Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?
I am a supremely uncrafty human. I don’t really “make” things, unless you count dinner. Which I guess is a good thing to know how to make, in that it’s both delicious and necessary. But lately I’ve fallen down on that even. It’s been ages since Saucy Salad has featured an actual salad.
I did very poorly at art, metal shop and sewing when I was in school (I rocked cooking, though). I still remember having to stay in at recess in first grade because the answer to a question on a worksheet was a drawing of an airplane. I figured out the answer and even wrote “airplane,” but I could not draw one to save my life. At least not one that Mrs. Van Ess recognized as such. I am pretty sure I couldn’t do much better today.
Unless I can eat it, I probably don’t want to make it.
And it wasn’t just that I sucked in the craftier disciplines. I feel like a philistine for admitting this, but I’ve always found doing arts and crafts incredibly boring. I like purchasing the fruits of other people’s labors, but even when I am kind of okay at something, such as knitting, I find that I would rather shove a letter opener through my cheek than put needles to yarn or Popsicle sticks to milk carton. My eyes are glazing over just thinking about it.
The only thing I ever truly mastered mastered was gluing two pieces of paper together.
Recently, this talent came in handy. I had been wanting a wastebasket for our new office/music room for a while. But it seemed weird to buy something to throw garbage in. Obviously I’ve done this in the past–we have three trash receptacles in our apartment–but it just seemed like an unnecessary expense. And, how hard is it to carry wrappers and tissues into the other room?
(Harder than you might expect, it turns out.)
Then I noticed that the buckets that the cat litter comes in are a perfect size for trash. Also that I had some fancy leftover wrapping paper. And bam, wastebasket central! The best thing about this was that it took between seven and ten minutes, so I didn’t have time to get bored.
In the coming weeks, my impressive aptitude with paper and glue will again be put to use. I actually do have a one-and-only annual craft project: making a giant paperchain for our wintertime tree. Last year was the first year I did this and I think it turned out amazingly. I truly felt that it was the most beautiful thing I had ever made. (Winter in New York can be so isolating and the chain is all about connectivity…or something.)
We already have our tree and tomorrow I’m going to purchase fancy paper and a glue stick. Constructing the chain will likely take a couple of weeks. A project of this duration will surely cause intense amounts of boredom, but I can watch things off Netflix while I do it.