I’m a professional noncrafter

12 Aug

Before I begin, a little shout out to my regular readers (you know, all 15 of you): thank you for tuning in! It’s easy to blog away being pretty certain only my fiance and my mom are reading this (except I don’t even think my mom reads this; blog-a-what?)

And I started this as a regular writing exercise with little or no expectations for it to be more than that. Then maybe two weeks ago, unsolicited, a former high school classmate wrote me a message on Facebook to tell me how much she enjoys reading my blog, noting that I still have the same sense of humor as I always did. And I think she’s smart and funny, so this gave me hope. And then last night one of my (almost former) colleagues told me she loves my blog, citing enough specifics that I believed her. When she mentioned my bit about shredding memories she had an “I felt that” expression on her face and this made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

After all, it’s a writing exercise I HOPE resonates with people. Or makes them chuckle, snicker, sigh, eyebrow raise, lean back in shock, or any reaction other than yawning. Unless it’s 6:00 am and you haven’t had coffee (but OMG, you’re reading my blog at 6:00 am? I love you while I’m still sleeping).

So, comment, yo! Maybe my ego could use it because I have another friend who’s especially good at blogging and being hilarious and I envy her. Lots. And I will copy her as much as possible. Just kidding (not really).

Now back to the title I’ve been teasing you with. I’m getting married in (gasp) 10 days, so I’m no stranger to wedding blogs and weddings sites. Most of them are ridiculous and are targeted at (as my friend aptly observed) high maintenance people. So I tried to go for the more organic ones for normal people. I found myself at DIY Bride, thinking I’d get some cool ideas; instead a got another dose of crafting insecurity. Khris Cochran (the self-proclaimed DIY Bride herself) started today’s entry (which was a review of the Glue Glider Pro) with “As a professional crafter, I…”

(Record screeches).

Did you just say professional crafter?  Let me explain.

I’m a mover (and a shaker).

I do things.

Sometimes I avoid doing things.

I am things.

Sometimes I even create things.

But I do not make things.

I repeat, Kara doesn’t make things! (When I say this I’m using the intonation of Joey from Friends when he says “Joey doesn’t share food!” You’ve seen that episode, unless you never watch TV because you are reading instead. Or amateur crafting.

Arts and crafts time at summer camp was the longest hour and a half 8-10-yr old me could imagine. Each minute felt like 10, each hour 100.  The days we weren’t making macrame anklets or candles (okay, I kind of enjoyed that), we got to go swimming. So while I was trapped in that screen porch-style room for 90 minutes making God’s eyes or keepsake lanterns, I daydreamed about the lake: frolicking on the beach, cannonball contests, and sinking the dock (where everyone stands on one corner of the floating dock and um, tries to sink it).

I loved swimming.

I hated crafts.

Attention crafters: I do not hate you. In fact, I’m in awe of you (and always feeling inferior to you). Like most people, I hate stuff I’m really bad at. Math, gardening, painting, crafting.

Some of you might know about the gardening craft party I was once invited to: talk about insecurity! I was sitting next to my artistic, craftastic, gardenista friend (also a bridesmaid) who is hand-painting an intricately-limbed tree onto a tiny pot while I’m using stamps.  And I couldn’t even do that! I told everyone my niece and nephew made the pot for me, but then I realized even they would not claim my smudged octopus and smeared seaweed.  I faired better in the gardening portion because I am good at following directions (when I’m paying attention and not cracking jokes to fight off my anxiety over failing at both themes of the party). Luckily my friends laugh at my jokes, so I had fun at the party.

I think the swimming/crafting debate perfectly summarizes me as a person. Crafting requires a great deal of patience and fine motor skills. A patience I have only for words and people, and the kind of fine motor skills I have only for…opening a bottle of wine? I’m drawing a blank, here. See?

This is a good time to point out that I failed the fine motor skill portion of  the ‘are-you-ready-for-kindergarten-at-age-4′ test. I blew it with block building. I could read but I couldn’t craft to save my life. Even at age 4, the experts knew I was doomed.

So I went to private kindergarten at age 4, made some terrible art projects throughout my childhood, and then arrived at the sewing portion of middle school home economics. Humiliation ensued. While I wasn’t looking my parents threw away my “basketball,” because really, no one needs to see that.

But I’ve made peace with my craft deficiency.

To this day, I still dive into the pool, lake, ocean (well maybe not ocean). I almost never do the “ease in, not going to get my hair wet” method. It’s just not me.

If I was a t-shirt I would say:

“Life is short: Jump in!”

This explains why I’m moving to SoFlo to meet new people and have a new life. Oh and marry someone who is very into arts and crafts. Comes from a family of crafters, in fact. He made his own beehive equipment. In high school, he made his dates’ corsages for dances. No, really, he was that cuter-than-cute guy. And I get to marry him!

I told him my sister became extremely crafty upon having her children and he said “maybe you’ll do the same!”

I wish I could be as crafty as my sister. Or his sister. Or his mom. Or anyone who is not me.

Alas, I am the antithesis of the DIY Bride: Professional noncrafter, that’s me.

17 Responses to “I’m a professional noncrafter”

  1. Sarah B. at 10:31 am #

    Just a note Kara: I am reading your blog at 6 am before I go to hockey practice while you are still asleep.
    I think you are plenty crafty with your words—maybe, like Aaron said, you will become more crafty after you have those youngins. Good luck with finishing packing and I hopefully will see you next Saturday!

  2. Joe at 10:58 am #

    Good reading!!! Best wishes on your upcoming special day. Two things…
    1. Why’s everyone gotta be a math hater?
    2. I started reading this at precisely 6:37 am.

  3. Jennifer at 11:16 am #

    Noncrafters Unite! I, too, love the blog. I laughed out loud several times at this morning’s post. Nearly spit oatmeal all over the computer. Sadly, I am NOT crafty either. Let’s form a club…or a support group.

  4. Catherine at 12:40 pm #

    Hahaha, such a fun post. And that bit about kindergarten: HI-larious.

  5. Kara at 2:45 pm #

    See, this is why I love the comments. I would never have known Joe read my blog! Joe, some of my best friends are math people, especially ones with a sense of humor like yours. And the 6:00 am thing just blows my mind. But I love it! Thanks, everyone, and Jennifer, sorry about the oatmeal, but I’ll take that as a good sign.

  6. Seleta at 5:08 pm #

    Luv it! I would like to consider myself crafty (in the make-a-craft kinda way, not the sneaky kind) but alas, am not (unless you define crafty as the ability to cram as many parenthasis into a sentence as possible). I think my inner adult being has written off craftiness something that requires too much patience/time that I have at this moment in my life. I mean, amongst being a wife, mother, CEO/lone employee of my job (does this mean I can fire myself?), buying organic fruit, grabbing the paraben free lotion, thinking of ways to use up those homegrown cucumbers and basil (because there are starving children in The Congo) and remembering to turn on the dishwasher, I’m good to leave the house with matching clothes. Wait, after all that I sound a bit neurotic! Ahhhh…I wish I could go stitch a quilt or something to relax….

  7. Honi at 8:20 pm #

    Dearest Kara, at least you recognize your limitations. I occasionaly THINK I can craft, and end up with something that looks like someone, heavily medicated, in a psych ward, made during art therapy. Check out this web site if you havent already, it’s a spoof on Etsy: (it’s called Regretsy) http://www.regretsy.com/

    Think, Cake Wrecks for crafters.

    Loved your blog! I’ll keep checking back!

  8. Honi at 8:27 pm #

    WOAH I just checked out the lastest on Regretsy and they have gotten a bit vulgar since I last looked. Just go page three to start with, the rest of the pages are pretty crass – it wasnt always like that.

  9. Eleanor at 12:22 am #

    I would like to be a part of the support group please…I am not the least bit crafty and most of it is a waste of reading time in my opinion. However, I do have friends who are very creative and I really dislike them. With support I may be able to be a better friend to them. Thanks Kara…great comical writing!

  10. Bernadette at 3:34 pm #

    Hey girl, we’ve all got our shortcomings…at least you’re not literal, ha!

  11. Emily at 5:14 pm #

    crafters hooking up with noncrafters = perfect. your joy of life will let him know when its time to put down the power tools to go snorkeling in the sun. and in return he will fill your house with lovely objects. trust me, i know…just be forgiving of huge pile of stuff that’s usually required for such persuits. (can anyone say fabric stash?) – the artistic, craftastic, gardenista 🙂

  12. Lauren at 9:27 pm #

    I love this entry because you took be back to camp. I remember that screened-in porch at CHC–the smell, the gummy feel of the tables, the gritty floor. And, I remember trying to sink the dock. What fun. Thanks for reminding me of my childhood today.
    As for crafts…I hear you. My sister, however, is the queen of crafts. Thus, she and Kate should get together and craft away!
    Congrats on your special day. Aaron is a lucky man!

  13. Mom at 3:22 pm #

    Mother like Daughter. Kara, I laughed out loud. I too struggled with crafting insecurities, especially early on. Over the year I have thrown out most of my attempts at craftmaking. The shell ornaments remain and are still hung on the Christmas tree each year. The girl in the blue dress I made in ceramic class still sits on your dresser in your old room. Maybe some day you and Kate will treasure them as the only artifacts of your mother’s crafting. Believe me, you do not have to be a crafter to be happy!


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