All it took to make our first magical-return-to-childhood-crafts-night was cardboard picture frames, gaudy spray paint, glitter, macaroni, pompoms, and feathers. We spread plastic sheeting and newspapers and then got busy. For two hours or so we laughed and inhaled fumes and promised each other that we would always stick together.
We had to explain to our foreign classmates that macaroni picture frames are an American tradition, even while we tried to figure out why. And we had to reinforce the idea that when we make happy childhood crafts, there is no wrong approach. Everyone wins. Everyone gets an A.
Some of us made showy Vegas frames while others created Baroque masterpieces. Some of us went “less is more” while most of us piled on the colors and the textures and waited impatiently for the Elmer’s to dry.
The glitter stuck to our hands while we debated holding a cardboard-picture-frame gallery exhibition. And the whole time we were having fun we weren’t sad, and we weren’t anxious, and the satisfaction was in the making – not in the being appreciated for it afterward.
We proved that it is possible to create joy from thin air and a few bow-tie pasta (Farfalle!). Next time, it was agreed, it will be popsicle sticks and yarn. Join us and, if you’re lucky, remember when you were very young and things had not yet started to go wrong.