Today has been beautiful. The sky is overcast with lovely clouds (can you tell I live where overcast is not common?), I took senior portraits of a cowboy, I took myself out to lunch and now I'm feeling creative and crafty. We're in the middle of a waiting game as to whether or not we'll be moving, so I don't want to start any big projects until we know if we're staying here or not...but I'm dying to make something big and fun. Small and sensible will have to do for now (maybe I'll make something for Thanksgiving...hmmmm), but if I were doing a bigger project I think my inspiration would come from AJ's submission. Her picture was great and her story was awesome...just the kind of story and optimism that makes me want to get out and do something fun.
AJ's friend recently got married, so of course the two of them turned to Pinterest for inspiration. I'll let AJ tell you her story in her own words:
"Maggie and I have been pinning excitedly for months and have talked big game about DIY decorations for the shower and wedding. We picked out our favorite craft pins from our DIY boards, bought our supplies, marked a date on our calendars 4 weeks in advance, discussed what alcohol we’d need for our adventures, and hemmed and hawed over whether my husband should be forced to leave (We let him stay, but he couldn’t get out of there fast enough) our tiny city apartment for the big day (craft day, not wedding day, obvi)."
"The Doily Lantern was the main focus of our endeavors"
The Original Pin
"The instructions said to purchase doilies, wallpaper glue, and balloons. When pondering where we could find wallpaper glue, I confidently told Maggie that we could use Mod Podge instead. We bought Mod Podge, paper doilies (where does one find lace doilies anyway?), and balloons."
"When we started, we dove right in, painting our balloons with gusto, eagerly dipping Crayola paint brushes into the promising ivory waters of the Mod Podge jar. It didn’t take long before we encountered our first problem."
"The doilies didn’t really stick to the balloon on their own. You kind of have to hold one doily on while you try to paint and attach another one, which you also have to hold on, so you don’t drop the balloon, and basically this leaves you needing a third hand. Our two hands were covered with glue, and we didn’t have anywhere to set the balloons to get more doilies. It felt like a bizarre crafting standoff. I made Maggie hold both sticky balloons while I triumphantly dug out two really old paper plates from my cupboard (did I mention my husband and I were in the middle of moving into a new house?). Problem solved. Next problem: I have a Pomeranian. And Maggie has a Schnauzer. And we both have long blonde hair. And in what felt like seconds, our sticky paper-plate balloons were covered with various types of mammal hair. It was more disgusting than you’re imagining, trust me. Maggie lost heart but I urged her on."
"In about an hour and a half, we managed to make four balloons. After they were “complete,” we had no idea how to let them dry. We decided to tie twine around the balloon knots and hang them outside (did I mention I was in the middle of moving?). It was windy and we figured some random city debris and dust wouldn’t hurt the weird paper-plate hair balloon doilies, so we crossed our (Mod Podge-covered) fingers and went back inside."
"Fast forward to the next day: they were dried and inside my house, and I had begun the week-long project of picking dried Mod Podge off my fingernails. I decided to pop the first balloon without alerting Maggie to give myself a trial run. It was a test. I didn’t expect it to go perfectly, but I re-opened the beautiful doily lantern to buoy my spirits. It was more majestic than I remembered and the majesty gave me the courage act."
"I could hear a slow hisssss. Then, like that scene from Inception, our masterpiece began to crumble before my eyes, in slow motion, until it had completely collapsed in on itself. It had gone from a weird hairy orb to what looked like a weird hairy macaroon."
"And as I stared at it, trying to fathom a way to salvage it, I heard my husband ask quietly from behind me “Was that supposed to happen?” I lost it. I laughed so hard I actually cried. I couldn’t breathe. And then I ran to get the next one so we could watch it happen all over again. When I had selfishly popped all four balloons for my own amusement, I took this photo and sent it to Maggie."
"I saved some of the hairy, crunchy macaroon wads and poured over the instructions from the source of the pin (the very beautiful Dos Family), and found we had gone astray in numerous ways. Buried deep in the site, someone finally mentioned that you are supposed to reinflate the balloon with a NEW balloon by blowing it up in the skeleton wad of the collapsed doily. I tried this once, and blew too hard, and the new balloon exploded out of my once crumpled macaroon like a Jack in the Box. Flecks of dried Mod Podge rained down in my apartment like shrapnel. In the comments section of the entry on the Doily Lantern, I learned that we were not alone with our doily trouble. In fact, I felt we had become part of a new community."
"If it hadn’t taken so long to make them, I swear I would encourage each and every person I met to follow our exact procedure so they, too, could experience the childlike joy I felt watching these hairy macaroon doily wads collapse like abandoned bag pipes. And maybe there’s a life lesson in there. Something about being able to laugh at yourself, and tolerate your own failure. Or maybe the real lesson is that Maggie and I should only embark on paper craft projects that have a Martha Stewart starter kit."
Thanks for the wonderful submission AJ! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the optimism throughout, and I think that is exactly what is making me feel the need to go be creative in some way, shape or form. Now to decide what I want to do...