Saturday, December 31, 2011

Walk on the Wild Side

If you have spent any time with me at all, you know I succumb regularly to a malady called “I can make that.” This illness manifests itself whenever I go to First Monday in Canton, any craft show or when I troll the genius that is Pinterest.

“I am not going to pay $50 for that when I can make that.”

I may even go so far as to purchase the supplies or dredge them from my stash. I rarely do “make that.” A notable exception is the penguin jammies I made the girls for Christmas, because they really were that quick, cheap and easy.

I decided yesterday, for our first foray into the creative unknown, we would tackle one of those “I can make that” white whales.

Yesterday we went to the Dallas Zoo. As members and rabid zoo addicts, this is not unusual. We love it, the girls love it. I don’t know that the animals are terribly impressed, but we go anyway. I decided that we would create our own scavenger hunt this time. After ogling those distinct, framed versions of last names, created from photos of “found” letters and arranged to spell things, I declared again, “I can make that.”

Never did.

Until now.

I had the girls keep their eyes peeled for any unique, colorful, and different E, V, A, N and S letters they could find. We scoured the grounds of the zoo for them. Some had too much glare, others were too small. Some were too close to their neighbors or too far away from us. More than once, I got an odd stare for standing right in front of a beautiful, exotic animal and focusing my lens on an “S” on a sign instead. C'est la Vie!

We made it home with about 25 options between the phone and camera. That, apparently, was the easy part. The tough part was getting four individual brains to like the same combination of five letters. I will show them all below and let you know tomorrow which one won. I have my favorite, but I am playing it cool.

When we reach stalemates of this variety, we usually have to make the girls write their votes on individual slips of paper and we read the results aloud. Otherwise, one will vote for something she hates, just to annoy the others. Ahhhh, sisters. I am off to the grand dame herself, Hobby Lobby, to shop for an odd-shaped frame. Regardless of which iteration wins, they are all the same size!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Creating the Blog

Let me begin by addressing those who found their way to this blog thinking that this is an equine-enthusiast site or a procrastinators paradise… it is neither of those (though I have been known to put off until tomorrow, the day after or indefinitely what should be done yesterday).

I could have named the site “Going off half-cocked” but this sounded decidedly less filthy and more ambiguous.

This is actually a blog devoted to my pursuit of returning to my creative roots. To reclaiming those crafty, artistic, green-thumbed, floured-nosed, ink-stained endeavors that bring me so much joy. I have lost much of my creative self over the past decade as I have been raising my three daughters.

In a time when I was teaching them to embrace their own natural creativity, I was allowing boxes and bins to fill with unfinished projects and half-started ideas. There never seemed to be enough time at the end of the day for the “frivolous” project. On the times I managed to finish one, it was all-consuming as I put important tasks aside to “get it done”. Not a very creative process.

I would also find myself kicking the kids out of the room as I worked. Calling the project my “catharsis” or reward for all the work I did every day. Blah, blah, blah…Basically I hoarded the fun. Squirreled away the experience, knowledge and satisfaction that come from making something from scratch or repurposing discarded items. I should have been bringing the girls in and sharing it with them.

Now that they are all school-aged, independent thinkers, I have decided to make a concerted effort to pursue creativity recklessly. This year will be my own creative revival, so to speak. Starting now, I will begin to take one unfinished project at a time, and complete it. I will find that idea jotted on a scrap of paper and bring it to fruition, that photo of the compost bin made from reclaimed wood and make it from the scraps we have on hand. I will finish the quilt that sits, as blocks, in a bag.

I plan to make my girls my copilots in this journey. I want them to channel their own creativity and feel free to express it. I will teach them to sew, to crochet, and to coax a winter garden out of the frigid ground. We will make souffl├ęs, write plays and craft great messes.

Although I started this blog to chronicle my creative quest (and, lets face it, accountability doesn’t hurt) I do think it will be fun to jot down our adventures-or misadventures-as they come.

Back to the Blog title. I mentioned to a friend that wanted to start a blog about my creative journey with my girls. I told her that I was going to start writing tonight. She asked if I had any idea how to start a blog. I told her, simply, no. She mentioned that I might be putting the cart before the horse…well, lets see if the horse can catch up!

More Hijinks...