I am not an artistic person. Like, at all. I find art galleries boring. I can’t draw a recognizable stick figure.
Don’t get me wrong—I can be quite creative (it’s a hidden talent of accountants, and contributes to much of the financial fraud in the world…). I can cook you a meal that you will enjoy. I can spin my children’s nightmares into funny stories that aren’t scary anymore. I can knit, and I can hold a tune well enough to not hurt your ears with both my voice and my fiddle (though maybe not at the same time). I can come up with all sorts of creative ways to procrastinate doing housework. I can be witty, and I can insult you in that Southern style that takes you until I’ve left the room to figure out that I was actually being nasty.
But I don’t find Pinterest interesting. I don’t browse it for ideas, or for decorating eye candy, or for fun. I don’t find making art projects to be anything other than messy and stressful. I have to really work at being the kind of mom who helps my kids achieve their creative endeavors. I think in words, and spend all day creating word pictures. I think some people think in pictures, or think more abstractly, and are able to translate those ideas into something beautiful. I don’t see pictures in my mind of how I want something I am making to turn out, and if I did, whatever I was trying to create would most certainly not turn out that way, but would be such a bastardized outcome that might scare my children because it would be so macabre.
This is in high definition contrast to my sweet Kullervo, who not only grew up the child of two amazing artists, but also is quite talented himself. (Don’t listen to his protests—he’s lying.) Along with being capable at bringing ideas to life, he is also my Myers-Briggs opposite, and thinks in concepts. (Most of our arguments can be traced back to my very concrete literalness and his vague approximations.)
We have been wanting to put up festive seasonal decorations. I wanted to buy a wreath for our door—we have a door! It’s OUR door! It should be decorated and look elegant! Kullervo, who has a hard time accepting that I am so incompetent at something that would come so easily to him, suggested that we (I) make a wreath. I gamely went along with it–people like doing this stuff! It must be fun!
I will not make that mistake again (and I imagine that Kullervo will, next time, take matters into his own hands if he wants a homemade art project). I went to a craft store and got supplies to make a wreath—a foam circle, some other stuff that looked fall-like, gold spray paint, wire, and a door hook. How hard could this be?
It turns out, basically impossible for me. And, messy.
I spray painted the foam gold. I managed to stretch out how long I waited for it to dry for at least three weeks, just in case. Then I wrapped some woodsy looking stuff around the outside, and cursed at how challenging it was to make it stay in place. And I broke a pair of scissors trying to cut it to the right size, because they only make scissors for right handed people, and I can only use left handed scissors despite being a righty.
After securing the woodsy garland to the foam (not particularly well–I don’t really have the patience to care if it isn’t perfect, which is probably why I’m not cut out for this stuff), I took a fall leaves garland and tried to make that look festive. I failed.
I decided to take a break (from not accomplishing anything), and took my little one outside for a bit to play ball. He wanted to play Superman instead. Fair enough. He probably recognized my need for a hero.
After I put him down for his afternoon nap, I tried again. Dammit, I will not be defeated by craft materials. I have standards, and they are (slightly) higher than that! So, I persisted, and I’ll be darned if there isn’t now something relatively unsightly and unprofessional looking hanging outside.
I am pretty sure I have learned my lesson–this is not my cuppa. Some people can make wonderful, creative, beautiful things for their homes. I can too–they’re called children. And dinner.
Next time we want a homemade wreath, I’m delegating. And then I’ll be a good accountant and balance the checkbook.