I’ve always had the urge to create stuff. In high school I dabbled in painting (in a cheap acrylic paint on poster board sort of way), I knitted a series of scarves in college, I tried writing poetry at various stages of my life, and I’ve always enjoyed writing in general. I would say I’ve attempted drawing before but I really haven’t given it a true effort. My drawing attempts are rivaled by those of a kindergarten student and I wind up terribly embarrassed and hunching over my paper afraid someone will see. Seriously, it’s that bad. And in all of the above endeavors I haven’t really had anyone helping me out. I wasn’t taking a class, I wasn’t consulting a professional, most of it was all done in the privacy of my own living quarters and hidden from the world. So I guess it isn’t any wonder I missed out on some of the lessons being creative can teach a person.
Example? Of course.
Today I started working on some cookies for my largest cookie order to date. Six dozen cookies, pale green onesies with pink owls on them. Sounds adorable, yes? And the owl is your basic no frills easy enough shapes owl. As I have no drawing ability I went to the internet to find a piece of clipart or drawing of the cute little owl to trace. Yep, I find an image… resize it on my screen so it fits my cookie cutter and then trace it onto a piece of paper from my computer screen. (This is where having a printer would probably come in handy, eh?)
What I failed to do before I drew out 100 of those little buggers on a sheet of paper is make sure the drawing I was using was even. I mean, sure, he LOOKED fine. Adorable. Cute. But as I was tracing one after another onto the sheet of paper I began to notice his wings didn’t seem evenly sized. So, instead of stopping and trying to figure out a way to make this thing super precise and then start all over… I just trudged on and figured I could fix the issue when I was laying down the icing. (For those of you confused at this point I put the sheet of paper in a sheet protector then use icing to make what’s called a royal icing transfer. Once it dries, I can lift it up and place it on the cookie.)
So here I am this morning working on my royal icing transfers and trying to figure out the best way to go about it. And as I’m working… I’m getting concerned. I rarely outline anything and for some reason I outlined everything this morning first. Then, when I put in the wings with a different color… OMG my owls started to look like crap.
These are three of my owls where you can clearly see I was trying to figure out what to do about the wings. Starting from the left… I added MORE icing on top of the old in an attempt to make it poofier and less noticeable. Fail. Then skip to the far right because that’s the one I did next. I thought maybe outlining the wing would make it look better. Fail. In the middle you see me wonder what would happen if I did some brush embroidery and, while it looks like crap there (wrong consistency and same color as the base) I totally saw the potential.
And in a matter of seconds my 100 owls went from beyond repair to….
…. totally adorable. (I know they look weird without the black parts of their eyes right now but I have to wait for everything to dry properly first.)
My lesson of the day? There are very few things in the world that are beyond repair. I have had similar situations so many times with my cookies I can’t even begin to estimate how many. And each time I find a solution? I’m totally amazed at how something so small can have such a dramatic impact.
And isn’t it the same with life? I mean… sure things are messed up… but adding a few tweaks here and there can take something I currently find unable to be salvaged and make it into something I can totally live with. I think the creative people in my life already know this awesome secret. They’re the ones who are always saying “Oh, I’ll make it work” when I’m freaking out and running around crying out “OMG I HAVE TO START ALL OVER.” Maybe I don’t have to start all the way over. Maybe all I need is a creative tweak here and there. Maybe I am able to be salvaged after all, eh?