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Posts tagged ‘frustrations’

Christine: Creative Frustrations

Oh, look! The kids are busy playing, the chores are done for the moment, and I don’t need to start dinner yet…I think I’ll grab a few minutes and start working on something from my sketchbook. Out I go to the workshop and I get out my tools and my materials and start working away at this idea, the one that’s been burning a hole in my brain for the past week! It’s going to be great! I can see the finished piece already!

It’s all going so well, and then….it’s not. I fumble a piece of copper coated with enamel and drop it on the floor, I smash my thumb with a hammer, and then lose the teeny tiny rivet I was trying to tap into place. I break a saw blade, and realize I cut out the wrong size shape and punched too large of a hole in it.

The errors and injuries increase and are compounded the harder I work. I know the kids are happily playing, but I know it won’t stay that way for hours, and I’m running out of time. I feel like screaming, or throwing something (always a bad idea in the workshop), and I can feel my agitation level rise.

GAH! Why does this happen? For me, any number of reasons. To begin with, one of the things I struggle with from time to time is claiming my “artist-ness”; that is, allowing myself to really believe that I am an artist, that I have talent and skill, and that what I can do really is unique. Whenever I am in a position of feeling less than confident, this old monster rears its ugly head. And I have to firmly shush it. Read more

Kelly: Moments that Take My Breath Away

“Life’s not the breath you take, the breathing in and out,
That gets you through the day, ain’t what it’s all about,
You might just miss the point trying to win the race.
Life’s not the breath you take, but the moments that take your breath away.”
~ George Strait
I had one of those mornings yesterday. Frustrated over continuing dizziness, very concerned about my upcoming two-and-a-half-hour flight to New York City because of said dizziness, FTS-ing and facing a very messy house that my girls apparently think is cleaned by the cleaning fairy (yes, they actually said that), I snapped at my girls. And I mean really snapped…one of those had-to-stop-myself-from-throwing-something-very-large-across-the-room snaps. This happens pretty rarely as, thankfully, I’m usually pretty easy-going, but when it does happen, I must be making up for all the times it doesn’t happen! So, yep, there you have it; I may not share my down moments much (my blog is called Artful Happiness after all), but my life and I are far from perfect.
A bit later, after DH and the girls cleaned up and headed to the park to give me some space, I headed to the grocery store, heard this song on the radio for the first time, and drove across the bridge with tears streaming down my face. I couldn’t wait for my girls to get home from the park so I could hug them. This little face and this little face, they bring the moments that take my breath away, and make the moments that make me want to snap pretty pointless. I’ll do my best to remember that the next time I want to throw a stair basket stuffed full of clothes, shoes and half-empty cracker wrappers across the room.
…and in case you were wondering, FTS is the Southern version of PMS. Bonus to the first of you who knows what it stands for!
[Cross-posted from Artful Happiness]

Kelly: Working Through Creative Mama Frustrations

So, we’re all creative mama’s here, right? We create, in whatever form, and we try to instill that creative juice in our children.  So what happens when those two worlds collide and you throw shoes?

My girls love to create art. I’m happy about that. We create art together all the time—at my art bench, at their art bench, on the side porch, on vacation—and they are developing a nice little talent. But after I checked my email this morning, I came downstairs to find that Sarah had broken one of our number one house rules, yet again:  Art supplies do not come upstairs; they stay downstairs in the play room/art room/room that does not contain furniture that we actually care about and would like to keep looking presentable. Caught your interest yet? So what art supply did my darling curly red-headed child bring up stairs?  Oh, only the most permanent of art supplies…that famous permanent marker we all call Sharpie. Yep, Sharpie….nice little Sharpie lines and squiggles drawn on my two-month-old, $3,000 Pottery Barn stone-colored sectional. When I made this particular furniture selection, I even talked with the salesperson about which fabric would be most kid friendly and went with the canvas twill at her suggestion.

I’m trying to find the humor is this situation and am failing miserably.  Sarah selected a hot pink Sharpie.  There is no hot pink in the room. Perhaps if she had gone with the orange to match the orange floral rug or bring out the orange in the terracotta walls…or the green to compliment the weathered green coffee table…or the aqua blue that shows up in my accent pillows…or heck! even black would have at least matched the piano!  Nope, she chose hot pink. Now I will say this is not the first time she has demonstrated her Sharpie love. There’s been a wall and a kitchen cabinet, and most distressing up until this point, my mom’s antique needlepoint footstool, which now says “I like Ike.” I don’t know who Ike is unless Sarah’s been channeling Dwight D. Eisenhower in her sleep.

So back to the throwing shoes part of the program. Yep, I threw shoes…I slammed doors…I even uttered a few choice expletives. I don’t do that often—lose my temper—but I did this morning, and I’m sure it wasn’t pretty.  Granted there are worse things in life to deal with. No one here is battling cancer or suffering from a heart attack. It’s just a couch (though I will repeat it is a brand new $3,000 couch that I haven’t even finishing paying for yet since I took advantage of that one-year no-interest financing offer). So what do you do when this happens at your house? We’re having a garage sale tomorrow. In it, I had hoped to sell our ten-year-old couch that was replaced by our now Sharpie-decorated sectional; Sarah took the scissors to that couch. Maybe I just need to put it back upstairs.

Kelly: When Life and Art Meet Frustration

[Editor’s note: The post below was written last Tuesday, but due to an admin error it’s only getting published today. Apologies, Kelly!]

Funny thing just happened. It’s been one of those days. My secretary doesn’t really know it’s been one of those days, yet she just created and sent me this picture. Why has it been one of those days? It’s been one of those days because I yelled at my girls this morning. I rarely even raise my voice at my girls, yet I actually yelled at them this morning, out of sheer frustration I guess. Put me in the Worst Mama Ever category today. So far I’m not doing very well on the “savor the week with my girls” goal I put on the Monday page.

What caused me to lose it? I guess a combination of things really. Since my DH is working 12-16 hour days all week on a major plant project shutdown, I’m essentially a single Mom this week, a single Mom with a very demanding full-time job outside the home, a flourishing part-time business inside the home, and twin girls who will be five in three weeks. How do single Moms do it? And today is Tuesday, Water Play Day. Water Play Day requires that I goop up my girls with sunblock and swimsuit before we even leave the house, plus pack them a towel and extra change of clothes for the day. Oh, and don’t forget the money for shaved ice, Mom! Add to that the rest of the “must gather for the day” things that take place every morning and the long list of tasks awaiting me once I got to the office, and I was truly frazzled. Yet here I am talking to you.

That’s where the frustration must come out. As creative mothers, don’t we all have very lengthy to-do lists? Yet I keep adding things to my list, don’t you? The things that I want to do and the things that I must do sometimes completely crowd out the things that I absolutely must remember. What are those? Those are the reminders to stay sane. Those are the reminders to breathe and count to ten before I snap at my girls. Those are the reminders that my girls did not create my to-do lists. They did not commit me to participating in a Fat Book swap, they did not force me to procrastinate terribly on completing my calendar at work, they did not ask me to take the online Blackboard course, they did not ask for a dog for their birthday so they’d have to help take care of her, they did not even ask to play at Water Play Day. They simply asked me to love them. And I hope that those are also the reminders that it’s okay to screw up every once in a while…no, scratch that…it’s impossible not to screw up every once in a while because I am who I am. First and foremost, a living, breathing, emotional, creative creature who feels smothered when I can’t find that time for myself to create yet feel guilty when I spend time away from my children and family. So maybe Life and Art meet Frustration when we realize we simply can’t do all the things we want to do and be all the things others need us to be. So we must accept. I must accept. Accept things as they are and, just maybe, as they were meant to be.

So I go back to that list and try to remember why there is so much on it. I committed to the Fat Book swap because I want my girls to learn to take chances on new things like I do. I’ve procrastinated on my calendar because I’d rather go through the pictures we took on our family vacation. I’m taking the Blackboard class because I’d love to shift over to faculty full time to have more time with my family. We bought the girls a dog for their birthday last year so they could grow to love animals as much as we do while learning to take care of another creature. And about that Water Play Day? I selected that school for my girls for the growth it would provide them…emotionally, socially, spiritually and mentally. While I suppose there is a little selfishness in all that we do, maybe we all need to learn how to recognize the gifts we give our children by doing everything that we do. I’ll work on that. How about you? I think I’ll go look through those pictures again now….

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