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Annual Crafting Extravaganza Causes Annual Ulcer

Annual Crafting Extravaganza Causes Annual Ulcer

It’s the time of year again that my husband Jamie dreads. That time when I become delusional and somehow forget that I cannot do crafts. That I have never been able to do crafts and I never will be able to do crafts.

Every year, the female members of my church gather for Super Saturday (or Fabulous Friday) in an event that can only be described as Martha Stewart on Steroids.

This year, I recruited my creative and craft-loving 9-year-old daughter to assist me which, in incompetent craft terms, means do it for me. For the first time ever, we had a wonderfully bonding experience as we learned how to decorate cupcakes and paint darling decorative blocks for the holiday.

A few years ago, I wasn’t so lucky. The classes included photography, dutch oven, bread making and fondue classes, Thanksgiving and Christmas crafts, 72-hour kits and general miscellaneous sessions perfectly constructed to send me over the edge.

I signed up to make some cute wooden pumpkins, quiet folders for the kids when we’re at church and winter hats.

I easily painted the pumpkins and left them to dry. I then went over to the station to make quiet folders. It was supposed to be simple. The first task consisted of note cards with beautiful oil paintings. All I needed to do was take them to the library to be laminated, cut them out, hole punch them and attach them to a ring for the kids to flip through.

I got as far as getting them laminated and then became enveloped in the throes of making other quiet folders (because I am the queen of multi-tasking). This craft required me to print off various pages from an activity book and then color, cut out, laminate, cut out again, glue, apply magnets and well, I don’t know what happened beyond that because I never got past Step 1.

The coloring process was labor-intensive. I had multiple pages to try to crank out and I was in grade school the last time I competed in the Coloring Olympics. After half an hour with little progress, I started to panic.

And recruit.

It started when Jesse, one of the 12-year-old girls I teach at church, asked for a ride home. I agreed–but with with a condition that involved scissors. Her brother needed a ride, too. He was relegated to coloring. My neighbor Sadie was next, along with my daughter Hadley.

Even with all my help, we did not complete our coloring pages before the laminator ran out. I would have to finish the project on my own time which, let’s face it, is never going to happen.
I was frazzled and tired when I arrived at my final station to make winter hats for the kids. I stopped in my tracks when I saw the arch nemesis of every non-crafter: sewing machines. I spotted my friend’s 11-year-old daughter Whitney working on her own hat and offered to give her $5 to make mine.

It was the best $5 I ever spent

When I limped through the door several hours later, Jamie informed me that my domestic goddess mother had called while I was out. I inwardly groaned–my crafting failures assuredly keep her up at night. Jamie said he mentioned to her I was at Fabulous Friday. My mom’s response?

“Oh hell.”

Her words. Not mine.

Though I have to concur that is exactly where I was.

So, let’s hear it: Are you a crafting aficionado or failure?

Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.


  1. You were brilliant outsource.

  2. Okay Amber, you have heard my craft hell but like you, I still think that I’m going to be all amazing and things are going to turn out different this time.

    I will say though, after someone taught we how to thread a needle, “sewing” seems a little more simple but in no way will I step near a sewing machine. Is it just me or does it look like a torture device that should be in every prison across America?

  3. Just called me an outsourcer extraordinaire!

    Yeah, remembering how to thread the sewing machine is the first step to recovery. Unforunately, I lost the instructions and haven’t been able to figure it out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Note to self: bring a wad of $5 bills to Craft Night.

    I’m most definitely craftily challenged.

  5. A little bit of bribery never hurt anyone. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Amber,
    I hate the mess. I am such a scrooge when it comes to crafty stuff.
    We made pinecones for the birds with peanut butter and birdseed. Needless to say, Our basement is awash in birdseed. And that is why these projects are few and far between. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I love the bribery story as well. Cheap child labor, how can you beat that? ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Am I crafty? Should I send another sword? Since my enclosed legal responsibility disclaimer was well written, I’m sure the first sword was hidden to prevent destruction of property and person.
    Crafts? So much fun, so little time!
    For crafts challenged folks Iโ€™d normally recommend they purchase the ultimate crafting helper, a hot glue gun; however, in your caseโ€ฆ

  8. i like to craft, if the craft is easy enough. but i’m one that likes to start a craft but for whatever reason, there’s many i have never finished. because i know this about myself, i don’t craft much any more – even though there’s several things i would like to try.

    the hats look very cute.

  9. Thank you for giving me a chuckle. I hate crafts but I try too!

  10. Oh, you’re crafty alright… Wait. Wrong definition. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Every year I go through the same delusion. I get all these great crafty ideas to give as gifts, spends tons of money and time and then, well, then I buy real gifts and pretend the crafts never happened.
    It must be something in the air. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. You have too many negative comments on here. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am one who loves to craft and sew. The problem now is that I have so many things that I want to do for Christmas, I probably won’t get many done.

  13. Oh Amber, my bribing, craft failing friend. I may have been in charge that night but note, I never really did any of them myself.

    Whitney made a lot of hats that night but you were the only one that paid her for it. She was very excited to make some money!

  14. Well, I am a complete failure when it comes to craft.

    I would bribe anyone who would accept to do my crafts : )


  15. Classic. I love your mother’s response. I love doing crafty stuff but didn’t get to do mine at our super sat. They conned me into teaching the bow making class. Next time I’m going to politely decline. Who does that with a 2 month old?

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