Can You Teach Creativity?

I love going to antique fairs and flea markets. I see worn, used, and sometimes damaged pieces and a snapshot of what it “could” look like pops into my mind.  I have a big pile of old shutters, doors, windows, and various other pieces at the side of our house just waiting for their turn to feel the stroke of my paintbrush. 

My husband doesn’t always see my vision, and although he asks if we REALLY need another (fill in the blank!), he understands my need to collect “stuff.”  He says he doesn’t “see” what I see. He says he’s not “creative like that.” I keep telling him that’s okay, that he doesn’t have to be. I could use an assistant in the wood cutting or sanding department, but he’s not very interested in that. (Smart man!)

This week one of my projects was to give life to an old “secretary desk” I bought at a yard sale. It had some water damage, broken glass panes, and a few splits in the wood. It was old. It had dovetailed joints, which are hard to find these days. When I see pieces like this, I wonder who was the first person to own it. Did they cart it home in their vehicle or have it delivered? Was it something they had saved for, which made it a real treasure for them? Were they absolutely delighted to own it? Sometimes I’m lucky enough to find some markings on a piece that will help tell a story, but this one didn’t have any identifying information on it.

After a few repairs, a good cleaning, and some light sanding, I got out my Fusion Mineral Paint (Coal Black and Sage Green) and went to work. I left some of the imperfections (such as the crack in the bottom drawer) because I knew they would highlight well; and, after all, they tell part of the story of this piece. I have the drawer original knobs cleaned and waiting for the right paint to arrive before I can get them fixed up and put back into place.  I ordered new glass for the cabinet panes. And I coated the entire piece with some liming wax (which is the whitish areas that you see). I distressed some of the edges with sandpaper.

My vision for this piece was to serve as a cabinet in my bathroom, and it’s serving its purpose quite well. It houses all of our “extra” stuff, so basically it’s my own little store.

Although Rick didn’t share my initial vision, he loves the way it turned out. (I love to hear him say, ” You were right, it looks great.”)

Several weeks ago, while I was out running errands, Rick decided to clean up his desk/office area.  When I got home, he called me into his office to show me what he had done. He said he needed bookends and didn’t have any, so he made his own.

WHAT?  He made his own? I was so excited to see what he had done! Can you teach creativity, I wondered? Yes! I think the answer just HAD to be yes!

He proudly told me that he went out into the yard and found 2 bricks and 2 rocks (one set for each end of his books). 

It wasn’t exactly what I thought he meant when he said he made his own bookends, but we all have to start somewhere, right? 

However…… when the newness wears off, I’m going to wash those rocks and bricks, give them a clear coat of varnish, and put some felt on the bottom of the brick. I hope he will love the small change.

One step at a time.

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Comments (5)

  1. Renee

    You are so creative and talented. I love the new look of the cabinet… and my hubby would love those book ends especially the round rock. I was always look forward to seeing your refurbished furniture. Enjoy your day.
    I have played with your watercolour overlays … they add a beautiful ‘refurbished’ look to my scrapbook pages!

    March 28, 2020 at 8:44 am
    • Karen

      Thank you, Renee. When I looked at the picture, the round rocks looked like potatoes! (Maybe I was hungry!). So glad you like the overlays!

      March 28, 2020 at 9:24 am
  2. Deb Case

    Your story brought a big smile to my face. I can totally relate to this situation!

    March 28, 2020 at 8:57 am
    • Karen

      You’ll have to have your story/stories with us, Deb! This post is on FB, if you feel like sharing there.

      March 28, 2020 at 9:23 am
  3. sherry pennington

    LOL, those rocks and bricks look like something I would do. Cute story 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    March 29, 2020 at 5:33 pm
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