I used to think Facebook was the greatest time suck, but it’s not. Pinterest is. In the evenings, when the girls are looming and knitting and being creative with their precious time, I’m sitting with a computer on my lap collecting other people’s hobbies – 4,820 to be exact. I’ve never seen so many beautiful ideas all in one place. From rare black and white images of Jackie Kennedy to Crock Pot cheesecakes, I could spend days — weeks — pinning pretties to my virtual corkboard. But every time I try to recreate someone else’s inspiration, I’m reminded that I’m no Martha Stewart.
Last season, I borrowed an idea from a “Gardening Bliss” board to invert metal tomato cages to make topiary Christmas trees. These stunning cones of white lights sparkled with the theme of Handmade Holiday. I followed each step, jabbing my palms with rusted spokes of wire, and bending the triangular tree into a squoval shape trying to jam it into an equally distressed planter. I wound garland according to the pinned image, and tucked lights into the greenery. That night, a cold front blew tree and pot into the neighbor’s yard.
A few weeks later, I got another hairbrained idea to make Santa hats out of strawberries and canned whipped cream. These little nibbles of Saint Nick would add touches of charm and whimsy to my Christmas Eve buffet! That morning, when the girls were at Mike’s office for cocoa and cookies (a slick way of getting employees to show up on December 24th), I carefully capped each berry and stacked it onto a dark chocolate brownie bite. I was so proud of myself that I decided to make a dozen more. That evening, when I pulled my delightful culinary creations out of the refrigerator to wow guests from near and far, the strawberry juice had bled into the piped whipped cream, which had deflated after several hours of rest. Mini Kris Kringles had suffered fatal aneurisms.
Then, there was the idea to spank seasonal pomegranates to rain ruby red seeds onto salad greens. I cut the fruit in half, leaving a pool of juice on my counter, which stained my hands and 35-year old Formica. With strict obedience, I grasped a wooden spoon and began smacking the halved pomegranate over the bowl, flinging seeds and red dye all over the ceiling and cat. I could’ve changed the address of our house to 875 South Bundy.
This year, I still haven’t learned my lesson. I’ve been hit with another wave of want and need thanks to Pinterest, such as setting up a hot chocolate station to wake up to on Christmas morning. It helps to have red and green mugs, peppermint stick stirrers, and ramekins of fluffy, homemade marshmallows. It also helps to hire someone to get up at 4:00 a.m. to melt Ghirardelli chocolate over a pot of simmering water. I’m also intrigued by an idea to shower my trees with icicle lights. Instead of winding them around each branch, decorators are encouraged to let strands hang down effortlessly….naturally. Of course, if our zip code is hit with another night of 45mph winds, I’ll have trees full of illuminated snowballs. I also don’t know where the featured homeowners hid the plugs or extension cords, because their trees looked like God Himself said “let there be light.” And it was good.
My final bright idea is to try to make one of the wildly popular mesh wreaths for our front door. Pinterest tutorials state there are three ways to make this circle of holiday joy. I have no idea how long it will take to conceal the wire form, or to adorn the silvery mesh and ornaments with a hot glue gun. It can’t possibly take as long as the tomato cage trees, which turned me off from gardening altogether. The Clumsy Crafter blogs that this is the easiest wreath to make, especially if I can find a coupon to Hobby Lobby. But don’t try to buy supplies on a Sunday.
Now a half-hour into writing this post, I wonder what types of pins have been added to my home feed wall. There has to be a project that the girls and I can do together. Some genius preschool teacher will share her ideas for family togetherness, such as Pin the Nose on Rudolph or Pin the Tail on Blitzen. But I really don’t care if this idea falls through. I already know of a fool-proof way to tie one on.