A few years ago, I got wrangled into attending a scrapbooking social. I was naive. I was ignorant. I was lured by the promise of iced pound cake. Anyway, when I sat down at the table with a bunch of other women, I had no idea what this cut and paste world was all about. Four hours later, with glue in my hair and a slew of paper cuts on my fingers, I found myself clutching my creation, a lopsided picture frame my four year old nephew could have constructed. I immediately concluded there wasn’t enough pound cake in the world to balance out the sheer torture of adult craft time.
“What class are you going to next?” the blogger sitting to my right asked as I popped a cookie in my mouth.
“The business one.”
“Oh yeah, that one has potential. But no, I’m going to crafting. I hate that artsy shit but I adore Amy Sedaris and she’s on the panel.”
I dusted the crumbs off my lap, gathered my things and headed up to the classroom. As I secured a seat in the last row, I saw Amie lingering in the doorway looking to partake in a little celeb ogling. A few seconds later, Amy Sedaris decked out in a full skirt, large horn rimmed glasses and a sloppy ponytail trotted past. Trailing in her wake was an enormous suitcase on wheels. Amie watched the guest speaker settle in at the front of the room before glancing at an attendee knitting something shapeless and gray. Then she looked at me, threw her arms up in defeat and grabbed the empty seat to my left. The chatter quieted and the panel began.
Crafty Chica talked first, telling us all about how she segued into the world of glue guns and glitter. She gabbed about needing to pay the electric bill and how she went to Michael’s with her husband and exchanged a twenty dollar bill for a bagful of stuff. They went home, did something crafty and netted $200 for their creations. That was years ago. Now she is the author of multiple books and just got picked up to create a product line for Michael’s. She giggled with glee. She admitted she got tiles stuck in her hair. She was just the crazy gal I could down a bottle of wine with. And just as I started to think about picking this hobby up simply for the sake of rubbing elbows with this fun crafty gang, two other girls on the panel introduced themselves.
“I wanted to find a purpose for left over scraps. Of fabric. Because it’s important to use everything. I like to take zigzag scissors and make patches,” one lady said, her monotone delivery perfectly matching her mousy brown hair.
“I was so excited when I realized I could marry my two passions of writing and crafting. I’m the luckiest girl in the world,” another gal swooned as she held up a ball of twine and a craft magazine she writes for.
Yeah, sure, you glue eating freak.
The last person on the panel to speak was Ms. Sedaris who introduced herself by noting an interest in baking cupcakes she randomly sells at a coffee shop in the Village. When she isn’t baking, she’s making wands. The old fashion kind with long stems and golden stars glued to the end. And since she isn’t sure how to determine an accurate price for a magic wand, multiple tip jars litter her residence.
With introductions complete, the class began. Attendees hit the ground running asking questions. Like how do you copyright a sewing pattern. Or what formula do you use to calculate the value of your product. And what is the best way to ensure people won’t steal your ideas. I didn’t ask questions. I didn’t take notes. I merely sat in my seat, randomly jabbed Amie in the ribs and giggled myself to tears.
When the class ended, people scurried in different directions. Some women packed up their knitting needles while others exchanged sewing suggestions. I headed for the door. I didn’t have anything to say or contribute to the topic at hand. These days, the closest I come to being crafty is presenting my dry cleaner with something that needs to be shortened. Shit, I can’t even sew a button on. But as I sat in that room nestled shoulder to shoulder with crafty women I would have otherwise written off, I found myself appreciating this quirky demographic. Or maybe it wasn’t that I appreciated them but that they opened their arms and welcomed me into their clique. And after being bombarded left and right by those breeder bloggers who engage only those with kids, it was refreshing to know not all cliques are exclusive.