A Crafty Christmas

A welcome sunny Friday off. Time with a dear friend from across town, wandering around little boutique shops. This was relaxation for Tammy. Her life usually spun with work, family and community commitments. Almost feeling guilty with this afternoon of down time and a few spends, Tammy pushed this aside and embraced the joy. Her hands reached up to a macramé pot-hanger dangling outside the next shop to be explored.

“I made a thing like this, years ago”, Tammy reminisced.

“Really?” her friend replied, “I love them, they’re coming back in now. You could make one for me for Christmas… Only joking”. Tammy’s friend was fully aware of Tammy’s lack of craft talent and raised her eyebrows with a smile. Chuckling they went into the shop to browse, more jokes and chats, then finally their parting. 

Homeward bound, Tammy imagined herself doing macramé. She saw herself gifting a simple but beautiful pot hanger, complete with pot and plant to her friend. How hard could it be? Tammy extended her journey home with a visit to a craft supply store where she bought cord and a packet of wooden beads. Years melted from her memory as she recalled Highschool when macramé was a class activity. Her remembrance of frustration and the teacher’s frayed patience evaporated as inspiration grew.

That evening after the dog had been taken for a walk, the table cleared, Tammy laid out her paraphernalia. Her search for scissors initially caused a delay. At last she was ready to begin. Estimation of the lengths of cord required did not end well. Cut too short. Tammy resorted to the internet for instructions. Her scissors were not the sharpest and didn’t make a clean cut. Maybe fraying the ends would disguise this issue, thought Tammy. Several hours later, after two cups of tea and a few words which didn’t usually pass her lips, the gift was completed. Tammy held up her creation and admired her achievement. It wasn’t perfect, it dangled slightly lopsided, and the wooden beads were not quite aligned, but it would hold a small pot, and it was made with love. Tired yet satisfied, she left her creation over the back of a chair, took a photo of it and went to bed.

Thoughts of plant pots emerged as Tammy woke to the weekend. She felt alive and happy. Maybe craft was her thing after all. As she walked barefoot down the hall threads of cord stuck to her feet, Tammy stopped to relieve the tickle and peeled off what she assumed was a random thread left from her exploits. Her skin prickled and her insides flipped as she glanced toward the chair where her macramé masterpiece had been draped. A trail of shredded cord and wooden beads led to a wagging tail and bright-eyed dog who’d obviously had fun. 

“Nooo”, wailed Tammy, as she disintegrated into disbelief. Sensing the heightened emotion, the dog danced around thrashing the remains of intact cord through the air. Tammy had forgotten her dog was a shredder who had destroyed numerous dog-beds and small mats. Now this, her masterpiece munched and mashed to oblivion.

A week later, after days of deep breathing and a journey of dog forgiveness, Tammy handed a carefully wrapped gift to her friend. It was unwrapped gently and with a great exclamation a beautiful macramé pot-hanger was lifted out.

“Did you make it?” Tammy’s friend asked with glee.

“Well, I made it back to the shop where we saw them. I did make one, but it didn’t survive a night with the shredder, here look”. Tammy showed her friend the before and after photos.

“Here”, said her friend, handing an envelope to Tammy, “Thought you might like this”.

Inside was a voucher to a ‘Macrame Make and Sip’, Tammy grinned.

“Ha, I’ll enjoy that, why don’t you come too, we can make macramé great again”, they laughed and agreed to start 2023 with the resolve to learn and create.

Christmas came and went. In the new year, Tammy took her shredder dog for a walk using his new macramé leash which she’d made at the ‘Make and Sip’ afternoon. She walked him to the front door where her homemade, beautifully balanced pot hanger dangled, complete with thriving pot plant. It had been a productive Christmas and Tammy looked forward to this new year. In her effort to make macramé great again, she had crafted a new path, and she intended to walk on it with purpose.

By Helen Buckle – Creative Writer and Macrame Wannabe