in which carrots turns to pro-craft-ination

Things are getting ugly over here at the carrots household, dear readers. The job market and the end of the semester are combining to create the Perfect Storm of Stress. Bill Paxton is around here somewhere, furrowing his brow in that neanderthal way, hiding in a ditch from the twisters, and watching cows whiz by.

I know I am not alone among my academic-job-hunting friends in feeling that right about now I need to take my mind off things. I’ve sent off my first round of applications, and now I’m waiting waiting waiting. I need a distraction. Some turn to world travel. Some turn to alcohol and gambling. I turn to crafting, apparently.

In a moment of recklessness — oh, the adventure! — I decided to try out these “paper bauble” Christmas ornaments. A friend had posted the pattern for them on Pinterest, and I was seduced by the simplicity of them. My brain is tapioca, after all — a little wobbly and of an unsettling consistency — and I therefore cannot handle complicated directions or sophisticated crafting equipment, like a hot glue gun or a sewing machine. The finished product is not-too-terrible! On to the photo-essay!

I began by braving Michael’s, where many parents of irresponsible middle school children were buying posterboard in some last-ditch attempt to put together a science project for Monday morning. I elbowed my way around the scrapbooking aisle for awhile, picking over the selection overpriced papers. I chose a few solids and a few patterns. That piece in the middle? I definitely thought it was a whimsical pattern of mittens. No. It’s oven mitts. Oh, well. People bake around Christmas, right?

The rest of my supplies: florist’s wire, thin red ribbon, and a small baggie full of these ingenious little pre-measured dots of glue. I love the OCD precision of these small dots of glue, and I am therefore considering finding future crafting projects that allow me to use them.

I spent far too much time cutting out circles of paper this evening. But check out the fun campsite paper I found! This paper also has nothing at all to do with Christmas, but I enjoy the small lanterns. Each ornament requires twelve of these circles, which you fold in half, stack, and bind with florist’s wire. Gluing the edges of the circles together in an alternating pattern creates the honeycomb pattern of the finished ornament:

Not too bad for my first try. Here’s the same ornament from above:

Toby is in her teenage angst phase, and therefore she is Too Cool for Crafting. But she enjoyed the completed project.

I imagine that these would be more interesting ornaments if created out of something more meaningful than overpriced paper from Michael’s. Piecing together an extra wedding invitation and program could make for an interesting substitute for a bow on an anniversary gift, maybe. And they don’t take long. I made two in about an hour:

I appreciate the immediate gratification of a senseless crafting project. If only I could stick together the edges of my CV and job letter with small dots of glue and — voila! — at the end of the process find a small, perfect, tenure-track job on a string.

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4 thoughts on “in which carrots turns to pro-craft-ination

  1. I guess mittens and Chistmas trees “are in the eye of the beholder” because that’s what I thought until you told me otherwise. The paper balls are really pretty. Like you, I thought might be more interesting made of something else–maybe pictures of children printed on plain paper for the perfect grandma or auntie gift. Somewhere there’s a website that offers old illustrations of Victorian women in hats…
    It’s unfortunate that all the job anxiety comes at year’s end and does its best to ruin the festivities. Wishing you good luck and may everyone love your cv and your interview answers.

    • The photograph idea is a good one! I think I’ll practice awhile before I start making some as small gifts for others. I love the Victorian illustrations idea.

      First sorely felt bad news of the job market season came this morning. Trying to stay positive. Maybe I should buy some glitter.

  2. I was inspired by your craft project and decided to attempt this myself. Armed with a Michael’s coupon, I got all my supplies and ended up making several this weekend. They are now serving as decoy tree ornaments to prevent Mr. Gus from destroying every ornament on the tree–it’s working! So thank you for the fun craft inspiration. 🙂 There’s something so wonderfully satisfying about crafts and the finality of the projects.

    Fingers crossed for you this year as you deserve something truly wonderful!

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