I have admired people who can make things out of stuff that I probably would throw
away. Or they can come up with an idea of something, just by looking at the
material that is in front of them. I thought I had a pretty good imagination. I
can imagine things and stories. But crafts leave me dead at the starting post.
Like this past December when I came up with a project for Christmas presents.
This is what I wrote to my friends.
In the great spirit of Christmas and my first year of retirement.. and at the
push of friends? who seem to think anyone can do crafts if they really
tried....I tried. And the greatest gift is one some one made.
Well, that is true IF 1. it is a child or 2. Someone who is gifted. It is a
boldface lie when it is a adult who crafts something that looks like a child
did it. But what do I know, after all my father made some fantastic wood
carvings after he retired. My mother was one of the gifted. She could draw
anything artist wise. She was a hellva cook. And she knitted some grand
sweaters. So from these genes you would think there is a drop in my blood. But
yesterday I found out for sure, what I suspected. That the gene hid until my
children were born who seem to have all the talents of fore mention parents.
Yes, it is true that I did a fairly good job sewing western shirts and vest
when my children were young. I did them for my husband Marvin, a friend Mac, my
son's and Jeanette. Made my first reversible vest for Will. Nice dark brown
cord, with elk on the inside. Or the other way around if he wore it that way.
Although Jeanette said I scarred her for life because I sent her to school in a
homemade western shirt. Not because it was homemade......but because the
material had orange hippo and green elephants.
So two days ago, always the procrastinator, I started my attempt at Christmas
present hand made. I was making...bags that you hang on a door knob or what
ever and you put your grocery plastic bags in. And door draft stoppers. Now
that seems innocent enough.
Sewing machines and I don't get along very well, so I sew with my grandmother's
or great grandmother's 1912? portable Singer machine. This machine is suited to
me... it goes forward and back. That is my sewing mentality. I cut out the
material to what I wanted. The sewing went pretty well. Nothing great but fair.
Until I decided to make a neck pillow for a friend. I sewed that puppy back and
forth. Around that baby I went because I didn't want it to leak. 4 times
around. Got the picture? I left a small hole to fill it up with. Then as I look
at my handy work...it dawns on me..... the small hole? Well, it isn't big
enough to turn this baby inside out. Small little detail I missed as I swung
around that last corner on my fourth round. So what to do... I decide to just cut
the top off. Turn it around. And then sewed a ribbon on the top for the
closure. I look at my work, as my grandson walks in and says, who are you
making shorts for, they sure are small? As this is in a U shape. The ribbon
looked awful!!. I tried to unstitch it. Wasn't going well....cut off with
scissors. I have had enough of this.. put stuff away until the next day, as
tempers are rising...Not good sewing time.
The next day I wake up and look at all the draft stoppers that are sewed and
thought well, I will get going on the filling. Luckily I thought enough to fill
these over the sink. I decided to use barley as it is cheaper than rice and I
couldn't find wheat hulls. First stopper went pretty well. Of course, a little
spillage. Then sewed the end up and one draft stopper done. Not bad... It is
the short one. Then went to the long ones. Using the funnel and bowl with lip,
I pour the barley in and down the funnel it goes... not bad, and of course a
little spillage (yes, you can see where this is going). Fill up the bowl
again..oops, the rice, just a little from the bag, leaked on the counter. Then
filled up to the top and sew. Nicest and heaviest snake I ever saw with bear
and moose on it. Then 2 more to go... They went like the second one.. except
#4...spilled on the table a little as I am sewing it. Tried to shove the barley
back in as I sewed... SNAP...goes my needle.. Found another needle, but it
doesn't want to work. Well, no biggie, sew by hand. And it turn out pretty
well. So I am left with the bag holders and THE NECK PILLOW. The bag holders
went well. Finally settling on elastic for a loop for hanging. The the
PILLOW... I sew the top by hand. Back and forth... this thing is going to hold
barley so can't have leakage. Finally it looks pretty good. Go to fill it. The
funnel would not fit. Hole is too small. I found a smaller funnel that would
fit. BUT it would only take about 8 piece of barley at a time, my patience's
doesn't do 8 pieces at a time. So got to figure out something else. I find some
Styrofoam cups and cut it so I can curl it, fit the bigger funnel in, and start
pouring barley... it is slow by steady, until about midway. It fell over,
spilling barley on the floor. But I got it up(no, I didn't put it in the
pillow, althought have to admit I thought about it... hate waste) and got it
done and sewed it. Looks pretty good... looks like at least a 10 year old did
it. I look around..... barley everywhere. I had tracked it into the living room
So I start the clean up. About 2 pounds in the sink... 3 on the floor and 1 on
the counter... The buzzer is going off on the dryer... my husband walks in...
looks at the mess.......he knows not to ask questions... looks at the pillow..
"interesting" he says.... Now the real test. I am giving the pillow to
one of the friends who suggested that homemade gifts are the best. WE SHALL
Well, got to go..... clean up more barley.... I think this stuff is going to
haunt me... like christmas fir needles that you find in July. So continue
making your crafts, and I will appreciate them, but I don't think I will be
joining you, thank you.
The update of this, is that everyone said they liked my "gifts". I
wonder where they keep them until I come over, ha ha...
So you see, others look at a blank piece of paper and see ..... airplanes, snow
flakes, and all kinds of things... I see a blank piece of paper and wonder what
can I write on it... or it is just a blank piece of paper.
So see you at the arts and craft shows of the year.... I will love your
from March 8, 2005
Hiding Behind The Flag
7 hours ago