Craft activities before breakfast are not generally encouraged in our house. I know I ought to be nurturing my children's every creative moment. I am sure that there are mums out there who would hunt out cardboard and glue whilst making toast but I am not one of them. Green paint on white tee shirt in an attempt to recreate some Japanese cartoon character at 7.30am tends not to bring out my best side.
However, notwithstanding the unmissable negative signals that they must be receiving loud and clear, some mornings the Little Ones ( as my younger two children are rather patronizingly known) bounce out of bed and need to make things before school. And if it doesn't involve me or unreasonable levels of mess then that's OK. Anything has to be better than Pokemon on Disney XD.
This morning it was beading. By 6.45 they had dug out the bead box and the string and were beavering away creating jewellery like some thriving cottage industry. My morning progressed as usual through the preschool routine and just as I was about to shout them to clean their teeth, my daughter arrived with a necklace. She held it out to me proudly and asked me to wear it.
I've been here before. Friendship bracelets, hair accessories and even earrings have all been presented to me over the years and I have loyally donned them as requested. But here was something different. Something that I would quite happily wear, although perhaps improved if fashioned out of slightly more sophisticated components than string and plastic beads. It's hard to describe what she had done but suffice it to say that using just 12 beads she has created a shape that I have never seen before and it's lovely.
And there lies the difference between someone with creative abilities and me. I have nimble fingers and patience. With the possible exception of painting, I can turn my hand to most delicate crafts as long as someone shows me how. After that I can usually use my knowledge to recreate things. I mean I can copy. But give me a box of raw materials and I am completely foxed. I can spend hours longingly gazing at yarn in my local wool shop (www.createcafe.co.uk) but without a pattern I am lost. I adore browsing round my local craft mill but rarely buy anything, knowing from experience that my purchase is likely to end its days in a cupboard gathering dust. I have no vision, no imagination and absolutley no creative pizazz.
But armed with my daughter's design I shall now make a trip to the bead shop, explain what I want to achieve and get the friendly lady to help me to select materials to bring the design to a more sophisticated level. So if you see me sporting a rather beautiful necklace remember. I have stolen the idea from someone with creative flair.