Professional pic-sort of

This is about as professional as I suspect I will ever look from this point on.
This is about as professional as I suspect I will ever look from this point on.

The reason I wanted to post this (and sorry for it being so tiny--hubs doesn't understand how to send pics from his phone, so he sends them all in basically thumbnail format...if I think about it, I'll grab his phone and redo the photo in a better resolution. haha) is because one of my goals this upcoming week is to learn to crochet. Well, learn to make something with crochet. I can do simple chain stitches--been doing those since I was a tiny girl. The scarf I'm wearing here was a hand-made crocheted gift from my daughter when she was still in college--about 8 years ago. The photo was taken last night at our close friends' home where we watched a streamed live version of the Trans-Siberian Christmas Show.

My daughter has been wanting to teach me to crochet. Now here is the really interesting part--my mother also tried to teach me to crochet (how I learned the chain stitch) but my mother had to be the most impatient teacher I ever had. She was so frustrated by my lack of coordination when it came to hand-crafts, that I declared I hated crafts and threw up that wall, effectively blocking her from all of her teaching attempts.

As an adult, I learned that I am highly creative, but in different ways than my mother was. I'm more about paper arts and writing poetry and guerrilla art. Because she was not at all gentle with her critiques of my early attempts, I gave up all hope of doing anything beautiful in life, but have been slowly coming around the past 25 years or so.

There are two takeaways here. The most important one is: WORDS MATTER. When you have a teacher, parent, authority figure, etc. constantly telling you how awful you are at something when you are a child, you tend to believe it. I whole-heartedly believed I sucked at everything artsy (outside of poetry) until I became an adult. Looking back, I actually was naturally gifted at drawing and painting (admittedly, I was NOT naturally gifted with crafty things). I never heard anything remotely positive regarding my creative efforts from my mother until I got Art Student of the Week in 5th or 6th grade. I made an awesome Christmas ornament--it was made in clay and because I knew I was good with words and writing, I just simply made my clay ornament into the word "noel" in bubble letters. I gave it to my parents as a Christmas gift that year, and it hung on the tree every year until I stopped communications with them in 2002. That, and I drew a portrait of a kid in my class, and it really did look like him. Even I was amazed! haha He was one of my buddies, and he asked me if I'd give him the portrait. I did.

The 2nd takeaway is a lesson I needed (and still need to an extent) to learn. That is--don't take criticism so personally. Use the criticism to learn and grow. I'm still one foot in the "I suck at everything artsy and crafty" and the other foot in the "I'm an artist and I OWN this shit" camps, so I'm a definite work in progress.

That said, I'm ready to crochet. Merry Christmas, Mom (1949-2010). ♥


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