Last month, like many of you, I was in the throws of Christmas preparation. Shopping and planning and making and running around. You know, the usual.
I wasn't making very many things, just a few little gifts like the dolls I shared recently, and a couple of new Christmas decorations. But I kept having trouble with my projects. Time after time I'd have to walk away in frustration, only to come back to it later and wrestle with it some more until it was done. Not much satisfaction to be had.
One day it all just got to me. I was grumpy and frustrated and had just had it! You know what I mean? I vented my frustrations on Facebook with this:
Today I've struggled with a gloom that's been pestering me. Maybe a mug of cocoa will help. Couldn't hurt, right?
to which a sweet friend replied:
Christmas music on Pandora, make a craft, get some sunshine.
(Did I mention that Michigan is very dreary in the winter? That was part of my problem at the time, too, I'm sure. Sick to DEATH of the grey!)
She didn't know that I'd been struggling with that very thing, but the her idea still appealed to me. I needed to make something simple but that required focus. Again, I wanted to use my hands and end up with something successful.
I immediately dove into my craft closet, searching for inspiration. I spied an oatmeal colored wool sweater that I'd picked up a few months ago while thrifting. It was in great condition, just shrunken. Perfect for a craft project!
Next I started hunting for buttons. I wanted big wooden ones, but didn't have enough. This gave me another idea, so I walked out onto my back porch and rifled through a pile of twigs my husband had stacked next to the firepit. I quickly found one that I liked and went back inside to start my therapy.
I cut the arms off the sweater right at the seams then turned it inside out and sewed it closed on 3 sides, leaving the hem open. Pillow cover!
Next I turned my attention to the twig. It was fairly straight but still had a few extra knobs that I wanted off, so I used my Dremel tool to clean it up a bit. Then I cut it into 5 sections that were each about 1.5"-2" long.
With a little piece of sandpaper I smoothed each piece, rounding off the ends and giving myself the much-needed handwork that I was looking for.
I got the tiniest drill bit I could find and carefully drilled two holes in the middle of each section of twig. Luckily I'd chosen a piece of fallen branch that was dried out but not rotten. I was so scared that after all that I'd end up with split, crumbly and broken pieces of twig when I tried to drill into it.
But it worked!
I made button holes in my pillow cover then attached my new handmade twig buttons.
I cannot tell you how much I needed this project. I just needed something to go right! It only took me about an hour (you know how important instant gratification is to me), and to end up with something that I really, truly liked and could be proud of was HUGE.
This project made me realize a few things.
1. My yard is a great resource for project materials!
2. Sometimes something as small as making a button can turn your whole mood (and crafting mojo!) around.
3. There's no need to go spend a bunch of money on supplies when you get the urge to create.
4. Projects don't need to be big, involved or impressive to give you a great sense of accomplishment.
So, Sasha, if you read this, thank you for your suggestion. It made all the difference in my day. And who knows? I may just be making some more wooden buttons somewhere down the road, because now I know I can! :)