Tuesday, April 12, 2011

creative me

I've had a revelation about craft projects with the kids.

Recently I've spent a fair amount of time perusing mom/craft blogs and ogling the projects of these energetic and creative women. (Blogs such as this one, and this one, and this one, and this one.) It's exciting for me; I have an art degree, after all, and want to be creating things myself, and what better excuse than to do it with my kids? Thing is, once I get past being inspired to try new projects, these lovely blogs end up having the same effect as parenting books: they make me feel depressed. Supermom I am not.

I used to attempt more craft projects but they made me crazy. This was about the time I was envying all my friends who parent only one child. These projects, rather than being a creative outlet for me, seemed to be only about setting up paint and brushes and glitter glue that my kids then flung around for about 10 minutes before running off laughing and wrestling. Then I would wipe paint off the walls and the chairs and the dog. Wrestling was much more the activity of choice, for sure. So I gave up for a while.

Clark is a sensory creature rather than a visual one, which means his love of art materials is limited and his love of wrestling is not. He does like playdoh, feels good on the fingers, and he can stick with that for a good while. He's not much for crayons or markers or drawing in general; he scribbles on the appropriate paper for about 20 seconds and then either dumps the crayons/markers/colored pencils on the floor because he thinks dumping boxes of things on the floor is glorious fun, or he turns the coloring implement to his skin or the wall. What I need, and I'm serious, is some warmer weather and a project that involves painting one's own body. Perhaps while we potty train this summer. Ha!

I thought for a good while about why these lovely blogs had me so turned around. Where did these moms get the energy? Why didn't I have it? Where did they get the time to come up with the projects, go to Michaels and Kmart and the hardware store for materials, set up the project, photograph it in process, and blog about it???? Maybe other things are falling off their radar; maybe their houses are a mess. Maybe they have a family who take the kids from time to time. Probably they don't wrestle with migraines three days a week.

One of the blogs in particular impressed itself on me. (You'll just have to stroll through my Creative Parent Blog List and speculate on which one.) After coming back to it several times I realized something. These, for the most part, didn't appear to be kid projects; they were projects that the mom built and that the kids could enjoy in finished form. Perhaps the kid could help in process - sort of - but mostly it was a creative outlet for mom.

Oh my. Was I allowed to simply create? Was I allowed to create things for the kids without inviting them to help??? Could it be?

So. I got online and immediately ordered some peg people for me to paint. And yesterday while Frances was outside behind the garage moving rocks into a circle for her 'campfire', I built (out of cardboard) and upholstered (with scrap flannel) a barbie couch for the barbie house I am going to put together.

I'm having so much fun!!!

It's possible you will never see pictures of these things, but maybe...


M. Bloom said...

Oh, hello! thanks for linking to my blog... and please, please, please do not feel depressed on account of my blog. My 9 month old decided not to nap this week. I barely got dishes washed, let alone had time for creative work!

I did not enjoy doing art with my older son until he was old enough to keep the paint on the paper and use the glue for gluing instead of just squeezing the bottle empty to create "Lake Elmers." Now I enjoy inviting my son to participate, but also do a lot of art work just for me.

Bravo re: the the peg-people. I hope you have lots of fun decorating them... a very fast & gratifying project. Please email me a photo if you are of a mind to...


Shannon said...

You know I have read, and re-read your post; gone away, mulled over it for 24 hours, come back, read it again... and i just don't know if i should be flattered or offended.
I craft because I love it. I mostly do it while my little one is sleeping or in the case of my big girl - while she is at school. I don't watch tv so I spend the evenings sitting quietly doing my thing.
I make things for my children, my family and friends ~ their children and for my daughter's school.
My house is clean but I haven't had a migraine in about a year and I can't remember the one before that.
I'm glad you did something for you - feels good doesn't it?

Joy said...

I'm loving your revelation. It may become my revolution with creating artwork with little T. The same questions and critique of myself have whirred through my mind looking at those blogs. I'm glad your having fun with it now. Maybe we can tackle the body painting as a team sometime this summer!