Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ramble ramble ramble...paraphernalia has an r?

My mother put me in art classes when I was about seven or eight. By classes, I mean I sat at a neighbor's kitchen table while she painted a so-so mediocre landscape Bob-Ross-style on an easel wearing a terry tube-dress and chain-smoking Virginia Slims. Oh, and she encouraged me to paint a little when she looked over at my canvas.

We called Barb the "duck lady" because she had eleventy-billion ducks. Oh, and geese and chickens and, if my memory is correct, a really effin mean rooster named Adolph who's sole purpose in life was to spur the shit out of my calves as I raced from the back gate to the sliding glass door of the kitchen of Barb's house.

My art lessons lasted a few years and produced a few decent watercolors my mother had professionally framed and still "exhibits" at her house as if they were original Degas or Monets. Let's put it this way... if Degas OR Monet had ever painted a picture of a squirrel chewing an acorn on a wonky tree get the idea.

So. I'm not artsy. I lasted as a musical theater major one semester in college and then tried to write poetry and spent too many nights in a dark coffee house trying to find my cool vibe and never getting the nerve to read anything I ever wrote on the little stage in the corner.

There was the time I thought I'd go back to painting and spent half a month's rent on canvasses and paint and brushes and then realized I peaked with the squirrel in the tree. It was then that I decided that I was NOT, as my mother told me so many times growing up, artistic in any way and just decided to settle for being crafty. (Not that being crafty is settling. It just doesn't sound as prestigious as artistic. I don't care how many crochet pillows you've made, you have to agree with me on this one.)

Crafty was not out of my reach. I made a mosaic out of a mirror I broke while dating my second-to-worst boyfriend. It spelled "luck" and I hung it over the kitchen doorway of the first apartment I ever lived in by myself. It was emo and cooler than anything else I could've mustered with a tub of modge-podge and some rescued plywood. I wish I still had it. Damn.

What I really wanted- no want- is to be one of those people with a "creative space" in their house full of inspiring clippings and objects taped up around the walls and on refurbished shelves just begging them to come and do creative things to them. Ugh. How do some people make a digital photo of a coffee ring on an old hardback book look so friggin cool? Really! I drink coffee and immediately wipe up the ring and then think about how NOT creative that was.

So. I'm the opposite. I don't think creatively and I don't see the useful qualities in every little piece of everything in my house. My junk is just junk. It really can't be made into anything cooler than it just is. Believe me, I've looked at it. For a long time. With my glasses on and a cup of chai tea in my hand. P.s- the tea didn't make the junk or ME more ingenious.

All this is kind of about a sewing machine my grandma gave me for Christmas. It was hers. I love having it because it was hers, but having her magic wand doesn't make me any more crafty/artsy/sew-y than I was when I tried to hop on the "softie" wagon and made a stinky-wonky sock zebra that sleeps at the bottom of my daughter's stuffed animal basket. I have it set up on the dining room table with sewing paraphernalia all around, but it's just not enough to make it all happen. No matter how many times I try to sit behind it and sew something -ANYTHING- it all goes terribly awry and then I end up ignoring the dining room for weeks at a time until I see something so cool and easy looking on Ohdeedoh or Etsy and think to myself, I can do that!

Someone come over and make me a creative space. I'm not creative enough to do it, but I really really really want it! Even if it won't make me that creative and cutesy person I want to be. I promise to coffee-ring it up as soon as you're finished.

And then take pictures of it to tack up in it. Oooh. That will be so cool.


The Panic Room said...

"I drink coffee and immediately wipe up the ring and then think about how NOT creative that was."

This was a truly funny line.

Stephanie Meade Gresham said...

You shush, Ryan. You're who's face shows up when flip to "creative" in the dictionary.