The Reluctant Hobby Lobbyist

The Reluctant Hobby Lobbyist

arts and craftsI swore I would never be a Hobby Lobbyist. Why you ask? Well…let’s just say that Glue and I are not friends and had not been on good terms for quite some time. Glue and I had an unfortunate experience once several years back and so I’d  decided to see other people.

I can hear you shrieking: “Oh my GOSH, what on earth did Glue do THIS time?” Yeh well…..that’s a story for another day and as you can see, I’m not completely over it.

And when I say that I needed to see “others,” I didn’t mean others in the same crowd that Glue has been known to hang out with, like Sketchpad, Paintbrush and Acrylic. I meant others as in, “No arts and crafts whatsoever.” A strong position to take, yes, but I had determined none of them liked me and felt justified thenceforth!

Music liked me.

Writing liked me.

Gourmet Cooking liked me.

Fashion liked me.

“I will spend my time on these artistic endeavors where I am a natural, instead of being bad at a new art!” I told myself this with ethereal confidence. I mean, I’m up a grown up. I get to decide who I hang around with, right? Sounds logical.


So, herein begets the problem of not having established friendly relationships with the above aforementioned characters of Glue, Sketchpad, Paintbrush and Acrylic: see, if you end up having children, they might have an affinity for desiring a relationship with this group of friends anyway and it might make its way into your life whether you avoid it […like eating Spam on Thanksgiving…] or not. So one day I woke up and I had two daughters, one a creative lefty and the other an imaginative smartypants. Dudes and Dudettes: I got my butt draggggged into peer-pressured meetings with Paint, Glue, Sketchbook, Acrylic and another one of their sordid acquaintances, Canvas. 

One January day right after New Years’, I got the post-holiday blues. If you live in Michigan or Minnesota or …Alaska say… and you look out your window in January, you know what I mean. I became stir crazy and finally phoned a friend to vent my claustrophobia. She suggested an art project that I could do online with my girls, a mother-daughter class that used physical art to encourage relational bonding. And ya know what People? I was just desperate enough to actually rethink my original decision to never again associate myself with Glue.

So, I sucked it up and took a deep breath,  got in the car with my girls and drove to Hobby Lobby for the first time in my life: [ Sidebar: who knew wiggle eyes, pipe cleaners and pop sickle sticks came in that many shapes and sizes? Who knew the scrap bookers had seven entire rows dedicated to just them?]  My girls knew about my craft-paranoia and they held my hands walking around Hobby Lobby as if to assist a patient who is in post-surgical recovery.  “It will be okay Mom,” they said, “Grandma  has brought us here before. Let us take you to the aisle with the paints and the decoupage.” I could hardly speak. I’d never expected a more perplexing shopping experience than the multitude of options in Walmart’s cereal aisle and yet? Here it was!

The next week on a Sunday afternoon, my girls and I started our art project. I spread plastic tablecloths all over the floor underneath the table, almost had a nervous breakdown as I unpacked the overwhelming art supplies I’d purchased and spread those out all over on top of the table. My husband,  Burk, observing this fury,  walked by and said out loud, “Of all the things I never thought I would see in my life?! My wife is making art with the children…” He was shaking his head back and forth and his voice had a “go figure” tone to it. Before he left the room, Burk, an experienced artist himself added, “Are you sure you don’t want me to stay and help?” His forehead was crinkled up. It appeared he was uncertain that positivity would be the result.

Well, it turns out, the girls were CRAZY for it. They couldn’t get enough and wanted to paint, create and decoupage continually, even after we finished the course. I’d originally thought, “Hey, we’ll do this one course and then whatever…” but their appetite for it was insatiable. No longer could I get by on the art classes my children had in school, supplemented by a side of Crayolas and coloring books  I picked up at the grocery-checkout counter. Hobby Lobby became a regular stop.  I had claimed, “Never, will I EVER be a Hobby Lobbyist!” I swore I would never be friends with Glue, Canvas and the like. And yet, here I was with my children begging me like it was the same sustenance to them as food. What was I going to do? My children were asking me to do an activity that wasn’t purely digital and if you’re raising kids in this day and age? Well, even I know it’s a gift.