Saturday, November 8, 2008

Feeling Crafty

I have been feeling pretty crafty lately. And I don't mean crafty in the bad, Wicked Witch of the West sort of way. I mean making things--with my own 2 hands. Problem is, I am not the craftiest gal around. In fact, I'm not even close to the craftiest gal around. But, I think, I might be, maybe, getting better.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have longed to create. I designed my own birthday parties, read cookbooks and tried to create the food I read about, I wrote stories and drew and painted. I often felt frustrated with my attempts at creating: my melba toast did not taste nearly as delicious as it sounded in the recipe, the picture I had in my head did not match the picture I put down on paper, my party wasn't designed down to the last detail as I wished it would be, my stories entertained my parents and teachers, but it was their job to like what I wrote. Oh the pain I suffered at the hands of my art.

One day, about 2 months ago, I was deep in the throws of new baby blues. With 3 kids under 4, one of them a newborn,and none of us sleeping as much as I would like, I was tired and overwhelmed and feeling like the "me" was gone and there was only a mommy left. And she was a shell of a mommy, let me tell you. I was indulging in some computer time wasting while the boys played outside and I nursed Lilly. I decided to check out the blog of a writer I like from Bon Appetite magazine. I had never been on a blog before, but always imagined I'd like to write one, you know, in my spare time. So I went to her blog, Orangette, and I was in love. It is beautiful. It is delightful. It is funny and sweet and makes you feel like Molly is your friend and you are just swapping recipes with each other. I was so inspired and jealous that I started to cry. It wasn't just new Mommy hormones. I said jealous. Yes, jealous.

Here was the very thing I had longed to do. Not exactly like Molly, but along the same lines. I wanted to write beautiful stories. I wanted to take pictures of beautiful things. I wanted to cook beautiful meals. I wanted to create. I wanted to do something other than think "snacks, diapers, crying, laundry, nap time, nurse, spit up" all day. So I did. That night, I started my blog, Lilly and the Brothers. It has been one of the most soul satisfying things I have undertaken in a long while.

In no way do I attempt to align myself with Molly. I simply offer her my thanks for helping me unpack my creativity and put it to use again. I feel more alive. Every where I look I see pictures to take, stories to tell, meals to cook, and things to make. I have 3 different projects going right now and about 10 more brewing in my head. I am hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year and I made napkins for the table. Napkins! Who is the woman?

Yesterday James and I were making art at the table; he drawing, me wanting to do something with fall leaves. So I started to cut. I like making art with my son. Later that night, after I finished gluing down my leaves, I was fiddling with the scissors, trying to cut out a little bird. I really like birds right now. Amazingly, the picture saw in my head made its way to my hand to cut out the shape I wanted. With a little help from Aaron, I added a wing, and a belly, a little eye, and ta da! I made a bird! All by myself. To those of you who are artists already, and can whip out a bird in 2 seconds flat this seems like nothing. But to me...sweet bliss. I can craft, baby.

And so, my humble wreath, is now the prototype for something a little better. Better glue, maybe different paper, a better wreath form (I used plain old paper, and the glue warped it) and hopefully, a better wreath. But we are on our way. And I am loving every minute of it.

The pictures above are as follows
  • My Mom's Singer sewing machine. She's letting me borrow it.
  • Formerly black frames I am painting in bright, cheerful colors to hang in my dark, dreary hallway.
  • Cherry tomatoes from the farmer's market. Ready for the fresh tomato sauce I made and froze so we could taste summer in the winter.
  • Work in progress wreath. Supposed to be autumn leaf wreath, but looks a little Christmasy.


Erin McDonald said...

We all have seasons in our lives and I am so glad you are able to have a crafting season now! I am in language school,itchy body, cleaning, survival season right now. I haven't found an outlet for craftyness yet. I did sew a little sheet for a baby at our church and atempted to make curtins that failed and well that was the end. When we had Jon over the other day we did get my sewing machine out and he made thank you cards for his social worker and those who gave him gifts. We had fun but these days I seem to becoming lazzy about fun stuff! Who knows when my crafty times will return but I can't wait for them to get here!

Greta said...

Yes, we all have seasons. When I was working full time outside the home, I didn't craft much. But now that I am home all the time, I need a way to get out, even if it is only metally.
I must admit, I am glad I am not in the itchy body season. I hate bug bites almost more than anything. Except maybe cleaning poopy underwear.
I do want to try sewing cards. Do you use your regular needle, and regular thread?
Kristen is going to tell me how to do tie dye with the boys. She did it with hers and said it was a blast.