Get Past Your Fear and Create Beautiful Art!
This is the second of a series of DIY (do it yourself) blog posts to inspire and motivate you to figure things out in your life!
Marie Forleo is famous for saying “everything is figureoutable.” And, this past year and a half, I’ve realized that statement has been true!
A Special Gift for a New Niece
Last fall, as I prepared for my niece’s baby shower, I wanted to give her a very special gift for her soon to be daughter!
A hanging mobile came to mind to create for her daughter’s bedroom. As I researched, I realized a hanging mobile wasn’t the right thing, but a wall hanging could be. And, I saw some really inspiring pictures of wall hangings online that sparked my interest and creativity!
My niece had already told me that the room was going to be moon themed, so when I saw this particular wall hanging on a DIY website, ideas started flowing!
Initially, I loved the stars, but I started to think about the moon theme and suddenly the idea came to me: how about doing a wall hanging in this same style with the phases of the moon?
Having no idea how I’d make the moon and star shapes or anything like that, I used this DIY blog post from Scratch and Stitch as a guide and literally copied what they did, just with a new theme.
The tricky part was how to put it all together, how to carve out the moon and star shapes, what materials to use for them and where to source supplies and help (I didn’t have a jigsaw, or know how to use one back then!)!
What I’ve learned from these DIY projects is to just start with the first step. Then, go to the next step. If I get overwhelmed by thinking about how I’m going to do everything at once, it may inhibit me from even trying.
So, the first step was to source a branch with a bit of a curve. For this, I went to my cousin’s house and asked if she had a branch from her yard I could use. Having a branch from a family members yard also added more significance to the piece.
My niece had told me the color scheme for the room was gold and silver, so that made picking out paint colors easy. Heading over to the local art store, I sourced acrylic paint and was ready to begin.
Now that I had the branch and paint colors, the next thing I needed to figure out was what material I’d make the moon and star shapes out of.
Asking for Help
Talking to my brother, we agreed that wood would be more durable, look better and be easier to paint on than cardboard, per se. Now, it might have been easier to use cardboard, but I wanted this piece to be long lasting and look really nice!
So, on to the local hardware store to get wood, I then set up a time to work with my brother, who had a jigsaw (and knows how to use it!), and he carved out the pieces for me of the moon and star shapes. Sanding the edges and sides of the shapes and drilling holes into the tops, I was ready to paint them!
The Nitty Gritty
The next phase (no pun intended!) was to paint all of the pieces, which I did in a friend’s backyard on newspaper. Then, I had to source chains from a local crafts store, and wire for wrapping, to hang the pieces to the branch with, as well as some other jewelry accessories to add some more accents to each piece.
The next step was looking online for the phases of the moon and how to paint them, so they’d all be in order. Then, I had to figure out the length of each piece and where to put the stars in between.
And, finally, I had to figure out how the piece was going to hang onto the wall in the baby’s bedroom.
Once I had all of the extra supplies I needed, strong glue to secure all the chains wrapped around the branch and knew how the piece would hang, I assembled the piece together, including handmade “hooks” to hang the piece from the wall.
The Results Were Worth It
All in all, it was a fun, challenging project that ended up turning out great, much better than I could have imagined! And, my niece was smitten with it, which was the greatest joy for me! When I brought it to give to her at a gathering of women before she had the baby, I’d brought a silver and gold sharpie and everyone at the gathering wrote a special note to my niece and her baby-to-be on the back of each moon shape. There were just enough moon shapes for how many people were gathered. It was a special way to personalize this sacred gift for my soon-to-be grand niece!
Had I first stopped and said, “I don’t know how to do this! I don’t know how I’m going to do this?” I may have stopped myself before I even got started.
That’s what happens so often in Life. We get an idea, we’re inspired to create or build something, learn something new, meet new people or try something different. What can happen, though, is we can get stuck in the how. How will I do this? How will it work out? How do I start? How will it feel?
Over the years being in business and learning more about a growth mindset, I’d always hear teachers and mentors say, “Don’t worry about the how, just ask yourself, or find out, ‘what’s the next step?’”
Honestly, this used to drive me crazy! WTF, how can I not worry about the how???? Isn’t that what I’m supposed to know: how this is all going to work out and come to fruition?
The answer is No.
What I’ve learned, and continue to learn, through these new D.I.Y. projects, is that all I need to do is have a beginners mindset: open and ready to learn at every step of the process. Then, ask the right questions, especially, “what’s the next step?” And, try. Put my best foot forward. Oh, and…don’t get ahead of myself by trying to do it all at once! More on this in the next blog post about the curbside rattan couch and chair frame I found on the side of the road, which is now sitting happily in my living room with brand new cushions, that I had no idea how to make, but figured out how!
And, could you imagine not having received the joy and thanks from my niece for creating this piece because I chose not to do the project because of fear or feeling overwhelmed? It made it all worth it for me!
What’s your next step in your life, a specific project or creation you’ve been dreaming of making?
How do you manage the fear with practicality so you can move forward into the unknown and surprise yourself with something awesome?
Comment below! I want to hear from you.
See you next week!