Every now and again I look around my home and feel that itch to change things up. One day this this fall I was finishing my coffee while watching the dog stare longingly out the front window, anxiously awaiting her brothers arrival home. Not only did I notice how bummed the dog seemed that her boys were away at school now that summer was over, but I also noticed that our front entry reminded me of my first apartment. That’s never good. According to our HOA we are not allowed to take a creative license when it comes to our exterior. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t add a little something special to the inside of the ugly door. The creative wheels began to turn and once that starts, there is really no stopping the new obsession. I finally decided to take a risk and paint the inside of our front door with chalkboard paint. I loved it so much that I painted a wall in the kitchen as well. I was a little concerned that when the husband came home, he would think that I had gone overboard. However, he barely noticed, aside from the smell. Chalkboard paint is very pungent until dry. I think he’s used to my shenanigans at this point.
Of course, I began scouring Pinterest for all of the ways that I could decorate my chalkboards before they even dried. There are so many methods, videos, stencils and tutorials available. It quickly became overwhelming and I waited a couple of weeks before attempting my first chalk art.
I am by nature a simple person. So, I found the chalk that the kids had leftover from summer and decided that I could make it work. I am always surprised at how with a little determination you can just use what you have already in your posession. Of course, I still drool over the chalkboard pens, but cannot justify spending almost $15 per pen. I would want one in every color and that would be a little pricey. I can’t lie, sometimes when I am working with a piece of chalk that is a half inch long, I start re-thinking my budget choices. The point is that you don’t need anything fancy to make fancy things. In this case,just a wet rag, or paper towel, junky chalk and some time. I always start by wiping down the whole chalk board with water and then sharpening my chalk with a wet paper towel. I just twist the top of the chalk in the wet paper towel until it forms a point. Your chalk will always be brighter if you start with a wet chalkboard. While you’re drawing it will seem light and faded….but just wait! I also blend my chalk with my fingers, I like the look of it better. I freehand it, as I like the raw natural, imperfect look that chalk lends itself to. But feel free to use stencils, rulers, etc. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. I say, just go for it!
My kids are very entertained when I am “chalking”. My oldest is so sweet and encouraging, claiming that I am the best artist he knows. My youngest likes to guess what I am drawing in real time. With an audience like that, I really can’t go wrong! On occasion, my drawings are a little off and I erase and start over, sometimes several times in a row. It isn’t the cleanest hobby to have, but I think the chalk dust is worth it. I am always amazed when I stand back and look at the finished product. I did that? How? There are long dry spells in between my chalk art at times. Sometimes, I lack inspiration, or extra time. Other times I am not confident enough that I can do it again. This is why I love chalk art so much. It is temporary. It challenges me to always be better and try harder. My family looks forward to seeing what I will come up with next. I love that it is the last thing they see as they walk out the door. A sign of my love for them. I know it might sound silly, but as therapuetic as chalk art is for me,
it is more of a love note to my family. A look into my heart and mind. Sometimes, as a mom it is easy to fly under the radar until you forget to do something that you normally do. Then all eyes are upon you! I prefer to keep an element of surprise about me and gift my kids with something unexpected and special. A little reminder that I am more than the laundry, meals, groceries, taxi driver and housekeeper. They need to believe that I believe in myself, that I take chances and have confidence in my ideas. Perhaps they don’t yet understand the life lessons that chalk art can teach us, but I know that one day, they will.