I am craft impaired. There, I’ve said it. I’ve whispered it guiltily for years, but now it’s been published. I even said it on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, so I guess it’s really official.


I thought I’d get a jump on the announcement before it’s shouted from the rooftops. Sometimes I think I’m not quite up to par as a Relief Society sister because I don’t own a Cricut and I feel more overwhelmed and depressed at Hobby Lobby than excited. When my daughters and daughters-in-law-well, some of them, as you will see-get together and say, “Let’s do crafts,” I want to do anything but.


TarinI’m not alone, though. Above is a picture of my craft-impaired daughter-in-law with a Halloween costume antenna hot glued to her finger. Her husband posted it to Facebook and it got a barrage of other craft-impaired sisters confessing to their levels of craft-impairment.


I confessed at that time to hot gluing a whole cross-stitched sampler to my thumb and index finger once years ago in an attempt to frame the sampler. I could either choose to hold up the sampler for many, many years close to the wall as a human wall hanger or use a lot of nail polish remover. Boy, that stuff dries out the skin after the first bottle or two.


Surviving craft night


Don’t misunderstand. I’m really quite artistic. In fact, I’m going to take watercolor painting classes in the spring at our local fine arts museum, but start talking decoupage, tacky glue, and pipe cleaners, and I’m out of there. I hover at the edges of crafting activity nights, bouncing babies, refilling pitchers, and re-arranging plates of cookies that don’t need to be re-arranged.


“Aren’t you going to paint a pumpkin, Sister Elzey?” several sisters asked recently.

“Oh, as soon as things settle down,” I reply, moving a pumpkin bar or two around.

“Here’s one you can work on,” a sister says, pushing a naked pumpkin my way.

“Oh, dear, where did those napkins go?” I say, before rushing off to the membership involvement closet.


My craft history


I have been a member of the church for 42 years. I can honestly remember two craft projects I have finished. Well, three, but one was crooked by the time I got it home, so I threw it away.


One was a basket I made years ago out of some crinkly stuff. It’s stashed back in my closet filled with . . .


Whoa . . . I just looked. I must have finally thrown it away when I cleaned out the closet last.


So then year before last I sculpted a nativity out of some kind of clay-more art than craft, you see. There was a curly sheep, a shepherd with a crook, Joseph, Mary, and a manger with a baby Jesus. A few sisters even oohed and aahed. It was the zenith of my craftiness.


I pulled it out last year to add to my nativities collection and, even though I had baked the figures, they had gotten crinkly (don’t we all?) and the poor kneeling Mary was leaning backward in some kind of game of Bethlehem limbo. I threw them all away.


I guess that puts me 0-3 for crafts.


I was 18 when I joined the Church. I believed buried golden plates, angels in upstate New York, boy prophets, and commitments, commandments, and consecrations without skipping a beat. But I distinctly remember one of my first mid-week homemaking meetings as a new full-time mom where the sisters were quilting.


“What in the world have I gotten myself into?” I thought. Luckily, I had a baby on my knee as I faced the fact I could never stitch such minute, perfect stitches, nor did I care to learn.


And I’ve done just fine. I did learn to crochet and knit and have done enough of that to develop arthritis in my thumb and now have a reason to retire my hooks and needles. A tender mercy perhaps?


Room at the table for all


Now I’m in the Relief Society presidency and in charge of the monthly midweek activities. I follow a woman who made Halloween costumes for each of her three children every year of their lives. Her craft supplies fill up tub after organized tub of paints, brushes, buttons, laces, materials, scrapbook papers, etc., etc.


I brought all my craft supplies to the pumpkin painting night. It was a little plastic basket of paints. Oh, plus a package of new brushes. I sort of slid it in next to her mountain on the table.


I think I do have a glue gun someplace, but I can’t find it. I hid it because I’m afraid of it.


One more confession, and I’m done. I don’t even do Pinterest. I have an account and Pinterest keeps sending me emails. I think I’ve hurt its feelings. But I don’t want to be followed or to follow anyone.


  I would just like to look up a recipe occasionally or learn how to make the Christmas wreath I bought all the stuff for last year.


Oh, forget that. My daughter is coming for Thanksgiving. I’m just going to ask her to do it. That’s daughter, not daughter-in-law. Who knows where that poor daughter-in-law would wind up gluing a whole wreath?


Thank goodness there is room for us all-crafty or otherwise-at the Lord’s table. Some of us will have napkin rings we’ve made out of pipe cleaners, tacky glue, and vinyl letters, which will be beautiful. And some of us won’t.


But we’ll all be able to sit down together and enjoy the feast. That’s the beauty of the gospel.


Susan is a freelance writer in beautiful southern Virginia. Her novel “Miracle of the Christmas Star” may be purchased on www.mormonbooksandauthors.com or Amazon.com.     

Miracle