Monday, December 8, 2008

Things That Sparkle

I peaked over and I could still see her. My eyes followed her fingers as she examined the tiny leaves, berries and shimmery ribbon that adorned the festive decoration. She pushed up the tiny glasses that sat perched on her nose as she held the ornament up to the light.

What was she looking for? What could possibly merit this kind of scrutiny?

I had no idea. I quickly returned the dozens of the same festive decoration to their bins. Clearly, I was not qualified to be here. My shoulders slumped in resignation.

But I could not give up. I could not relinquish my dream of being a master of homemade festive decor without at least giving it one last shot.

I quickly made another pass down the floral aisle, patiently waiting for inspiration to smack me in the head with an idea that would make even The Martha green with envy.

I passed rows and rows of beads, ribbons, baskets and wreaths waiting to be trimmed by the knowing and articulate hands of a professional. Miniature trees, plain and ordinary, would soon be magnificent displays of holiday charm.

I started to get excited as tiny seeds of an idea began to form . . .

That's when I saw THEM. Two women. They joyfully bantered as they dramatically discussed their plans for a foam cone, some moss and a basket full pine cones and bows. I listened intently as they pilfered through the basket. Everything looked the same to me, but clearly each item held such a distinct difference that in my creative ignorance I failed to notice. I didn't get it. I had no vision.

I'm an idiot. A Martha wannabe without an ounce of talent.

As the critical gaze of one woman (the one with the snowman sweater and matching snowflake earrings--probably all handmade) fell to me, I quickly pretended to talk to J about the pretty angels that hung from the ceiling. At least I think they were angels.

I suddenly became self conscious of my attire (sweatshirt and jeans), my empty basket (save the empty raisin box) and the obvious fact that I did not belong amongst this crowd of crafting geniuses.

I knew I had to get the heck outta there. And fast . . . before the very last flake of my illusionary creativity melted like a sad, pitiful old snowman in the sun (you're lovin' my seasonal metaphors, aren't you?).

I gave my very best shot.

I failed.

Off to the dollar store where I was sure to find some decals for the windows and a few cheesy baskets I could fill with some fake fruit. Maybe I'd spray paint them with gold paint. Woo. Hoo.

As I made my way to toward the exit, I noticed something. Something that filled my heart with an ever-increasing comfort. And joy.

There were other women slowly perusing the aisles and tucked amongst the grapevine wreathes, that had an all too familiar look in their eyes. They tried to hide it, pulling out foam circles, empty pots and berry garland.

They were clueless.

Just like me.

Their eyes shifted as a Martha would begin her casual, yet craftily confident stroll down the aisle. I saw the women pull their shoulders back as if to say, "I belong here, even if I have no idea what I'm doing. So, push on, Martha."

OK. So maybe I was imagining all of this.

But it didn't matter.

I was inspired.

I took a big breath, refilled J's Cheerio's cup, and headed back into the fray.

Ribbons, berries, strange things that sparkle . . . here I come.

34 comments:

Midwest Mom said...

What a great post!

I will admit, I too have had the air of cluelessness wafting around me as I stroll the aisles of the local Craft Store. (My mother in law, however, could turn a rusty coat hanger, two shoelaces, and a bag of airline peanuts into a centerpiece to die for...)

The good news (for me) is that she makes so much of her crafty stuff, that she has to give it away to someone. Um, yeah. That would be me.

There's nothing like just sitting back and enjoying the benefits of other people's (obsessive) talents. :)

Thanks for the laugh, and I'm so glad I found your blog. I'll definitely be back. (I came over from "On the Upside".)

AFF said...

She POSTED! I have missed you so, m'love. Your banter and insecurity are refreshing. You gotta come back and HANG with us - and not at 4am when only the Aussies are out in Plurkington. Loves you, and I'm proud you are even TRYING to be Marthaish. I just leave it to the real talents.

Payton said...

(Yes, the seasonal metaphors are delightful).

flutter said...

you are hilarious. I would gladly take you through the hell that is Michael's.

April said...

They're doing this "bring in your fave cookie recipe" at work later this week. I'm bringing cookies made from cookie dough at the kids' school fundraiser. It really IS my fave cookie recipe.
My bosses gave me a very low-maintenance plant, like water once a week low. I killed it. I killed a cactus once.
In other words, at least you're TRYING.

Stacie said...

yep, that is how I feel in a crafty store too...

stefanie said...

Wandering cluelessly with you...

Kami said...

I tend to stay away, there have been too many hot glue gun debacles. I have been banned!

:-)

Colleen - Mommy Always Wins said...

Very nicely put! I'm of the "I *think* I'm creative but then I get myself in too deep and make something that looks like crap" camp. Do they have classes for us wannabes?

Kori said...

You are a far braver woman than I, that is FOR SURE!

CC said...

Well you are still more brave than I. Dollar Tree here I come!

The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

I love to do home made stuff, but often procrastinate and run out of time. Time just really gets away from me with running after my 2 little ones, like where the heck did November go???

Awesome post!! Glad you posted, I was wondering what happened to you!

tommie said...

I never go to those crafty McDafty stores without a picture of what I am trying to create! Otherwise I come home with a bunch of crap that goes straight into the Freecycle bin!

PS, glad to see you are alive and kicking!

Lori said...

I am not crafty either...I wish I could whip up a centerpiece or something creative but nope, don't have it!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I used to be crafty, but I seem to have lost it somewhere along the way. Perhaps there's only a finite number of crafts inside many of us!

This was great.

Frank, Mike said...

Hey lol, very nice of you. I'm bringing cookies made from cookie dough at the kids' school fundraiser. It really IS my fave cookie recipe. My bosses gave me a very low-maintenance plant, like water once a week low. I killed it. I killed a cactus once.

Momo Fali said...

Everyone has to start somewhere! Maybe next year, you can be the one giving disapproving glances!

Karen said...

There was a day when I was the lady being so crafty. Now? It's so much easier to just go out and buy what you want. A lot of times it's cheaper, too. Learn from me. Avoid the craftiness.

Kat said...

HAHAHA! That is too funny. I am not nearly as crafty as I'd like to be either. ;)

Woman in a Window said...

Oh god, I love the biting wit here. The resignation to be what doesn't come naturally. love, love.

What I do that not many others do here is easy, funny, and yet inspired (inspiring). I whack off limbs from a pine or spruce and I throw them around, bundle them, tie them, slap dollar store red bows on them, lazily throw around white lights, bring out vintage tobogans and lean them haphazardly. My neighbours might think my house a junkyard but I think I'm brilliant. Plus, it is all done for under ten bucks and without an ounce of sweat.

Good-luck Martha!

Elaine A. said...

Love all the metaphors! And your writing. Hope your project turns out great! : )

Jennifer said...

great post. :)

good for you!!

i love to craft but don't always know exactly what i want to do or how it will come out... but who cares doing it and trying it is the fun part. :)

i hope you got some goodies and made something. if you did you should post pictures of it. :)

xoxox

Tracey said...

There's a reason they sell already made decorations... FYI.

:)

If you want easy crafts for the FUN of them, that's different. If you want to do them because you think you're supposed to, then maybe you're wasting time?

Crafty is fine. But simple and tasteful is great, too.

Flea said...

Hoorah! Good for you! Look for those little papers that have craft ideas on them, complete with ingredient lists. I hate crafting and always feel inferior to the Marthas. I make up for it by ridiculing them. Which is pretty easy to do to a woman wearing a snowflake sweatshirt and earrings. :)

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

At least you tried. I fear Michaels.

Joanne said...

Goodness, this cracked me up...and took me back down the rabbit hole.

Talking about your 16 mos old...my oldest is seventeen now and I wonder where in the world did that time and ENERGY go?

Don't blink...the vent story will be more than worth it..

Trannyhead said...

I may stay at home with my kid, but I will NEVER become that kind of mom. Thank Jehovah for stores like Target.

Michelle Kostya said...

I think I am about as crafty as you are! When I scrapbooked (during my sons first year!) I looked online for inspiration and templates...
For holiday I have found Christmas ornaments (balls) in a vase or bowl a perfect and easy decoration. No requirement to subject yourself to the craft store.

abby p said...

I forgot to check this one out!

You crack me up. You might not be crafty, but you sure are funny.

Hyphen Mama said...

I'm so clueless that it never even occurred to me to give credence to other shoppers in the craft stores! Note to self: I must get outside my tunnel vision at some point and notice other people.

Jimmy said...

Hey lol, very nice of you. I'm bringing cookies made from cookie dough at the kids' school fundraiser. It really IS my fave cookie recipe. My bosses gave me a very low-maintenance plant, like water once a week low. I killed it. I killed a cactus once.

Ravi said...

I added more paper clay to the seam where the mounds met the base. I cut out two rectangles at the base of each mound so he could set in some little cars to drive over.

Haris said...

Spray foam kits would usually come with instructions and the necessary hardware such as a garden hose looking gun and a hose, some nozzles, tips, gloves and goggles, making insulating your home as easy as watering your backyard.

Sid said...

Spray foam kits would usually come with instructions and the necessary hardware such as a garden hose looking gun and a hose, some nozzles, tips, gloves and goggles, making insulating your home as easy as watering your backyard.

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