Well, here I am with a layout! I had a lot of fun creating this and using the GORGEOUS June Aquarelle kit from Clique Kits. The Wild At Heart collection, from Cocoa Vanilla Studio, takes center stage in this kit and it is just stunning. I knew I wanted to create a layout of some sort to show off all the beautiful papers. As I dug through photos, I found this one. It's a special one. I'll share the story of it next. But first, here is the full page.
As with all my layouts, this one has a pretty cool story. That photo is of me at Diablo Lake here in Washington State. I hiked there one year ago and it was an intense hike. I had not ever gone on a real hike before. At least not since middle school (which was a really, really long time ago!) and, I didn't fully realize just how ambitious this hike was for a rookie. It was 7 miles, round trip. For some that doesn't seem so long but, when you realize that it wasn't just 3.5 up and then, 3.5 down... it is actually 3.5 up and down... then up and down back... it. is. rough. Especially when both inclines include switchbacks. Steep climbs. Rocky paths.
On the way back, I literally thought I wasn't going to make it. Flashes in my head had me thinking, "this is it, this is how I die." And I'm pretty completely serious. Yes, I'm dramatic but, in this case, this was all authentic. My roommate had come with me and we both got to see our authentic, vulnerable and real selves. It was horrible going back. Absolutely horrible. I sang some worship tunes to help us out because, I had reached that rock bottom-who-else-am-I-going-to-call-on-for-help-but-Jesus moments. In the moment, it felt like we were never getting back to the car. But, once we reached the car, it was all a dream and as if angels had pushed us along.
For a time after that hike, I hated hiking. I didn't want to ever go again. The mere mentioned of trudging up hills sounded like HELL to me. There were so many other wonderful ways I could experience nature and still get some exercise. But not hiking. Heck no!
Then, the days and weeks went by and God continued to show me something really special. That day was a day HE shined. In the moment, I missed it because I was so exhausted and hurting and near death (probably really wasn't but you know the feeling). As I began to lose the "jello" feeling in all my limbs, and my mind started to clear a bit, I began to pay attention to what God was trying to teach me through that hike.
There is a worship song that I absolutely love called Oceans. We sing it often at church and every time I lead it I weep when we get to a few lines that go like this: "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the water, wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith would be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior." Daring words to sing and pray. And, I believe, on this day of the hike, I was taken deeper. I was taken to a place where I was stripped of any of my own strength - literally - forced to rely on the strength of my Savior. Wowee. Chills, I still get them when I am taken back to that day.
So, that's the story. I'm thankful to record that day with such beautiful products! I wanted the page to be a bit airy. I love utilizing symbolic imagery and icons with my pages like this and I think the floral and fauna of the collection, coupled with the woodgrain and overall solid design of the collection provided that. I loved the gold elements, like the alphabet. Gold is strong and priceless. I also love butterflies. Always love butterflies! How symbolic is a caterpillar changing into a gorgeous butterfly??? By the way, we saw some UH-mazing butterflies on this hike! HUGE and so colorful!
I also wanted to show off one of the exclusive cut files from this kit. Did you know Clique Kits has cut files??? There are lots that you can purchase individually in the shop but, if you are a subscriber, there are even more awesome EXCLUSIVE ones... like the one I used for this page.
Hey, thanks for reading through the story of this page, as well as, the design elements. I've tried to get everything linked above for you, should you want to go shop around at CK.
And, now that a year has passed, I love looking back at the photos I took of the hike, on the way to the lake. (When I was fresh and happy!) What a stunning part of my state! They call it the American Alps and for good reason. The lake was beautiful too and, I don't hate hiking anymore. I will NEVER do the Diablo Lake hike again. If I ever want to revisit it, I'll just drive there. ;)