Being Grownup

I’m a Grownup.  I have a job.  I’m a mom.  I’m all responsible and stuff.

So why do I keep buying toys??  Because I’ve been repainting them.  And that automatically turns it into an “art project,” right??   Some people even make these repaints into a business.  I’m not really good enough to be in that league, though–I just do it for myself, for fun.

I’m not going to play with these dolls (which the 7-year old doesn’t quite understand).  I just like looking at them.  I stick them on a shelf when I’m done, and they make me smile.  It’s similar to the little twinge of heartbreak I feel when I happily build a lego kit and it gets destroyed once the kid starts playing.  I have to fight the urge to Kragle lego kits with superglue because I realize I am secretly neurotic.

So here’s one of my “grownup” art projects:   repainting a Monster High doll!

Ages ago, when I played roller derby, these little roller derby Monster High dolls came out, and they were SO cool.  But I talked myself out of them, because I was a Grownup.  I have trouble justifying buying things for myself that don’t serve a purpose.  I admire when people can collect things just for the fun of it, but I seem to have trouble with it sometimes….

So when I was telling my daughter about them, she asked to see photos.  I showed her my favorite:  Lagoona Blue, who came with finned roller skates and a helmet with an awesome fin on it.

1-originalI told her how I had always wanted one, and she said, “you should just go ahead and get one, mom.  If it makes you happy, you should just DO it!”   …which is easy for a kid to say, but since this is pretty much the same advice my husband gives me, I decided that after 6 years or so, I was just going to go ahead and get her.

And since I’m a grownup, I justified to myself that if I repainted her, she’d at least have a purpose: she’d be an Art Project.  (Don’t ask me why I always feel the need to justify these things to myself.)

When she arrived, I wiped her face off with acetone (nail polish remover), and started painting her in acrylics.2

Once the paint is dried, I sprayed her with Testors spray, and gloss varnished her eyes and lips to add some shine.

And here she is.  And she may not be such a big deal, and she may not bring about world peace, and she may serve no other purpose than to sit on a shelf with my other dolls and look cool, but she makes me smile. And I guess that’s okay.


At age 42, I’m trying to get used to the idea that there’s validity in things not having a major purpose–other than just simple enjoyment.  It’s a “stop and smell the roses” sort of thing.  It’s an “enjoy the little things” kind of thing.  And with all the things in the world, why not have a bit of that–ESPECIALLY as a Grownup?

So enjoy the little things today, grownup or not!  Look around for the simple things that just make you smile, and enjoy them, just because you can…

11 responses

  1. I don’t usually post replies, but I love this piece in particular, because yes we should indulge in things we love to do, why not?! Also my girls loved these dolls and I hated them, so I love the idea of erasing their faces….nice work!

  2. I love this so much. I don’t do much similar to you, hobby-wise, but I spend a lot of time writing bits of code, ridiculous webpages, and other pieces of digital flotsam that serve no other purpose than to provide me outlet, release, craft-honing, and PURE JOY.

    If society has some idea that this is more valuable than you repainting toys, I would counter with the fact that you could at least sell your creations when you’re done. At most, I could post my doodling on GitHub to be ignored by the masses. 🙂

    On Thu, Sep 1, 2016 at 12:21 PM, busy mockingbird wrote:

    > busymockingbird posted: “I’m a Grownup. I have a job. I’m a mom. I’m > all responsible and stuff. So why do I keep buying toys?? Because I’ve > been repainting them. And that automatically turns it into an “art > project,” right?? Some people even make these repaints into a bus” >

  3. I have the same neuroses as you do. First of all, I find myself going all Lord Business about Lego sets. I’ve not reached for Kragle yet but it’s hard. Secondly, I also find it hard to justify buying something for me that serves no practical purpose even though my husband actively encourages me to do so. I don’t think it’s just because I’m obsessively thrifty. I think there’s also some weird psychosis about not deserving treats because I’m a mum and I give treats rather than receive them. So I get what your head was telling you and I am so very glad you told that inner voice to hush up and followed your creative heart in buying the doll. You didn’t have to repaint it in order to justify your treat but I’m happy you did so as the new version is so much cooler and more appealing than the original.

  4. I think we have to always pay attention to our inner child and be sure that she gets nurtured. It’s okay to just want things because they’re pretty. I love the custom dolls, too. You have a talent most others don’t and you can make things personal and even more special. These are things that Maya will be able to treasure later and look back to remember how awesome it was that you encouraged her creativity while she encouraged yours.

    I was reading the story on the news after the 3 year old boy in the tutu. That child is darn lucky to have a parent who just allows him to BE. There’s always going to be someone who is critical of you for one reason or another. Just be sure it’s not YOU. Btw, your husband sounds awesome. 🙂

  5. Love her new look! She looks ethereal, more innocent. Wonderful work! And good for you to do something for the enjoyment of it. You just brought more joy to Planet Earth!

  6. I like that The Buddha is just chillin’ with all the dolls

  7. I can’t really expect all art projects to be world-changing, but they can make you happy! And it makes me happy to see how you repaint dolls. I think it’s totally amaze balls, and it’s inspiring me to try it myself. Eyes are pretty tough, though, and I’m not super inclined towards small detail work, so I kind of expect to have to try it like fifty times in a row. 🙂 So thank you, for treating yourself -finally!- and sharing with us.

  8. Aw I think I love buying toys more than my son – it’s like a second childhood for me almost! I only have boys so am indulging more in things like cars and Lego – plus all the toddler craft ideas. I’m even going into felts and bought a glue gun, which is like amazing for a person like me who isn’t actually artsy!

  9. fabulous doll – inspring too! I love my just-for-me things, especially when I’ve made them…
    thanks for sharing!

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