Last night, I let my (very limited) creativity flow. For the first time in my life, I assembled and decorated a gingerbread house for Christmas.
Tara at Waffling Along has a regular post called "My Creative Space". She really is a creative person. Check out her last post on that here. (*I have since found out, since publishing this post, that Tara is contributing to another blog, Kootoyoo, which initiated the Creative Space concept. Every Thursday, you can add your creative space piece to a list. Everyone can share their creativity and link to others.)
I am borrowing her title (or blatantly plagiarising it, however you choose to look at it), with the added addendum of "A One-Off" because, quite frankly, the chances of me displaying any creativity from hereon on this blog is about, ooh let's see, 200 to 1! (And that's being generous.)
To give you a clearer picture of what I'm talking about, I've included below a couple of things I wrote in my sons' school newsletter, where I write each week, that will give you an idea of who I am, and how (not so) creative I am.
In June this year, I wrote the following referring to the children's artwork:
They say that, within all of us, lies and artist. Well, if that's true, then in my case that inner artist of mine is buried way, way down inside and is refusing to come out.It's not that I can't be "artistic". I can. I played the piano growing up, I took a pottery class some years ago, and I completed a really great latch hook once (it was a bubblegum machine). I even made some of those topiary trees. You know the ones. The little miniature trees you make from a round ball of foam that you stick flowers in to. I made three of them, and they were...well...pointless quite frankly, but kind of artistic right? (In fact, one of them I kept in my bathroom for years - it was all pastel colours - until, after fading over time, it started to resemble an oversized toilet brush, and I had to throw it out in fear that someone would eventually use it.
And I also wrote this later on in the same newsletter, referring to baking for our kids' fundraiser:
My Mum's cooking has always been good, but it's her baking that's outstanding. You should have seen some of my birthday cakes when I was a kid. Amazing. A-MA-ZING! (My personal favourite: a maypole with six dolls circling it with butter cake skirts, each individually iced in a mix of pastel colours.) You know that old saying: The apple never falls far from the tree? Well, unfortunately in my case, the apple fell about 50 metres to the left.Baking is not my forte. Every year, I think I'll try baking and decorating my children's birthday cakes, rather than do the last minute dash down to Michel's or The Cheesecake Shop, but I never do. I even have those Women's Weekly Birthday Cakes for Kids type publications, but I never use them. My friend, Jen, is a bit of a cake decorating extraordinaire herself and she always encourages me, even offers her assistance, but then I opt out in the end. Why? I don't know. Maybe I'm worried I just can't do what my Mum did or Jen does, or maybe (and probably more likely) I'm just too lazy.
And so, dear readers, you will now understand that I'm not what you would consider to be any Frida Kahlo or Martha Stewart clone. Not even by a long shot. But when I was offered the opportunity to decorate this gingerbread house (and admittedly, I didn't even know I was going to have to assemble it - I thought just ice it) I decided to give it a shot.
And you know what? I surprised myself. I imagined I'd sit there and throw some lollies on with wild abandonment, and spend most of my time chatting (which would definitely not be out of character). But I found myself so focused on the task at hand. I had to think every movement through. Was the balance right? Did I have enough on my house?Too much? And whilst people chatted around me, I was so busy concentrating on what I was doing, I could hardly hear the conversation. I was in the ZONE.
And then when I stood back and admired my handiwork, I have to say, I was a little chuffed with my effort. Was it the best on the block? Not by a long shot. (You can tell some of the mums have done this before, and they know all the tricks of the trade.) But it was a pretty bloody good effort. And I reckon if Mum could see it, she'd be proud.
And so, I present to you my Christmas Gingerbread House...
And now wrapped and ready for Christmas...
I've already decided I'm going back again next year. And this time, I'm going to do my research. I want to know how to make icicles and I'm going to buy a little Santa and Snowman figurine. And maybe even a tree! Because I want the best bloody gingerbread house my kids have ever seen!
Until next time...