Friday, September 24, 2010

I panicked

There are some things that really scare me. Spiders. Snakes. Dark nights. Murderers jumping out of the bushes. Crafts.

That's right. I'm afraid of crafts.

There are some things that I have absolutely no knack for doing. I realize this and so I avoid doing them, knowing it's only going to end badly. I accept this. Meals brought to church fellowships fall in this category.

And then there's crafts.

The mere word sends shivers up my spine. When I taught a VBS class, we were given the option of coming up with a craft for our class. I opted to give them more time to memorize verses. It was good for them, I theorized. They would win prizes. They would hide God's Word in their hearts. Who needed crafts?

In truth, I'm petrified of trying them. The crafts, that is, not the kids. Once we get beyond pulling a page out of a coloring book and handing out crayons, I'm in over my head. There's a vast, dark emptiness inside me where craft ideas should be.

We did paper mache in art class when I was a kid. My sister ended up finishing for me because my art was falling apart. We did paper mache again when I was helping someone else with a VBS class. Looking at the glue made me so sick I ended up throwing up in the bathroom all evening. In all fairness, I was pregnant and going through morning sickness, but still ...

In our Wednesday night kids' group, we did a craft last December. It was basically punching out figures and gluing them into a Nativity scene. I panicked as I watched kids puddle glue under their figures. Surely someone who knew how to do this would keep the kids from making a mess out of their project. How could I send the kids home with white glue oozing out behind Joseph's head? And yet, that's just what happened.

Wednesday night we did another craft. The kids had to trace shapes and cut them out. Then they cut slits in the paper and weaved other strips of paper through them. The result was a decorative and colorful basket weave through a heart. Or a butterfly. Or a tree. I helped one girl hold her shape in place while she traced, but my hand kept getting in her way. Then I showed her how to weave the strips. I even figured out how to alternate the strips, but when we got to the second one, I realized I had the thing put together backward. And the ends were too long. And I was ruining it. Panic shot through me and I shoved the craft toward the woman in charge, babbling frantically about how it was too much for me, and I couldn't do it, and no one should make me. The woman calmly fixed the project while I took refuge in the next room, under pretense of preparing myself for the story I had to read.

My failure haunts me. I should be able to do this. I teach children, for pete's sake. I'm a homeschool mom. How could I not have the craft gene?

And yet, I know this is an area where I will never triumph. I've tried all varieties of crafty-type things. I even learned how to sew. I tried to make a skirt, but no matter how I laid out the pattern, the pockets kept ending up at the knees.

There is no hope for me. I've finally accepted it. My children will stick with coloring, or they will get their craft projects from their Sunday School or VBS teachers. I will shop for clothing instead of making it.

My name is Jill. And I have no craft ability.


  1. I'm with you about the snakes, monsters, dark places, but crafts is one of my gifts, I think. Working with children doing crafts at VBS can be stressful, but that's my niche when I'm not directing.

    I think God gave me crafts because he ran out of the gift of gracefulness for me. I admire those with rhythm and grace to walk with both feet without stumbling. He felt pity on me and gave me something I could do sitting down so I didn't damage anyone else or myself. :)

    God gave your so many other gifts, Jill, that crafts is not a big deal. :)

  2. Me, I'll take the crafts.


    All by myself.

    You can leave the kids out of it. I do not have the gift for teaching kids or Sunday School. Being in a room full of rowdy energetic children gives me the hebejeebies.

    So I admire you for that.

  3. I like to do some crafts myself, like scrapbooking. But I always stuck with the really, really easy stuff for kids' Sunday School crafts. I'm no good at teaching or helping someone else do crafts at all!

  4. Jill! We are two peas in a pod. I hate crafts, too!

  5. I am so not a crafty mom. I come from a long line of fearful crafters. I use to try an scrapbook, but I am such a perfectionist I would rip the pages up until they were perfect. My poor kids!

  6. Ha, ha, ha...crafts + kids automatically increases the difficulty of the craft. My kids love crafts and really, I'm just as bad. However, sometimes I get in over my head and regret the day I ever bought a paint brush. ;-)



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