Craft skillzzzzz

You guys, normally I am so not crafty.

I am crafty with words, yes. However, if you were to give me a few popsicle sticks, some feathers and some glue, I would do the following:
– Chew on the popsicle stick on account of I sucked my thumb for a while when I was a kid, therefore have the residual oral fixation and now chew on pen tops, straws etc. and also don’t be gross, OK. It’s a thing. Look it up. Psychology, people.
– Run my fingers along the feathers. They’re soft!
– Not even touch the glue.

Therefore, no craft made, and also maybe a gnawed up popsicle stick or two.

Thanks to Pinterest, however, and people making it look oh-so-easy to do things, I decided to be a little brave when it came time for wedding shower gifts for my ladies getting married this summer.

I saw this thing on Pinterest one day – it looked simple enough. It involved a piece of wood, nails and string. How hard could it be, right? Because people only share things on Pinterest that can be easily recreated….

My history with being crafty and talented with things that aren’t related to my job and hobbies hasn’t been great. Remember when my mom wondered where she’d gone wrong? Or when I had the most nerve-wracking painting experience of my life?

Things weren’t looking good for this outing to Craft World, but I was determined. And determination will get you everywhere in life. Except to a job as Robert Downey Jr.’s assistant/towel girl/ladyfriend. Trust me, I’ve tried.

If this were a blog that involved crafts more often, here’s where you’d get a step-by-step breakdown of the process, a la Young House Love or something. But we are still new at this over here at On Account Of so I’ll instead give you a brief description.

My friend Stephanie helped me find the wood at Home Depot. Or was it Lowe’s? I forget. Problem number 1.

I didn’t even know what kind would work best. I don’t know differences in wood. I know there’s like, plywood, hardwood, oak, 2x4s…shit, I’m just throwing things out there. Yes. I’m a stereotypical girl in that way. Sue me.

Then we bought nails. And string.

With our print-outs of the outlines of two states (Kentucky and Tennessee, where my brides be at), my associate Stephanie and I (she was recruited based on her prior experience with this craft and because she enjoys my company) got to work.

First you hammer little holes in the wood along the outline, like you would if you were carving a pumpkin. Once the holes are all in, you remove the outline and hammer the nails in the pre-made holes.

Once the nails are all in place, you freehand a heart over the city, if you’re fancy. Or you draw one on a piece of paper if you’re like me and need more direction. Trace that puppy with the nails, hammer them in and then you’re ready for stringing.

The whole process hurts your fingers like a mofo by the time you’re done, so I broke it up into a few different nights each time, or as I told the brides-to-be, “Three episodes of Justified.” (Good show, by the way. Mr. Olyphant? Yum.)

They all turned out pretty great, I think, and the girls were all excited to receive them, which makes it all worthwhile.

Below I’ve collected about as much as you’ll possibly get of the process from a visual standpoint, including wedding shower reactions. The only absence is one from Ashley when she got hers because it wasn’t at a wedding shower and I was too excited to take a picture. But the picture I have here I think sums up her reaction best.

All-in-all, a fun little crafty thing I managed to not screw up and my girls and I all are happy with the results and that’s what matters.

Now don’t go expecting to see any other crafts as awesome as these for a while. I’m still recovering.

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Getting all crafty up in this piece

So after I went to jolly ol’ England and took loads (that’s such a British word) of photos, I took a couple of them and blew ’em up.

Thanks to a well-timed Groupon and a week I didn’t have to buy groceries, I splurged on two canvas prints from a Web site. The pictures I chose for the canvas-izing – yeah I made that word up, so what – are my two favorites from the trip. And there’s a third in the running.

Only problem? Where to put them. You see, my room doesn’t really have any specific design aesthetic. It’s just kind of stuff I’ve collected and decided to hang on the wall. Case in point – there’s an old school Marlon Brando poster about eight feet away from a clock with the numbers from LOST. Both purchased for me by Rachel, in fact. Thanks, Rach!

I love all of it, though, and it will all probably look really cool one day in separate rooms. But for now, I want it all in this room.

And I’ve got this one blank wall to decorate. Therefore, I need some help.

Luckily for me – and you – I’m pretty good with InDesign. So I played around with a couple options.

First though, the space we’re working with:

Ignore the mess. It never always looks like that.

Here’s my first idea – the two canvas prints I already have and a larger print in the middle. It’s a picture of the London tube system, which is really confusing when you’ve had no sleep for 24 hours but is on a map in a bunch of pretty colors with even cooler names for stops. Like Westferry, Wapping and Cockfosters.

The second possibility includes that third canvas I was thinking about getting made. It’s of the London Eye, which we saw but didn’t get to ride. And I wasn’t too upset. On account of the height.

There’s another option with four prints, but it’s probably my least favorite.

And if none of those work, there’s always this option:

The colors even match the wall. It’s like he’s supposed to be there.

And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown

This past weekend, my youngest sister and I helped my other sister teach her Sunday School class of four- and five-year-olds. There was only one little kid in there – a little boy named Will – and he talks like a grown-up. She tells us all the time how smart all the kids in there are and how they retain everything they talk about in the Sunday School class, sometimes even bringing part of the previous week’s lesson into the activity they do during a story.

Long story short, this week they were supposed to make stars, to symbolize what the wise men saw on the night Jesus was born. It was stars cut out of cardstock, covered in glitter and hung up by a string. Will made his and we passed him upstairs when he was talking to his mom as we were leaving church.

Will’s mom: “You made a star? Is it to hang on our tree?”
Will: “No, it’s for the Wise Men to follow!”