Thursday, October 16, 2008

Confessions of a Non-Crafter

Hi. My name is Jen, and I hate crafts. Perhaps the word "crafting" would be more appropriate, since it is the actual act of cutting/pasting/hot-gluing/painting etc. that I detest. Always, I have been horrible at these things. Always I have forced myself to craft anyway, hoping to improve my skills. After all, surely if I were any good at it I'd start to enjoy it, right? I mean, I only hate crafts because I'm so bad at them, right? This is what I've always believed.

It's true that there have been moments (of the brief, fleeting variety) when I've lamented my lack of crafty talent. Relief Society, for instance. Relief Society Super Saturday (aka: big, huge, crafting Saturday around Thanksgiving that is nothing but cutting/pasting/hot-gluing/painting etc.), to be more specific. These kind of activities are mostly a chance for me to display my lack of talent/ability to all the amazingly crafty women in my ward. During such humbling experiences, I always have pangs of craft-ability longing. But these have way more to do with my pride than any actual desire to make "stuff."

There was also that time I decided to make a couple of flower arrangements to give away as thank you gifts. Anyone can put some of that green foam stuff in a basket and stick some flowers in, right? There isn't even any gluing required, how could I possibly fail?

I failed.

And the sorriest part of this story? I gave the people the flower arrangements anyway. Yes, you should be cringing right now - I certainly am. If there's anything worse than a craft-challenged individual, it's one with zero craft-shame to accompany their creations.

Then the scrapbooking phenomenon arrived. And stamping. Both these activities left me feeling completely baffled. Why would people get out all that stuff, i.e. paper, glue, scissors, glitter, and all the other little scrapbooking paraphernalia, and spend all that time making a mess, just to have to clean up, put away, and STORE IT ALL SOMEWHERE IN THEIR HOUSE???

Then at some pivotal moment of time I came to the following realization: These girls actually enjoy the process of cutting/pasting/hot-gluing etc. Not only do they enjoy it, they think it's fun enough to make up for the clean-up/put away/storing business. ????? I cannot comprehend.

I realized this when two girl friends of mine started scrapbooking once a week and invited me to join them. At first I admired their dedication to making those family records. I figured only women who had set the bar high would be willing to force themselves to set aside one night a week for such torture.

Then I realized they actually enjoyed it. Shocking, I know.

At first I was determined to try it out so I could gain a toleration (I knew love was too strong a word) of scrapbooking myself. "It shouldn't be hard," I told myself. "I'm willing to do about anything to get out of my house one evening a week to hang out with girlfriends." I should have jumped on that scrapbooking excuse the very next Thursday.

But I didn't.

I tried to, really I did. "It wouldn't be that bad," I told myself. "I might even enjoy myself." I even considered just stopping by to chat while they did all their cutting and pasting, just for the social side of it. But I couldn't. And frankly, my aversion to all things scrapbooky puzzled me. It made me reflect a little on my anti-crafting feelings.

I made a surprising discovery. A weight-lifting one, even.

I have always hated crafts! This aversion didn't start in Young Women's that time we were supposed to make Christmas wreaths and mine was so hideous everyone thought I made it as a joke - it started way before then. My birth, most likely. Suddenly I could distinctly remember sitting in First Grade (FIRST GRADE, FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE) dreading Art. What kind of First Grader hates Art???

Me. I detested it.

All that tedious cutting, and pasting, and heaven forbid they ask me to paint anything - I am seriously the world's worst painter EVER. And that includes everything from paper and small craft-like objects, to walls. It all takes so much time... Really, just the thought of Art always made me tired.

So, why would this realization be such a relief?

Because I'm excused. I don't actually hate crafts because I'm bad at them - I'm bad at them because I hate them. Can you see how that's sooo much better? How it totally absolves me from any non-crafting guilt for the rest of my life??? I honestly feel so much better about attending Enrichment meeting now.

And then guess what I discovered?

I AM NOT ALONE! There are other women who proudly stand up and say "Hi. I hate crafts." How do I know this? How can I support such a reckless claim? Because I found them here. Right on the old Mormon Mommy blog. What gets me, is all the times I passed up this blog because it was listed under the crafty women heading, and had the word "glitter" in it.

I now love this blog. I sit around waiting for each new post - and they ALWAYS deliver. you really need to spend a little time looking around to fully appreciate their genius. And they're probably getting sick of me, because I have to put in my two cents on EVERY post. Just so I can feel like we're all best non-crafty friends.

So now I've come clean. I've admitted my genetical defect to a world of crafty mormon women. I'd be worried you'd all cast me off now, but I happen to know that judging is frowned upon in your religion, so I'm feeling relatively safe.

And please don't try to save me. I know you're shocked, but as you can see, I'm in good company. I'll be fine.

And I'll never feel guilty again.

And I'm NOT signing up for any Christmas crafts at Enrichment. So there.


LisAway said...

Right there with ya.

"I happen to know that judging is frowned upon in your religion, so I'm feeling relatively safe."

You're funny. AND not crafty. I believe this combination makes you practically perfect in every way!

Laura said...

I so so SO get you!! I HATE scrapbooking, I've tried all the crafty saturdays, sewing...blah blah blah. All it does is make a mess and make me feel chaotic. And I miss out on so many get togethers because I cringe at the thought of watching others make such a mess while scrapbooking. Ugh!

Heidi said...

I'm not very successful at the crafty stuff either. On a rare occasion though, I do get an odd urge to do something that involves art in one way or another, so I guess I'm not a complete craft-hater. Still, I wish I could have your complete freedom of conscience! I still cringe and excuse myself out of Enrichment because so often it involves crafts in one way or another.

Machen Family said...

Jen, I demand to know where in the scriptures it says "thou shalt be crafty, and enjoy it, damn it!" I'm surrounded by friends who have hole punchers, 50 different pairs of different kind of scissors.. and then I'm the one who gets looked on as being the "weird one". I love your blog, please don't go private to get rid of me!

Natalie said...

Yes, it is clearly genetic. You forgot to tell them how much Liam hates crafts too. I'm pretty sure that's nature not nurture.

I don't mind SOME crafts. I like the whole creativity thing, but I'm not super into being crafty in general like so many women we know are. I had a REALLY hard time signing up for enrichment since (was it just me or did all 3 options seem sorta boring?) I didn't really want to make a scrapbook, a Christmas ornament, or can apple pie filling all that much.

Chelsea & I have talked about this before. From the time that the Young Men & Young Women split off the Young Men get to go on High Adventures and all kinds of exciting stuff and us ladies have to craft in one way or another. I'm sure A LOT of girls are wondering why they have to practice sewing while the boys are rock climbing.

Anonymous said...

Welllll.... if I admit that I enjoy crafting, will you still be my friend? I'm afraid you won't respect me anymore.

Seriously, though, I hate scrapbooking. I tried it -- but I refused to get sucked into the acid-free world and fork out hundreds of dollars a year (for some people, a month!) to feed this disease. This is why I love blogging so much. You can get the same effect as scrapbooking, for free (mostly) and NO GLUE TO SCRAPE OFF THE KITCHEN TABLE!! Or mounds of little scrappie scraps of paper to plague your husband! Or paper cuts!!!

But... having said that, I must say, I do know how to have a good time with my glue gun. And (gulp) I'm on my sewing machine every day for five or six hours. Because people pay me to, but also because I .... I (gulp, gulp) actually LOVE IT!

Kristin said...

Well I never!!!!

alright I'll accept you as you are and love you anyway, and I don't care if you sign up for anything, but you do have to oh and ah over mine, and gagging is exceptable only behind my back.

Barbaloot said...

I think I would like crafts if the things I made didn't look like a 2 year-old's science experiment gone wrong. Since everything I make looks awful...I masquerade under the guise of hating crafts. Makes sense---right?

evitafjord said...

My first visit to your blog (via Facebook) and I find out that we are so alike! I don't remember the wreaths, maybe before we got there? - I remember going to my aunt Carollynn's ward and making this super hideous topiary. It was so bad, but I kept it anyway for a long time. I think I didn't want to hurt her feelings since she was so sure I'd love it. I did kind of have fun making bad crafts, but I can't remember ever not having fun with Carollynn.

I can't scrapbook either, but I really want a Cricut, just so I can watch it make stuff. Unfortunately, can't justify that expense just to watch something cut stuff.

If I ever move back near Mom and Dad, we'll have to have a HFPE (is that right?) group and do anything but crafty stuff.

Jen said...

Sue - despite my own dislike of crafting, I still maintain a deep respect for those women who can enjoy it. SOMEONE has to make cute things to put in our houses!

Kristin of the Thursday night scrapbooking - I will Oooo, and Awwww till the cows come home. You are my idol.

Rebecca Talley said...

I like to knit, but never have time to do it. I don't scrapbook. When scrapbooking hit, I'd already had 5 or 6 kids and the whole idea of making scrapbooks for all of them was completely overwhelming.

I'd rather write than do crafts!

Claire said...

hi - my name is Claire, and I'm a non-scrapbooker..

Aaaaaaaahhhhh... Feels so good to say it out loud! Thank you for letting me say it and not be ashamed.

I'm pretty arty, but I couldn't ever get in to scrapbooking. For the very reasons that you stated! It's far too messy. I bought myself a whole load of stuff and then gave it all away after doing one spread. Too messy, too time consuming.

And now I shall carry the anti-scrapbooking torch high for everyone to see that it is ok to join the ranks of the non-sticker.

Annie Valentine said...

What can I say? When I want to craft something fantastic, I do so and then quickly move on with my life. But it will never be a habit. I'm all about bringing home the kill then resting until next season. When I quilt, I do it and fast, furiously and only every five years.

And somehow we're related.

Annie Valentine said...

And why is it our photos don't look anything alike? We totally look alike.

Alison Wonderland said...

Glitter? Glue? Paper? Gack!!! Give me a saw and a hammer, better yet a nailgun, I'm in heaven but I can not do cute!

Melissa Bastow said...

You're funny. But I have to say that I like art. AND to make matters worse I OWN A RUBBER STAMPING COMPANY. Great, now we can't be bloggy friends anymore. Way to go- this is obviously you're fault.

It's too bad that I still think you're awesome and stuff. Besides, even though I own the company, I'm really not in love with stamping. I can do it when I absolutely have to (like when I'm trying to convince my customers that I'm one of them...) But really...not so much. And I don't like painting wood crafts because they D-O-R-K-Y. Oh, and I digital scrapbook which requires no glue or crafty scissors.

So yeah, we're still friends, but I'll have you take your name off my guest list for my "Super Crafty Cutting and Gluing Party." Unless you want to just come to be social - I'm sure there will be some kind of treats. Probably M&M's.

Jen said...

Melissa. So glad we can still be friends. And if there's one way to lure me to a party involving the word "glue" it's with food. Especially chocolate;)

Kimberly said...

Oh this made me giggle. Amen Sistah! I'm anti-glue, anti-sewing machine, anti-scrapbooking.

I cross-stitch though. I hope that doesn't count too much against me.

Thanks for the laughs - you're fabulous!

mirjam said...

and even if you are the crafty type, what the heck will you do with the 18653 different craft projects that look sooooo dated after just a week and a half? better be on the safe side and not craft at all.

Whitney R said...

I used to hate crafts. Until I discovered scrapbooking. I don't think I'm very good, but it's a great thing to pass the time (When I actually have time).

Oh, and I have also discovered decorating those metal stars. I really enjoy it. It's a nice break away from Schooling.

It's okay. I don't judge.

That's the extent of my crafting.

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

Hi, my name is Marivic. And. I. Hate. Crafting.

Jen, for the longest time I tried to do crafts to fit in my world of "crafty" women. But no matter what I did not enjoy it. My end-products are actually pretty decent, but the fact is I did NOT enjoy it. Eventually I decided to just be myself. Surprise! They still love me anyway. So I think we belong to the same group of women who just don't have it in our DNA to enjoy cutting, gluing, etc.

I have to confess though that right now digital scrapbooking is sounding interesting to me. Maybe because I like doing things on the computer.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

HIGH FIVE, GIRL! I can hear you all the way across the ocean.

I love that sight too.