Someday maybe I can be in Martha Stewart's league

Tuesday, December 18, 2001



I've never believed in reincarnation or agreed with the practice of human cloning, but I have to admit: If I had to die and come back as someone else's clone, I would want to be, without a doubt, Martha Stewart.

I have been stuck in a sort of craftiness craze since mid-summer when I watched "Martha Stewart Living" one morning before work. It was the first time I had watched her show, but after the first 10 minutes I was hooked.

Each day on her show Martha has Good Things, which are crafts that are simple and quick to make. One day the Good Thing was homemade headbands.

I sat in awe as Martha transformed an ordinary piece of ribbon and a small piece of elastic into a fashionable headband. When the show was over I immediately went to the store, bought supplies, and before I knew it I had enough headbands to wear a different one every day of the week.

But that was just the beginning.

One day this fall I had an ingenious idea for a craft -- or so I thought at the time.

Some of my friends play softball out at Southeast's intramural fields. Lots of people bring their dogs out to the park to watch the games, so one day I decided that I should bring my kitten Jake out to the game. I mean, why not? He's just as cool as the dogs, and quite frankly, he has better smelling breath.

There was just one thing standing in the way of me taking Jake to the park. He didn't have a collar or leash. He's pretty small, and I have yet to find a collar that fits around his neck without slipping right off over his head.

Immediately I thought, "What would Martha do?" I rushed to purchase supplies, and with all of the craftiness I had in me I made a collar out of ribbon and elastic.

Basically it was a smaller rendition of the headbands I had made a few months earlier, but I still felt the satisfaction of having made an original craft.

The makeshift collar worked quite well for its purpose. Sure it was kind of hard to squeeze over Jake's head, but once it was around his neck it was a wonder for all to admire.

That is, of course, until I realized I have a lot more practicing before I can be a craft maker of Martha's proportion. I didn't account for the fact that I would eventually have to remove the collar from around Jake's neck. It was easy to get onto his neck since his ears pressed back when I slid it over them, so I assumed it would come off just as easily.

At first I tried to pull it off, but since I was wrong in my earlier assumption, all attempts failed.

Fear that Jake would have a sudden growth spurt in his sleep and be strangled by the collar drove me to cut it off of him. It was a sad moment when the scissors sliced through the ribbon and the collar fell to the floor.

At that moment I realized Martha Stewart's talent was way out of my league.

Last weekend I got a faint glimmer of hope though when I visited Barb Lewis' home in Scott City. She's the woman who made the ornament for the White House Christmas tree. I'd say she is the Martha Stewart of Southeast Missouri. She makes everything from the decorations in her china cabinet to the curtains on her walls by hand.

When I left I felt motivated to try my hand at craftiness again.

The way I see it, Martha didn't catch her break until she was already into her 60s. That means I've still got a good 40 years to practice!

Heather Kronmueller is a staff writer for the Southeast Missourian.

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