What are you doing this summer?
Seems like a question that I have been asked of late. It seemed that when we were young and on the school calendar mode, it was easy to break down our year into seasons: summer break, fall school start, Christmas break, winter semester, spring/Easter break, spring semester… It was easy to set goals and schedules: piano lessons, choir practice, soccer, field hockey, swimming, school play/musical, etc… Even the course work was scheduled for specific times: driver’s ed happened in the spring, “family planning” or any of the health classes occurred in the spring, local history was taught in the fall, etc.
So, when we ask each other what we are doing in the summer, I think there is a little of our preprogrammed schedules in our heads. “Visit family, hang out at the pool, go to camp, visit the beach, travel to Europe”….
I always think that the summer is a good time to pursue some type of creative or craft project. Guess I am reminded of my annual packing of my “craft box” to our summer house. I had a box that contained my bits and bobs: brick-a-brack, styrofoam forms, needlepoint, glitter, acrylic and water color paints, pastels, etc. You name the project, and I probably had the appropriate material stuffed into that box. One time my brother in exasperation for it taking up room in the car said, “Are you going to bring that **** box again?!” I always fancied myself as an “artiste”- hiking along the marsh edges, portable easel, paints and wearing an old smock and straw hat. In reality, I probably, only once, brought a small sketch book and pencils bought from the local 5 & 10 to sit at the edge of the jetty and left within minutes of getting thoroughly soaked by a wave.
This summer, I still have a hankering for something creative. I have scratched that itch (slightly) by making new pillows for our deck and screened porch. What I like is when I can “use up” some other material that I already have in the house. Such was the case with the pillows: I covered existing pillows with left over material from having re-covered our dining room chairs (that material was a painter’s drop cloth!) and used up some of my acrylic fabric paints by painting scallops shells on them (or my attempt at a scallop rendition). I also covered existing pillows with coordinating ribbon and used some starfish from a former wreath.
It may not be decorator’s choice but I like it.
What about you? Did you like arts and crafts as a kid? Did you do it at camp? What have you always wanted to learn? To knit? Crochet? Paint? Sculpt? Design a garden? Take design classes? Baking classes? Cooking classes? Woodworking?
Just because we are not formally in school or camp doesn’t mean that we cannot learn and try new creative pursuits. Maybe get some friends together and share the expense for a lesson or two. Or, have a sharing session where someone shares his/her skills with the group. Check out pintrist and youtube videos for ideas.
While the craft box has been dismantled and redistributed, I might still pull out my sketch book. I have also been thinking about making some new needlepoint eyeglass cases. Perhaps resurrect my old Kenya bag and add new rope handles? The list can go on….