I’ve always thought of myself as the creative sort – I guess it came to me when I was 9 that I knew how to draw an OK picture of a vase of pathetic flowers. My Cikgu at that time was this sweet motherly woman who told, no, encouraged me to enter a drawing competition in school one day. I adored this Cikgu and wanting to please her, I said yes.
Only later did I realise that I had no idea what I had to do!
But that was my first flirtation with art.
And then of course, I took art lessons from Mrs Lee each Sunday.
She was a scary woman. She was also the mother of my friend, Angie. Yet Mrs Lee taught us nine-year-olds how to make papier mache plates, how to weave a mat, how to draw properly. Every Sunday, we’d walk to the Balai Raya in our taman and sit for 2 hours, experimenting with art.
I stopped being enthusiastic about art after my SRP.(That’s right, it was SRP/Form Three exams in my time.) Maybe because I was in the Science stream. Art seemed frivolous.
But I realised too that over the years, I’ve actually enjoyed art and crafting things with my hands. I’ve made plaster-of-Paris moulded bears and little bald monks and I’ve made roses from crepe paper.
I took up knitting (albeit my stitches still look crooked most times) last year and of course, I re-acquainted myself with crochet (which I do better than knitting! Thank God at least there’s one fibre art that I can be good at).
I took up a bear-making class about 5 years ago. I was all gungho about making more cloth bears but all that handstitching work can be tedious. I made the mistake of using denim one day to make a denim bear (cut up my old jeans too) and my fingers ached like mad.
After that bear, I had traumatic memories of making bears so I stopped. The stuff is still calling out to me though. I hope one day I will take up making bears again, although Nic says my bears have lopsided grins – due to uneven threading!
Lately, I’ve been itching to do something with my hands again. Many years ago, in order to encourage me, Nic bought me some lino materials so I could try my hand at lino printing. No such luck. The lino materials collected dust in the store room. I still have them though. I believe I should be starting it some day though I am not so sure if I am a creative print sort.
And of course, I might try scrapbooking though I am fearful that I may not have the patience needed. A friend of mine, Sheila, runs Penang’s one and only (and the first) scrapbooking shop and I’ve been rather intrigued by the bobs and thingies in her shop.
The idea of creating something that’s precious and unique appeals to me – and I am thinking that I could create one lovely album for my parents for their upcoming 35th wedding anniversary. Or something for my good friends. Or even my godmother. The possibilities are endless.
And of course, I’m also itching to learn how to make Swavaroski earrings, bracelets and rings from a new friend, Lee Min who runs her own beading/accessory shop near the Jelutong market.
There’s so much to learn and so little time!