Some people have a natural inclination for crafting.They're the kind of people who, as Anne Heche's character proclaims in one of my favorite guilty-pleasure 90's movies Six Days Seven Nights,
"Ya know, you send them out in the woods with a q-tip and a pocket knife and they build you a shopping mall."
I am not that kind of person.
Creative? Yes. Imaginative? Absolutely. But translating those idealistic qualities into a tangible product is another story. The worst part is I love the look of crafty, handmade products (when they're done well, of course) - my whole wedding revolved around it. If it wasn't for my mother's taste, reason, patience, and natural crafty ability (she would deny all of those, though to anyone from the outside, they are undeniably true) my wedding decor would have probably ended up looking like the bulletin board of a preschool classroom. I had the vision, but she was the brains and brawn behind the operation.
For some reason, perhaps because of that scattered imagination, (or what some people refer to as ADD) when I try to follow simple directions, the result is disastrous.
Take this baking nightmare from last winter:
See what I mean? Disastrous.
I probably spent a full hour finding the perfect recipe (a separate problem of its own) of delectable, homemade cookies to ship to my husband while he was studying in Chicago. When I finally went to baking, I was either imprecise with my measuring, was watching HGTV while mixing and in my distraction forgot some key ingredient, or some combination of other excuses - but to my shock and horror, the cookies came out more like sugary lava than fluffy, peanut-buttery delights. I cried. Right there over my burnt baking fiasco, I cried tears of disappointment and shoveled the chocolate catastrophe into the garbage.
These anecdotes brings us to today's story:
The Tale of the Wannabe Crafter
This past weekend, a quiet, unscheduled Saturday promised to be the perfect day for a little DIY home project. I have a slew of enviable crafts saved on my Pinterest page so I decided to put my idle dreams into action. After a morning trip to Michaels to gather some supplies, I began my mission to create a pretty kitchen sign inspired by these posts: here, here, and here. It seemed easy enough.
Famous last words.
Of course, I tried to put a spin on it - instead of following directions, I tried to "get creative" and "make it my own," (cue palm to forehead).
I started with this 10x15 foam board. My vision was to use brown and black patterned papers underneath for the quote and paint over the vinyl letters with a neutral brown. My first attempt was with one of my favorite cheesy lines, "Home is Wherever I'm With You." (A bit cliche, but I'm a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic.)
I used modge podge to adhere the paper, but here's where I think things really went awry - in my haste for a pretty final product, I placed the letters and started painting before the modge podge was completely dry. Deep down, I knew it was a bust, but when I went to tear off my letters, it was confirmed: the paper underneath came up with the letters and I was left with ripped foam board instead of pretty paper patterns.
Deep breath. Assess. Gather thoughts. Try again.
This time I allowed for extensive drying time of my modge podge scrapbook pager layer. I didn't have enough letters to redo the same quote so I aptly decided to use "Relax. Enjoy the wine." I figured it was appropriate, circumstances withstanding.
These two and a football game were great company during that impatient drying stage. I'm only slightly embarrassed by the crookedness of my frames in that gallery wall, which I conveniently just now noticed. A theme is emerging: (surprise) I'm not perfect.
Unfortunately, I fear the fate of my project was doomed before I ever started due to the fact that the foam board was just not conducive to absorbing all that paint and glue. I also probably did a shottier job on my second attempt in the quest for satisfaction and approval that I was not a complete crafting failure.
Alas, when the paint layers dried over my scrapbook paper, the letters peeled off fine but the paper was uneven and bubbly, a clear DIY job gone horribly wrong. There was no saving it.
After a few frustrated groans and childish foot stomps, I simply put my brushes down and started laughing. Old Leah probably would have started flinging paint at the walls or taken a knife to that foam board with self-defeating vengeance. But New Leah laughed, asked her supportive husband to take a few pictures of the evidence of her failed afternoon, conceded to blog not about her beautiful new DIY sign but the tragic hilarity or her crafting skills, and called it a draw in order to relax & enjoy the wine.
Have you ever had a Pinterest fail? PLEASE TELL ME I"M NOT ALONE! Leave yours in the comments!
P.S. In this post I confessed a lot of things, including my love for a little-known, 90's romantic comedy. Don't judge. It's one of the few I could watch 100 times and still laugh throughout. Don't ask me why, I just find it endearing. If you've never seen it, do me a favor: stop what you're doing and rent it right now, then leave me a comment about how much you love it, too.