I am not crafty. I do not quilt, paint, woodwork or any of that stuff. I know how to sew, I know how to crochet, but I don't do much of it on a regular basis. That said, I am periodically struck by inspiration and leap in with both feet. These are some of those stories.
Once upon a time, I went to a stamp party (if you've read previous posts, you know how I feel about those "parties") and spent practically a month's rent on stamp sets featuring teddy bears, ribbons, balloons and a load of other girly shit that is totally NOT my style but I was riding the euphoric wave that accompanies a fair amount of Moscato, snacks, chocolate and LOOK AT HOW CUTE THAT IS YOU'RE RIGHT I NEED IT! Okay, the classic Winnie The Pooh stamp set is still one of the cutest things I've ever owned, but once my babies became full on kids, my opportunities to use them faded fast. I was going to scrapbook my ass off, I was going to make my own greeting cards, invitations, calendars, I was going to be a stamping, fancy scissors wielding, ribbon tying, hot glue master GODDESS. Or my kids were going to discover sports and hunting and I was going to realize, once again, that I am not that kind of girl. Not even a little. I'm not even sure what happened to all the stuff I acquired in my scrapbooking fantasy fueled frenzy. I think they're still in a box somewhere but haven't seen the light of day in probably fifteen years.
|I could have done this, I'm that organized, really.|
From stamps, I moved on to crocheting. This was actually a hobby that lasted for a good while but once you've made an afghan for pretty much everyone who has passed through your life since the fifth grade, your enthusiasm tends to fade. As does everyone else's once you've gone completely round the bend and started making holiday themed afghans and afghans for the dog. My yarn stash reached a problematic level when my unsuspecting beloved opened the wrong closet door and unleashed a seemingly unending cascade of bundled yarn in every possible shade and thickness. Once he was extracted from the softest, fuzziest avalanche in history, he sat me down for a rather stern discussion about what he called "a giant addiction" but really was maybe a tiny bout of overenthusiastic sale shopping, idea formulating, someday I'll make it, I love this color and will make a thing, did you see that one, I know the perfect....okay, FINE I NEED HELP. The ensuing purge went down in the annals of our family history as "Yarnmageddon", a combination of returns, sales to friends and strangers and a copious amount of donating, we pared the stash down to a manageable level. (Note, the following is NOT my stash, but my God LOOK AT IT)
|Sweet Martha, I just had a yarngasm.|
Then I quit smoking.
When you quit smoking, you have to find things to do that aren't lighting a cigarette so a few things crossed my path in relatively quick succession:
I made my own earrings for a while, some that I still wear to this day but the magic wore off before I could become truly dedicated to the lifestyle. I still have the beads and some wire, I make a pair from time to time but honestly, the bloom fell off that particular rose pretty quickly. My beloved and I do not share the same aesthetic, never more clearly displayed as when he asked when I became interested enough in fishing that I was making fishing lures for him. And that's how that fight started.
|Y'all are jealous now, right?|
These days I don't become obsessed with an all encompassing hobby so much as I am struck by inspiration. I tend to formulate a plan, work it out in my head and then go for it. My beloved has declared a moratorium on my drinking coffee and browsing Pinterest on Saturday mornings because that has come to mean we're at Lowe's by noon. My family's reaction to "I have an idea." is "uh-oh" followed by a hasty exit from whatever room I'm in. They love to bitch and moan but we're three for three so far this summer.
Our first project started with Charlie's and my shared love of cooking. I have a decent kitchen but it lacks the counter space needed when two people are trying to cook everything from scratch and have two cutting boards going and such. We were doing a lot of moving one another out of the way or one of us would end up doing our thing at the dining room table. I found a long double dresser for $50 on the local sell/swap site and snapped it up. Two weeks later, I was the proud owner/creator of a movable, five foot by two and a half foot long wood topped kitchen island with three shelves, a cabinet and four drawers. Granted, it did take multiple trips to local hardware stores and an aborted attempt at using flood coat (side note: that stuff will freak you out when it's been spilled on the basement floor because it forever looks like a puddle of water), but three days of sanding it off and about ten coats of polyurethane later, the damn thing is GORGEOUS!
|Still can't believe this worked.|
A couple of weeks later, after I had killed off the herbs I was trying to grow in cute little pots on the kitchen windowsill, I had another idea. I caught my beloved before he could flee the room and we headed to the building center once again. Ten feet of rain gutter, two end caps, a mess of drilled holes, four screws and a bracket later:
|That's right, I have herbs.|
My beloved has come to recognize the signs, there's apparently a look in my eye that portends a trip to Lowe's. He's learned resistance is futile and is just giving himself over to it at this point. He is a wise man. A few hours later and we return home with the gathered supplies. We're making a fountain for the deck. Both my sons just shake their heads when I tell them my latest plan but they dive right in because they know their involvement is inevitable. A large ceramic planter, a planter bowl, a plastic plant bucket, a medium sized pond pump and a T shaped nozzle and we're off to the races. I came into this one so optimistically but it almost got the best of us. Note for future fountain making: BUY A PLANTER WITHOUT DRAINAGE HOLES IN THE BOTTOM. Four dime sized holes became the bane of my existence for the next two weeks. We tried that aerosol rubber stuff, other than making us high as a kite and creating a mess that had to be sandblasted off, it did nothing. Next we tried spraying that crap onto some wine corks and stuffing them into the holes. I'll give the corks and E for effort but ultimately they failed. Next up were boat drain plugs but they didn't work with the bucket that was necessary to hold the pump in it with the inverted bowl on top. Finally I ordered rubber laboratory stoppers online. My hopes were high until we realized they were just a shade too big for to GODDAMN DRAINAGE HOLES. Unwilling to admit defeat, my beloved dug out the Dremel tool I bought when I was going through a glass etching phase. I have never seen him take a project quite so personally, but he was quite offended at the resistance we were encountering with the freaking holes. Did you know that both the Dremel and the ceramic start to smoke after a while? They do, a lot. He did it, though. The stoppers went into smooth as butter, followed by a copious amount of Gorilla Glue...they'll outlast us all, I'm fairly certain.
Two days later, as we sat on the deck listening to the bubble and gurgle of our wonderful fountain, sipping wine and basking a bit. My beloved sat down next to me on the loveseat, pulled me close and whispered in my ear "I've changed your Pinterest password, my dear." Silly boy, he doesn't know about Instructables...