Sometimes, a project looks so easy. You think, I could make this. You start to compile mental lists of all the people you're going to send gifts to, neat little packages of handcrafted goodies so cute that when they call to thank you, they'll dub you the next Martha Stewart. You get even more carried away, and buy too many supplies or cut out too many intricate shapes, or even start to brag to your best friend about what you're about to make.
And then, when you sit down to actually do it, everything goes wrong. You mis-cut the pattern. You sew the fabric right-side out. You get paint everywhere except where you need it, or you realize, way after you've made your filling, that there isn't a single pie crust anywhere in the freezer.
Those paper hearts hanging above the Obama poster look pretty cute, don't they?
Look a little closer. Study the detailed picture below, and you'll see what Christian Siriano, no slouch of a seamstress, would describe as a "hot mess."
I got the idea for these heart garlands from the ever-lovely maya*made last February.
A few friends came over, we opened a bottle of wine, cut out some hearts, and started painting. A few more glasses of Pinot Noir, and we were ready to sew. I hauled out my trusty Singer, threaded the bobbin with white thread, and bright red for the needle. According to Maya, the two colors would twist together into a candy cane strand that looks like baker's twine.
Mine didn't -- the thread snarled, and broke off again and again. I had the machine set on the wrong sized stitch, and the needle perforated the hearts until they broke in two. I cursed, and my friends' eyes widened, and they moved my glass of wine out of reach.
Granted, I learned from my mistakes. When the other girls handed me their stacks of paper hearts, I sewed more carefully, and their garlands looked pretty darn cute in the end. Mine, not so much -- and all my plans, my dreams of surprising my niece and my mama and my friends with their own garlands, were dashed. I was over the whole project, kind of like when you have one forkful of cake too much, and you push yourself away from the table and vow that you're never going to eat chocolate again.
A few weeks later, after Valentine's Day had passed, I found my garland on a corner of my work table. I grabbed it and hovered, for just a minute, over the recycling bin. Then I glanced at my office door, which is adorned with that gorgeous Obama poster, and I zeroed in on the two little nails, which formerly supported a bulletin board, positioned above it. I pulled over a chair, stood on it, and carefully would the red and white threads around each nail, and, finally, smiled at my craftsmanship.
Then, last week, one of the girls who was in attendance that cold February night, who made a lovely garland with un-perforated hearts and perfectly entwined thread, sent me a link to Craft Fail.
At least I'm in good company...