Saturday, November 26, 2011

Reminders of Joy

One of the things that we did while my Mom was in town over Ryann's birthday was to go paint ourselves silly at Paint Yourself Silly. Jared was a bit on the fence about this excursion, but ended up having fun painting his itty bitty Christmas ornaments. Mom went all out with her freckled elephant mug and I stuck with my limited painting skills and colorblocked a votive set.

This is the second time I've ventured down to Paint Yourself Silly and as fun as it is sitting, painting, and gossiping with friends, picking up the finished products is the best part. The colors are more vibrant, the finish is smooth and sleek, and even the crudest chocolate-dipped-cherry-esque Christmas ornament ends up looking intentional and new.

When my sister and I were pre-teens our parents enrolled us in a pottery class together. We not only got to paint pieces, but form, fire, and finish them. This class led to the shining moment in my art life. While Kristin went on to become a successful artist, this class was my spotlight. Actually, now that I'm thinking of it, she made a two-foot long lounging gold leopard that has resided on Mom's patio ever since. However, the two pieces that everyone in my family remembers from that class are two cats that I made. One is a fat little paperweight that I made for Dad, who I don't think has ever done a stitch of paperwork in his life. The other is a stovetop spoon holder for Mom. Apparently my young self was a bit sexist.

Both times I've moonlighted at PYS I've been taken back to that class. I remember the dust, the slip running through my fingers, the kiln in the corner. I remember the fun of creating something, the enjoyment of something so simple. I remember washing my hands and jumping into the van when Mom picked us up at the end of class. I love finding those moments of simple joy and fun. They are what Jared and I mold our life for. They are the point. Simple and true, happiness and peace that you don't fight for or work for, that just are.


  1. Nicely done! I want to do something like this; I'll have to find a place here in Vancouver/Portland since they don't have one in WW. They used to, and when I started college my boss took me and the other student workers out to an orientation meeting and then we painted stuff like this. I did a mug and still have's my favourite mug, actually. I'm kind of a perfectionist but am NOT an artist, so this lends itself to frustration when working with art, but I try really hard to have fun and usually do. :)

    Oh, and by the way, I love that your young self was sexist. That made me laugh. :)

  2. They turned out nicely! I LOVE Jared's itty bitty Christmas ornaments, especially. I think he wins the prize. I haven't gotten my mug yet!? ???