I’m feeling crafty and that hasn’t happened in a while.
Actually, when the mood strikes, I am a prolific crafter. I’m never happier than when I am covered in glue and paint. That doesn’t mean I’m good at it. It just means I like to do it.
I was never especially gifted in art classes, but if a can-do attitude counts, I was top of my class.
Crafting really took hold after I moved to La Crosse and decided I needed to start making Christmas gifts for my large family if the holiday wasn’t going to bankrupt me.
Ever helpful, my sister Therese helped me find patterns for oven mitts, snowman door hangers and stuffed animals.
What a nightmare.
I labored over my many gifts, buying cute calico, sewing late into the night, and imagining how everyone would love my gifts.
My godson took one look at the stuffed animal I made him, threw it across the room, and yelled, “I hate it.”
When my sister-in-law unwrapped the set of connected oven mitts, she didn’t know what they were. So she laughed, put them on and said, “Oh, look, mittens.”
My parents expressed appreciation for the giant snowman door hanger I made them and I was really proud of that gift. It wasn’t until years later when I saw it hanging on their back door that I realized how terrible it was. I made it out of yellow-and-white striped material, as if it was made from snow after a dog had lifted its leg on a snowbank.
“Please, throw that away,” I pleaded with my mom.
“No. You made it for us,” she said.
“And that would be sweet if I had made it when I was 12,” I told her, “but I was 25.”
I think she finally donated it.
A few years later, I discovered stained glass in adult education classes so I decided to make stained glass ornaments. They were so big and heavy that I’m not sure anyone put them on their trees. The sailboat I tried hanging on my tree was so heavy it threatened to capsize the tree. I ended up hanging it in a window.
My family was surely relieved when I discovered cross stitch, the one craft where I truly excelled. But even that finally dwindled away after I saw the walls of my parents’ house couldn’t hold one more original stitchery by me.
And, yet, I’m feeling an urge to craft coming over me.
Alas, the sewing machine is broken so no more dirty striped snowmen. But that leaves decoupage, clay sculpture and stenciling. Look out, family. Looks like another homemade Christmas is just six months away.