My first Pinterest fail

by Jen Rouse
The Short Years
Oregon writer

I was late to the Pinterest party, so perhaps it’s right and proper that it’s taken me this long to achieve my  very own Pinterest fail. It started out so innocently. My little girl was home sick, for the second or third day in a row. Feeling well enough to be up and off the couch, but still too sporadically feverish for school. She was begging me for “something fun” to do, so I suggested doing a craft. Of course, we turned to the internet for inspiration, and this is what we found:

So cute! So easy! You blow up some little balloons, dip yarn into a mixture of glue and water, then wrap the damp yard around the ballons. Once they’re dry, you pop the balloons: instant colorful, art!

I had visions of a happy, relaxing craft time with my girls, culminating in a fresh, springy table decoration for me: I pictured a glass trifle dish, filled with airy, bright-colored spheres.

It started off well enough, too. I showed my girls the picture and they squealed with glee. I presented them each with a balloon and told them to select a string color. But then Lucy said she wasn’t feeling good and went to lay down. And then Evie plopped her yarn in the glue/water mixture, pulled out a tangled mess, was unable to straighten it out, and collapsed in frustration on the floor. Before long, I was experiencing a moment like my friend Heather once wrote about: look it’s a mom-and-kid craft project. What’s the only thing missing? The kids.

Beth stuck in there with me, though. In fact, we found that it took two people working in tandem to handle the long skeins of wet, sticky yarn. One person (Beth) to wrap the string, another person (me) to dampen the yarn a little section at a time. Eventually, we completed 10 of them, felt pretty pleased with ourselves, and set them out to dry.

And then this happened:


Before the yarn had a chance to harden, some of the balloons began to gradually lose their air. Result? Crumpled, shapeless masses of damp yarn.

We still had a few that seemed like they might work, though, so we let them keep on drying. When they seemed dry enough, we pulled out the thumbtacks, and the girls happily popped them.

Result? As the balloon deflated on itself, it pulled the yarn in along with it. More crumpled, shapeless masses of damp yarn.

In the end, only two out of our 10 yarn balls succeeded enough to stand on their own. And even those weren’t the perfect spheres in the picture. In the end, this is what we got:

Thanks, Pinterest. Nailed it!

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