Hunt for treasure

  • Yes, it might feel like your world has shrunk down to the size of a walnut, but inside that little walnut shell of yours, there is plenty of beauty and joy to be found  — it’s just a matter of looking for the hidden treasures that are all around you.

  • Step 1 of 8

    Gather your supplies:

    A journal, notepad, or piece of paper (want to make your own journal? Try out project 3)

    A pen or pencil

    (Optional) A phone or other digital camera

    Paper for drawing

    (optional) Pencils, markers, or paints

  • Step 2 of 8

    With your journal, notepad or paper, or with your phone or other digital camera, take a walk around your house, apartment, yard or block.

    If you are using your phone or digital camera, go to steps 3 and 4.

    If you are using a journal or notepad, skip to step 5.

  • Step 3 of 8

    Take a photo of anything that catches your eye —anything you find cool, beautiful, or just interesting.

    Electrical outlet looks like a face? Good one. Love that slug slime trail on the sidewalk? Go for it. Crumpled candy wrapper grabbed your eye? Snap a photo…then kindly toss it into the trash : ) The more photos the merrier, but for starters, try to capture at least 10.

     

     

  • Step 4 of 8

    After you’re finished, write down in your journal or on your piece of paper a description for each photo. Use enough details so that later, when you’re reading over your list, you’ll be able to see the photo in your mind. For example:
    A door-shaped opening into a tree
    Light shining on green bubble wrap
    My shadow with a tree shadow on a wall covered in vines
    An electrical outlet that looks like a surprised face
    Pointy black paw print against the white snow

    When you are done, skip to step 6.

  • Step 5 of 8

    Imagine that your eyes are cameras. You can even pretend you are snapping photos by blinking your eyes each time you see something you want to photograph. After each eye photo you take, write down in your journal or on whatever paper you brought with you, a description. Words can also be like photos if you use enough details to describe what you saw. For example:
    A door-shaped opening into a tree
    Light shining on green bubble wrap
    My shadow with a tree shadow on a wall covered in vines
    An electrical outlet that looks like a surprised face
    A pointy black paw print against the white snow

    Keep snapping eye or word photos of anything you find cool, beautiful, or just interesting. Electrical outlet looks like a face? Good one. Love that slug slime trail on the sidewalk? Go for it. Crumpled candy wrapper grabbed your eye? Snap a photo…and then kindly toss it into the trash : )

    When you have written down at least 10 word photos, move on to step 6.

  • Step 6 of 8

    Now that you have a list of photo descriptions, here are some things you can try:

    1. Create a poem by rearranging your words into an order or rhythm you like. You can also try repeating certain words, or mixing in new words.

    2. Cut out all of the words you wrote and arrange them into new descriptions, thoughts, or a poem.

    3. Take one description (or photo) and draw or paint a picture of it.

    4. If you have access to a printer, print out one of your photos (to fill a sheet of paper, if you can) and write or paint words of inspiration on top of it. For example, a student in one of our workshops came up with this idea: Look at the world with love.
    You can also try printing out several photos and using them to create a collage.

  • Step 7 of 8

    5. Repeat!

    Making a habit of noticing all the cool and beautiful things around you can make a big difference in how you feel every day. So, what if you started every day by taking a stroll around your house or outside to take a few photos (with your camera or eyes).

  • Step 8 of 8

    6. Now that you’ve busted out of your walnut shell, how about passing the good feeling on to others?

    You can do this by sharing your photos or words with a friend and encouraging them to try the project themselves, or sharing your creations in our gallery, where they will inspire many others.