Island of Misfit Toys

In an effort to save some money (two weddings and a baby on the way: “somewhere between ouch and boing!”), my family opted to keep Christmas gifts simple this year. You better believe there are Schmunks crafting across the country as we speak.

But I’m here to tell you something that most craft blogs don’t: making stuff is hard.

Family, here is what you WON’T be getting for Christmas this year:

  • Jenn and Daniel, you won’t be getting these beautiful glass mugs etched with your monogram that turned out so sloppy I had to cover them up with chalk board paint that turned out as a big black nasty mess. Sorry.
  • Emily, you won’t be getting what should be classy ornament balls that actually look like mini pumpkins made of cheap sparkly white felt.
  • Mom, you’ll be getting version 3.0 of your gift because it took a few tries and color changes to get it right.
  • Kyle, you’re getting the best 4 out of 6, what that 4 is must remain a secret.

So kids, what have we learned today?

Well, I’d say a few things. Let me narrow them down into some crafting don’ts:

  1. Don’t take your frustration out on your new innocent husband.
    It’s not his fault that the paint gets blobby under the tape. Just say thank you when he drives you to Joann AGAIN in the stick-shift car you can’t drive yet.
  2. Don’t work on uncovered surfaces.
    Especially when working with acidic glass etching cream and drinking hot chocolate.
  3. Don’t buy cheap sparkly white felt no matter how loudly its calling your name.
    Period.
Oh yeah, and don’t quit. You might have to scratch part of or a whole project. (Anne Lamott calls these “shitty first drafts.”) Project books and blogs make things look simple, otherwise you wouldn’t even bother to try. The truth is it might take a couple of do-overs before it turns out right. And when it does, it’s quite satisfying.
Merry Christmas!
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8 thoughts on “Island of Misfit Toys

  1. Yeah, crafting is great and everything, but oh the failures! No one really talks about those, so thanks for tearing down the curtain to reveal the frustrating, tear-filled, sticky fingered disasters. Half of what I do all day is ripping stuff out. I’m sure the finished products are amazing, and it’s definitely worth all the effort. Love the new blog and concept!

  2. I agree that we were created to be creators, in our Father’s image. But surrounded by seemingly limitless opportunities to consume, I find it hard to find motivation. Not to mention, sometimes it is cheaper to consume.

    Also, I laughed out loud about Alex chauffeuring you to JoAnn because the manual trans eludes you (I like to think I was laughing with you…).

    • In my family we would say, “I’m laughing near you.” Go ahead.

      But seriously, you’re very right. I appreciate your thoughts and understand needing to fight “it’s cheaper to just go out” and “it’d be so much easier to just buy it.” We definitely have some different kinds of challenges to overcome. Maybe some motivation can come when we consider the increased enjoyment and satisfaction in the result, knowing it’s not our first inclination to make something ourselves.

  3. Lauren, I had a great laugh today reading this. Thanks. I especially like the Ann Lamott quote – she’s my favorite swearer of all time!! Merry Christmas to you and your dear husband. I continue to be thankful for both of you. Blessings. Tim Hoekstra

  4. I am so glad I stalked my way onto your blog. I love that you are focusing on the creative process, not just the creation itself, with such humor and grace. Keep blogging, I will definitely be checking in here. Merry Christmas!

  5. Pingback: Curved Glass Does Not Magic Make* « Lauren Wilgus

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