I remember the first time I went on Pinterest. I was putting together an alphabet-themed birthday party for my son. A friend said “I saw the cutest alphabet cake on Pinterest. I’ll send you a link.”
The cake as indeed adorable- a cake replica of a wooden letter block. But it was also well, and I mean well, out of my range of skill. The alphabet party it was grouped with was insane! Hand sewn goody bags made from alphabet material. Nameplates for each child crafted out of wooden letters. Giant letter pinatas that looked nothing like the newspaper/paste monstrosities I was used to crafting.
Pinterest is an awesome place for ideas. It is also the website moms go to when they want to feel really terrible about the job they are doing.
So often I hear from moms “I’d love to do that, but I’m not really crafty.” No one was born crafty (well, maybe those gals in the Austin Craft Mafia). We all learn from someone. I did not know how to sew until a few years ago. The woman who taught me was a punk rock pioneer who I imagined had been sewing her own clothes for decades. In reality, she learned to sew when her daughter needed a costume for school- not so different from other moms I know.
She taught me to sew, but I use the skill VERY infrequently. I am the type of person who has to read the manual every time I break out my machine. I have to do a LOT of test strips to adjust the tension before I ever touch an actual project.
Right now, my boys are very into the Wild Kratts computer game on pbskids.org. I have a tough time with this. I like that they are learning about animals, and spending time together as brothers, but I don’t like the screen time. (Yes, I sort of want to punch myself when I say things like ‘screen time’.)
One day, my son said “can you make me a bat suit like the Kratt brothers?” I didn’t want to say no because this was a chance to break away from the computer by capitalizing on his interest. But I was prepping for an egg-dying party, and really didn’t have time to make a costume. We compromised on a bat cape.
I had some black material on hand that I had purchased on clearance. I cut the edges to look bat-ish. All I had to do was sew some straps on.
I lugged out the machine. It was already loaded with white thread. Ok, it won’t match the black but no biggie. I considered doing a test piece, but just decided to go for it due to the time crunch. The straps were successful in that they were attached to the fabric. However, I don’t think you are supposed to have half the spool knotted on the underside.
You know what? He did not throw up his arms over the shotty quality of his cape. He put it on. He felt like a bat. Ten minutes later, he decided he’d rather be a cheetah.
We didn’t pack the bat cape away lovingly, to one day be worn by his little Wild Kratts. He might not even remember that I made him a bat cape. But, hopefully I am instilling something in him that says whatever he can dream up, we can figure out a way to make it happen.
You too can be a Pinterest failure- and your kids will love you for it.