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day 10: can't. stop. making. ugly. crafts.

February 11, 2011

Can someone diagnose me?  Lately I have found myself besieged by a compulsion to make crafts.  Most problematic is the fact that I am a truly unskilled “crafter.”  Second most problematic is the fact that I detest the practice of using nouns as verbs  (scrapbooking, journaling, authoring, efforting … the verb-ing of these nouns makes me shudder).

And yet, I press on, Mod Podge in hand and hope in heart, believing that if I just keep assembling scrapbook paper and wood and ribbon and doodads I will eventually create something worth giving away.

I can't wait to make the Rusty Nail Wind Chimes!

In her satirical craft book Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People, Amy Sedaris writes, “Crafting, or ‘making things,’ has always been a delightful pastime of mine because it requires putting common elements together in order to achieve a lovely something that nobody needs.”  Well said, Amy.

One reason I am deluded into thinking I can create is that I visit too many do-it-yourself design websites.  These sites convey the false impression that any idiot can actually make her own headboard out of cotton batting, fishing wire, and 17 toothpicks.  Well, I am any idiot, I’m here to tell you, and I most certainly cannot make a headboard.

On Day 10, though, I tried my untalented hand at a picture frame.

The actual gift I decided to give on Day 10 was photos of my children.  Over the years, I have made prints of countless photos from our digital library with every intention of putting them in a scrapbook, putting them in frames, putting them somewhere other than in a photo box in my closet.  For the most part, I just have lots of homeless photos.

My grandmother is 98 years old.  Since breaking her hip several months ago, she lives in a rehab facility staffed by genuinely respectful people.  The last time I saw her, she was upbeat and friendly and had no idea who I was.  I found her descent into dementia stunning, given the fact that she has been sharp as a proverbial tack for so many years.  The good news?  By all reports she is happy.  She may not understand where she is, but she loves listening to music in the dining room, getting her hair done, eating chocolate.

Her room at the rehab facility is small and warm and decorated with photos of and drawings by her great-grandchildren.  To give her something new to look at, I chose a photo of my kids and made this frame to house it:

Aimee, if you are reading this, I apologize for the abysmal photography

It turned out better than I initially predicted.  Once the photo is positioned, a few of my more egregious crafting mistakes will be hidden.  It’s no Rusty Nail Wind Chimes, but I hope I’ve done Amy Sedaris proud.

More than that, I hope my grandmother will look at this frame, will look at the precious children gazing back at her, and feel happy.  That alone is worth an ocean of Mod Podge, 17 toothpicks, and countless hours hunched over my dining room table.

I hope you will be happy today.  Thanks for showing up.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Melissa Hawley permalink
    February 11, 2011 7:18 pm

    I think it’s quite lovely! Gran will love it. My hat is off to you in all your crafty crafts. I go to Michael’s and drool over all the cute little trinkets, bows and beads and then don’t buy a thing as I know I will never even try!

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