Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mommy Dearest

I miss her. I miss my mother every day, every hour, every minute, every second. She died of breast cancer when I was 14. The pain is still tremendous; the wound never healed. The time passes and the memories grow distant, but the pain remains. I bring up my mother because I believe that's where I got my artistic ability. I believe artistic ability is innate, whereas creativity can be gleaned. You can become an artist by learning and practicing, but I think the seed is genetic. And I definitely believe that everyone is creative given the chance. When I was 12, my mother brought me down to the crawlspace in the basement. There she unearthed 12 oil paintings; mostly still life and portraits. She said that she painted them when she was young. Her mother bought her paint and she just started creating; no lessons, no advice, no prodding. I was blown away. They were so professional! I can't believe that they were created by a novice hand. She was an artist with a capital "A." But there's more. She then showed me an old record - thick, black, one-sided, and played at 75rpms. It was from the 50's and it was her demo. There were 5 songs on it, and the sound that emanated from this 5 ft., stunning, pint-size woman was tremendous! She had pipes like Barbara Streisand. Again, I was blown away. She said the reason she never pursued her talents was that she got married and wanted a family. Oh, and while I was growing up, she was taking sculpture classes and created beautiful pieces from stone! She didn't start with simple clay, but marble. I'm convinced she could have been famous - for her multiple talents. Incredible. Not only was her life cut short at age 41, but I'm sure that the world has been denied of a major talent; that of which the capacity will never be realized. At least I know where my artistic ability comes from. That I'm certain.

In memory of Mimi Leifer, 1940 - 1981. I miss you….

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Child Inside.........aka Crazy For Craft Kits!!

I think it might have started with the Easy Bake Oven. No, it had to be earlier than that - though the batter and dough never did make it to the oven (I was too impatient and my mouth was watering!). I think my obsession with craft kits began on a sick day from school. My mother would always bring me home craft kits when I was sick so I wouldn't feel too bad and I'd be occupied. So therein instilled the obsession. I've always been creative and loved art periods in school and camp. It was unavoidable - I was destined to somehow be involved in a creative career. But back to the craft kits. I'm a little embarrassed to say that to this day I am in love with them. I still purchase them - who cares if the age bracket is 4-6 yrs old? I still get a rush and a sense of accomplishment. Even though I design my own jewelry for etsy, I make time for the kits. Actually, I think it would be a financial boon to by shares of Play-Doh, Alex Toys and The Orb Factory!
And who can forget Play-Doh? It's an institution!! Before the kits came out, we just played and sniffed that wonderful odor de Play-Doh. Remember, it proceeded, polymer clays like Sculpey and Fimo so it must be respected! I deign to say that every child has experienced Play-Doh during their childhood. I recently purchased a black can of Play-Doh because I don't remember having that color as a child. Is it new? All I know is that when I opened it and inhaled tremendously, I almost died and went to heaven. Demeter even sells a fragrance called "Play-Doh" which of course I have. I don't wear it lest people try to mold me into shapes! Ya never know -- this is New York City!

Lately I've been into "Sticky Mosaics" which are little square adhesives that stick onto jewelry and trinket boxes, boards, paper dolls - depending on the kit. There must be 50 of these kinds of kits and I've completed almost all. And yes, I save every kit creation I make. I plan on showing them all to my grandkids someday!

I don't think the child inside us ever goes away. I think all of us have our childhood creative tendencies. I know a lot of men who still love Legos (who doesn't - I mean, the world should be made of Legos!) and I think that a lot of fathers are having more than enough fun "helping" their children build kits.

For me, yes craft kits are fun and creative, but they also bring back that childhood memory. Not only am I happy and satisfied when I finish making something, but I also feel like I just transported back to a happy time in my life. I think I will forever be doing craft kits - probably way into my 90's!! They provide me with happiness, creativity and bring out my inner child. Everyone should try them. Go on, I won't tell....