Thursday, 6 November 2008


Amanda the craft fascist?

I read a really interesting blog post by one of my Craftster cohorts a couple of weeks ago about how she became a crayon tyrant. Here's the link:
If you don't get a chance to read it (but you should, because she's awesome and so giving with her knowledge and support), the short of it is about how her daughter had always enjoyed peeling the paper off crayons, then she got some special nice crayons, mum didn't want them peeled, and therefore evolved into a crayon tyrant, restricting and supervising their use. Then, realising that creativity shouldn't harnessed like that, she and her daughter liberated the crayons and 'got their creative groove back'.

I've read that post quite a few times, and thought about it a lot. Thing is, I am a craft fascist too, and not even a reformed one. Tomorrow is Steven's birthday and I had been saving a mug for the kids to paint as a special gift. As a perfectionist, high expectations are a (frustrating) way of life for me but I struggle not to push those expectations onto other people, even little ones. So I imagined that the mug painting would be a big success. Maia very carefully painted her side of the mug (with wrong end of paintbrush but I can live with that!) with orange and yellow. Jamie painted every single colour in the exact same spot (on top of each other), into a brown blob. Maia painted the table. Maia painted her face. Jamie covered up what Maia had done with black paint. Maia screamed. I had an aneurysm. Okay, maybe not... but close.

This should have been fun, right? I think I am maybe (hopefully?) a bit more laid-back about the general day to day creativity, as without the expectations I'm delighted with whatever they make. Because I had the expectation that it would be THE BEST MUG IN THE WHOLE WORLD, as created by my precociously gifted children, to be brought into Daddy's work, held aloft, revered, and ultimately archived at the National Museum of Scotland, there was no way that I wasn't going to become the Mug Nazi.

So maybe I should have let them pay tribute to their dad however they saw fit for his birthday, most likely with a 5AM wake-up call and casual indifference.

1 comment:

  1. So true! I have decided that although I love making things myself, my three boys just don't come up to scratch so to be brutally honest the only time they get to be creative is at school. I just get cross when they try to do things their way which is awful and I worry I will stifle any lurking talent. Luckily a talented and patient friend runs an art club at school, so I can sigh with relief and hand all my angst over to her.