Fun Monday–homemade with love and incompetence

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Jill from Life Is Not Bubble Wrapped is hosting Fun Monday this month. Today her question is about  ‘handmade’ or ‘homemade’ gifts. Are they naughty (boring, useless, only something your great aunt Matilda does), or nice (useful, cheery, tasty, cozy, pretty, economical)? Do you ‘handmake’ or ‘homemake’ any items, and if so, what, for whom and do they appreciate it? This can be birthday, something you got as a kid, something your kid gave you, and so on, it’s not limited to Christmas, or even this time of year! Have you even gotten a ‘bad’ homemade gift?

I don’t really remember getting homemade or handmade gifts. And I know I’ve never given one, mostly because I can’t craft my way out of a paper bag.

Not for lack of trying, mind you. Like most girls of my generation, I tried weaving potholders with those stretchy fabric bands. Not only were they unattractive, they were ineffective too. In grade school I dutifully pasted elbow macaroni and fake flowers to cardboard, let the art teacher spray paint the whole mess gold, and framed it (probably with more cardboard). A work of art that could compete with anything Home Interiors had to offer, except you couldn’t even unload it at a garage sale!

Of course, there were various attempts at paint-by-number–was there anyone out there, regardless of faith, who didn’t try to do a miniature paint-by-number Last Supper? Surely some of you have a paint-by-number mountain scene hidden away in a hall closet, or guiltily stashed in the trash bin after sitting half-finished for several years. Other semi-artistic pursuits included woodburning (using a heated pen to burn pictures into soft wood, which either came to nothing or could burn down a house–no happy medium there) or making mosaic ashtrays. Not even a non-smoking family could have too many mosaic ashtrays, and even the most chain-smoking parents on the planet could possibly use them all.

The Girl Scouts attempted to teach me knitting and crocheting. The mother who was volunteered for the task had no idea how to teach needlework to a left-handed girl. She tried her best, even sitting me in front of a mirror, but it was hopeless. Endless yards of yarn were left tangled and knotted beyond any useful purpose.

Needless to say, I buy my gifts. I don’t dislike anyone enough to make a gift.

For stories from more competent crafters, visit Life Is Not Bubble Wrapped.


2 responses to “Fun Monday–homemade with love and incompetence

  1. OH NO. I could have saved you. Or my mom could have anyway. My paternal grandmother taught my mother how to do some sewing by sitting directly across from her HERSELF. My grandma is left handed and my mom right. Lol. I taught myself embroidery/cross stitch by reading things online and asking my husband to help me ‘figure it out’ since I’m not spatially aware, nor can I translate text that describes anything spatially to make sense to my own ‘hands’, which kind of sew on their own. Once your brain gets how to do it, there’s not much thinking to it. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes that’s bad. I’m sure you have something you can do well that could be given to someone, it doesn’t have to be needle work, but then again, you know your limits as well as anyone! Thank you for playing!

  2. I have never thought of myself as particularly artistic or capable of doing crafty things. My early attempts brought about the same kind of results you got. So I gave it up. I had rudimentary knowledge of sewing and embroidery thanks to my mom. But it wasn’t until I started tackling home improvement projects on my own, including a mural in my son’s bedroom that I wondered again if I might try the sewing or crafting with different results. For me, starting with a large project like painting the house or installing plumbing lead to the smaller ones like felt owl ornaments. My stuff will never be perfect, but seems to be worth the effort if I just take my time and do it step by step without getting in a hurry. I think that’s what the home improvement stuff taught me. You just can’t install a toilet in a hurry!

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