. . . I have a lot of old tins. Specifically, I have a lot of old tobacco tins and, bizarrely, old throat lozenge tins. Go figure.
You don't really need to hoard a whole lot of tins, in a big tin, in the garage. There's no medal in life for that. And no joy.
For a while now I've been wanting to try my hand at dioramas in tins. I saw some amazing ones in a craft market when I went to Melbourne and I've been hankering to make them myself ever since. Done well, they're like a socially acceptable form of scrap-booking (I have some opinions on scrap-booking - none of them particularly complimentary).
Initially I thought I'd use wood and paper, like the ones I saw in Melbourne, but then I realised that wasn't really me. Wood and paper would also take me dangerously close to scrap-booking and I didn't want to cross that line.
I sew. That's my thing. So the challenge for me is in sewing a diorama.
On the positive, no-one can accuse me of scrap-booking.
. . . that I would make the small humans a teepee. I admit it, I fell for advertising. Spotlight's latest craft magazine had instructions and a picture on the front cover that completely suckered me in. I have a weak spot for anything crafty that could remotely be of interest to boys. Kids' craft is so often a pink-fest of fairy crap.
The initial plan was to use fabric from my stash, but then it dawned on me that while I love fabulous retro 70s florals, the boys would be less enthusiastic. So I spent way more than I intended at Spotlight, purchasing huge quantities of more boy-appealing fabrics (that I could also live with).
Cutting out the teepee took a couple of nights. Sewing it, and hand-sewing the binding, took another couple of nights. And then it came time to put it all together, at which point I realised Spotlight's pattern was flawed. Fatally so. Because, gravity.
The Spotlight pattern instructs you to create 'pockets' for your conduit rods. Admittedly I opted to use bamboo, which is an uneven width, but the principles still apply. If you sew the pockets tight enough for the fabric not to slip down the rods, the fabric pulls and doesn't look anything like the smooth finish in the photo. If you sew the pockets looser, the fabric slips down the rods and the teepee sags.
Cue massive amounts of scheme rage.
I couldn't believe I'd been that stupid. Even the most basic of google searches (which I did once I realised things were going south) revealed that a good teepee has a lot of rigging 'up top'. Check out the ones at Mocka, for example - that's how you make a teepee that stands up to play (literally and figuratively).
And then I had a closer look at the front cover of that Spotlight magazine . . .
Yes that is , indeed, a pretty average Photoshop job where the top of teepee is not even lined up with the (unrealistically perfect) bottom of teepee . . . and I'm taking that as a sign that they too had problems making their teepee work with their instructions.
Before you ask, the crap-pee (as I am now calling it) can't be salvaged. And I have also lost all interest in teepees, forever - they are dead to me.
So now I have a whole crap-pee's worth of fabric just lying around, inciting my rage whenever I look at it. To make matters worse, it's effectively cut on the cross, so figuring out how to reuse it is proving difficult. But I HAVE to reuse it if I am ever going to be able to move on with my life (bitter much?).