Sunday, June 30, 2013

This Wasn't Supposed To Be My Summer Camp...

        9:35 on a Friday night. 

        Cue the ohhhh yeeeeah music, to play in the background for me. 

        I was at the Sofitel in Beverly Hills – the swankiest of the swank, having a fabulous time, knowing that I looked great. (The ohhhhh yeeeeeah can come in again, here.)
                …What’s that? Am I wearing Herve Leger? Oh stop it, you old dog, you! A lady never reveals her secrets! (I’m about to reveal one right now.)
                I  "felt great" because I was wearing Lululemon: they can make anybody feel like a million bucks, for not quite the cost of a million bucks. But NOBODY WORRY: I wasn’t sporting the Wunder Unders at a lounge (they’re called lounges, right?) at the Sofitel, at the side of Jeremy Renner.

I was at the side of…
               A bathtub.

Because I was puking my party guts up, having just come from Jeremy Renner’s side?


It was because there was a sleepy four year old in the adjoining hotel room, and the bathroom was the most logical place to camp out until he fell asleep. And I wasn’t simply twiddling my thumbs while I waited to hear snoring on the other side of the wall, I was cutting out decorative letters that I’d stenciled. 
I’m gonna give Jim and Lou credit for this one: it was their insistence that I grow up without cable (and with limited television watching) that turned me into a MASTER of entertaining myself.
I would like to point out: nothing, NO-THING about this night was out of the ordinary for me. I feel compelled to share it because it has been my experience that such a crafty tubside Friday night doesn’t seem to be the usual… For anyone else… Anywhere. And therefore it is entertaining to most.
                I was babysitting for a friend of a friend, who was in town for a wedding, and needed a sitter for the night. (Also not unusual – I did this in college when someone’s family would come in town to see a show and needed a sitter.) I was cutting out decorative letters because in two short days, I would begin my reign as the Craft Lady, running a Craft Camp that was aptly called “Artsy Tartsy.” (Again, not unusual because, well… have you ever seen my room? It looks like a craft glitter bomb went off in there, most days.)
Although seeing what happened at the beginning of the night, perhaps I’d already begun my reign as Craft Lady: my friend Kimberly (friend of the woman for whom I was ‘sitting – if anyone has ever met Kimberly, they will agree with my suspicion that she is, in fact, a fairy princess) was also going to the wedding, and as she was getting ready, she asked if I could take the tissue paper and spruce it around the Crate and Barel box she’d put in a gift bag, for the bride and groom. If I’d thought it through, I would have been subtle in my next move of whipping out my scissors to evenly divide the tissue paper, so as to appear more like a normal 23 year old who didn’t carry around craft supplies, but the Craft Lady was in full throttle and it was without shame that I hauled the scissors out of my backpack and got to work on the gift bag.

                …Back to Artsy Tartsy.

Besides being a real-life fairy princess because she is beautiful and sparkly, Kimberly has put me in touch with a lot of the people that I work for, out here. (We never saw Princess Jasmine networking in the movie, but I am sure she passed out Magic Carpet’s number to get him work. Kimberly’s a princess, y’all.) One of the women I work for is her friend Kristy.

Kristy is my spirit animal. 

This puts her in an elite league of women who include (but are not limited to) Tami Taylor, Jen Vellenga, Jessica Grano and Katie McClellan. Ok fine: I totally stole "spirit animal" from my friend Catherine, but it somehow sounds more poetic than "People at whose altar I worship."
I knew I liked Kristy right off the bat when she told me that her kids didn’t watch too much TV and said, “You are looking at the woman whose primary source of entertainment for them is a CD player. We don’t have cable.” (If there are any further questions on my philosophy about cable, please see paragraph 4.)
It was probably due to the fact that as a child, my artwork was just too abominable to display, or perhaps they didn’t want to encourage my already-alarming hoarding tendencies, but Jim and Lou didn’t display a lot of my artwork. By all means if I made something out of clay, they put it on the mantle for a while, but Kristy hangs up a serious percentage of her kids’ art, and I’m pretty sure this is exactly how it should be.
…And did I mention her craft cabinet? Close your eyes and imagine Michael’s Arts and Crafts. As Bachelorette Dez says, “Now times that by ten.” That is basically what her cabinet is. I didn’t even know glitter hot glue existed until I encountered this craft cabinet. (Which, let’s face it: is saying a lot, for me to discover an unknown facet of the craft world)
All this to say: Kristy is moving and she had some craft goodies of which she needed to be rid. We’d had a peculiar exchange a few weeks before; I don’t even remember what the craft was, that I was working on with her daughter, but she said, “You are… You’re crafty…” in a tone that indicated that I didn’t give myself credit, where crafting was concerned. I had more reserve in this moment than I did in the tissue paper moment with Kimberly, as I responded, “Yeah, I… do crafts. I like crafts.”
I say “reserve,” because I held myself back from saying, 


Apparently we’d had a misunderstanding somehow, because I’d given Kristy the idea that I wasn’t into crafts…
Once we cleared this up, there was no turning back. “Artsy Tartsy” was born. She called me a few days before we started and said, “I’ve got a few more kids who want to sign up…” and I said, 

“Well that’s good: I’ve got a few more twenty-somethings that hear I’m running a craft camp and want to sign up, too…”

          I will later discuss the Fifty Shades of Crafty that happened at what turned into three weeks of Artsy Tartsy (so far) but I would like to note: if anyone runs into Big Daddy around town, please ask him how “Art Time with Miss Grace” is going. Because he literally busts a gut and belly laughs every time he says those words to me. Even Princess Kimberly caught onto this and sent me the following, after I stayed with her cat for a week. (Who is just as magical as she is, but didn’t necessarily love all my crafts…)

If you’re a bird, I’m a bird...

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