Sunday, October 16, 2011

Martha Stewart crafts are the real evil of Halloween - a trauma re-visited.

I swore off Halloween crafting after last year's tragic Martha Stewart Halloween Handbook "EASY Jar O' Lantern" craft deception and ensuing trauma. I have not and WILL NOT purchase the 2011 version of that handbook from hell, so I thought I'd just re-post last year's blog detailing the horror I encountered.


Living as I do in California, where seasonal changes are non existent, I must rely on the local CVS and Walgreens to tell me when it's Fall. This generally happens around mid September, when I begin to see the following items appear on store shelves:

* Convenient economy size bottles of cough syrup and Nyquil
* Fake leaf type garland things
* Bats, Rats, Pumpkins and Mice
* Fake cobwebs covering up the real ones
* Apple Spice and Pumpkin scented Candles that smell suspiciously like deodorant

Each year, while perusing the "Fall" aisle, I tend to fall (no pun intended) for the same joke:

The Martha Stewart Halloween Craft Magazine.
The first mistake:
I purchase the damn thing. The SMART shopper would simply browse through it while awaiting checkout, have a good chuckle at some of her ideas, then move on.

Not me.
I am "inspired".
Once home, I devour the magazine in one sitting. Of course, I realize there are some craft activities my feeble mind could never grasp:
The above image is Martha's costume idea for any elderly relative in your life that you hate: a Deep Sea Jellyfish. I'll say no more.

Ravenously, I read through the magazine - settling on an article about pumpkin carving ideas that must simply be walked away from. This must be done for the sake of my sanity, the cat's sanity, and any neighbors living in a one mile radius that could potentially be hit with an angrily flung half carved mess of a pumpkin:
cool idea, but really...that's a lot of work:
Seriously, there are limits to what one should do to a pumpkin. I notice she even has a page devoted to the "proper tools" one should have laid out when carving a pumpkin.

Note to Martha Stewart: If all of the following tools are required to carve that "one night only" need to re-think why you are spending so much time and effort on a damn pumpkin:
The following is all you need to carve a perfectly acceptable jack o' lantern:
But I digress...

I continue reading in my search for the easiest Halloween craft. The one craft project that won't land me in anger management classes. The one craft project that will give me the greatest satisfaction for the least amount of effort. There are very few Martha Stewart craft projects that fit these parameters, so my search is very quick:
Wow! How easy is this?? Orange paint on a used pickle/mustard jar! A dab of black on the outside for a face!! The wire hanger part will be immediately deleted as "too hard" however.
I head to the craft store to purchase "oil based enamel paint" and come home raring to go. Carefully I apply the first, second and third coats of orange paint to the jars, awaiting the proper drying time in-between. Hours later, I see this:
Every time I touch the jar, the paint slides off. It NEVER dries. Two days later..IT'S NOT DRY. Slowly I feel the old yearly rage building up again. A couple of things cross my mind:

* Did I purchase the correct paint?
* Is Martha Stewart a sadist?
* Is it because I used a "bread and butter" pickle jar, and not a "dill" pickle jar?
* Why do I torture myself like this?

And then I head out, magazine in hand, back to the craft store. I purchase a different brand of the same kind of paint (oil based enamel - I was using the right kind!) and head back to the dungeon...I mean house.

Gee, it was very easy to get the first paint off the jars....TOO EASY:
and I start over with the new paint, same jars and some valium thrown in for good measure:
Interesting, same streaks and same inability for the paint to stick to the jar!
After three days of "touching up" the bastards...the paint is at least dry:
But the jars are ugly - really ugly. The paint is chunky, the streaks obvious, and the thought of lighting a tea light inside of a jar containing that much oil based paint kinda scares me.
Martha's jars are PERFECT, of course - no streaks, no chunks and perfect shades of orange are represented. Bitch. I bet she didn't even paint these. I bet some sad ass assistant had to go search for orange jars all over creation. Then I bet she laid him/her off at the end of the project.
Please note you do not see any final images of my chunky ass ugly jars with faces painted on.
Oh No.
Not this time.
Not again.

This year, I put it all aside. I put down the glass jars (highly breakable when angrily tossed about), the paintbrushes and ruined towels BEFORE freaking out. This year I decide to take the Martha Stewart Halloween Craft Magazine to work with me the next day, and craftily (no pun intended) I leave it innocently lying about a file cabinet counter top. Free for the taking.

It doesn't take long.
Maybe 10 minutes go by.
...and it's GONE!
Picked up by some poor, excited sap thinking "Hey! look what I found! For free! I bet there are easy crafts in here I can do with the kids!"

My work is done.

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