I can be a little analytical.  A measure-er.  An over-thinker.  Like about kissing.  Its weird, right?  Lips, which are just part of a face, mashed up against someone else’s lips.  Weird.  But through some odd quirk of personality, when it comes to making things, I rarely over-think.  I just do.

Now, there are some drawbacks to such a devil-may-care approach.  I generally fall short of my vision if I’m trying to copy something exactly.  I’m terrible at drawing faces and things that require precision.  Draperies?  Nope.  I’ve made them, but only one of the 4 sets in my household actually cover the entire window.

But art?  Art I can do.  And you can, too.

You can make art.  And it doesn’t have to fall into the neat lines of the box that we’ve drawn around that loaded word.  The way you craft a conversation so that the person you’re talking with feels valued and encouraged?  That’s an art.  And the care you take with your home so that it looks and feels fresh and restful – also art.  Mine, well, my art is just making stuff.  And I use “stuff” in the strictest sense of the word.  I’ve got a long list of items I’ve made through the years, although my current favorites include homemade foodstuffs (nutella, candy, pasta noodles, salsa), things that are sewn, and properly captioned photographs.

I’m hoping, soon, to add things like “furniture” and “home decorating with cross stitch” to my list.

Here’s the thing, though.  To make art, you have to just do stuff.  If conversation is your art, you have to just talk to people.  And if its food, then for the love of hungry tummies, cook.  Last weekend, a friend of mine brought over her Cameo, and we cut out some words, slapped them on canvas, painted over them, then peeled off the names.  Its adorable.  Art was created.

Don’t over-think.  Gather inspiration, but then make your own thing.  Realize that end products might be wildly different from envisioned results, and that’s okay.  Allow yourself to change your plan when you realize the project is moving differently than expected.  But above all, just make art.

The painting thing occurred because some friends wanted to have a Pin-did party.  It turned into cookie-baking and hanging-out, but there was some creating that was done.  If you want to have a pin-did party, here’s what you do: decide on one or two or five projects.  Get the materials.  Invite friends.  Provide some food, light music, and refreshments.  Then make stuff.  Allow yourself to enjoy the gathering, without the pressure of a perfect artistic outcome – it is a party, people.

We’re going to have another one, soon.  And this time I’m going to buy actual glass-etching stuff, rather than glass etching effect stuff.  And we’re going to maybe make jewelry out of thrift store finds.  And there will be some Disney music piped in.  And more snacks.  Always more snacks 🙂
I was reading about an improvisational quilting book this week, and they had a suggestion for people who found it difficult to just start sewing without any real plan: Get a bunch of scraps together from previous projects; put them in a bag.  Without looking, choose two and sew them together.  Then choose another one, and sew it to the first two.  Then again, and again, until your scraps are gone.  The point wasn’t to make something beautiful, it was to just sort of loosen up and get used to working without a specific plan.  I’d suggest the same thing for paint.  The canvas above is from Hobby Lobby, two for $6.  The paints were $7 for the lot of them.  Grab some, and a brush, and just put the paint on the canvas.  Swirl it around.  Keep yourself limited to only cool colors or something, if you need some sort of theme.  Paint only squares.  Just slap some on there and go.  But remember, red+green make brown, and no one likes a painting that looks like poop.  So don’t go all wild on me.

Have you had any of these parties?  Have you made art lately?  If you haven’t, I highly recommend it!

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Mon Feb 3 , 2014
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