I’m not a crafty girl — at least I didn’t think I was.
Flashback to ninth grade when I had my first group project. Our teacher tasked us to explore a country and its culture. Aside from volunteering to make Irish doughnuts and volunteering my eight-year old sister to show up and play her fiddle, I decided to glitter our group’s entire poster.
I thought the four-dollar glitter pack served me well — my group thought entirely otherwise.
And so I went on with day, ashamed of my mistake and upset the glitter still hadn’t come off my hands.
But, that day also taught me a lesson, a lesson the “Get Crafty” SAB event reminded my 20 year old self.
Creativity only demands the authenticity of the individual. Nothing more. Nothing less. And it’s inherently valuable.
It was a night of no expectations. We simply showed up, chose an activity (flower arranging, calligraphy or card making), and had fun with it. SAB sponsored the nuts, pretzels, and M&Ms.
Red, fuschia, yellow, purple, burgundy, and white flowers scattered throughout the room. Soft sounds danced through the speakers, while Ingrid Michaelson’s tunes guided the vibe. It seemed as though a vase exhibition was a go — small vases, thin vases, tall vases were all up for grabs.
Some stayed in the event room, others grabbed an array of flowers and headed over to their own table with friends. Some people simply sat, evidently reminiscing on people who’d meant a lot to them, and decided to thank them for it in a letter.
For me, it was my roommate who made the night. “I want to go to this,” I said one night in our room. She said she’d join me. Then, she told me she’d taken a floral arranging class in highschool, so she took on the responsibility of teaching me how to make my own arrangement.
“These people have no idea how to arrange flowers,” she said with a laugh.
She made sure I knew how to arrange the flowers, but all the while, she invited me into her creative process by welcoming my own. Fuschia flowers in a yellow arrangement? Perfectly acceptable. More baby’s breath than needed? It was more than okay.
Sure, creativity is enhanced by talent. We’d be fools to think that the most successful creatives lacked skill and talent. At “Get Crafty” hardly anyone knew what they were doing, and they probably knew that, too. But the truth is this: their Creativity was still significant — and necessary — however unskilled it was.
Hallmark and Papyrus can press on with their standard stationary and classic “You Are So Special” puff cards with the lace and cursive. No doubt, the rushed moms celebrating their husband’s birthday and the “I‑dont-have-enough-time-to-make-a-card” excuses will keep them in business.
But creativity is the deep desire and choice to individually express ourselves. It’s an opportunity, and few choose to take it. Those that do — the crazy artists who weave sky art out of iron, the authors who explore the realms of imagination, or even me with my glitter-stained hands — live in freedom.
This event was a statement in and of itself. It provided space for us to jump onto an opportunity. Each of us there chose to capitalize on who we are as humans. Individual, self-giving, and distinct. After all, we’re created, and thus intended to create.
“Get Crafty,” may have only been an event, but it was one that reminded us of who we are as people. We are individuals who yearn to be known, and not just simply known but known as our authentic selves.
And that just might have shown through in my school poster covered in glitter all those years ago.