when i look back over the last handful of holiday seasons, i can clearly trace a line of diy gifts that i’ve attempted. four years ago it was knitting scarves- every man, woman, and child was gifted a scarf. three years ago i strove to bring back finger-weaving (please, if you are not yet a finger-weaving fanatic, try it.), but with little success. turns out you cannot easily make a blanket by just finger weaving a bunch of finger woven strands together. too bad. two years ago i got married, so making potted herb invitations tapped into that area sufficiently. last year i had a ball making christmas cards out of markers, paper, and small cut-out heads. and finally, we arrive in 2013…the year of the tote.
(if you are a family member, please cease reading. it will ruin the surprise.) i was really excited to try this, and anyone who has ever glanced at pinterest knows that it’s impossible to feel uninspired by the amazing ideas of equally amazing diy-ers. i had the best quote, bought the best (read: cheapest) stencils, and started strong. somewhere between the second and third tote, alongside spurts of wrapping other gifts, getting my nose (re)pierced, and trying to keep the cat away from the paint, the words of william butler yeats started to creep in. things began to fall apart; my stencils would not hold. i’m ashamed and amused by the number of “stars” and “letters” that suddenly transformed into indistinguishable blobs. i recruited help, and together we created enough heart-shaped stencil cover-ups to make any middle-school-girl-with-a-first-crush happy. needless to say, my tote recipients are going to feel the love whether they like it or not.
the moral of the story is that laughing at your own work is healthy, crying after the umpteenth attempt doesn’t work is natural, and dragging poor onlookers into the rescue mission is completely acceptable. and i diy because i get to experience the rush of all of it; the vision of being a grand craftess, the harsh reality that my ability falls far below my ideas of grandeur, and the redemption that comes from laughing a lot, crying a little, and realizing that i can do my best- and be it the result from a stencil in the hands of a toddler- i’ve made something that did not exist before and perhaps shall never exist again!
now go make something…and remember that nearly everything can be fixed with a painted heart.
*edit: i was too disheartened at the height of my making-hearts-to-cover-errors to document it, but around the same time i was pleased with my used climbing rope wreath, at least!