so have fun and see where the inspiration takes you. If you want all 4 Muses on one page that's perfectly okay or you can make 4 separate pages!! It's totally up to you! Please post your layout to the Art Journaling Gallery HERE prior to February 29, 2020 EST and then post it in this thread by copying the code (at the right of your gallery image) from the box under "Share BB Code". We will draw a winner at the beginning of next month for a coupon!! You can use any products in The Lilypad store or retired products from current Lilypad designers, (just make sure you follow our gallery guidelines). Looking forward to see your pages everyone!!