Monday, September 15, 2014

Five Good Things

We put in an art studio! It was just one of those typical weekend warrior projects where you add a new room to your home, then decorate it, and settle in. Not really. What really happened is this... we let Maria decide if it was time to let go of her play kitchen in the closet beneath the stairs. A big part of me was ready to hear her say No! No, please don't donate this play kitchen that I tower over, because I am nearly ten years old, and not a toddler any more! Please let me keep it and remind you of all the young child play we've enjoyed here! But, apparently she is better adjusted and more rational about these things than I am, and with just the right amount of sentimentality and respect, she agreed that she was ready to recreate the nook beneath the stairs, ready to let go of some things she has {sadly} outgrown.

Once she hit upon the idea of having an art studio, she couldn't wait to sort everything out of her kitchen and into a trash bag, a recycling bag, and a donation bag... and one modest box for some of the dearest kitchen treasures {I was so relieved.}

It was a lot of work, and in this awful heat wave, too, but never mind... I will spare you most of the details.

Have I implied, yet, that this was an emotional process for me? She's my youngest baby. The last baby... besides that imp of a cat we call Mister Foo. Apparently, when she hits that double digit, t-e-n, she will be a "tween." Good grief. Not only am I not emotionally stable enough to cope with that time is passing reality, I am not cognitively, nor culturally, receptive to the notion of "tween." Let's just say, I think children are worthy of a childhood, rich, challenging, and evenly paced, and I have no interest in nurturing or hastening the cultural phenomenon of "teens, rebels, angst, and the too old for this, too young for that void" that is thrust on our young people.

Was that a rant?

A little bit, maybe.

Have I implied, yet, that this was an emotional process for me?

Like Maria, I am really excited about this new addition to the Bird House. Drawing, painting, and clay art supplies are now housed in the studio, the space that Maria wanted to create and use. Collecting useful pieces from all over the house, and adding two new sets of pullout drawers, the studio is a tidy and inspiring space, much better suited to her growing love of art. Which is not to say that she's done with cooking or her life long Flower Garden's Restaurant dream: Those dreams and skills are alive and well, and have moved into the real kitchen, with real appliances, real food, and cooking!

Our art-craft-making interests are many. Many! And our supplies are an embarrassment of riches. There is hardly a media, theme, or interest we haven't dabbled in. Metal, welding, blacksmithing, jewelry making, felting, crochet, painting, drawing, stamp making, carpentry, leather, carving, quilting, tailoring, clothes design, sculpture, candle making, polymer clay, mold making, robotics, craftapalooza... and more. So much making, tinkering, playing! Luckily, Maria was clear that the studio space would be for painting and drawing. "Especially drawing." All other make supplies, tools, and treasures will be stashed, stored, and stuffed throughout the rest of the Bird House! And the studio, cozy and tidy, will be the place to find paint, brushes, paper, and Maria, at her table {which she may outgrow in 6 months! Good grief.}

I used to have an utter disdain for labels. I was certain that printing "the obvious" was ridiculously pointless. No more. I have turned completely in another direction, and I am labeling everything. Nothing can be "too obvious." I should label my purse, my toothbrush, my keys. I have labeled my kitchen drawers, and the box I keep on my nightstand. There's no telling where, or when, I will stop identifying all things and spaces, and things in their spaces. I am keenly wagering on this labeling habit to make me a better person, a tidier, lovelier human being.

Foo approves.

When you live with a cat, you know you have something good, something worthwhile, because they will show up and sit on it. This is their way of saying, "Yes, this is a good book. These are important papers. You are right to be interested in this task, so I will lay across it, so you know I approve."

Mister Foo also seemed to be communicating his willingness to be the subject of the first studio art. The inaugural art, if you please.

He can be so obliging. Sometimes.

This morning I found Maria in here. The morning light shines across the hall, from the laundry closet. It's nice. Maria did her homework in here last night. It's nice to see her enjoying her new space happiness.

It's dear to see her embrace her interests, explore new ones, too.

A portrait of my fur baby, by Maria. He looks, almost sweet.



Good things...

1. Spaces to call our own.

2. Going out to dinner with friends... and air conditioning.

3. Cold showers, fans, ice cubes, and the fervent hope that this heat, too, shall pass.

4. Letting go, gracefully, and making way for new things.

5. Care packages from my mommy, because I love being her baby.

Mondays are so much easier to face when I think about the good things, and I love to hear what you are thinking about, too.


5 comments:

  1. I love Mister Foo and his freckles. Maria's new space is wonderful, so inviting and you know if a cat spends time there it is a very fine space indeed!

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  2. What a wonderful space, all her own. I know it will inspire her. I love how cats rush in to inspect all things new to the house. It's not official until a cat approves it! Nice portrait of Foo, too.

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  3. wonderful!!!! Maria is growing up, but please Lord let it be slow and sweet. She has the right environment for that at least. I have recently made an art studio form a converted garage, but I can't quite relax in there yet and create. I hope it is not just a pipe dream, cos I am ITCHING to create, just can't settle to it. Bless you for reinvigorating this space <3 I'm glad Foo approves

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  4. Love it! And the portrait of Mr. Foo should definitely be framed.

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  5. Oh, it makes my heart sing to see such a lovely space for your lovely girl.

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