My need to create greatly exceeds any talent I might have in the arts, which may explain this blog. I have some really innovative ideas and a pretty good work ethic. It's the honing of skills that never seems to happen. Another problem is that I'm also lacking in anything anywhere approaching taste. Innovation without good taste usually leads to something that looks like, well, like my last creative project, which was an adaptation to my Aunt Madge's lovely oil painting of a serene river scene. I tried to "spiff it up for the new millennium" by adding edgy colors (in acrylic) and abstract embellishments. It now hangs proudly in my sun room as a testament to my many gifts.
My interior decorating endeavors led to my selling the home I'd lived in for 13 years for LESS than I'd paid for it, an almost unknown occurrence before the real estate bust. As my house went on the market, one wall of my guest room had been painted a shiny copper color; a wall of my kitchen was covered with torn strips from paper bags; the ceiling in my bathroom was sponge-painted green; and a door in my dining room sported a rendition of someone else's garden, partially done in magic marker. I continue to be nonplussed as to why any of the above was a problem for buyers.
My creative edge has, at times, caused me to be socially ostracized. My brief tenure as a member of the Warner Robins Junior Women's Club was made even more abbreviated because of a minor faux pas having to do with the annual Christmas Wreath Sale. Each year, members were charged with creating a wreath to be sold for charity at our local mall, and then with working the booth for a specified number of hours. When I arrived at the sale site with my cinnamon-colored wrapped wreath, adorned with what looked like a homeless woman, I noticed that burnt orange wasn't as popular a color for Christmas as it had been for Thanksgiving. Somehow, while I was happily wrapping my styrofoam circle with tangerine-hued velvet ribbon, other members were adorning their wreaths with Della Robbia fruits and red and green plaid trimmings. Needless to say, my one-of-a-kind creation was the only wreath left on the rack at the end of the day. As they say in merchandising, "We couldn't even give it away." I wasn't ever actually banished from the club but nothing was the same in the new year.
Speaking of the holidays, friends and family run for cover when sleigh bells start to ring, as I am quite apt to make their Christmas gifts my own self. I tend to have a theme each year. One year it was tiny baskets, this year, coasters. The common thread is the tacky factor.
Last year, I knitted hats for everyone in my family, a gift they eschewed immediately upon opening. Please see the attached photo if you think I'm exaggerating. While the adults seem just mildly amused, my granddaughter, Cami, appears to be seething under her placid countenance. What? She doesn't think the jester's hat goes with the skull and crossbones bib?
Then there are the money-making schemes involving artistic endeavors. I've drawn pencil portraits for money; I've sewn all manner of folksy accoutrements for money; I've cut up and stuffed vintage doilies to make pillows for money; and now, I'm writing this blog. Speaking of money, you may have noticed the ads on my blog and how they seem to correlate in some way to my posts. Just how smart ARE those Google boys? The theory is that I will get a certain amount of cash (I think it's 2 cents) each time someone clicks on one of the ads. When I was setting up the blog, I had to agree not to click on the ads myself, therefore earning money for me and not for the advertisers. I was also asked to tell you guys (my many readers) not to click on an ad unless you are seriously interested in, say, purchasing sundresses in January or finding a Toyota dealer near you. So, here goes: Unless you really need a lawyer to get you out of a DUI (and if you do, I would strongly suggest your reading something other than my blog), don't click on the DUI ad. Apparently, you all are already following the rules as, so far, I have earned zero cents.
It's funny how things work out. As a little girl, my dream was to be an artist. I even majored in Art for one college quarter. As life happened, though, I tended to take the more pragmatic route at each turn. But the spark is still there, and I'm just glad that, now, I can laugh about my few successes and many failures. And, more importantly, I'm happy I no longer feel the need to try to fit into a group that doesn't understand and appreciate my genius, or, at least, accept me in spite of my flaws and pretensions. That, in a hand-knit, acrylic-painted, doily-covered nutshell, is what makes being "past my prime" pretty great.