Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Designer Autograph with Jill Sprott

Welcome to our first monthly installment of "Designer Autographs" where we'll get to know our team members a little better. This month's autograph is by designer Jill Sprott. We'd love to get to know you a little better too if you want to play along. Answer the questions on your own blog and post a link here or answer them on our message board. Wouldn't these prompts make the foundation of a lovely layout or mini-album all about YOU?

a piece of wisdom that guides me
“Include yourself,” my mother would often advise me when I was a child, crippled by shyness. The fear of rejection can be terrifying, but she taught me to step forward rather than to retreat. While I am still shy at heart, these words resound in my head each time I face a situation that challenges me to put myself out there, whether that involves taking a creative risk or simply saying “hello” to a stranger.
a quote that speaks volumes to me
“There is no great genius without a mixture of madness.” -- Aristotle

I discovered these words when I was a teenager, and loved them so much that I painted them across my bedroom wall. (In retrospect, my parents were pretty lenient, weren’t they?)

a flower that blooms in my memory
I can still picture the perfect pink peonies in the church on my wedding day.

a poem that resonates within me
Because thou hast the power and own'st the grace
To look through and behind this mask of me
(Against which years have beat thus blanchingly
With their rains), and behold my soul's true face,
The dim and weary witness of life's race,--
Because thou hast the faith and love to see,
Through that same soul's distracting lethargy,
The patient angel waiting for a place
In the new Heavens,--because nor sin nor woe,
Nor God's infliction, nor death's neighbourhood,
Nor all which others viewing, turn to go,
Nor all which makes me tired of all, self-viewed,--
Nothing repels thee, . . . dearest, teach me so
To pour out gratitude, as thou dost good!

Day after day, I recited Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s sonnet XXXIX in attempt to memorize it for a British literature course. I sought the help of a longtime friend and practiced on his willing and patient ear. He must have listened to this poem at least a hundred times. Today, I continue to associate it with him -- with Rob, who later became my husband. Browning actually wrote it for her own husband, interestingly enough. Each time this poem comes to mind, it means so much more than it did years ago, as I share a life with one who sees “my soul’s true face.”

a meal that infuses the flavors of home for me
Home is the smell of a roasting chicken. Pass the gravy, please.

a virtue that challenges me
If cleanliness really is next to godliness, then I am doomed. Although I have my own sense of organization, no one else seems to be able to sense it.

a temptation that calls to me
I tend to oversleep, and the temptation to do so even after the alarm clock has gone off greatly increases at this time of year, when the mornings are chilly, the dog is curled up alongside me contentedly, and the bed is so warm and toasty compared to the world outside of the covers. Every morning, I push my luck a little further. One more minute. Maybe another. I’ll just close my eyes again for a moment...

a person who anchors me
My husband is the one person who questions me when all I want is an answer, who makes me laugh when I am being too serious, who knows my mind when I am being indecisive, and who remembers me when I forget myself.

an object that matters to me
If could reduce all of the objects in my possession to one that matters the most, it would be my wedding ring -- a simple gold band that represents a great love.

a passion that drives me
This passion is actually threefold: words + pictures + paper. In other words, it’s all about finding the words to say it, a way to show it, and a place to document it.


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