Friday, October 22, 2010

So, It Started With a Duck






Not too long ago, the bf asked me if I'd blogged about the duck yet. I admitted I hadn't. But I thought that it would make good post material and tucked it away in my mental file of someday plans.

So. About three years ago I was spending the weekend at the bf's when he decided to paint one of the duck decoys he'd carved in high school. (This was, by the way, the first I'd heard of his whittling prowess. As might be expected, I was amused. But also proud, as I couldn't carve anything even if my life depended on it.) He had an extra decoy and offered it to me to paint as I liked. Now, I should mention that at this point I hadn't done any artwork in years. Although I painted and drew a lot as a kid, even taking classes and winning a few contests, I stopped around the time I started high school, instead spending most of my free time writing. But when I looked at the plain wooden duck, it was as if nothing had changed. I started getting ideas, none of which had anything to do with real ducks.
As you can see from the (admittedly blurry) pictures above, I went a little nuts. The design was kind of crude (remember, I'd been out of commission), but my old creative spirit managed to
sneak through. I was so excited that I ran out to buy rhinestones to give it a real wow! factor.
Corny as it sounds, painting that duck flicked a switch in me. It made me remember how much I loved making things, causing me to wonder why I ever stopped. So, I started making jewelry, eventually moving on to painting totes. It was addictive. Even though at first I made tons of mistakes and spent a small fortune in supplies. Even when I wasn't making stuff, I was thinking about making stuff. I never ran out of ideas, just time and energy.
That's still true.
I was in Michaels one day, paying for my usual haul of baubles, when the cashier asked me if I'd ever heard of Etsy. I hadn't. She gave me the Web address; I went home, checked it out, and was immediately impressed. I couldn't believe how professional it looked, or how much cool stuff people all over the world were making. I summoned my nerve and began planning my own little shop, taking the plunge a couple of months later. That following summer I started this blog.
As I'm sure you know, I'm having a good time with all things Tote Trove. A runaway success it isn't, but it's opened my mind and forced me to keep trying even when I'd rather eat my weight in frozen pizza while watching reruns of "Saved by the Bell." I may never have pushed myself if it hadn't been for the bf and his unfinished duck decoy waiting to be rescued from a garage. So thanks, bf. For inspiring me and enduring my melodramatic rants and picking up the inevitable pieces. Although you don't read the blog (but then, you don't need to; you live it), I'll be sure to tell you all about this in the morning.

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