Pottery Barn, mossy balls and why I don’t do crafts

Posted on March 7th, 2011

My name is Laurie and I have a secret love. Oh, yes, I do. And every couple of weeks, my secret love comes to my house. And I take my secret love and I sit in the tub with my secret love, sipping wine and dreaming of how my life could be if my secret love lived with me all the time.

Because my secret love is the Pottery Barn catalog.

Please. How am I supposed to resist the lure of perfect slip-covered couches? And leather chairs? And old bottles turned into chandeliers? Nobody could resist tose things, nobody. Sadly, I must. You see, I have a budget to contend with. That’s the budget I get when Harry goes over the bills, clutches his chest and says things like, “Good Lord, woman, are you trying to drive us to the poor house?” Yeah, it’s a bit dramatic, if you ask me. In any event, I don’t function well on the budget. It’s restrictive, to say the least.

And that’s how I end up doing stupid things like crafts. I am not a crafty person. I don’t make wreaths. I don’t scrapbook. I don’t create my own handmade cards out of found objects from the backyard. Oh, I’ve tried. There was one year where I worked for days sticking pins in 4 billion cranberries so they’d stick on a foam wreath. All I ended up with were bloody finger stumps and rotten cranberries stinking up the house.

So you’d really think I’d know better than to try my hand at crafting again. Yeah, no. Turns out I am doomed to keep repeating my crafty mistakes over and over. Of course, you know that this year was no exception.

For this year’s disaster I decided to make mossy spheres. Yes, I know you are wondering what the heck a mossy sphere is and why on earth I had to make one…or you know, five, as it turned out. Well, I saw them in a Pottery Barn catalog. There they were. Five of the most perfect spheres, covered in a lush, green moss.  And I had to have them.

Unfortunately, they were $30. Each. Which I must say did not work with the  budget. But they had to be mine. My inner shopping demon was demanding them. So in a moment of delirium, I decided I could make them. After all, how on hard could it be to glue moss on some Styrofoam balls?

Yeah. Let’s not go there.

Oh it started out well. I went to Michael’s and bought moss and spheres and frankly, spent a lot less than $30 each for the stuff. And then I got home. And realized I had no clue how to get the moss to stick to the sphere. So I found some old Elmer’s in the bottom of a drawer, smothered the sphere in it and slapped on the moss.

Turns out that moss, Styrofoam and Elmer’s aren’t a good combination. The moss slid off the ball and landed glue-side down on the kitchen floor. Which apparently is a good combination because it bonded pretty darned quickly. Now, the good news is, Elmer’s comes off of a kitchen floor when you steam it. The bad news is, I steamed the heck out of my left hand, leaving me with no fingerprints.

But did I let that stop me? No. And do you know why? Because I’m stupid.

And that’s why I got out the glue gun. Now ordinarily I avoid glue guns. In the wrong hands—mine—glue guns can be considered a dangerous weapon. But I was all ticked off about having to steam the floor, so I stopped thinking clearly. And you know what? It worked. I hot glued the moss to the ball and voila! A mossy sphere that very closely resembled the ones in the catalog. If I squinted and stood very far away from the mossy sphere page, of course.

Sadly, that was the last shred of success I had. Who knew there were different kinds of moss and that I would purchase several of those different kinds? My next sphere had branches and wood pieces sticking out of it. Oh, and thanks to the glue gun, I no longer had fingerprints on my other hand.

But I never gave up. A couple more trips to Michael’s, lots more gluing, swearing and steaming and I was the proud creator of 5 mossy spheres. Oh, sure they cost three times as much as the ones in the catalog, took two days to complete and I may need surgery to be able to bend my fingers again. But I made them.

Of course, after looking around the family room I realized something awful. I have nowhere to put them. Damn you, secret love. Now I have to figure out how to build the perfect coffee table so I have a place to put my mossy spheres. But hey, how hard can it be? I just have to learn how to use a saw. And a hammer.

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