Sounding the craft alert while making dinner means that Nate can mix up a mai tai and dream of a Hawaiian vacation, where there are no craft alerts.
“Inspiration is striking the heck out of me right now and I need to do something about it, so make some snacks. Dinner will be late!” I shout, after chopping up some zucchini, which I swear are calling out to me:
“Mold us! Shape us!” they say. And I believe I can actually hear them.
Alex is used to the drill. He shrugs his shoulders, says “okay,” and grabs some chips.
Nate makes a mad dash to the liquor cabinet and slaps together the quickest mai tai I’ve ever seen him make.
I’ve now placed the zucchini on a cutting board, “just so,” and I truly believe I’ve created what some might consider art. Now I want Nate and Alex to discuss it.
“What does this look like?” I ask.
“Is this a test of my love for you?” Nate replies.
“Yes. Yes it is.”
“That’s what I figured. I don’t know—sea anemone type things growing out of a cutting board?”
“I know, right? That’s EXACTLY it! EXACTLY! Like I could snap a picture of this and enter it in some kind of contest and people would be confused, but intrigued. They’d say things like, ‘such an ordinary thing and I’ve never seen it quite in that way before. How refreshing!’ Yet, I’m probably not the first person to do this—but we could hang a picture of it in the kitchen or something maybe.”
“Yeah—sure,” Nate says—and I go back to making dinner. I’m spiralizing the zucchini for a recipe I’ve previously made on my blog here: (Zoodling Around and a Pad Thai Recipe). The spiralizer leaves me with plenty of “zoodles” (zucchini noodles), but then I’m also left with these “stumps” that have a really cool pattern on the other side. And just like that—I’m whacked in the head with inspiration again and I have to sound the craft alert once more.
“Again? On the same day! Within minutes of one another?” Nate asks.
“Yeah—dinner will be really late. Where did I put the stamping pads with all of the colors for stamps and things?”
“You Konmari’d those things the heck out of here years ago.”
“So I did. Darn it! But wait—there’s paint somewhere around here.”
In Alex’s room, in some colorful storage bins, there is professional grade artist paint because Alex and Nate are the actual artists in this family, who regularly need quick access to paint. I grab a whole set of paints and run down to the kitchen with a stray piece of origami paper I happen to have on hand. (I have origami paper and all kinds of crafty knick-knacks, but no stamp pads. Somehow I drew the line at stamp/ink pads. Somehow I managed to say to myself, “Origami paper stays. Ink/stamp pads go.”)
When I finally make it back down to the kitchen, Alex lifts his eyes from his bag of chips and the look on his face—well . . . he looks frightened.
“Are those my paints, Mom?”
“Yep—which color should I use? I’m going to take the cool spiral edge of the zucchini stumps that the spiralizer rejects, and I’m going to make stamp art.”
“Okay, but don’t use too much, Mom. Please don’t use all of my paint.”
“What? We’re rationing paint now?”
“No . . it’s just that. . .”
“Fine—you squeeze out the amount I should use. I want to do a turquoise type color, I think.”
Alex squeezes out a drop of paint the size of a ladybug. I’m supposed to use a tiny bug-sized amount of paint on a zucchini spiral stump—AND I’m supposed to use it repeatedly to cover a medium-sized square of origami paper. I know I’m faced with an impossible task here, but I soldier through to create this:
Alex thinks the result is pretty cool. Nate thinks he needs another mai tai.
Your Turn: Where and when does inspiration for a project strike you?