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A BLOG ABOUT CRAFTING ADVENTURES IN THE FAR NORTH

Monday, January 31, 2011

When NOT To Craft

Sometimes pork chops really are just meant for eating.

Once I made a pork chop ... out of felt. Yes, I made a plushy pork chop. The kind of plush a tiny girl might carry on all her journeys and cuddle with at night and brush its hair, except it had no hair because it was a pork chop. I proudly took my pork chop to my crafty co-workers and with gleaming eyes announced, "Look what I made!" Their wan smiles and feeble encouragements were all dashed when the next three words were spoken: "What is it?"

"What is it!" I cried in disgust. "It is a pork chop, of course! A witty, irreverent, plushy pork chop made of pink and brown felt that has been 'stuffed'" - I used air quotes - "get it? Stuffed!"

This did not help them "get it." I tried another avenue. "Well, it's a man thing. Boyfriend will think it's hilarious!" Sure boyfriend liked pork chops, to eat. My gift was sweetly rejected with, "Oh, you hold on to it for me honey." That day I met face to face with the realization that some days you have to know when not to craft.


Now, I would never want to stunt the development of a budding crafter's brilliance, but we all have those projects that sit in the closet waiting to be resurrected and "fixed." It's time to let them go. Even Martha has bad craft days; she just throws them away quickly or burns them before anyone finds out. Either way, I've picked up a few avoidance techniques of my own to feel closer to Martha-dom and avoid the massive craft fails that scar a crafter for life.

Don't Believe Everything HGTV® Tells You
Evidenced by many walls across our fair country, when the DIY how-to hosts tell us we could be the next Picasso with a rag roll or a faux wood grain on our walls, we believe them. But have you ever thought, maybe we shouldn't? Perhaps their multiple years of experience do make the difference between the responses, "Ehhh, you painted this yourself didn't you?" and "No way! You did not paint this yourself!"

I prefer to keep it simple. I steal a color palette directly from a room I love in a magazine or online. Then if I get adventurous, maybe I paint one stripe or a bold accent wall, and I leave the fauxs to the experts.

Some Crafters Aren't Made for Parties, Some Parties Aren't Made for Crafts
You've been there. Cocktail in hand, music pumping, friends mingling, a little love is in the air, and then the host hauls out the crafts squealing, "Wouldn't it be soooo fun if we all made tie-dye tees?" Okay, I've been there, as the crafter. Sometimes it works, and sometimes you lose a few friends in the process. In these situations when I have a captive audience just ripe for the crafting, I turn to hosting to fulfill my craft urges. Delicious crafted hors d'oeuvres and handmade d├ęcor keep me from reaching for the Rit dye every time.

Laugh at Yourself (and Others)
When you do fail, take time to record and laugh about it. With sites like craftfail.com and whatnottocraft.wordpress.com, you can share your pain with the world, and also laugh at others who failed too. Although I secretly still believe the plushy pork chop will one day be the next big thing, I can laugh and learn from it. Maybe next time I'll know when not to craft.

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