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Create As If The Pages of an Old Children's Book Had Fallen Out

January 06, 2019 2 Comments

I love a New Year.  I love the thought of a do-over.  A clean slate.  And I think it's rather ironic that it comes just days after our holiday season when we seem so drained from it all.  And that, for us anyway, it comes just as winter begins, is perfect for me.  

In our household we created a tradition when our boys were little by default.  In an attempt to make Christmas more than just a lot of chaos before one crazy day that ends in about an hour...we began hibernating from Christmas Day until New Year's Day.  We hunkered down in our home, played our new games, put together our new puzzles, read our new books, listened to our new music, watched our new movies...we made everyday Christmas morning again.  We baked endlessly, feasted on good food, and pretended our regular world didn't exist.  It was beautiful and somehow, we kind of made that work all through the teen and college years, minus New Year's Eve (as it should be!).  Even now, with them as young adults...we still make our holiday hibernation happen.  It's a pretty beautiful thing.

Several years ago, a new tradition arose accidentally.  It was the morning of New Year's Eve and I was feeling antsy.  A little sad that our holiday hibernation was coming to an end....a little anxious....a little claustrophobic in my space....a little cluttered.  I was craving some creative time before the grind of the real world started back once again. 

My garage is the worst nightmare of many.  It's purgatory for projects yet to be.  Other people's discarded goods that I had seen a little magic in at an earlier date and never made good on my end of the deal when I promised to take it home and love it.


On that New Year's Eve morning I walked out to do a load of dog laundry and one of those pieces caught my eye.  I knew at that very moment what I needed to do to fix my funk.  I was going to bring in the New Year with artistic vision and one less piece of "unfinished business".   I got to work and finished before midnight.  It felt AMAZING.

The next year, I didn't even have to think about it.  New Year's Eve morn, the piece that needed me most in the garage just kind of presented itself and I got to work.  I didn't finish it until New Year's Day.   From then on my goal was always to finish by midnight on New Years Day....finishing every project by midnight on New Year's Eve seemed unrealistic and rushed.  

Every year following, the project is always right there and I never have to think about what I'm going to do with it, it's like the basics of it have been waiting for months in the back of my head.

This year's New Year project was the mannequin that had been freaking everyone out the last few months, just as you came in the garage door.  It was time, both for her and everyone around her.  

She had seen better days....she was retro, but not in the coolest of ways.  She was full of blemishes and scars.  Though she had been molded to be perfect, she was anything but.  From the first time I met her it was obvious that she didn't just represent something in each and every one of us....but she also represented some of the world we currently live in, because she had clearly lost some much needed faith.  I just wanted to slather her in love and kindness.  Fill her with some hope.  Give her a little guidance for the future.

I did not finish her before midnight on New Year's Day and I panicked over that at first.  Every day since, I just find a touch of something else that I want to add and can't call it quits.

 A new positive thought to put in her head. 

Reminders of how perfect she actually is.

Reminders that her imperfections are just part of the journey.

Reminders of who she is at her core.

Reminders of where to find the magic when you think it's been depleted.

So, as it turns out, she is still a work in progress.  Just like me, just like you, just like the whole entire world and everything that exists in it.  

If she is ready, I'll bring her to the fashion show ( at the end of the month and she can be all of our mascots for a night.  


2 Responses

Heather Jett
Heather Jett

January 08, 2019

I love this SO MUCH! The tradition of making, this project, all of it! You are an inspiration, Shawn.

Jen M
Jen M

January 06, 2019

I now feel like my life won’t be complete until I have silver nipples. She is stunning!

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