Tonawanda News


February 4, 2013

Building a love for the artsy-craftsy stuff ... or not

Tonawanda News — I drove home from the craft store with the item in my possession, eager to show my children.

This was a flashback to youth for me, in a way. I hadn’t purchased this particular item in decades, with no need for it as an adult. But I had a project in mind, and a fringe benefit would be a lot of leftovers with which to play with my sons.

When we had a moment, I called them over, telling them that Mommy had something neat. “A toy?” they asked. “Candy?”

Nope. Better.

As they leaned over to see what was in my hands, I cracked the package open, relishing the heft, and the crisp smell, of a freshly opened package of multi-colored construction paper.

The 8-year-old immediately lost interest. He wandered off to play with his toys, or find his father (who wasn’t interested either) or listen to music. The 4-year-old was intrigued. He named the colors and pointed them out, then looked at me curiously.

“But what are going to DO with it?”

Oh, the possibilities, I wanted to tell him.

Art was my favorite subject as a child. I eagerly awaited the day in question, when my class would troop off to that room at Franklinville Elementary School, that place that always smelt of old crayons, dried glue and, yes, fresh construction paper. I thought we created magic in that room. In a way, I suppose we did.

I cut. I pasted. I drew and I painted. We made collages and talked about artists and perspective and the mixing of colors.

We used all the aforementioned stuff, plus the old-faithful elements of Popsicle sticks, tissue paper and buttons. My fondness for using found objects in creations remains to this day. We made presents for our parents and grandparents, artwork for the school hallways, illustrations for our classroom writings (I loved this). 

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