Sunday, January 9, 2011

A mission + $5 = Artist's Date, Week One

Yesterday, Saturday, was the first time I actually had an Artist's Date. It was the end of week one, and if I was going to have a "date" then I needed to do it before the clock ran out. (I work well on deadlines.) The trouble was that I had no idea what to do for this date, and I do so hate "wasting time."

I knew that this would not be a waste of time.  Or at least the artist within knew it. My sensible self, the one that worries constantly about responsibilities and deadlines, needed a more definite plan, a more reasonable, adult approach to an hour or two wandering by myself. And so the two halves compromised within the one place that is well suited for the adult on a mission and a creative explorer in search of inspiration: the local Good Will.

It was there, armed with a budget of $5, that I found inspiration for a crafty project:
It may not be noticeable from the picture, but I believe that it's some sort of lazy susan, perhaps from the 80s. I have no idea. But it was ugly and yet intriguing with a $2.99 price tag. Perfect!  And I had an idea.  Recently I found one of the blogs I was searching for, something I stumbled upon in December, and the young woman who has that blog had an idea for a plaque. I figured if she could do something cute and artsy for her blog, Craftily Ever After, I could do something a little retro/now-tro for my "date."

Before that point, however, I needed to check out a few other places for supplies and inspiration. I went to the local dollar store: nothing.  I stopped by the local library ("Maybe they'll have a used book on crafts!") and didn't find what I was looking for but scored six other books for $3:
Then I went to Michael's, a craft-addict's heroin. It was there that I found several different scrapbooking papers on clearance for $0.19 and bought a few to see what I'd like best:
I also found some weird star thing that may inspire future creativity, $0.49:
And they enticed me back into the store today by giving me a 20% off coupon good on sale items this afternoon only. I bought a bazillion skeins of yarn (even though the only knitting or crocheting I do requires a loom and produces things that are either circles or rectangles), more paper, etc.

But back to the project at hand. I dug around in my box of craft supplies and found some paint and paint brushes. I chose this color because it matched an accent on the paper I wanted to use to decoupage my lazy susan.
I painted a thin coat onto the wood and carefully cut out the paper in the shape of the top of the lazy susan. Of course I'm not good at cutting things, even if it should be easy, so once I mod podged the paper onto the wood and let it dry I had Honey use an X-Acto knife around the edges to clean it up for me.

A few coats later, and the project was done!  I think it was pretty successful and we plan on using this when we have our monthly family dinners -- an easy way to display and pass different sauces.

As a side note for the weekend: I am obviously trying to incorporate more pictures to make things more interesting. We'll see how this goes.  I have learned a few things:
1) I like crafting and reclaiming junk like my grandmother and great-grandmother used to do.
2) Crafting is much more fun than studying:

Studying is necessary, but on cold wintery days it is just more fun to pick out craft projects. And it was most certainly cold. Nicky will attest to that:

3) In a slightly-unrelated note, one of the books we ordered from Borders (using some Christmas gift cards) arrived on Saturday. It's called The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones and it is amazing. We heard about it for the first time in 2009 and Honey, knowing that I tend to subsist on a diet of english muffins and fruit when alone (with the occasional microwaved quesadilla), suggested I started learning to love myself enough to create beautiful food even when it's just me eating.  This book might just inspire such a venture.

And so Week Two begins.

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