Crafty thoughts

By Debbie Carini
Sometimes I like to look back on my old columns just to make sure I’m not writing about a topic I’ve covered before. Last October, I wrote about my great love of buffet-style dining in restaurants.

This month, I’d like to share my great love of the street fair because a) our town has a wonderful street fair called the Village Venture, which will take place on Saturday, October 25 and b) a street fair is a lot like a buffet…of stuff!

I mean, where else can you find a “magic” chamois that can wipe up an entire spilled bottle of cola? (Oh, “magic” chamois…where were you when my son was seven and, with regularity, created psychedelic, iridescent slicks of Sunny Delight and chocolate milk)? Or how about necklaces made out of coins and purses crocheted from plastic bags?

A street fair in October is a particularly dangerous thing because it is perilously close to Christmas and Hanukkah, and suddenly the most ridiculous items start to look like something a relative might need—something one might be able to actually whip up on one’s own time. And so, it seems, my sister would probably love the handbag crafted from old jeans (with the pockets now serving as make-up compartments and the belt loop, a handy place to hook your keys). My mind starts to race, “I could probably get old jeans at the thrift store and I think I have some bedazzling gems in the craft closet. (Yes, I have a closet devoted to popsicle sticks, yarn, old buttons, sea glass, fabric, pipe cleaners and other assorted items I can’t bear to throw away.)

Of course, at some point, “I bet I can make that myself” becomes a dangerous mantra, because I probably can’t whittle a wooden rubber band gun, though I would be a hero to legions of children who try to convince their parents (as mine once did) that something handcrafted must be safer than anything store-bought (Yet have you ever been hit with one of those things? Because they hurt, and the cat doesn’t like them either, though she does like to eat the rubber bands and then I’m cleaning that up when it revisits the floor at two in the morning.)

Maybe I’m a little woozy from the numerous food groups I’ve sampled at the various food booths, but at every one of these events I start to think I should quit my day job and run off with the street fair circus.  

“I’ll craft all week!” I start to imagine. I’ll fashion necklaces from soda pop tops (I’ve actually done this, after seeing them at a street fair, and I had to stop when I realized the intense aroma of the resin was diluting all my efforts to live a normal life. Or I’ll learn to use that dehydrator that’s been sitting in the laundry room (can’t you just smell the potpourri?).

And yet, by the time I reach home, the buzz from the yard-long bag of kettle corn I’ve ingested starts to wear off and I know that I won’t be spending my days with the free-spirited and ingenious traveling crafters.

But I do think I could make those darling containers crafted from broken jewelry pieces and old Mason jars. Now, what did I do with my glue gun?

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