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October 19, 2009

Life lessons from my craft table

I spent much of Sunday afternoon working on various art and crafting projects. (Check out my Etsy store if you haven't already!)

So while I applied Mod Podge to glass ornaments and shook out glitter and painted and spilled and generally had a heck of a time, I got to pondering.

I'm a ponderer, donchaknow?

"Iiiii'm the kind of gal who likes to think around, oh I'm the ponderer, oh I'm the pondereeeer!"

Sorry. Ahem, random bit of silliness.

Anyhow, while waiting for glue to dry, I thought about the lessons for a better life that I have learned during the art of crafting.

Here's a few I quickly jotted down:

  • Angry crafting is not good crafting

  • Oh yeah. I've sat down at the table, madder than hell about something, and stabbed paint on things, smashed glue into corners and hastily applied decorations.

    End result? Unpretty.

    To me, creating requires a certain letting go in the mind. Almost a meditation. Not to get all Buddhist or anything, but you have to be in the moment with the paint or glue or papier-mâché or whatever medium you are elbows deep into.

  • Sad crafting can sometimes rock.

  • So very stereotypical to say that you have to be sad and depressed to really create. In fact, I pretty much hate that this concept has become so ubiquitous.

    But, I do have to admit, sometimes, when I'm really down, and tired of feeling down, exhausted from the sad, I turn off my brain and let the paintbrush take over (or the keyboard if I'm writing) and I find that in that non-thinking space, I make some of the best stuff.

    Then again, I can be crazy-ass happy like a chimpanzee and make cool stuff too.

    It all comes back to where your mind is at. Not to put too fine a point on it.

  • Tipsy crafting is a no.

  • Yeah. Worse than angry crafting. You *think* you are doing a great job, but then you wake up the next day and see big gaps you missed, stuff is crooked, left the glue pot open, etc.

    Not that drunk crafting isn't fun, it just isn't advisable.

    There's letting go the mind and there is letting go of your faculties. Know when to put the glue gun down!

    This was a hard lesson learned after sharing a small pitcher of margaritas with The Good Man over homemade enchiladas. Yum!

    Should have chosen singing out loud or playing the guitar instead. Will still come out crappy, but no lasting effects to remind!

  • A rhinestone or other well placed embellishment can cover a multitude of sins.

  • When I was learning to drive, my mom always said, "If you miss your turn, just turn around and try again." And you know what? She's always been right. Flat right. Don't panic. Don't freak out. Don't give up on the whole thing.

    Just, be calm, and fix it.

    Look, they say what makes a book great isn't the initial writing, it is the editing. I think what makes art great isn't that you make something perfectly the first time, but it's about all those "happy accidents." Those goofs you didn't expect but show you something more profound or deeper or more meaningful than you first imagined.

    Then sometimes there are just those "oops, my freaking thumb got in the way and now I have a huge ass smudge." That's when you slap a big rhinestone or a button, a milagro or SOMETHING fun over it and smile, because then only YOU know there is a mistake under there.

    Everyone else thinks you meant it that way.

    Crafting has made me give up on trying to be pefect and learn to welcome those "hey what the!?!? Oh, heeeeeey....." moments.

  • And finally, as much as you may love your pets, and believe me, I LOVE my pet a lot, don't craft with your pets nearby.

  • Let's just say this...I was covering a wooden item in glitter. Glue went on, glitter covered the item in a big pile.

    I got up to wash off my glue brush. As I stood, the Feline was fast asleep nearby (on the table actually).

    I walked from the room, turned to check, yep, still asleep.

    Returned in about two minutes. I find my Feline with glitter ALL over her face and the glitter spread *everywhere*.

    Seems she'd taken a sniff, inhaled a bit o' the Crafty Chica Nova Blue, and sneezed.


    Also, I got weary of constantly picking cat hair out of my paint and glue and did I mention she likes to sleep on my paint rag?

    Feline doesn't get to sleep on the craft table anymore.

    So, just exile your pets from your art space. Believe me, this will save many headaches.

    Unless pet hair is your medium, then knock yourself out!

All right, enough pondering. Time to get back into my Zen space, pick up my purple acrylic paint, and get back to crafting.

(not my craft table, but might as well be!)

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Creative Commons License
All content of Oh Fair New Mexico by Karen Fayeth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.