When Crafting Seems Too Much Like Hard Work

On New Year's morning I was recovering from helping my daughter run three big holiday markets, or partially recovering because the last day of one market was still five excruciatingly long days into the future. Exhausted, I watched all the What Happened in 2013 television shows, had coffee, and went through my email, only to find that YouTube sent videos they (it?) thought I would enjoy. One was from Look TV entitled "Velvet Jewelry Box: Look DIY." 

"Tis the season for gift giving!" the blurb read.

"A little velvet and sparkly buttons turn a cigar box into a luxe holiday gift for your best friend or the jewelry lover in your life. Follow this Look DIY stop-motion tutorial to learn how to repurpose a cigar box into a jewelry box. We're obsessed!"

Step 1 of the box.

Here is the video… (http://youtu.be/yD-YIaIvjkU)

I don't watch too many online videos, unless it's the baby in the car seat dancing to Gangnam Style, or Jimmy Fallon parodying Downton Abbey. I don't watch instructional videos.

But "Velvet Jewelry Box: Look DIY" was amazing. It does not feature someone talking, just a Charlie Chaplin-like video (on fast forward, it seems) of two anonymous hands accomplishing the craft, at breakneck speed. When the model uses scissors, the sound track dubs in a scissors-cutting-noise. It showed every step of how to make a jewelry box and really even a monkey could follow it. 

Being the mother of someone who sells jewelry for a living, there is no box big enough to hold even the very few pieces of jewelry I keep for myself from my daughter's line. Add to that sentimental pieces, and investment pieces (Chanel from ebay) which must be kept in the box they came in for authentication, and a cigar-sized jewelry box is out of the question. 

Many, many steps. 

Watching the video took 3 minutes and 48 seconds, but there were so many steps and they happened so fast, it seemed like making just one box could really take the better part of an afternoon. 

There was the matter of getting all the materials together, which included the cigar box, a yard of velvet (oh, and going to the store to get that velvet), plus 4 sparkly buttons. I had those. One compact mirror (that’s a trip to Michael’s. Is there a Michael’s in NYC?) Plus cardboard, a needle and thread, quilting batting (another store), a ruler, scissors, marker, scrap paper and tape.

As the video unfolded, the box made itself before your very eyes, but the stop-motion animation went by so fast it wore me out; all I could think about was going back to bed.

The blurb ended with the words "What other DIY projects do you want to see from Look? Comment below!"

DominicanBeauty34, the only viewer to take the bait, got right to the point, one that I had not overlooked but was willing to take on faith.

"But why would we have a cigar box?" she asked.

All of those trips to Michael's and the fabric store would be in vain if we could not find the once-ubiquitous-but-now-rarely-available staple of DIY, the discarded cigar box. 

"If we can only make this with a cigar box," she went on, "then it's pretty much useless. It's cute, but useless for people who don't smoke."

She had a point. And how many girls who love cute jewelry boxes also smoke cigars? I walked into the bedroom, got back into bed, and pulled the covers up over my head.

Susan Spedalle

wink and flip