Monday, May 19, 2008

Summer of Art

I’m counting my change and cutting coupons, but the unfiltered truth is that life has gotten expensive and my fun is in danger! I do not intend to bemoan my financial state and my boredom in the same breath when I can seize my opportunity and take responsibility for my happiness, finances, and time all at once. My solution has been to change my idea of fun – picnics in the park with my son rather than expensive museums or coffee at home with friends instead of eating out. Now I’m expanding on that idea and I’m going to live not just a little but lavishly and richly in the midst of my life rather than frugally on the edges with my eye on “better times.”

Frankly, my life is fantastic. I’m warm, safe, clean, very well-fed and broadly loved. My family is in decent health and our relationships are strong. One saying says that, “the rest is details.” Another saying tells me that “Life is in the details.” So – what am I to do with life in the details?

Summer of Art is my answer. I have a craft room overflowing with partial mending, a skirt I want to reconstruct, the scrapbook I needed on a random Tuesday, and the list goes on. While I’m missing a button or maybe a piece of Velcro to finish these projects (very inexpensive pieces), mainly I will need time and dedication. Those resources won’t cost me anything and the pay-off in fulfilled promises to myself will be immense. I can do something finally with my crafts and imagination. I’ll even get the added benefit of feeling righteous about finances. I paid for this entertainment already in the past, but I’m choosing now to enjoy it. How much money have you spent over the years on various projects that lay just a couple of steps from being happily completed?

This summer I will use an open eye to see creative opportunities in everyday situations and be open for the spontaneous nature of art in my life. My inner critic says I don’t have time for this goofing off, but he can stand aside. This kind of time is especially necessary when all of my other resources are low. I question what I’m doing and where I’m going when frustration sets in and knowing my inner thoughts guides me to healthier choices. I create art and a stronger self in the process. Plus, I’m not broke when I imagine the wealth of supplies and ideas at my disposal.

My personal list of craft projects I joyously claim as summer fare:

  • · Sewing case - create a liner for the box (scrap material) to hold my items securely along the edges and prevent the tangled mess I have now. Collage on the exterior of box to reflect my personality and inspire me to smile when I pick up my sewing case.
  • · Complete silverware roll-up for camping (already started from scrap material).
  • · Complete quilt from high school / college t-shirts.
  • · Complete my son’s baby album (2 pages left).
  • · Write my goddaughter’s birth story and present to her mother.
  • · Collage tins from paper scraps and magazines. (Recycle the magazines afterward to clear out my room; I’m giving away the tins as gifts)
  • · Archival scrapbook project needs to be completed, spun to CD, and shipped to client.
  • · Sew the leather drum covers together and give them to their owners.
  • · Scrapbook on my books: 2007 family album, Walkabout album, Personal album, relationship album, Mother’s Memorial album.
  • · Insert the missing pictures into my scrapbook albums where they belong.
  • · Put closure on satin purse and tweed apron.
  • · Use digital camera to explore my surroundings and experiment with effects.
  • · Use paints to decorate everyday items that I use and love.
  • · Sculpt the flower beds to have less weeds and more beauty in a few minutes a day of work.
  • · Write fiction short stories.
  • · Write non-fiction book outlines.
  • · Write the pieces for my upcoming website.
  • · Play with words.
  • · Create, write, sew, sing, and otherwise enjoy one of the most unique aspects of being human.
  • · Dine al fresco with my family on cool summer dishes from the garden.
  • · Laugh.

I have already scrapbooked, created collage tins, and done a mid-sized flower arrangement for my son’s birthday party. I am successful already!I like the idea of living a life by design.

Consider your own world and the pieces of creativity that are open to you. Can you sing? Do you draw, write, bake, garden or work with wood? Are there projects you’ve not finished, bemoan as failures, or see as taking up space you’ll never use? Clean out your mental and physical clutter with a clever use of creative stirrings.

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