If ever you see a really great craft I probably didn’t do it. Yes, I confess to craft impediment and maybe even a little craft hostility. But you mustn’t blame me; it’s my mother’s fault. Mother taught me how to do lots of things, such as saying my prayers at night, hemming a skirt, and how I should dust under a table and not just on top, but never to cut paper. I don’t think it ever occurred to her that by omitting craft instruction she was making an anomaly of her daughter.
All the above being true, there stands out in my memory a single incident when I actually did a craft that didn’t end up making me cry. It happened quite by accident, or perhaps I should say inspiration born of desperation finally wedged a valid craft out of me. In brief, it was the Lord who did it
The way it came about was that there were these good friends of ours who had a son and he was getting married. Because at the time we were pinching the ‘ouch’ out of every penny I hadn’t bought a gift - or even a card. Saturday night had come and the Sunday wedding was gaining on me. That we not go, or go empty-handed was unthinkable, but what could I do? I browsed through my domestic possessions, considering and rejecting several possibilities as ridiculous. I asked myself questions like, “Do I have any unused cards on hand? “No,” I answered, “but I do have loads of very nice, slightly-used ones. Maybe I could… no, I’m not gifted that way.”
But the notion persisted that I just might create a passable offering by cutting out and piecing together the more fanciful parts of every romantic card I had ever received and pack-ratted. Actually I think the idea was still in the zygote stage when I splayed my collection on the living room rug. At any rate, after choosing one card for the foundation, and after looking heavenward for revelation, I picked up the scissors.
Normally about half-way through any craft endeavor I will throw up hands of disgust and the project in the trash. This time it seemed I could do no wrong. The more paper ruffles, pink hearts, embossed posies, floating ribbons and lacy bows I added to the collage, the more its charm increased. That Victorian but artsy look I didn’t know I wanted, but sensed was right, grew under my fingertips. Even the scent of Elmer’s spoke the language of violets.
At last, stiff and sore from my cramped position on the floor, I rose with the completed platypus in hand at midnight. Scrounging around, I found by way of a second miracle an envelope exactly the right size. With the warm glow of knowing magic had been worked, I slipped into bed. I thanked the Lord from whom all good gifts do flow.
That was that night. The next morning all sense of accomplishment vanished. “What was I thinking?” I thought as I pictured my fly-specked envelope amid an array of silver tableware and china, toaster ovens, blenders, and pasta makers. As I strolled past the gift table the following afternoon at the reception, I slid the card beneath its betters and melted into the crowd. In the days that followed I asked to be forgiven my folly and prayed for amnesia. What a dope!
For a few weeks I mopped my brow at reasons why I’d heard nothing back from the newlyweds: “Are they trying to recuperate from near-death by laughter?” Or perhaps they’re being kind by pretending not to notice. But I soon reached the point where I was just as glad and I really did forget about my little foible.
And then one day about a month later while going through a stack of mail I noticed a small envelope partially hidden beneath a larger one. Hum-m-m-m, I wonder what this is?” I muttered as I slit it open. Drawing out some note paper, I recognized the scrawl of feminine hand:
"We wish to express our gratitude for your beautiful hand-crafted wedding card. It was the only one like it that we received and we plan to give it place of honor in our scrapbook. What a lovely reminder of special friends like you. Again, thank you so much!
A__ & D_____.
P.S. You truly have a great talent for crafts!! Why have you been hiding it?"
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