Things I Wish I Could Do

Crafty people amaze me. I’m talking about crafty people like this lady who creates things like this:

Valentine's Themed Centerpiece

Not only did this require crafting ability (handmade pillows & re-purposed items), but clearly you need an eye for design (colors, textures, mixing items) to create something that looks like it came straight out of dear old Martha’s workshop.

Sometimes I feel that DIY should really stand for “Do it Yourself, Because I Can’t”.

I am a wanna-be crafter. I love going to Michael’s and walking around the aisles imagining all of the incredible things that I could make. Sometimes, when I have free time on my hands and get that antsy feeling (Tim tells me I do not know how to enjoy relaxing), I get an irresistible urge to craft things.

Due to lack of any real natural artistic talent, usually when I want to “craft things”, the results are rather laughable.

For example, during one memorable ‘spell’ of nervous energy when I was student teaching and still living in Pittsburgh, I made this:

Please excuse the bottles of cheap liqour.... it was a college house.

I was in the middle of a dragon obsession. I really have no other explanation.

Then, this past summer, I discovered little kits in the $1 section at Michael’s which resulted in an entire collection of these:

Little foam pieces with adhesive backing. $1 and about 20 minutes of craft therapy. Ages 7 and up.

I believe I have successfully made my point: I want to craft, I try to craft, but I can only successfully complete projects with very specific, pictorial instructions and pre-made pieces. I imagine there is some connection between this and my masterful ability to build anything from Ikea.

There are a few exceptions, I think, to my pathetic crafting attempts.

This Christmas, I was inspired by real crafty people’s holiday decor for sale on Etsy, and made a trip to Michael’s, with these results (colors did not come out so well in this iPhone pic):

Made by me: JOY letters, Candle votives. Made by Target: Advent Calendar (and table).

I bought some plain wood letters, and painted them a few shades of gold with sponges. I also stenciled the designs onto the glass pillars. Stencils & paint were all made by…. you guessed it… The Martha.

While it looks a bit amateur, I was proud of it & besides I love Christmas so much, it successfully expressed my emotional state throughout the month of December.

And my latest DIY project, of which I am most proud, were these cards I created to ask my bridesmaids & Man of Honor (an extensive post will come one day soon to examine the many ways in which I love my Man of Honor and best friend):

I used scrap-booking paper, flower stickers & rubber stamps.

The day after I got engaged, I went to Michael’s to browse the wedding aisles. I got the idea for these cards from various other online postings, and knew I could make them myself. I was so happy with how they turned out~ and it made for a special way to ask my friends to be a part of our wedding.

I realize that many of my blog posts take quite a while to get to the actual point. My point, as I set out to write today, was to list the actual crafty skills I would like learn in order to successfully create lovely things, as opposed to completely useless things (see dragon model & shark/turtle images above…)

So to begin:

I really should have paid attention when my Mommom tried to teach me how to knit. My Mommom could knit incredibly well. Unfortunately, her eyesight and coordination make it difficult for her to knit anymore. She tried to teach me one summer down the shore when I was probably 13 or 14,  and I just did not have the patience for it. My mother never learned, because she is left handed (that is her excuse for many things. She doesn’t french braid either, and therefore never taught me, and yes- I do hold this against her).

So I’d like to learn to knit. Or crochet. Imagine if I could make something like this (found on Pinterest but came from here):

So cute!

But I can not accuse my mother of failing to attempt to teach me any crafty things at all. My mother is crafty- she sews, scrapbooks, paints things, and has an eye for design that I do not.

She did teach me to sew, but I mostly forget how.  I can replace a missing button & use a sewing machine, although I usually forget how to thread the needle. Neither of these basic skills would allow me to make these:

With some knitting, crocheting or sewing ability, I am sure my crafting endeavors would improve greatly.

In the meantime, however, I leave you with this final example of my mediocre abilities:

(Emma’s 2nd Christmas Paw Print)

($5 DIY Ornament kit from Michael's. Ages 5 and up.)