The Hubs travels for work during the week, leaving me with lots of minutes without any adult interaction. After a day filled with running to and from school, lessons, grocery stores and the like, I get the children bathed, fed and in the bed with a precision that makes the military take notes. This, however, has lead to a persistent problem that once the house is settled and quiet, I have just enough energy to flip over to the Property Brothers and do very little else.
I’m trying to break myself out of that habit, with moderate success. Part of the problem was that after the girls would tuck in, so would I — a little dessert, a little glass of wine, and the next thing I know, it’s 10pm. Apropos of nothing — not even the tightening of my waistband — I decided that my nightly routine was going to change. While I couldn’t just leave the kids unattended for a quick run, nor did I want to try to jump-start my brain into doing tasks that are best reserved for when I’m in top mental form (hello, mornings with coffee), I decided to get crafty.
I’m a creative person and derive a real sense of satisfaction from making something out of nothing. Some projects come easier to me than others, but I do love a challenge. I decided that I wanted to add some pops of color to the house for fall, never mind that Christmas decorations are already available in most stores and fall is about to be officially over in a matter of weeks.
I decided I would make a wreath. Growing up, my mom could take some pine-cones, a few sprays of hydrangeas, a couple of sprigs of greenery and before you could say “Fall Foliage”, she’d have crafted a beautiful wreath or centerpiece. I had a glue gun, an A.C. Moore rewards card and half a dozen Pinterest ideas: I was to step into her crafting shoes.
Tuesday afternoon, armed with my list of supplies and a fist full of coupons, I hit the craft stores, tossing items into the cart like Supermarket Sweep. I gave myself an hour to get what I needed and get out. That was more than enough time to choose my items, check-out and still be on time for pick-up. Besides, I’m comfortable in the craft store, so I knew I didn’t have to run up and down aisles looking for things, or seeking out store clerks who are crabbing their way to the exits for their smoke breaks.
My list had 5 items on it.
I came home with twice that and then some.
The problem was, I had narrowed down my Pinterest pins to two wreaths. They were very similar and I decided to blend the elements that I liked best from each. That meant spending an inordinate amount of time in the floral department looking for sprigs, sprays, and other accoutrements to coordinate with this melded vision. Tickety-tock went the clock and I just clotheslined the shelf into the cart and boogied out of there.
The boogieing didn’t stop there — I got the kids in the car, we ran some errands, we came home. They did homework, piano, read library books. I sent them upstairs to bathe. They came downstairs for dinner. They ate and I cleaned up the detritus from the afternoon. I sent them upstairs to get ready for bed. They came down, pj’s sticking to them where they forgot to dry off from their baths, for dessert. They ate dessert and I cleaned up the detritus from bath time. I sent them upstairs to brush their teeth. They came down for more hugs and kisses. I sent them upstairs for tuck-ins. They came down for to remind me to come upstairs for tuck-ins. This bedtime routine has more steps than the tarantella, but finally, we got heads in beds and butts between sheets.
I finished up the remaining household chores that needed my attention before turning to my bag o’crafts. This was the turning point in the evening. Do I reach for the remote or do I reach for the glue gun? I looked at my watch: 9:25pm.
But, I was already committed, so I spread out my wares and got to work.
I made it about 45 minutes — the time it took me to cover that 9″ letter D in jute twine — before packing it all up and calling it a night. Still, it was very relaxing and faintly hypnotic, sitting on the floor, glue gun at my hip, wrapping, wrapping, wrapping jute twine over the curves of that wooden letter. I went to bed that night with the sent of hot glue in my nostrils.
Wednesday was another hit the ground running type of day. My big girls get out a little early on Wednesdays so I had to be judicious with my time if I wanted to get everything done. I woke up wanting to work on my wreath. I had this overwhelming urge to finish it and hang it immediately. The satisfaction that comes with the successful completion of a craft is pretty powerful. I can see why and how Martha Stewart built an empire.
I burned through my work-out that morning, hit the dry cleaners, the library, the bank and the grocery store in record time. I got V fed and down for her nap giving me an hour to work on the wreath before having to rouse her for the afternoon second round. I spread out my materials, plugged in my glue gun and got down to business. With “Measure twice, cut once” pinging around in my head, I started to place my foliage, my letter, and my ribbons around the wreath. I arranged and re-arranged. I snipped and clipped. I went through an entire 15ft roll of burlap ribbon before deciding not to use it as a bow like I had originally planned, but to weave it around the wreath for added dimension. As the clock marched towards pick up time, I was both frustrated and exhilarated. Frustrated because I was enjoying myself and didn’t want to stop. Exhilarated because I was enjoying myself and didn’t want to stop. I knew that even if I didn’t finish the wreath that afternoon, I could work on it that evening. Overwhelmingly, though, was the desire to finish it, hang it and admire it in the daylight hours.
You can guess which option I chose.
When I hung my wreath upon the door, stepped back to admire my work, I almost broke my arm patting myself on the back. Victory is mine!
Wednesday night, the girls and I did our usual bedtime pas de deux. I showed them the wreath before they went upstairs and was met with completed incredulity.
C: You made that? You? Made that?
M: Really? No, seriously. Really?
I texted a picture of the wreath to my mom:
I spent Thursday and Friday re-potting some mums to strategically place on the front stoops along with several pumpkins. Saturday, I cleaned inside the house, and decided to repaint the powder room at 9;45 in the evening (#epicfail). Sunday, found me back on Pinterest, looking at old boards for some decorating ideas for the aforementioned powder room. The Hubs was home and saved me from myself (and the coat of Stonington Gray that was everywhere except the walls).
Now it is Monday and the Hubs on the road once again. Dancing With the Stars will be on this evening and I can feel myself sliding back into the evening routine of sloth, the cold, curve of the plastic remote in my hand.
Better get on Pinterest and see what I can find. Christmas is coming, afterall.