Dear Arts & Crafts,
Oh, how I long for the days of endless piles of multicolored construction paper, pipe cleaners and pom-poms! The afternoons spent toiling away on a papier-mâché mask and a pop-up book! All the times I considered eating play-doh but instead used it to build a metropolis full of squishy people made from colors brighter than a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper! I miss the smell of a hot glue gun and the chalky residue that cray-pas always left behind on my fingertips! I fondly recall those easier days — the days when “Arts & Crafts” were a school subject, a potential career choice, and a lifestyle full of glitter, stickers and and all the Elmer’s Glue a little kid could possibly desire.
As a child I thrived in Arts & Crafts, but then again, who didn’t? It was my favorite school subject and my favorite activity at summer camp. And hello, Spring Fair? That was when Arts & Crafts as a gift option really started to change my life. “You mean I can give my parents this horribly drawn picture of a raccoon dancing on top of a car and they will love it and think it is the best gift ever?” GREAT! Arts & Crafts are the gift that keep on giving! My family still uses Christmas ornaments I made in art classes in elementary school and a watercolor of a Maine seascape remains framed on my parents’ wall to this day. Yes, I was lucky enough to be raised in a family where Arts & Crafts were encouraged just as much as traditional school subjects or other extra-curricular activities and hobbies. I think I could probably still get away with a poorly designed diorama of American Indian cave dwellers and my folks would go nuts.
I realize I’m speaking of you, my beloved Arts & Crafts, using mostly the past tense, when, let’s be honest, at the ripe old age of twenty eight I’m still just as enthusiastic about this activity as I was at the age of eight. The difference is that now I fulfill my crafting desires in different ways — when I put stickers on my computer it is no mere mindless adhesion of pretty pictures. Certainly not! All stickered items in my possession have been carefully curated, sometimes with a specific theme or mood in mind. Right now I have a notebook depicting an underwater sea forest featuring a vast array of fish and other ocean creatures. My last phone case was devoted to monkeys eating bananas. All those stickers on my laptop, my Kindle, my phone, my car, my wallet, my clothes, my face? Arts & Crafts! And those rare occasions when a sticker feels too permanent? Well that’s when I get my arts & crafts fix somewhere else, somewhere more temporary… and if you guessed Nail Art, then you guessed right, my friend! I mean, think about it — this whole Nail Art craze? It’s essentially just a bunch of girls doing arts & crafts for grown-ups. And it’s awesome.
So unless you are a teacher or an artist or do costume designs for Vegas shows, it’s unlikely you’re getting the arts & crafts fix you might need. If you’re like me, just remember that you can find your silly uninhibited side in stickers, nail art and in almost as many other ways you could have imagined when you were a kid.
arts & crafts image via shutterstock