When it comes to creative pursuits, I am an ALL-IN kind of gal. I never develop a mild interest in any new hobby; it’s always a full-on, all-consuming passion. A decade ago I was ALL-IN to cross-stitch, which prompted me to purchase every color of DMC embroidery thread, a bookcase full of patterns and instruction manuals and several different kinds of frames.
Next I was ALL-IN to polymer clay. I have an equally substantial library of books on that subject, along with a toaster oven and pasta maker dedicated to clay, boxes of molds and cutters and, of course, many pounds of little clay packets in a rainbow of colors.
Somewhere along the line I was ALL-IN to painting little plaster Christmas houses. It’s fair to say mine is not a holiday village; it’s a metropolis.
There was my stained-glass mosaic period. Now THAT was a damned expensive hobby, as it involved ordering 25 lb boxes of powdered cement, not to mention plates of glass.
For a while I was ALL-IN to rubber stamping. You’ll find a section of my basement occupied by plastic boxes of stamps, neatly organized by theme. Also inks, embossing tinsels, rollers, stencils, embossers and papers of various weights and textures.
More recently I got ALL-IN to cake decorating. You should see my vast collection of pans, decorating tips and bags, spatulas (spatulae?), boxes of fondant and a cupboard full of flavorings.
You will have noticed the pattern here. I have spent an absurd amount of money on craft supplies. I also have a regrettably short attention span. After a few months (or sometimes even less; I fell out of love with knitting the very day I got my deluxe knitting machine in the mail), I stow all my new gear in some crowded corner and embrace the Next!Big!Thing!
About a year ago now I took my first acrylic painting class, one of those community ed things where you paint the same thing as the instructor at the front of the room. Although I found the surrealistic landscape we created a bit bizarre, I was instantly ALL IN to painting. There following the customary shopping spree: canvases, easels, brushes of every size and shape, instruction books, color-matching reference guides and paints, paints, paints!
I began to specialize in painting pets – mostly dead ones. (Not their corpses; memorial photos of them in their prime.) I painted a couple of the dogs I pet-sat while they were alive; a coworker’s friend’s cat; a few more canines.
My artistic frenzy reached its peak when I painted the cat of a celebrity I’d been following on Twitter. I actually got a nice thank-you video from her in response.
This past weekend I completed a painting of Cody, the dog next door. It was like pulling teeth. I would have thrown the canvas in a snowbank if my mother hadn’t goaded me to finish it (the neighbor was expecting it). By the time I made the last tiny brush stroke of his fur, I knew my painting period was over. Don’t bother trying to commission me for your dead animal; as is my custom, I’ve moved from ALL IN to ALL DONE.
What’s next? Well, I’ve been teaching myself to make animated .gif sets of celebrity crushes. That seems like a worthwhile use of my time. Trouble is, my old laptop has a hard time running the high-end graphics programs I need to use. Guess I’d better head on over to Amazon to see what they’ve got available in super-fast laptops. My tax refund will be coming through any day now …