Friday, December 20, 2013

The Tale of the Sharpie Plates: Learning to Let Go of "Pinterest Perfection"

When I first began crafting it was a way to spend quality time with my children and help with their sensory processing disorder. I discovered how much I loved making things and decided to blog my creations. They weren't always perfect or ingenious, but they were fun and they came from the heart. I adored my little Rapunzel tower made from a Pringles can and margarine tub. I felt so much pride in my chalkboard painted kitchen table. I was proud of what I was making and of the few hundred views my little blog had. Then came Pinterest.

It was an addictive collection of all things perfect. I had only seen such things on Martha Stewart, and suddenly regular moms like me were making works of art that made my upcycled Rapunzel tower look like a joke. At least to me. I wanted everything I made to be Pinterest perfect, and in the process crafting and blogging slowly became a chore and a frustration. I never felt like my projects or my blog posts were good enough.

For the past 2 years I insisted on making the gifts for my daughter's teachers so they would look Pinterest perfect. Heaven forbid a gift from a Kindergartener look like it was actually made by a Kindergartener. Then, a funny thing happened. I made a super-cute Accio Cookie plate for Dax's teacher with Sharpie. I spent an hour getting the lettering perfect and it was exactly how I wanted it. I left it out on the kitchen table and later discovered Dax scribbling hearts and rainbows on it with the Sharpie I had carelessly left on the counter. My reaction to this surprised me. Instead of being angry at him for not asking, or for "ruining" my hard work, I saw how much more beautiful it was with a child's touch. I dug through my supplies and gave him all of my colored Sharpies. I told him to decorate it however he wanted. When it was finished it was better than anything I could have made, and the look of pride on his face was priceless. When Samantha came home from school I let her go to town on her own plate. After, we baked the plates in the oven and made chocolate chip cookies to go with them.



Yesterday they proudly presented the plates to their teachers, and of course they loved them. The plates weren't "Pinterest Perfect", but they were better than that. They came from a place of love and creativity and that is what is really important. I'm grateful to my children for helping me let go of the search for perfection and for reminding me why I started crafting in the first place. I'm looking forward to future projects with that spirit in mind.

Happy Imperfect Crafting!

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