Except for my mom, the rest of the grandparents (my dad, mother-in-law, grandmother-in-law, and oh god, mother-in-law's gentleman friend) are very very very hard to shop for. I mean, I adore Great-Grandma Nonnie but she just turned 90 and pretty much never leaves the house. The same house she's lived in for about 65 years.
Of course, we turn to the kid-crafted gift whenever we possibly can. Framed photos, paint-your-own-pottery--the classics. A couple of years ago my dad wanted a bathrobe. (Another staple on his wish list is always "seamless socks." Thrilling!) I found one that met his specifications (he had several) but it was still such a boring present. So I thought the kids could doctor it up with little handprints on the pockets. Can you picture it, like I did, kind of subtle and oh-so-cute? Right! And can you also imagine how ugly the finished product was? So ugly I pitched it into the dress-up bin and started over with a brand-new robe.
It was such an obvious demonstration of how Not Crafty I am. The paint I bought was wrong, or my technique sucked, or something; anyway instead of cute kiddie handprints, we just had big blobs of paint. It looked like a dropcloth instead of a bathrobe. Fail! This is also what happens every time I try to follow a recipe for something that is supposed to be attractive-looking. The end result never looks like what it does in the instructions. NEV-ER.
Bathrobe 2.0 was slightly more successful. I traced the kids' hands onto felt, cut them out and glued them on to the pockets of the new robe. They probably fell off the first time it went into the laundry but my dad has graciously refrained from telling me that.
This year, he's getting plain seamless socks.
This crafty confession brought to you by Parent Bloggers Network and Klutz, publishers of very fun craft books and kits for kids. Fun because kids can play with them all by themselves. Seriously, I love them and not just because I used to work for Klutz's parent company or because they are sponsoring a blog blast with darn good prizes. See for yourself.