Friday, April 28, 2017

Queen of Random Skills

I've discovered my secret identity: I'm the Queen of Random Skills. How this happened, I have no idea. I was just like ... hanging around and then I was trying to figure out how to get great Christmas presents on a budget.

So I learned to make things. The first year, I learned to quilt. Oh my gosh! You would absolutely LOVE quilting if you would take the time to learn it. You take some scraps of fabric, cut them into clever shapes, then sew them together. You can do this at night while watching TV. You can be methodical and draw out shapes and colors on paper before beginning but old-timey quilts were just throw together out of whatever scraps of fabric were lying about. Flour sacks were used, along with pieces of old shirts and jeans. The result is a multi-dimensional, but soft and cozy work of art.

My first year, I made about 6 lap quilts and everyone LOVED their Christmas present that year! YAY! Can't ask for more than that!

The second year I painted everyone's gift. I had taken oil painting lessons in my early 20's. Me and my girlfriend wanted to do something fun together so we chose art lessons. And we had so much fun! Every week, we'd look forward to Tuesday nights. We were such open and eager students. My friend, Bev, didn't stick with it though. But I did. I bought canvases and painted everything from white daisies to puppies in a basket. It was sooooo much fun. I really enjoyed every single painting I did and I learned so much about me and life from painting.

We all sometimes over-work the area. When you overwork an area on your canvas, everything gets muddy. The colors turn to gray. You lose perspective and contrast. The colors and shapes don't pop anymore...everything is bland.

I once painted a dense green forest with a small stream nearby but I couldn't get my trees right so I kept painting over them. They disappeared into greenish-gray nothingness. My life did that very thing 17 years ago. I was going along thinking things were good, then a bomb went off and destroyed everything I cherished.

The third year I learned how to build small tables and shelves. Woodworking...I could talk all day about that topic. I love creating beautiful things, so woodworking is perfect. You take a raw piece of wood that's flat and long and looks like nothing, then you transform it into a cute 12 inch by 24 inch table that stands 18 inches off the floor. You can use it as a night stand or end table.

If you combine your painting skills with your woodworking skills, then you wind up with a one-of-a-kind, hand painted table or shelf. We finally amassed enough of my homemade stuff that we started setting up a booth in local flea markets. I loved those years. My husband is a talker so he'd spend the whole day talking to strangers about everything from the moon to Christmas. Me? I'd show them all our cute items for sale.

We usually had a great day and made a little money, but went home exhausted. Those were good years.

Year 4 -- Must be left for another time. Suffice to say that, after all these years, there's almost nothing I haven't done. In my heart, guess I'm an explorer. I wanted to go everywhere and do everything during my brief visit to earth. And so I did.

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