Friday, August 28, 2009

Easy Bake

One of the great things about having kids is the nostalgia for one’s own childhood that comes with the various phases that roll by. For instance, as a child I was the number-one fan of the Easy Bake Oven, which is saying a lot considering I didn’t even own one. My friend Holly had one and every time I went out for a sleepover I’d lay awake sending her a singular telepathic thought: Wake up and give Christy your Easy Bake Oven.

It never happened.

My joy in making tiny baked goods in tiny cookware has not diminished in the decades since I coveted Holly’s oven, so when my daughter’s Easy Bake phase was in full force I was all over it. We’ve had frog phases, fizzy experiment phases, and Lite Brite phases, all of which I’ve enjoyed. But this new phase was one I’d forgotten all about and it brought back waves of joy: the paint-by-numbers phase.

My sister is an artist and yet I have absolutely no skill when it comes to drawing or painting. I’m decent with visual design, but if you asked me to create any piece of fine art you’d assume I’d done it left handed. And blindfolded. I’m simply incapable of translating what I see to the page or canvas in pictures, which is why I found so much comfort in paint-by-number kits as a kid. It was pure magic, the way you could follow the formula and end up with something that, to my young eyes, looked completely professional.

Being able to produce a painting of a lighthouse or a fawn was like all of a sudden knowing how to perform surgery or fly an airplane – a skill that had been completely out of my grasp was now within reach. Of course, it was an illusion of skill but does that matter? I can’t decide if it does or not. I just knew it made me happy.

I think I’ll give it a try this weekend. And I might pull out the old Easy Bake while I’m at it.


storyqueen said...

I loved Kerplunk and Rockem' Sockem' Robots!

I painted by numbers once, but it was a portrait of a clown that someone gave to me and clowns are scary.


Kimberly Derting said...

HAHA, I can't believe Holly never fell under your telepathic spell...apparently you weren't doing it right!

Jenna said...

I LOVED Easy Bake when I was younger. And Lite Brite. Paint-by-Number was never really my thing, though. I always wanted to paint my own thing.

Have a good weekend!

Corey Schwartz said...

I loved Lite Brite, and spin art, and Spirograph. And my mom never got me an Easy Bake either!

Anonymous said...

I had a black velvet paint by number. Be jealous. Be very jealous.


Jennie Englund said...

Holly Hobbie Colorforms!!!

Have a great cake this weekend!

Little Ms J said...

I loved my Lite Brite. Well, my friend's Lite Brite. I would steal the pegs every now and again just to remind her she shouldn't be spoiled. You know what I do miss? Those glass/plastic window things. You would put these colored crystals in them and melt them in the oven and then hang them in the windows. I was an artiste.

Hardygirl said...

You know, the old Easy Bake Ovens cooked with a light bulb. The news ones are just like a big plastic Black and Decker Toaster Ovens. And, they try to make you buy gross, overpriced powdered food for your kids to cook and eat (ack!). I finally told my girls that they had to quit making that food because somebody died from eating it. Now we just cook slice & bake in ours.

I never had a Big Wheel, and I'm still not over it.

And, Shelley, someone gave me that clown paint-by-numbers set for my birthday one time. I had to bury it in my backyard.


Suzanne Young said...

See, you should have been working on your brain washing skills instead of paint by numbers. Which would be better to have now, huh???

And you've given me an awesome idea!! Write by numbers???

Man. Now I want a cupcake

PJ Hoover said...

I've been having the I-want-to-be-able-to-sketch urge. And the kids' books are great for this!

I pulled out my break maker this weekend which is much like the easy bake, and my daughter and I made bread.

Carrie Harris said...

There's a paint by numbers program. I used it to make the painting that hangs over my fireplace. Don't tell anyone.

PJ Hoover said...

What's the program, Carrie? I need to use that!

Katie said...

I am so going out and buying some pbns! I had forgotten how much fun these could be.

Seriously. The Anderson girls on Christmas break will each do a PBN and I will post them :-)