It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Mis-steps and recoveries

I was a creating machine a couple of weeks ago, all methodical and assembly-line. Take three metres of red satin. Cut into 5 lengths of 60 cm. (No waste! Not a single cm! I am so proud!)

I have great instructions, capes are simple things, and I am a competant seamstress. I foresee no problems.

Fold in half (times 5)
Cut curve at lower end (times 5)
Hem all raw edges (three edges times 5)
Attach bias tape to neck (times 5)
Iron all (times 5)
(I am a model of efficiency, I tell you!)
Iron on initial and lightning bolts…

and discover…

I have SIX initials.


(ridiculous woman)

..I have SIX children.


And since I planned it sooooo well, there is NO red satin left over.

…double damn…

Happily, I have brilliant readers, extra interfacing and leftover lightning-bolt material, so I can make a wee superhero shirt for the littlest one.


And now I am making clothes-peg wreaths with the four-year olds. I prepared for two wreaths, because I have two four-year-olds. I counted.

Only, this week, because school’s out, I suddenly have FOUR four-year-olds. All of whom looooove to do crafts.


But that’s okay! I pulled rank and forced Emma off the couch and into the cold (-19C, feels like -28C) to the hardware store for two more packs of clothespegs, which, bless their hearts, they are still selling. In -19C weather.

And all day yesterday we painted and painted and painted dozens and dozens of clothes pegs. With a night to dry, we’d be all ready to assemble our wreaths today. All I needed was some duct tape, the ribbon to decorate the top, and a pair of wire-cutters. Got all those!! Oh, and a couple more wire coat-hangers. No problem. We have dozens of those things. I foresee no problems.

Only, when I’d dissassembled the first clothes-hanger, I discovered it was TOO FAT to go through the spring of the clothespeg. So I have 172 painted clothespegs, 200 metallic pony beads, a few metres of Christmas ribbon, four eager and expectant four-year-olds… and no craft.


My wonderful husband had a suggestion. “Don’t use those sturdy hangers. Find some of the flimsy ones from the drycleaner.” Brilliant!!

Except we have only ONE in the entire house. I have a vague memory of tossing a bunch into the recycle bin some months back. These things breed in the corners, I reasoned. Why don’t I just toss the flimsier ones???


But we did have one! If I cut it in half, we could make TWO smaller wreaths. There are, of course, four 4-year-olds. Time for the tough decision. Emily and Willliam, who come here daily, get to make a wreath.

And Timmy and Nigel, whose small faces are quivering… Nigel and Timmy get to… um… get to…

Nigel! And Timmy! You get to take the clothespegs home! 42 each! And 21 beads — you even get to pick which colours!! And a length of ribbon! And we’ll put them all in zipper bags, neatly labelled, and this is a KIT, you see. A KIT, so you can make your own wreath at home!!!

(Assuming your mothers haven’t tossed all the flimsy coathanger in your houses…)

This afternoon, while the middlers are napping, I plan to assemble the picture frames they’ve created. All I need are the painted and dried jigsaw puzzle pieces, the plastic frames, and the hot-melt glue gun.

I foresee no problems…

December 22, 2009 - Posted by | Christmas, crafts, holidays | , , , , ,


  1. You are a wizard. (Okay, slightly befuddled, but a wizard, none the less!)

    A wizard? Thanks! I’ll take that, befuddled and all!

    Comment by daysgoby | December 22, 2009 | Reply

  2. I think this is merely a testament to your creative prowess. Besides, foreseeing problems only bogs you down with over planning – something that I am exceptionally good at – and usually leaves you with more bits than you really need.

    I love the way you “sold” the KITS to the kids, brilliant.

    Not only am I creative, I’m a superior spin doctor. Mwah-ha.

    Comment by Zayna | December 22, 2009 | Reply

  3. I’m sure the parents will be thrilled with all those small pieces, and have plenty of time to assemble the wreaths. Did you at least include instructions? Thnk of it as payback for every time they were late, or didn’t call, or did any of the numerous things designed to drive caregivers nuts.

    I showed them a completed wreath. Will that do? And SURE they have time — we’re about to have a holiday, right???

    Comment by jwg | December 22, 2009 | Reply

  4. Loving the wreaths. Must do those.

    Comment by kittenpie | January 7, 2010 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: