Crafting Hall O’Shame

And now a few quick notes from my hall of shame of bad ideas and lack of willpower to say “no, there isn’t enough time in the day”.

  • Someone once asked me 1 month before Christmas if I could do a crewel embroidered pillow for her. Since I was short on cash, this seemed like a great idea, because I could get the supplies fairly cheaply (it was the printed pillow front with backing in plain cotton, then I bought cotton yarn in two shades and the pillow form). Note the name of the type of needlework — crewel. Talk about a seasonal killer. I did get the pillow done, but had no joy in giving it, because it ate up EVERY part of the season and I was stitching while in a theater watching the Nutcracker, while baking cookies, on my lunch breaks, etc. (BTW: a crewel pillow is a lovely gift for Mom’s Day, so you have time to start one now to give on May 11th. It just takes time if you’re dealing with fussy yarn/embroidery floss; in my case, more time than 2 weeks.)
  • I still have a cross-stitch, full-size Christmas stocking “in play”. This is the WIP to end all works in progress. Apparently I have a very low tolerance for stitching with the thread provided in the kit (it includes a plastic glittery floss for snow), and purposely somehow I “lost” it in a move across state lines.
  • Beaded cross-stitch, even in a mini kit, can take longer than a large project, because you spend so much time with a flashlight trying to find the beads that escaped. ‘Nough said.
  • Deciding you’re going to do lots of hand-painted ornaments for someone is great. But not if you haven’t thought through what happens when balsa wood gets painted on one side only — eight tiny warped reindeer. I think you need to paint the backs of the ornaments too, in order to avoid this. But I just pitched them, in all their rippled glory.
  • Deciding at midnight before Christmas Eve that you’re going to wax the floor, and then make lots and lots of cookies using a fussy heirloom cookie recipe may have more to do with floorwax fumes than actual planning.
  • Decopauge done in a hurry results in a beautifully lacquered box with slightly decapitated cupids on the lid. One even lost part of its violin.
  • Decopauge done in a hurry also results in hair adorned with bits of glue and a paper violin. Not the look for Midnight Mass.
  • If you’re underweight and someone asks you to help them with a circular sander for finishing the top of a table for their mom, JUST SAY NO — especially if you’ve never used a circular sander before. Now is not the time to learn.
  • If you’re better at crocheting accidental cat toys (ie, if you make a mistake and decide, rather than teasing it out and fixing the problem, to snip the yarn and toss the crocheted round for the cat), you might not want to announce that you’re making crocheted snowflakes for everyone this year. Just keep very quiet and claim you’re “learning” or “playing” with the pattern.
  • Of course, there are all the knitting projects I suddenly start right around Thanksgiving, with the best of intentions. Rabbitch has a better post about Christmas Knitting here: Rabbitch’s Blog. And of course, the YarnHarlot has a schedule that she’s “sticking to”.
  • I’m sure I’m in the process of starting other projects way too late. It’s my modus operandi as a crafter — totally delusional. But I’m an enthusiastic victim of a condition I call ADAP–attention deficit about projects. If it’s shiny and new, I start it.

So, has anyone else have any time crunch projects that Hall O’Shame had a hand in? Feel free to leave a comment/confession. 🙂

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5 Responses to “Crafting Hall O’Shame”


  1. 1 Anj December 12, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    I did once scherenschnitte an entire train engine (of my own design of course) on 11×14 paper and frames and matted it myself at 1159 on xmas eve. I wouldn’t recommend that.

  2. 2 wordtapestry December 12, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Oh man… really? Talk about self-imposed stress!
    Ugh.

    Hope you’ve managed to forget the pain, because I can think of some people who might love a little scherenschnitte of a John Deer tractor, or of the logo. I’d say a small one, so you don’t go crazy.

  3. 3 Anj December 12, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    a tractor would be something I might have to save for another time…I ahve a blurry photo of that train before it went to the owner (we broke up of course)

    I think a logo as an ornament is a good idea for an xmas present. hmmmm. now you have me thinking…

  4. 4 barbara December 13, 2008 at 3:30 am

    Wow. The madness that would inspire regarding the paper cutting and my attempts to do so. I can do snowflakes, but that’s about it.

    But yes, am copping to the madness of baking fussy cookies. At midnight and it was my attempt to roll the thin Moravian cookies that the women in the women’s house made. They didn’t turn out thin and my stress level went through the roof.

    Am envisioning the warped reindeers as like a full-on Dali. Which would be fine if the person you were making them for would appreciate it.

    Most of the projects that drive me crazy tend to involve glue. And patience. Happily, I know most of the things can cope with and not, so it does help in some ways.

    Okay, am listening on a talk show to Barry Manilow singing the 80s’ hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. Eeep.

  5. 5 wordtapestry December 13, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    So you’re getting Rick Rolled by Barry Manilow, huh?

    I’ve been user testing new cookie and quick bread recipes this year on the chorus I belong to. There’s a recipe in Joy of Cooking that’s really great — a drop butter cookie — but they’re so delicate that the edges might break off while they’re in transit.

    With my lack of counter space, rolled out cookies might not happen this year. At least that’s one way of keeping myself from becoming the manic baker (because it’s a load of fun up until that last tray in the oven and the resulting cleanup).


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