Embracing (and not scoffing at) My Inner Craftiness: Or I’ve Got Mad Skillz

To know me very well is to scoff at the idea of me being crafty. Well, that is, pre-motherhood. And scoff is a harsh term because most of my friends don’t scoff, because they’re much nicer than I am. But since I scoff, I use the word scoff.

But lately, I haven’t been scoffing so much at the idea of being crafty because when you have a 3-year-old, not being crafty is just dumb. One must find ways to be creative otherwise you get to know all the characters of Busytown Mysteries and Dora the Explorer on an intimate level. An uncomfortably intimate level. (Not like that. Don’t be a perv.)

So I have become crafty. Now, I don’t for one minute believe that I will ever attain the levels of crafty women who have been doing it all their lives. I have a sewing machine that I do not know how to thread. (I’m sure I could figure it out, but that would require buying thread and material and a good pair of scissors.) I do not, nor do I believe that I will EVER own a hot glue gun. I will probably never make anything that anyone would not suspect that my daughter did for me. I just don’t think my craftiness will ever take off in the direction of being a seller on Etsy.

However, digging down and embracing the craft just for the sake of being able to share some moments with my daughter and find enjoy spending time making something, no matter how it turns out. Well, that shit’s just priceless.

I’m finding that my inner craft geek likes stuff that has value in some way, not just for prettiness sake, because, let’s face it, my stuff is just not that pretty. So it must be practical. Like food. Or glue. Or construction paper art using homemade glue and watercolors.

A couple of weeks ago, Annika announced she wanted pasta for dinner. I had used up the spaghetti the day before and had not been to the store. So, instead of telling her that she would have to settle for something else, we got out the ingredients and made some. I used to work at an Olive Garden back in the days when they actually made stuff there instead of having frozen entrees shipped in from China (joking, I don’t know where they ship it in from these days). But we actually made our pasta and I knew that it was pretty simple. You don’t need a fancy machine to mix the shit up. A noodle maker would be helpful, but it’s not completely necessary.

So, we mixed up the ingredients in a bowl, rolled it out with a rolling pin, and cut it into strips. It was good. Not the best thing, I’ve ever eaten in the sense that it didn’t taste any different than any other pasta I’ve ever eaten. But damn, it was one of the most satisfying meals I’ve ever eaten. I couldn’t stop grinning at Annika and going, “Hey, we made pasta!”

We’ve been making cookies, bread, muffins, and pizza dough for months and it’s strange to me. It’s not a daily occurrence, but before I had a kid, I NEVER EVER thought about doing this shit. Seriously. I don’t even think that I thought I could.

I’m good at a lot of things. Drinking beer. Watching TV. Writing. Reading. Thrift store shopping. Saying things that nobody else would dare say because they have manners and social skills. Asking people questions that most people wouldn’t. People watching. Boarding airplanes. Chewing gum. Boiling water. Making coffee. I could go on and on folks. My skills are endless. But making stuff has never been my forte.

Then last week, one afternoon, Annika wanted to help make something and was disappointed when she couldn’t use the rolling pin. So, I quickly tossed some ingredients in a bowl from a recipe for homemade glue, thinking it would keep her occupied for a while. Homemade glue folks! I didn’t even plan it out. It just HAPPENED! I am a crafting expert. The end.

Homemade glue. The second batch. Yeah, I made it TWICE!

Oh, and one more skill. Using the word scoff at least five times in one blog post. That takes skill, but really, not as much skill as making homemade glue.


  1. Elizabeth says:

    OMG – you have to get a glue gun. Seriously. They are way useful. If you can make pasta from scratch (OMG) then you are totally ready for a glue gun!!!!

    • Martha says:

      Dude, making pasta is actually really easy. What kind of uses does one need a hot glue gun for? If you think I need one, I will rethink it. I trust you.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Do you have a quick recipe? I’m not much of a cook, but if you say its easy, I will give it a try. I think Olivia would really get a charge out of eating it if we made it ourselves. A glue gun is a must have! If you want something glued quickly (without drying time), it is the best! Its fantastic for gluing fabric. I can’t tell you how many Halloween costumes and other fabric projects that I have made without ever sewing a stitch. Its not much for gluing wood though. And I would not recommend wasting my time on a low temp glue gun. It needs to be hot to work. Obviously, its not kid-friendly during the early childhood years, so that is a down side.