The wreath of death

I don’t know what distinguishes a ‘crafty’ person from a non-crafty person – other than the obvious ability to make a craft. Is it patience, vision, finger dexterity, a mysterious as yet undiscovered craft-gene? All I know is I am on the non-crafty side. Or, more accurately, the crafty-wannabe side. Rather than the bonafide crafty side. I’m not in possession of patience, vision, finger dexterity or any kind of crafty DNA.

This was apparent to me on Thursday. I arrived at a weekly gathering of women, only to be informed that we were going to make a craft. Ordinarily, the thought of making crafts in group settings sets off a series of deep inward (slightly audible) groans on my part. I mean, if given the choice between making a tacky craft and not. I’ll choose ‘not’ every time. If given the choice between an exercise in frustration and ‘not’, I’ll choose not.

But, to my surprise, the finished product that our craft leader hoisted above her head, actually looked appealing. A little wreath for the front door. [Truth be told, when she first displayed the beady ring, I momentarily thought it was a fancy crown. And there was going to be a ceremony in which a very special woman got to wear the crown…or something. I was quickly disabused of that idea.]

Nevertheless, I got a little excited at the thought of displaying a handmade-by-me beady wreath on the front door.

We were each provided with a golden metal ring, a sufficient amount of plastic berry trees, floral tape and ribbon. And off we went.

My initial excitement faded very quickly; roughly ten seconds into the wreath making. I couldn’t quite figure out how to wrap the beads ‘just so’ or how to keep the white floral tape from sticking out like sore thumbs on the golden ring. And, speaking of sore thumbs, I’d also managed to puncture both of my thumbs within minutes and was bleeding all over the white table cloth. ‘This is the craft from hell!’ I remarked. The three women around my table, unfamiliar with Nicola humor, looked up and smiled thin smiles.

I looked around the table at said women working diligently on their own wreaths. Their wreaths looked good. Quite good. No one had bleeding appendages or scarlet dots on their portion of the white tablecloth. It’s almost as if it was ‘within’ them…a mysterious knowledge of how to place beady wires around a metal ring, and have the finished product look good.

One of the women at my table, who finished her wreath in about ten minutes flat, tried to give me advice. ‘The beads should all go in the same direction.’ ‘Don’t use so much tape.’ ‘Don’t wrap the ends around it too much.’ She eventually gave up when it became apparent that no amount of coaching was going to land my wreath on Martha Stewart Living’s website.

In the end I opted to wrap the whole thing in ribbon, figuring it would serve two purposes: mask the gold ring, which I didn’t like, and cover up the white tape that was visible to the naked eye from two hundred yards away. (It wasn’t until yesterday that I noticed the ribbon is stained with the blood of my hard work. Not attractive.)

As my blunt coach remarked: ‘It looks almost presentable enough for a front door.’

But not quite. Which is why it’s hanging on a wall in the house.


11 thoughts on “The wreath of death

  1. I think its totally presentable for a front door! I’m the same way… at MOPS I used to just ‘visit’ with my table mates instead of participating in the craft. They always tried to convince me… “don’t you want to give it to someone as a gift?” Uuuuhhhh, no. No I don’t. Quite beyond their understanding!!

  2. Yeah, I used to offload the MOPS specials at my mom’s house…I can’t be storing bad looking crafts at my house!

  3. Nicola – If I had been there (which, since I share your non-craftiness and total aversion to all-things-crafty, I likely would’ve only been there if someone had forced me against my will to be there or if I had lost some kind of horrible bet), I can guarantee you that my wreath would’ve been far, far worse than yours. But I can also guarantee that if I had been there, we would’ve had a LOT of fun smirking at those crafty (darn them) ladies.

  4. HAHA. Your writing brings smiles to my face everytime I read it. And, although I am crafty and enjoy all things crafty, I would have probably had more fun making fun of everyone else with you. Because, even though I do enjoy crafty things, this wreath is not all that crafty and I don’t think I would enjoy making it. But, I also don’t really like “wreaths,” or anything of the like, that you hang on your door/wall. It reminds me of old timey/wooden craft shows. YUCK.
    And, I probably would have laughed (out loud) at your “craft from hell” comment, instead of just smirking. I hope those women don’t read this…woops.

  5. Um . . .you’re a ginormous liar!! πŸ™‚ You’re just about the craftiest person I know! Are you not the same Nicola with handmade felt Christmas stockings, pressed leaves in frames in your kitchen, and pillows on your couch made out of sweaters from Goodwill?!? Liar, liar, the wreath of wire . . .looks great! And blood red is very festive. πŸ™‚

    Contrived craft time still sucks. πŸ™‚

  6. Well, I said I’m a craftywannabe person….I”m just not usually pleased with the outcomes. The sweater pillows look weird in the back, my handmade stuffed animals are coming apart at the seams. That sort of thing. The pressed leaves are still fine – but you really can’t screw up glueing a dried leaf to a piece of paper πŸ™‚

  7. You knew I was going to read this post and give you a pep talk, right, Nicola? Here’s the thing. Your wreath doesn’t look like the sample. Who cares?

    One time (note: one time) I was invited to a cookie decorating party. I was totally unprepared for the intensity of the decorating. I think they invited me because I’m crafty. Alas, my craftiness does not extend to cookies. And, I tend to make crazy color combinations…I think the pressure to perform makes me run in the other direction. There were a lot of glittery, sprinkly, weird color snowflake cookies that year.

    I say, embrace your renegade crafty self. Next time there is a group wreath making project, have an extra glass of wine and then whip up a weird tiara instead!

  8. Katie, I was secretly hoping you’d set me on the path to making a pretty wreath, but I’ll take a rah rah pep talk! I’ve decided I’m going to redo the sucker and see what happens. Maybe I’ll drop it off chez vous as a little holiday gift πŸ™‚ It’s the least my renegade self can do! Maybe I can get some of your CRAZY cookies in return?


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