Trust me, I find that Travelocity Gnome as annoying as you do. Yard and garden art can quickly go to the tacky side. It starts with one little kitschy item, kind of boho, and before you know it, the place looks like the gift shop at Cracker Barrel.
Still, I like some decorations and one day a lady told me about making a Fairy Garden. Hum, I thought, I can make a little Gnome House and put it in my strawberry pot. Just one, Remember Linda, less is more.
I’ve tried to be creative this summer. It started by repurposing some older things and I was on my way. It has been very good for me psychologically as well. Art puts you in a mindful place. There is the excitement that comes with deciding on a concept for a piece, then working on it, and the satisfaction when the project is complete. Some may call it a form of occupational therapy. While I don’t think I will make a living from my art, I needed to feel creative again. The greatest joy in my career was in identifying a problem or need, designing an activity or program to address the need, measure its performance, and using the data to improve the process.
When that is taken away, you suffer for the loss. These little projects have helped my feel productive once again. It has improved my self-esteem and “job” satisfaction. Around the time I was leaving my former job, there was a new movement to create maker spaces. Of course, while the idea has great merit, it was homogenized and beaten into a bastardized pulp in a short amount of time. Real maker spaces or tech labs are essentially a fabrication floor where you can rent space in so that you can enjoy a hobby or make a prototype of a design or start a small business. They were called incubators in the 80’s.
Taking that idea to a “logical capitalistic and worse yet governmental conclusion”, the spaces soon became franchises, school systems made them into portable labs or food truck like vehicles, and all ages were to be involved because the next Tesla or Edison is out there and we want to find him. Ah ha, the world is saved from our consumer only society.
Meanwhile, Mom is at the local Painting with a Twist, the most profitable of maker spin-offs, guzzling wine and making art. The point is, what ever you make and wherever you make it, you will find pleasure in the process, so don’t be afraid to try! A 5th grader can make better looking stuff than me, come to think of it, she is smarter than me too.
Here are a few of my miniature polymer clay fairy and gnome abodes and other therapeutic accomplishments.