This past Saturday I turned 62. I realize that birthdays (especially as we get older) can be a bit unsettling and for those of us that are single, it can also be a bit difficult. There are basically, in my mind, two ways to approach a birthday when single: Approach One: to have a small pity party and reflect on all that is missing in your life or, Approach Two: to plan a day that is joy-filled and to use this as a perfect excuse to go out and spend some money!!
I spent one nano-second considering my approach…………..Approach Two won.
Saturday morning found me sleeping in a little bit and then at 11:30 I was seated at Dang Nails, getting a manicure. After that, I headed out to Perimeter Mall with all my birthday coupons in hand. As this was also Mother’s Day weekend, all the stars were aligned in my favor as there were Mother’s Day sales in all my favorite stores!
This combination of sales and coupons created the perfect storm and I left with several shopping bags PLUS two additional items of clothing were going to be shipped to my home.
I had already determined the perfect birthday dinner…….. I was headed to Fuddruckers to get a cheeseburger AND the onion rings as well as a soft drink. I never (or seldom) eat junk food but my favorite comfort junk food is a cheeseburger with all the fixings and in honor of my birthday, I was splurging and getting onion rings also. Whereas Fuddruckers onion rings are not as good as the Varsity’s, they are a close substitute.
All birthdays need to have some kind of cake and I ended the night at home with a cupcake given to me by a friend a work—a fabulous cupcake from Miss Mamie’s on the Marietta Square—(http://www.missmamiescupcakes.com/) .. winners of the Cupcake Wars!!
But between the onion rings and the cupcake, I had an incredible outing. I had originally planned to watch a movie at home that night but then fate intervened (in the form of a friend, Angie Davis) and gave me the opportunity for a fabulous and fun evening. Angie had emailed me on Friday night and invited me to a girls’ night out event at Corkscrews and Canvas on Saturday night.
Corkscrews and Canvas (http://www.corkscrewsandcanvas.com/) provides painting parties during which you will be led step-by-step in the creation of your art “masterpiece” that you can take home at the end of the class.
And for a small additional charge, you can have a glass of wine to sip on while creating this masterpiece. There web page reads “Come laugh, learn and make new friends. The only requirement is that you leave stress at the door as you join the festivities.”
Sounds like my kind of place…. a glass of wine, laughter and no stress.
So, at 7 PM on Saturday night I joined Angie and 3 friends of hers. The first order of business was to pay, get my wine (in a plastic cup—my favorite kind of wine glass), and put on our cute smocks. I was already feeling sooooo artistic.
There were two long tables with an empty canvas sitting on an easel (one per person) and we sat down..3 on one side of the table and Angie and me on the other side. There were also other women there—some taking the same painting class and some painting on their own and they were seated at the other table.
On the walls were lots of paintings and as I was sipping my wine, I was wondering what we were supposed to paint…do we choose something or do I have to make something up in my mind? (I cannot draw stick figures…so making this up in my mind was a scary thought.)
And there were all these brushes on the table—big ones—medium ones—little ones. Hmmm……and a paper plate with dabs of paint on it….. and some water and some chalk.
It looked pretty impressive to me.
But not to fear….. this really was a learn how to paint class/party. The very nice instructor introduced herself and pointed to a Tuscany style painting on the wall behind her and informed us that we were going to paint that picture. It was a countryside painting with a small house and there were trees and flowers.
All I could think was “really…. You can think I can paint THAT? I could never master paint-by- numbers….and I am going to paint a Tuscany scene? There is not enough wine in the world to help me do that.”
The instructor would then tell us which brush to use and then what colors to use and how to mix them on our paper plate—first we simply had to paint the entire canvas with water (I could do that) and then paint the top ½ of it with yellow and gold mixed together the BIG Brush.
Then the tricky part came…we had to mix some of the green and gold and use the smaller brush to “pull a line across the page” and she showed us how to do it. (She was also creating a painting at the same time.) Let’s just say that her pulling the line looked so simple but for some of us in the group, it was a bit difficult!!
And then the fun began—-she took away the big brush from us and we had to just use the little brushes or medium brushes which did not sit well with some of us in the group. She led us through the steps of creating a road; trees; red flowers with yellow flowers…. and although we were all painting the same picture, all our pictures looked so different.
Some had big trees, some had skinny; some had fat trees. We would get lost and confused listening to her instructions. As I mentioned, there were women in the room at the other table …. and I am sure they were wondering about those 5 crazy women on the right side of the room.
You would paint part of the scene and then blow it dry with a hair dryer. And she would talk about technique and how to dab with the brush and then we had to mix in some yellow to add sunlight to the trees and then mix in some black (very carefully as black can be overwhelming) to create shadows and we learned how to change our brush position when painting the flowers and so forth.
And the whole time I am sipping on my wine and laughing and getting more paint on my hands than on the picture. She is making it look so easy and my flowers do not look like hers and we learn about double-dipping (a technique we used when painting the flowers.)
The scariest part of the painting was at the end—we had to add a small house to the picture. At that point, Angie decided she was not going to add the house…she was stressed out over her trees and background and decided that her Tuscany scene would be houseless…that the owners had built the house at a different location. Please notice in the group picture at the end that hers does not have a house in it!
Angie told me that my finished picture had a “Van Gogh look to it”—and I was ok with that until I remembered he was the artist that had some depression issues and cut off his ear. Hmmm…. that is not the artistic look I am going for.
We did not leave until almost 10 PM and I cannot begin to tell you what fun it was.
I began this post saying that there is more than one approach to celebrating birthdays…… and that I chose to celebrate the beginning of my 62nd year with joy. But in addition to my original plans, I was granted the good fortune to be asked to join a very fun group of women on my birthday night…. to share laugher…..stories….and to create a memory.
My condo is small and I truly do not have a good place to hang my painting…my “art masterpiece”. But I will figure out somewhere to put it….. as it is not the art that I will treasure but instead the memory that this painting will bring to my mind and to my heart.
Not a bad way to start year 62.
Dang Nails—Shopping—Dinner—The artist smock—Paint palate—Yellow background—Adding Greenery—The Classroom—Angie not painting a house—My Tuscany painting—The Girls Night Out Group—Miss Mamie’s Cupcake