Artsy and Craftsy

Jun. 27, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

I have always been a very creative person with a knack for artistic flair.

My creativity began at a young age, from smudged finger paintings to sidewalk chalk figures to macaroni art displays.

Not to brag, but I always had the best, most imaginative school projects spanning every subject.

In my English classes I presented book reports on hand-made book jackets, vibrant collages and journals complete with worn, yellowed paper.

Science courses required projects on natural disasters, where I used real dirt and plastic trees and cows to demonstrate how tectonic plates shift during an earthquake. 

In one particular science class we studied pulley systems, corkscrews and inclined planes and were tasked with using these parts to build a machine with the objective of getting a ball to ring a bell and flip a penny into a cup. My six-foot tall project was created to resemble a vending machine that not only excelled in getting a ball to ring a bell and flip a penny into a cup, but also successfully dispensed a Rice Krispies treat at the bottom.

It got me an A+.

During a high school math class I creatively included tennis balls in my presentation on trigonometry functions.

And perhaps one of my favorite projects was for a history class in which I gave a presentation on the 70's. But I did not use poster board or PowerPoint.

That was for the amateurs.

Instead, I displayed the words and images of my research on a large beach ball covered in silver muffin liners — it was my disco ball. 

The teacher asked to keep it hanging in her classroom after I completed the course. Maybe it is still hanging from her classroom's ceiling today.

And so it was no surprise to my friends, family and future colleagues that I would continue to showcase my creativity long after school projects — more so for myself than requirement.

After studying abroad in college, I began scrapbooking photos, ticket stubs and collectibles from my travels. The two large, detailed scrapbooks proudly sit on my coffee table.

I also gathered the hundreds of postcards I collected overseas and assembled them into three collage panels that hang above my couch.

Another creative venture I took upon myself was creating my own stationary. 

Maybe it is the writer in me, but I absolutely cherish snail mail and handwritten letters. Throughout college, I sent numerous handwritten letters and "forced" my friends to become pen pals with me because I enjoy penmanship so much.

I found letter writing to be even more personalized with my own stationary made out of simple white card stock. I created six different hand-drawn illustrations and scribed some of my favorite Biblical verses across the front of each card.

I brought my designs to an office supply store and had the stationary mass produced. All that was left was for me to write my hello's and send them out to my pen pals.

The most recent artsy project I undertook was decorating items using oil-based paint pens and then baking the designs onto the items in the oven. So far I have adorned coffee mugs for friends, flower pots and plates for my mother and a frying pan for my parents. I even designed a new mailbox for my father using the paint pens.

I am proud to say I possessed this abundance of creativity before the birth of Pinterest and other craft sites. However, I enjoy scrolling through the website to find even more ideas and inspirations for future projects.

The best part about having so much creativity is that it spills into other aspects of my life, from cooking and baking to writing and photography.

I don't know where I would be without my creativity, and for now, I think I will continue to allow my imagination to run away with me.