Have you ever notice that as we age some of our gifts and talents fade, rust, and just plain disappear? If you haven’t then you are not as old as I am.
I used to be great at arts and crafts. I sewed, embroidered, crotchet, painted, did cake decorating, made wreaths out of all sorts of notions, and could see a craft, figure out how it was made and copy it. These projects were both fun and therapeutic.
However, in the last year or two when I tried to resurrect some of these projects I was surprised to find that the outcomes were somewhat less than favorable.
- My 3 year old grandson’s Blue’s Clues Cake that was edible but leaned like the tower of Pisa.
- The crocheted afghan that wasn’t square because my stitches were inconsistent in size.
- The wreaths that used a glue gun which caused me to have more burns than there were findings attached to it.
And let’s just say that even with my glasses, I can’t see the stitches I want to embroider.
But I keep trying.
Until a month or so ago.
My friend, Doris and I wanted to help a young friend who is battling pancreatic cancer. She was undergoing chemotherapy and spent a lot of time sitting in the IV infusion room. This meant bringing a lot of stuff with her. On one such visit to chemotherapy, I carried her backpack and almost got a hernia. Once I established that she wasn’t going to pay for the chemotherapy with Gold Bullion bricks, Doris and I decided she needed a rolling backpack. We did our research on what was the sturdiest and ordered it in purple (color for pancreatic cancer). But since our friend is a young mother of 2, it should have some bling and off to the crafts store we went. We were very careful to get what would fit on the book bag and purchased some iron on patches, a medal that of a dragon that says “Slay Your Dragon”, another which reads: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength, a rhinestone cross, and rhinestone lettering that would spell out “Kick Cancer”. As Doris is a self-proclaimed “Craft Klutz” I told her not to worry that I would take the rolling back pack home and put on all the bling.
You see where this is going, right?
I was nervous, but how hard could this be? I just had to iron and tie the bling on. Having set up my iron and ironing board, I read the directions for the patches thinking I would warm up with doing the easiest stuff first. Have you ever tried to iron a patch onto a roller back pack? The weight of the wheels kept the bag from staying put, and you cannot iron the trim because it will melt. And what I could iron onto the back pack would not stick! So I dug through my craft cabinet in the garage and found two bottles of glue and an adhesive glue spray. I had to use an ice pick on the two glue bottles because they had turned into dried rubber cement. I was afraid to use the adhesive spray because I figured I would get it where I didn’t want it. So I called my husband and asked would he kindly stop at Walmart and bring me some fabric glue. He could tell by my voice not to ask questions, just say “Yes, dear”. I married a smart man.
I went back to work on the project. The adhesive spray can and I stood at a Mexican stand off. And then I decided that I could spray the individual patches and lay them on the bag, thus avoiding any overspray. This worked beautifully! Except that I had adhesive glue all over my fingers and mere soap and water was not removing it from my hands. Neither did olive oil or a Brillo pad. I went for the nail polish remover. This worked somewhat except what wouldn’t come off now sported tuffs of cotton giving me an almost Dr Sues character quality about my hands.
Undeterred I went onto the rhinestones. I read the directions carefully. I didn’t understand them. I read them again. I removed the backing from the lettering and then carefully began to lift the letter “K” from the plastic sheet. When what to my surprise, each rhinestone of the letter was a separate entity and therefore now on my “Dr Sues” fingers! I tried again but more stuck on my fingers and then somehow my face (I must have wipe the sweat from my brow). Soon I would have nothing to work with. Surely I was not going to have to take each rhinestone and place it individually on the back pack to form the letter and then iron it on? I tried taking the letter “Q” with the clear plastic attached and ironing it on an old towel but all it did was melt the plastic sheath on top of the letter. The letter managed to stay on the iron!
At this point my husband arrived home with two different fabric glue products. He took a look at the kitchen and then at me. The kitchen looked like a bomb had exploded and craft supplies were strewn everywhere. I was sweating like I was still in menopause, cursing like I’d lost my religion, and stamping my foot like a toddler. “Really, Lord. I should be able to do this!”
Without saying a word, he placed the bag of glue products on the corner of the kitchen counter and bolted for the safety of our office.
I called Doris is desperation and out of breath I explained the events as they unfolded. She thought it was funny. Funny?!? Yes, she said, it was funny. She reminded me that the gift was in the roller backpack and not the bling.
“Why, yes, of course” I said. And that thought began to transform me from the evil Grinch character to what God intended me to be. I began to see the absurdity of it all and joined my friend in laughter. I told her that I felt like Lucy in the “I love Lucy” show and I had desperately needed Ethel. She laughed and told me that if Ethel had come, there would have been no kitchen left.
Suffice it to say, I realize that there is a season for everything. While crafting may be something I leave as a collection of wonderful memories; other skills have become sharpened and honed. My writing is an example. As a young women I had little time nor knowledge of what to write about. Today, life’s events, big and small provide fodder for my writing and I truly enjoy spending time creating devotions, short stories, and blog posts that hopefully enlighten, educate, empower, inspire and even make you laugh.
Ah, God is good. He taketh and he giveth.
P.S. The roller backpack came out great. I and the kitchen took a little longer to clean up.