Saturday, January 21, 2012

Easiest. Craft. Ever.

It’s nearly Valentine’s Day---time for chocolate, cards, and/or burning all of your ex’s stuff. It used to be you only hosted parties for happy events. “Look, I’m getting married/having a baby/cured my bad case of hangnails!” Now you can celebrate Anti-Valentine’s Day or throw a divorce party with a “Bring Your Own Bottle” note in the invitation. (Though technically speaking, many would say divorcing someone you loathe is a happy event, too.) Honestly, I was ready to leave that one after the cops showed up, but I was vetoed and had to stay until I crawled out to the car at 2 am while complaining, “I went to work today! Or yesterday! What day is it? Why did you have to put ‘no kids’ in the invite? What kind of crappy parent would even think to bring their kids to this type of party anyway?”

Don’t answer that.

Typically we make cards for Valentines, but depending on whom you send cards to (males), it can be a complete waste. My mother was ready to strangle my brother through the phone when she discovered he’d tossed her beautiful $6 Christmas card. In his defense he said, “What else did you want me to do with it?” Survey says: she wanted you to keep it. Not forever. But at least until January 1st. “From now on he gets the cheap cards!” Another relative didn’t even bother to open his card. His response: “Oh, I threw it away. Thanks for the gift.” I wish I had been there to see him digging through the dumpster when he discovered I’d put money in it. Had he not found the envelope I was completely ready to lie and say, “There was $500 in that envelope! I can’t believe you threw away $500! I should be reimbursed!”

That would have made it the second best Christmas ever.

So it is officially established cards are off the list for men, but what’s an alternative? The following is an easy craft perfect for children to give to their parents, broke teenagers to give to each other, and women to give that special someone that screams, “I like you, but you’re not particularly useful and your FICO score is too low for this to go to the next level.”

Decorative Mugs
Ceramic mugs from IKEA
Sharpies---assorted colors
Rubbing alcohol
Paper towels
A watchful eye
Chocolate (optional)

1. Number the Sharpies. Honestly, the hardest part of this craft is keeping track of the pens.

2. Give each person 1 mug and 1 pen. Explain that when they are done they have to return the pen.

3. If they complain about the pen's color and, “I want purple!” tell them whining is not attractive and they need to switch with another person because you’re not giving them 2 pens and that’s life.

4. Let them decorate the mugs.

5. After they are finished decorating (which takes a lot longer than it seems possible with all the talking) get back 1 pen from each of them, not letting them leave until every pen is accounted for.

6. If a teen tells you they don’t have a pen, explain they’d better make one materialize out of thin air or prove there’s a ghost in the room.

7. Realize that despite all your hard work, you will always be 1-2 pens short of what you started with. If this makes you feel bad, eat some chocolate.

8. Use rubbing alcohol and paper towels to clean up the tables should any ink get on them. If you can’t find rubbing alcohol use hand sanitizer.

This craft is so easy, I wish there was an IKEA right in Elk Grove, and I’m not just saying that because I like to mindlessly wander through the store while eating cinnamon rolls.


And now, time for the perfect Valentine's Day song...

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