This week I have gotten back into collage… I was never really out of it, per se, just… non-practicing. However, the prelude to Christmas always makes me more creative, and this year is no exception. Unfortunately, the annual Christmas inspiration surge comes with three inconvenient limitations:
1. I am usually profoundly inspired with an idea for the perfect gift to make for a friend or relative within twenty four hours of paying a significant amount of money for something far from “perfect.” As I currently live on Martha’s Vineyard, the purchase has been made off-island, and returning anything is pretty much pointless, as the effort involved far exceeds the price of most things I buy.
2. The creative juices that seem to be completely frozen solid most of the year do thaw… usually with only three or four days left until Christmas. And I usually have to work a lot near Christmas, which means that either I don’t sleep for half a week and I turn up on Christmas with the perfect present(s), or I am unable to finish my masterpiece before the day arrives and I have to show up empty-handed.
3. My most inspired creations often involve a lot of random parts or ingredients, which usually means a bunch of running around to collect materials, many of which cannot be found on Martha’s Vineyard (what can, really, other than Black Dog boxer shorts and tacky tourist fodder with grapes on it?). Since my greatest ideas often take the slow, s l o w train, by the time they arrive, I’m damn near out of time for all the running around. I get desperate and spend too much money buying the parts at the most convenient place because I don’t have time to go anywhere else, thereby making a handmade present just as expensive as the sub-par store-bought gift.
Still, I always feel like the exhaustion and the expense have been worth it when I see the smile that says, “I didn’t know how much I wanted one of these,” accompanied by the raised eyebrow that says, “that creation must have resulted from an interesting thought process……”