Lessons Learned from Diamond Painting
The Ghosts of Crafts Past...my mother used to get me all kinds of craft things when I was growing up. She loved sewing and crafts, my family members loved sewing and crafts, so it was just a natural progression that I did them too. Somehow, the crafting gene that was supposed to be transmitted genetically by my DNA skipped a chromosome and passed me over. When I did paint by numbers, it was supposed to be like coloring, only my landscape painting was really drippy...and required the furniture to be professionally cleaned. My attempts at finger painting, where you can swirl red, yellow, and blue into beautiful patterns all ended up with various shades of brown from my overzealous mixing. I had weaving looms and made several potholders just large enough to pull treats out of the Easy-Bake Oven (which I didn’t have). Then there was the 4 prong knitting loom that made a 20 ft. knitted a long piece of yellow, green, and black "something," and it’s only purpose was to keep me busy for a few hours during a long car ride or ensure I’d never forget the colors in the Jamaican flag ever again. My Indian jewelry loom was nanoseconds of fun, because the seed beads that I needed to make my Indian belt found a new home in the shag carpet. The battery operated pottery wheel spun so fast that my clay bowl
spun off and splattered against the wall, just seconds before the motor burned up. Then there was that macrame owl that in my qualified 2nd grade hands, which had one big eye because I forgot to do the same thing on the other side so the owl could have 2 eyes. I even built car models, only my 1927 Ford Model T became a Ford Model W “T” F after I lost a few of the parts…like 3 of the 4 tires. In 6th grade, I spent 8 hours of my life inhaling bottles of super glue and oil paints, only to watch my rocket take off into the sky and land in a tree. It truly is a special kind of disappointment to see 2 weeks worth of effort end up in a tree. When I saw Diamond Painting on a Facebook ad a few years ago, how could I not try this? If nothing else, the diamonds would find friends amongst the seed beads, light brite pegs, and Legos forever lost in the shag carpet of my childhood.
I watched a few Youtube videos on diamond painting, and got some great tips. Not only did I learn valuable techniques on how to dip, apply, and store my precious, plastic "diamonds," I learned that there are several people out there who make my obsessive compulsive neurotic tendencies seem very normal. I joke about “anything worth doing is worth over doing,” but dang. I am clearly still an amateur crafter at 51 when I watch these momma marvels work their creative wonders. I’m not going to lie, I keep glancing over their shoulder at their craft spaces, hoping to see a glimpse of the meth lab next to their crafting wonderland. How
else can someone support a crafting habit of these magnitudes? Then I made the mistake of watching a whole season of Christmas Light Fight with my boyfriend Doug, who has a Christmas light fetish. Our house goes gingerbread on Thanksgiving, as Christmas lights dance to 90 minutes of music. www.musicalchristmaslightshow.com Even though I never had children, I actually considered invoking my parental controls on the TV so he could never watch that again. $100,000 for one of those Christmas light displays is a cheap display! I don’t admit this to everyone, but in October when you are thinking about Halloween? Doug and I are the ones standing over the Wal-Mart employees while they unpack the Christmas decorations…drooling. Anyhow...back to diamond painting.
Anyhow, I bought the snowman diamond painting last September. It arrived in October and I started it in November hoping to have it done for Christmas of 2020. I finished it last night (June 13th), just in time for Independence Day of 2021. While I was diamond painting, I made a lot of parallels with diamond painting and life lessons. Here they are:
One diamond / one task at a time. I found when I tried to adhere more than one diamond at a time, it was a mess. Sometimes when I try to multi-task, that’s a mess too. One diamond / one task at a time. Enjoy the moment, the simplicity, and the peace.
Break the whole task down into smaller chunks. The diamond painting I did is about 26” high x 20” wide. You can start putting diamonds wherever you want, but I found that by breaking the picture into “chunks” or smaller squares made for happier progress. I worked until I completed a little square, and then move on to the next. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with larger tasks, so breaking them down makes the whole project easier to digest.
When you complete a chunk, admire how far you’ve come. Always step back, admire what you’re done, and compliment yourself for getting as far as you did. No matter what we attempt in life, we never seem to compliment ourselves on what we DID do, only on what we DIDN’T do. Reminders that we are on the right track are perfectly okay!
Take periodic breaks. Sitting for long periods of time hunched over your workspace isn’t good for you. Take breaks and stretch. Set a time so you have to move for 10 minutes when you sit for 50 minutes.
Don’t be afraid to make minor adjustments. I found a few times I didn’t like how the diamonds looked. I removed them and replaced them with colors that I thought better suited the picture. Sometimes you have to do this in real life to, adjust your vision so it works better for you.
Don’t get stressed by deadlines you missed. I really wanted this diamond painting done by Christmas of 2020, and it didn’t happen. I wasn’t even 1/8 of the way through it when Christmas rolled around! No worries. I still enjoyed the process and can’t wait to display this one year round...only because it took so long to complete. I'm going to enjoy it!
Have a sense of humor and patience with yourself. Sometimes the best disasters have unexpected pleasant results…like being able to write this blog about my ghosts of crafting past!