I'm on a crafting kick. Because I am a huge nerd. And I love to have unfinished projects haunt me for all of my days. Anyway, I recently needlepointed a boat (with the poorest of poor techniques) and have developed the beginnings of calluses on my right forefinger and thumb. This is very exciting for me. It's like crafting-cred. I don't want to lose it, but I have completely forgotten about how to needlepoint, so before I go back to a project I care about, I wanted to get a small one I didn't care about to fuck up and get it out of my system.
The problem with this plan is that small + cheap = Michael's + dolphins/horses/kitties/trite maxims. Things I will needlepoint in a pinch to warm up: flowers, various natural scenes... um, did I mention flowers? They're kind of the safe bet. The problem is that I don't want to be stuck with whatever it is I make because, as something cheap, it will be some kind of wall hanging or display. I was once very lucky and found a spray of roses that covered the whole square canvas that I thought I could turn into a small pillow. (Hm, I wonder what I did with that?) But today... today was just epically bad. I did find something, but I'll wait until I'm done and if I like it okay, I'll post a picture. Otherwise I will deny this conversation ever happened. Such as it is. My second choice was a kitty picture - it was actually a kitten hanging miserably over a rope and seriously said "hang in there" at the bottom. I considered purchasing this awful thing and sewing it up, only with the text "I hate you guys" at the bottom. I mean, who put that cat there in the first place? But then I realized I would actually be creating a "hang in there" poster and withdrew my hand from the rack.
The two things I saw that I wanted - oh did I want them - were both cross-stitch, which is not adequate practice for needlepoint. Now first here is something to understand about cross-stitch: there are two kinds, stamped and counted. In my opinion (and that of little old ladies the world over, I'm sure) the only real cross-stitch is counted, where you fold your aida cloth into quarters and mark the center with string and then count where your stitches should go based on a printed pattern. Stamped cross-stitch, on the other hand, has the pattern printed right on the aida cloth so you don't have to count anything. I assume this is for beginners, lazy people and people who are planning to craft as they fly somewhere (it sucks trying to count stitches and the little tiny squares between then on a turbulent flight). I think some of the printed pattern always shows through the stitches (which are not as tight as in needlepoint) and it looks even chintzier than regular cross-stitch. (I love it as a craft, but man, there is nothing more useless.)
Okay, so now you understand what it means when I say that I very very badly wanted to purchase and take home with me the Stamped Cross-Stitch Last Supper. Oh my God (no pun intended), it was so wonderfully awful. The most horrible part of me wanted to just take it home and set it on a shelf. Just to have it there. This kind of surreal artifact from another world. But I know there are little old ladies across the country who think this is just precious. Their eyes are failing them, they want to honor their Lord and Savior in the best and least useful way possible, and then God just sets down this $23 Honor Buffet right in front of them. But seriously. It's just terrible. Pete pointed out that if I had gotten it, we would have just come to find that Katie already had it attached to the flap of her satchel or something because she's just that cool. And then I then I would have had to hide my objet d'art so that no one would know my secret secondsies shame.
The other thing I wanted so very very badly was this Magnificent Wizard. By Merlin's beard, I feel his glorious wizardry just looking at him defeat that dragon! Or maybe the dragon is just waiting for the batteries to run out on his nerd-stick so he can eat him. Either way, how could you not want to make this and send it to your favorite Dungeon Master? ::ahJOEem:: Alas, at $40 and god only knows how many hours of work, I just couldn't justify the cost for the joke. I mean, irony is all very fine, but one has one's limits. (Mine are apparently $22 and the vague risk of offending some old ladies who will never know or $40. Who knew that vague old lady offense risk was worth $18?)
So there you have it: those are the best crafts ever. I may have to go back for the last supper one. Or order it on eBay. And I may have to find that matching satchel. Katie is probably the only person I know cool enough to pull it off, but it would likely horrify her parents. Or give them false hope. Ooh, I smell a social experiment!