Crafting mossy spheres not as easy as it sounds

Allergy season – and tissue-eating dogs – in full swing

I love January. All the Christmas stuff is packed away for
another year and I discover something profound. Without all that
Christmas crap cluttering up the family room, it looks empty. So I
have to fill it up, of course. I mean, it’s practically my job as
an American.
I love January. All the Christmas stuff is packed away for another year and I discover something profound. Without all that Christmas crap cluttering up the family room, it looks empty. So I have to fill it up, of course. I mean, it’s practically my job as an American.

Sadly, I cannot do that. You see, I have the January budget to contend with. That’s the budget I get when Harry goes over the Christmas bills, clutches his chest and says things like, “Good Lord, woman, are you trying to drive us to the poor house?” Yeah, it’s a bit dramatic, if you ask me. In any event, I don’t function well on the January budget. It’s restrictive, to say the least.

And that’s how I end up doing stupid things like crafts. I am not a crafty person. I don’t make wreaths. I don’t scrapbook. I don’t create my own handmade cards out of found objects from the backyard. Oh, I’ve tried. There was one year where I worked for days sticking pins in four billion cranberries so they’d stick on a foam wreath. All I ended up with were bloody finger stumps and rotten cranberries stinking up the house.

So you’d really think I’d know better than to try my hand at crafting again. Yeah … no. Turns out I am doomed to keep repeating my crafty mistakes over and over. Of course, you know that this year was no exception.

For this year’s disaster I decided to make mossy spheres. Yes, I know you are wondering what the heck a mossy sphere is and why on earth I had to make one … or you know, five, as it turned out. Well, I saw them in a catalog. There they were. Five of the most perfect spheres, covered in a lush, green moss. And I had to have them.

Unfortunately, they were $30. Each. Which I must say did not work with the January budget. But they had to be mine. My inner shopping demon was demanding them. So in a moment of delirium, I decided I could make them. After all, how hard could it be to glue moss on some Styrofoam balls?

Yeah. Let’s not go there.

Oh it started out well. I went to Michael’s and bought moss and spheres and frankly, spent a lot less than $30 each for the stuff. And then I got home. And realized I had no clue how to get the moss to stick to the sphere. So I found some old Elmer’s in the bottom of a drawer, smothered the sphere in it and slapped on the moss.

Turns out that moss, Styrofoam and Elmer’s aren’t a good combination. The moss slid off the ball and landed glue-side down on the kitchen floor. Which apparently is a good combination because it bonded pretty darned quickly. Now, the good news is, Elmer’s comes off of a kitchen floor when you steam it. The bad news is, I steamed the heck out of my left hand, leaving me with no fingerprints.

But did I let that stop me? No. And do you know why? Because I’m stupid.

And that’s why I got out the glue gun. Now ordinarily I avoid glue guns. In the wrong hands – mine – glue guns can be considered a dangerous weapon. But I was all ticked off about having to steam the floor, so I stopped thinking clearly. And you know what? It worked. I hot glued the moss to the ball and voila! A mossy sphere that very closely resembled the ones in the catalog. If I squinted and stood very far away from the mossy sphere page, of course.

Sadly, that was the last shred of success I had. Who knew there were different kinds of moss and that I would purchase several of those different kinds? My next sphere had branches and wood pieces sticking out of it. Oh, and thanks to the glue gun, I no longer have fingerprints on my other hand.

But I never gave up. A couple more trips to Michael’s, lots more gluing, swearing and steaming and I was the proud creator of five mossy spheres. Oh, sure they cost three times as much as the ones in the catalog, took two days to complete and I may need surgery to be able to bend my fingers again. But I made them.

Of course, after looking around the family room I realized something awful. I have nowhere to put them.

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