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Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Real Life of Crafters

Birthday Present
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
I made this photo collage painting as a "quick" present for a four-year-old. I started at 7:30 in the morning and worked up to the last minute, scrambling to get the family ready and out of the house for a 1 o'clock party. I could write up a pretty little description of the process and such, but that wouldn't be telling the whole story. My children suffered for this craft, I tell you. The little part of me that remains selfish wanted to do this project and I wasn't going to let no crying baby stop me. My three-and-a-half-year-old wanted to paint too, so I quickly set him up in the few minutes I had while the baby slept. He proceeded to get frustrated because he couldn't paint an exact replica of what I was painting and gave up. I didn't have the time to explain and/or help him, and to top it off I was angry because he used up my baby-free moments. Boy was I grumpy. Baby cried a bit while I finished the project and then cried a lot while we wrapped the present. All was well as soon as we got in the car. So far, what I've learned about having a two-kid household is that everything runs smoothly as long as I have no ambition other than the basic food-poop-pee-dishes-laundry-vacuum stuff.

This one goes out to Touch the Spindle because she was wondering about the real lives of the craft bloggers.


Blogger capello said...

And that is what life is really like, you're barely keeping youself above water, but sometimes you dunk under for a little while.

I'm glad you little one shows interest in your projects; mine haven't gotten to that point yet.

Fri Jun 30, 02:15:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Rose said...

Usually when I had days like that, whatever I was working on turned out crappy, but this is really beautiful.

Fri Jun 30, 07:32:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Siri said...

ALL of this sounds so very familiar. Our oldest is such a perfectionist at times, that sometimes he has a hard time when things don't work out like he had hoped, or that they are beyond his skills at the time. There have been many meltdowns over not being able to copy somebody else's artwork or handwriting exactly so.

Sat Jul 01, 01:53:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous heather said...

oh god... your last line... it's like a punch in the stomach. i hope you don't feel guilty for being creative, or having time to yourself.

i really hope to have kids someday. but i get the heebie-jeebies sometimes, because i know it's not all pretty, and fun and happy, kitties, flowers and bears.

it's dramatic and scary, and important. and the happiness is deeper.

it's just that we get given rose-colored images of having children. naomi wolf's book Misconceptions was right on the money.

i lived with my sister for a while, and tried to help out as much as i could. but i could barely keep on top of it. for a certain period of time she needed extra help. she was very busy with her part-time job and studying, and i was working from home. i was cooking for the 4 kids and her husband (very old-school house there), and doing the laundry, sweeping 2x a day, etc... and just trying to keep everything moving smoothly. forget about even doing anything creative or fun with the kids.

it was so time-consuming.

i realized that you never have time to yourself. and it's like you give and give and give, and it's just sucked out of you. i think it's supposed to make the kids also more generous by the example set... but did you ever read the 'giving tree'? i mean, you know... how much can you give?

i think there is an ancient ancient pattern, wherein the mother will give til she's depleted and will always feel unappreciated. anyway, i've seen it so many times. every mother i know has that.

but what can you do?

my sister goes to bed very early, and she wakes up around 5am, and in the dark, she sips her coffee, reads, and does no cleaning, cooking or anything.

*phew* that was a long comment!

just had to let it out!

i love touch the spindle's post. i'd like to write a response to it soon.

Mon Jul 03, 08:53:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Devonperkgray said...

As an overly ambitious and at times definitely selfish crafty maker of a person, and mother of two, I say, don't give up, it gets better! Mine are also 3.5 years apart, but now my baby, who will be five on Friday, and my big girl, more than eight and a half, not only participate and help, but they also play by themselves (periodically, sporadically) and I get to do stuff! Hard to believe and yet true. I knit, bookbind, sew, paint, re-decorate, and put in floors! They don't even remember how they were ignored as I tried to carry on when they were babies. Who knows, my pre-occupation with my own stuff may even give them a little space to grow and spur independence, but, I rationalize. Bottom line: don't change who you are, because that's who they'll really need.

Tue Jul 11, 09:41:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous heather said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

Mon Jul 03, 08:56:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Green Kitchen said...

You all wrote such nice supportive comments. Thank you. Really, this blogging thing has given me more community/parental support than I ever expected.

P.S. I only deleted Heather's post because it was a repeat. Thanks Heather for a lovely long post. :)

Tue Jul 11, 10:00:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Oh my goodness, I can SO relate to this... my two are exactly the same ages, and I'm wondering when I'll ever get back my me-time (and my sleep)! I've just discovered your blog via whipup, btw - you do beautiful work.

Fri Jul 14, 02:28:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Princess of CJ said...

nice one.. im inspired to do the same in the future.

Fri Jul 28, 02:32:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Arch said...

The collage painting is lovely. I find great pride in the fact that stay -at -home- moms can accomplish so much creatively while looking after the family, home & children.Congrats!

Sun Jul 30, 08:12:00 PM PDT  

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