Arts and crafts have really never been my thing. I mean, I can paint something a specific color, in a specific shape, if you give me specific guidelines. So in other words, I have no problem following along with Martha Stewart… but don’t ask me to try to be her. Nothing used to stress me out more in college than when a teacher would tell the class to put together creative poster boards to go along with our presentations. There’s just something about the words ‘creative’ and ‘poster board’ that send chills racing down my spine. And not good chills either.
The funny thing is that before I switched my degree to Journalism with a focus on Creative Writing, I was majoring in Creative Design and Advertising. And just as the title suggests, there were a lot of design classes that went along with the advertising / business classes. So let’s just say that my first couple years of college were quite stressful, as I found myself submersed in computer design classes and real drawing classes. (As in we had to draw more than stick figures).
Even in the classes I enjoyed, the teacher would throw a curveball at me. Like when my calligraphy teacher gave the class an assignment to ‘write’ our names in the most creative ways possible. One student had friends contort their bodies into the alphabet before taking pictures and blowing them up into a very large portrait. Another student wrapped twine around giant logs (don’t ask me where he found logs in the middle of a campus in Florida) and had his friends help him carry the very large, primitive sign into class. Still another student painted a large piece of wood with the most colorful of swirls and edges that all perfectly came together to spell her name.
Me? I walked into class with a tiny piece of cloth on which I had cross-stitched my name. It had seemed pretty creative at the time. But, well, let’s just say that my teacher was less than impressed and stamped a ‘C’ onto my assignment grade. (Yeah, I know, he probably had a thing against cross stitching).
Flash forward several years to the present… Because of my lack of crafting skills, I’ve been putting off creating a bulletin board for my music class. I know, a bulletin board is hardly an artistic feat, but – for me – it’s terrifying. At the same time, I felt as though it would greatly benefit my younger piano students in particular… and what better time to tackle one than during my month off from teaching? My goal was to create a board on which my students can add a sticker or cutout (like a star) whenever they meet their practice goals. While kids can be told that practice is benefiting them, sometimes it helps for them to be able to visually see that sense of accomplishment.
At first, I decided to keep it easy and to just buy a black poster-board and a star stamp. But then I came across some paint and paint brushes and decided to just do something simple. So the next thing I knew, I had painted a few trees, a hill or two, and glued on a tent and campfire I had constructed out of cardstock. A few forest animal stickers finished off my scene, and now all that’s needed are stars in the night sky (earned by my piano students, of course)! 🙂
I bought yellow cardstock for the stars that signify three days of practice ( a minimum goal). For the students who meet the five day practice goal (what I’m aiming for them to practice), they can add a sparkly star.
It’s primitive in the least… But I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of proud of it. (One small step for art lovers everywhere… One giant leap for Nicole)! 🙂 And I think the little kids will think it’s fun!
When I showed it to a friend, she loved it and said, “I can’t wait to see what your next bulletin board looks like!”
And I shuddered. Oh, yeah, I’m going to have to make another one in a few months, aren’t I?