We’ve all seen or heard about the lovely Kirstie and her handicrafts. You know the show where she is taught how to make something but halfway through she walks off leaving the teacher to finish it, only to return later and claim all credit for the amazing, crafty creation.
She was recently hammered by the press after admitting to not wrapping her family Christmas gifts, instead delegating the task to her assistant. Well I for one, am totally on Kirstie’s side. If I had an assistant, I would definitely make them earn their dollar by performing all of the tasks that I either dislike or, in most cases, am completely useless at.
I am proud of my creative mind and the variety of artistic ideas I come up with, however, problems arise when I try to actually create these amazing works of art. It seems that my fingers, heavily disguised in glittery, red nail varnish, are in fact bananas, fumbling digits incapable of producing anything other than a heap of paper, sticks, wool and glue, useful only as fire kindling. (Jeez, you should see that stuff burn!)
A frequent attendee at craft fairs, I go along with a friend, hoping to buy some unusual and unique gift or home decor piece, only to spend my time muttering in my friend’s ear “I could so easily make that.” Or, “Well, that can’t be difficult can it, I’ll save my money and run one up when I get home.” At the end of the day I will leave with a tummy full of cake and a head full of great intentions. Fast forward a few days and you will find me sitting at the kitchen table, hair full of feathers and glitter, while my banana fingers struggle to shake bits of paper and string from my well-glued hands.
I’ve had a go at everything from dressmaking, (the little black number splitting at the seams with an agonizingly loud rip the first time I wore it) to home furnishings, when the curtains I had taken so much care and time over, ended up hanging 4 inches above the window sill. A teacher at my junior school ridiculed my knitting and my stupidity at knitting half a line and then reversing back on the same line. Despite the humiliation, this is still a knack I can recreate in any knitted projects. I’ve sewn things back to front, inside out and to my own clothes and yet I keep on ‘Having a go’
Recently, in an attempt to crack a craft, I attended a Felting workshop where, under the close direction of Kate, I produced a felted Blue Tit that I was incredibly proud of.
Buoyed by my success, I had a go at making a felt image of my little dog, after all, the same principles must surely apply – it turns out that they don’t!
So from now on, I will, like Kirstie, get other more talented people to make my home handicrafts and just pass them off as my own. I’m sure you will all agree with me that getting those sticky labels off your purchases is no easy task and I feel quite justified in counting that as part of the creative process.
If any of my friends are reading this, you have all been marvelous in your Oscar-winning performances of delight and amazement when presented with one of my beautiful homemade gifts so could I now ask for an encore as you pretend to believe that I did make your gift and that you haven’t seen the exact same thing in The Range!
The love that will come with my ‘handmade’ gifts is sincere, the effort in producing them – not so much
If you want to have a go at wool felting (and you don’t have bananas for fingers, try one of these kits. Its an easy and cheap way to have a go and see if it’s the craft for you. Y-Step Felting Starter Kit and try this book to get you started. Beginners Guide to Needle Felting Enjoy.