“For me growing up, Christmas time was always the most fantastic, exciting time of year, and you’d stay up until three in the morning. You’d hear the parents wrapping in the other room but you knew that also, maybe, they were in collusion with Santa Claus.” ~ Chris Pine
While a lot has changed this year, both for the good and the bad, one thing that remains is the annual Christmas Party my friends put on each December. It is a tradition that I honestly wasn’t sure if I would be around to attend this year. When I knew I would be, I was incredibly excited to not only have sanity, (though we are all a crazy bunch!) but be around amazing and supportive friends who have gotten me through some tough transitions this year.
Every year, we do a Yankee swap which has a theme. Last year, it was a gift that was handmade or locally bought. After having travelled extensively last year, coupled with the fact I am NOT crafty, I bought a reusable Shalant candle which is a local company in New York that sells in Bryant Park’s Winter Village each year.
Despite having my hands in a dozen baskets as well as little people running around four times a week, I was firmly planted in one place, and I decided I was going to attempt (key word there) my inner Picasso and create something.
What The Heck Am I Doing?
Did I mention I am not crafty, AT ALL? Guys I legit think I lost my senses or maybe was possessed. I can’t even say I was drunk, though it probably would have turned out a LOT better. I draw stick people, and occasionally when I am super inspired snowmen/women. I do NOT do anything but try my hardest to stay inside the lines in a darn coloring book.
Yet, apparently any rationale flew out the freakin’ window because here we are, I flipping got my Martha Stewart on and crafted. Oh, Bless.
Please, Hold My Hand
I have a huge sea glass collection, and have been immersed in the community for years. I have been absolutely awed by the amazing artists who use sea glass as their medium and have even (again probably NOT sober) thought about doing something with my vast collection. But since I am not artistic, I nixed that idea, until now. Here was my chance to pray to the art gods to inspire me as well as use something that is near and dear to my heart.
I tossed a couple ideas around, like a shadow box, or maybe a mosaic, maybe use it in a painting, but I am that person who paints stick people and no one would want that as a gift! I kept going back and forth and decided to take a trip to Michael’s hoping I would be inspired.
Beautiful readers, Michael’s is not the place to get inspired. It is the place to go and die because you have no idea what you are doing and you will perish because you are so flipping overwhelmed. And no I am not being dramatic…much.
Thank the lord they held my hand like I was a two year old, because I had no idea what I was doing, and I may or may not have spent what felt like hours before I finally asked for help. Or rather they asked if I needed help, because I had the deer in the headlights thing going, as I walked aimlessly around and even my three year old niece wasn’t much help, because SHE fell asleep.
Get To Crafting: I.E. Stick People
After talking to some of the clerks, I bought a shadowbox, a couple canvases and some acrylic paint in various shades of green and blue, as well as white, and of course paint brushes. I also found some cut out wooden anchors and crabs, that I picked up along with heavy duty glue.
I had a direction, but that was it. This was “The Moment” as they sing in Jekyll and Hyde and I was NOT ready for it. And yet, I kinda was. I planned on doing a sea motif that I would then glue sea glass onto, but as I sat down I instantly got swept up in the painting. It was oddly calming, after having stressed so much over it and I could see why people like it, kinda.
The paintings were a mixture of impressionism and scribble, but with paint, and some glitter. Yes I even bought some blueish green glitter paint. Perhaps it was sentiment, (after popping my painting cherry of course) but the first painting was my favorite. Once I got into the painting flow, inspiration struck and I got the idea to make mermaid scales, with the paint brush. They actually came out incredibly well for someone who legit was just whinging it.
Sounding like a broken record, I had no idea what I was doing, but despite that and it being incredibly messy (and your girl does not do mess, except this I do apparently. I even ruined my white manicure oops) it was actually fun and even a bit meditative. I enjoyed it so much. Which is odd, because like I said, I am not crafty!
Here Comes The Seaglass
Once they dried, which did take a whole day for them to do, it was time for the fun part. I had separated sea glass and even shells and was ready to make some cool designs. I had painted the crabs and anchors, the latter of which I glued sea glass too and made ornaments. The crabs I glued onto the canvases before adding some mermaid tears which I even used a couple pieces as eyes, before then making some sea life motifs.
It isn’t anything that will get me into the Met, but I was actually quite proud of myself. There are definitely things I could have done better, and I now know for the next time. Yes, I am even talking about the next time. Oy vey, The painting bug just might have bitten me! Joking aside, It was a learning process, one I actually enjoyed. I have always admired artists, and this made me appreciate them even more. It also made me realize maybe I was little to hard on myself and that maybe my Pinterest cred isn’t as far out of reach as I had thought.
Are you Crafty? Do you make homemade gifts for Christmas?
Other Blogmas Posts:
The Nautical Gift Guide
What DO I Wear?!?! The Holiday Graphic Tee
Trimming The Tree
Favorite Christmas Movies
Wanderlusting: Santa’s Village
What DO I Wear?!?! Christmas Glam
Christmas in Charleston
Kate’s Christmas Playlist
What DO I Wear?!?! Ugly Christmas Sweater
Advent Calendar: Day 1-13
Favorite Hallmark Movies
What DO I Wear: Graphic Tees and Leather