If it weren’t for these enormous, knob-knuckled sausage fingers of mine, I could have been a contender in the cut-throat world of felt barrette crafting.
A few days ago, Dana and Emmeline sat down to make some heart-shaped barrettes to give out to classmates on Valentine’s Day. Dana showed me how to do it, and I admit I was taken aback.
“That’s it?” I asked.
“Can you believe it?”
No, no I couldn’t. At craft fairs, I’d seen barrettes go for up to $15 or $20. Insanity, considering you could buy all the felt in the world for 99 cents. Cut out a design, add a cheap barrette between a felt sandwich and voila, your very own original hair clip.
But was it really that easy?
I tried my hand at a simple design and discovered that yes, yes it was. After a few attempts, I started taking requests.
Emme wanted a dolphin. That was simple enough:
Then she wanted a cupcake. OK sure.
At first, everything was cute and quaint and fine and dandy in magical rainbow daddy barrette land. Googly eyed modernist owl that looks like a baby shower vomited all over it? Don’t mind if I do!
Then Emme started to come up with requests that were a bit more … challenging.
“OOh!” she said, “How about Moby Dick?”
It wasn’t all that challenging, except the whale had to be blue and the eyes “mean but not too mean.”
OK, literary leviathan done. It was time for mythology.
“I know!” Emme said, “Medusa!”
I admit it. This is quite possibly the first children’s barrette that looks like a blow up sex doll fell into a reptile pit.
I presented it to Emme and she frowned.
“Wow, thanks dad, it’s … nice.”
Then a sudden smile appeared on her lips and she turned to the kind of reverent, hushed voice that someone might employ when discussing the miracle of baby jesus, or Twinkies.
“How about Pegasus!”
Despite its enormous size, I was proud of this creation.
And it got me thinking: If I could shape a winged horse out of felt and thread, I could do anything …
Hmm, now that I look at it, it’s either the world’s first under-construction Death Star barrette or a one-eyed version of a traditional Dia de los Muertos catrina. I was going for Death Star.
Dana had a wonderful time mocking my skills, saying I was making giant-sized barrettes for a race of blimp-headed children who might enjoy hair clips the size of freeway billboards. But it’s these sausage fingers is what it is. When I tried to make them smaller, the felt slipped and fell and twisted away before I could secure it with thread. I don’t think these creations will be showing up at craft fairs any time soon — unless, of course, the market for miniature reptilian sex dolls takes off.