Go­ing crack­ers

Country Life Every Week - - Spectator -

join, which will then be bound by more tape, like a fish­ing fly —but more fid­dly. Each cracker snap is there­fore tak­ing a very long time and I re­main con­cerned that they won’t ever go bang be­cause, when I test one, my ends fall off.

‘The se­cret is don’t use last year’s tape,’ ad­vises my crafty friend, who’s an ex­pert. I then tell her that I’ve solved the prob­lem of stick­ing the rib­bon, the cracker waist­band, with a se­cret weapon. ‘I’ve bought glue dots,’ I tell her tri­umphantly, be­fore read­ing aloud from the packet that these ‘work on spe­cial­ity gift wraps and rib­bons where sticky tape just will not stick’. There’s a puz­zled pause. ‘As op­posed to a Pritt Stick?’ she says.

She’s hav­ing a bad day, be­cause, hav­ing vol­un­teered to make an­gel wings for the Christ­mas ser­vice, when she col­lected a sack of goose feath­ers from the farmer, they smelt so bad, she be­gan retch­ing on the way home. She tried washing them in a pil­low­case, but they emerged still filthy but now ragged. ‘Do you think I should gen­tly scrub them? Or shall I try PVA and white cot­ton in­stead?’

‘What are you putting in the crack­ers?’ I bring her back to the craft in hand. ‘Well, it was sup­posed to be Lindt Christ­mas bears, but I ate them all last night.’

I de­cide not to voice my other con­cern, which is that, should these ex­tended snaps, in fact, go bang, they may ig­nite the party pop­per, which was the only thing I could find in the su­per­mar­ket that will fit in­side.

A pop­per and a minia­ture tube of Su­per Glue, al­though now I won­der if the pos­si­ble af­ter­math of this trio may make my sis­ter’s con­cern over glit­ter on the hats (and there­fore her house) the least of our prob­lems.

I also worry that I ought to undo the one with the £5 note in­side in case it’s one of four notes with a 5mm por­trait of Jane Austen en­graved on it by Gra­ham Short and thus worth more than £20,000. Some­times, some­one else’s nice idea is an­other per­son’s new worry.

‘What are you do­ing?’ Zam has now found me try­ing to re­mem­ber how to do chain stitch so that I can em­broi­der ini­tials on the socks that are go­ing in the stock­ings and that I’m pleased to think will erad­i­cate sock wars in 2017.

‘Why don’t you just get dif­fer­ent coloured socks for them in­stead?’ he asks be­fore adding ‘And I never found out why you are ex­tend­ing the snaps any­way.’

‘Be­cause I made the hats too long,’ I ex­plain, eyeing my last craft­ing dis­as­ter of the year that will, when this is printed, be in the bin. That’s it from me. Happy 2017!

‘If the ex­tended snaps, in fact, go bang, they may ig­nite the party pop­per

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