You may sense some sarcasm, particularly if we’ve become acquainted any time in the past decade.
You may know I wear mostly black, khaki or grey, because with so much going on I get overwhelmed by choices. That’s not an indicator of someone with a lot of bandwidth for crafts. I once had most of our house painted in colors the painter picked out based on what more creative people were having him do. I now can proudly say that my walls resemble those of some of the most stylish homes in the ‘burbs.
If you knew me back when I had more energy and time, you might wonder what happened to the girl who used to make baby quilts for her pregnant friends, out of scraps from the bed skirts and curtains she also made.
Back then, Mike and I did stuff like take community education courses in watercolor painting. I learned to stretch my own canvas and paint landscapes that looked like the ones by that guy with the Happy Trees on PBS. My mom framed one such painting for her living room.
Nobody ever says “hey, that’s pretty good for an amateur,” so they must think she went out and bought it.
Back then, I did freehand calligraphy. I made all my own greeting cards.
Back then, I stenciled maritime images on the wall for one baby, and Happy Trees on the wall for another.
I rocked art class in school. I had a good sense of perspective and could whip out a street going off into nowhere without even needing a bathroom break.
That was 9th grade, which was my unicorn period. It was the precursor to my Dungeons and Dragons period, which heralded my Star Trek period, which, incidentally is when I decided I wanted to be an astronaut.
Turns out (a) I am too short for the Air Force, (b) I haven’t any depth perception, and (c) they didn’t let women become Air Force pilots at that time anyway.
I’m not making a single one of those things up.
After I discovered the Air Force wasn’t my path to eventually piloting a spaceship, I realized I was mostly more interested in drawing spaceships, so I thought about aeronautical engineering.
Too much math. I studied literature instead.
Right, so … crafts … Anyhow, at the time, in addition to illustration, I could also throw a pot, do paper mâché, macramé, and build and finish my own frame for my painting of a moose that received honorable mention in the school competition.
If I were to illustrate a timeline of my creative journey, it would resemble a graceful slope over which a tidy cobblestone road traverses a verdant landscape… and then plunges over a cliff, at the bottom of which the sea roils and foams.
I discovered that cliff about, oh, a decade and a half ago.
It was just too much to be crafty AND ensure the wellbeing of people who could spontaneously poke themselves in the eye with a fork or choke on a Lego.
My capacity for craftiness has never returned. It’s been subverted by swim team, vanquished by violin lessons, and trounced by track meets.
Some vestige remains, however. I still love roaming the aisles of craft stores. I maintain a stash of crafting crap in that room in the basement that’s supposed to be my office. There are bins of fabric, a box of colorful scrapbooking paper, tubes of watercolors.
Incomplete projects are tucked in around all the supplies. They form a chorus in my brain: don’t abandon me, I’m almost finished!
Perhaps encouraged by the season, or maybe just looking for an excuse for self flagellation, I recently Googled “National Craft Month” and found an article about how to celebrate:
- Practice the 3 Rs “reduce, recycle, reuse.” Doing that already.
- Expand your crafting technique, explore new things. Exploring new things is kind of my schtick. It’s called “mothering a couple of teens whose moods turn on a dime.”
- Attend a craft demonstration in your area. My day started at 5 am. I got home at 9 pm. Show me a late night craft demonstration that includes beer and I’m there.
- Go on a hike and pick up things found on the ground. I somehow ended up with a posse that does that for me. Living la vida loca, I guess.
- Spend time with toddlers and little children. Hello? Toddlers kill the crafting instinct in their mothers. Aren’t you paying attention?
- Take an interest in photography. How about I just try to remember to take pictures at the next violin concert?
- Finish projects you haven’t completed. Maybe you should just shut the Hell up.
It appears there’s a New Me exerting herself over the vestiges of Crafty Me. New Me doesn’t take kindly to suggestions about how to celebrate National Craft month, but wouldn’t mind roaming the aisles of Hobby Lobby looking for inspiration.
Late at night. With a beer.
Why don’t you just put all that energy you were going to put into crafting into a vote for me? You can do so as often as once per day. Thanks.