Despite my rage fueled, sporadic creativity, I am a huge fan of love.
Hard to believe, given my high level of profanity and general disdain for “girly” craft bullshit, but love is something I’ve worn on my store bought sleeve all my life. I have a long history of waiting patiently at letterboxes for red envelopes on Valentine’s Day (only to be sorely disappointed year after year, but let’s spare the sob fest) and for once, in 2013, I actually. Had. A. Valentine.
This, I thought, was going to be the greatest day of my life, the Valentine’s Day to end all Valentine’s days! I was going to pull out all the stops – baking, some craft shit, slap on a bit o’ face and a fancy dress and love will conquer all!
Did love conquer after all? Absolutely not.
The grand plan was to bake some cookies and store them in cute little boxes that I would make myself, and then wrap a present in some fancy ass way that made regular paper look like it had some work done. This was all during a (very) brief moment in my life where I thought that paper craft was going to be my thang.
I began with some super cute printables I found on http://www.fun.kyti.me – a kickass site with all kinds of DIY junk that seemed achievable. I also used Paint to erase the word “love” and replace it with “food” because quite frankly, they’re synonyms.
So after my 1337 photoshopping skillz, I thought, “how hard can it be to cut and paste some shit together?”
Hard. It turns out it’s hard.
My first rookie mistake was printing this on regular paper. Clearly, this needed to printed on light cardboard or some shit that was much more reliable for a sturdy, cookie holding structure. Evidently, I also needed to use some kind of stencil knife. I’m sure there’s some craft word for this at four times the price, but I don’t really know or care what it is. Instead I improvised with a shrug and used my bulky kitchen scissors. This meant that I either cut too much or not enough of the fiddly corners that all fold up, giving me a wonky ass base and ill-matching corners. Although that can also be attributed to my weak folding skills.
But you know what else is balls about papercraft that no one ever tells you about? How the fuck you are supposed to stick down corners, inside the box once it is already made. Sure, let me just ram my man-hands, wielding a giant glue stick into this fragile paper box and hope it doesn’t explode on impact from my comparatively, obese hands.
Anyway, so this is how that turned out.
Not only is this extremely poor craftsmanship, the cookies clearly do not fit or are yielded in these tiny, useless boxes. I mean, just look at this thing. This box couldn’t even hold a conversation.
As you can see, it actually caved in from being too damn weak to support itself. But you try using regular paper and gluing in corners that feel like some sort of paper mache time bomb and just see how well that turns out for you.I used the cookies to pop out the concave sides, so no one would ever know how bad I am at structures.
Side note, no one let me build their house.
I continued along my paper journey by buying a solid colour paper with the intention of cutting hearts from them. At this stage I did learn to use a stanley knife, but I only had some man-shed looking device which made accuracy difficult. The paper, again, was too limp and useless to be practical, so half of it got torn when I was folding the pieces back. The idea is to cut half a shape of a heart and fold back the rest for three-dimensional looking wrapping paper.
This generally only works if what you are wrapping is in a plain box, given the cut out hearts reveal a lot of what is underneath. Suffice to say, I would not recommend this method if you are gift wrapping something that has “The Great American Dong” written in large letters across the packet. Try not to slice the box or present as you do this, no one wants a dong with chunks cut out of it.
This turned out alright, but there were times when the paper tore open when I’d fold the half heart back. Apparently I also forgot what a heart looks like half the time.
Moving on from the atrocity that is my not so dexterous hands and flaccid paper, it turns out that baking is no great feat of mine either. Are you really that surprised?
I used a chocolate chip cookie dough mix by Aunty Kathy, because quite frankly, if I can cut corners, I will. For extra romance points, I decided to shape them into “X”s and “O”s. Because love.
Now I am fully aware that stuff likes to expand and puff up in the oven, so I made sure that I stretched the dough thinly and made the O’s rounder than I’d like.
Because my oven is a righteous dick, it decided to go ahead and fuck up my cookies anyway. I pulled out obese little kisses and hugs that looked like they had eaten enough cookies of their own.
In an attempt to highlight what shapes I was supposed to be making, I decided that I would fancy that shit up with some icing. I know nothing about icing, so I trolled my cake isle at the grocery store, staring at all kinds of cake materials. I found some cool looking “ready to squirt” icing that, bonus, was white chocolate flavour!
“I can’t fail. This will be amazing.” I thought, chuffed with my corner cutting purchase.
That shit was delicious, so after I wasted half of it in my mouth, I got to work on the cookies. I managed to have a fairly steady hand (about as steady as a housewife’s handwriting while she’s sitting on a dryer), I thought that everything was going to be fine.
But here’s the thing.
That kind of cake icing just doesn’t go hard. Ever. It’s a gooey mess that was forever plastered on rump of these poor cookie’s backs. Delicious, sure, but extremely impractical.
“This is fine,” I thought. “Maybe, I’ll just put them in their little boxes, carefully stacked and they’ll all get eaten before anyone notices that this icing shit gets everywhere.” As if this couldn’t get any worse, I made a fatal baking paper error and spilled a good two thirds of said cookies all over the kitchen floor.
So, I did what any regular person would do.
I blew off all the dog hair and dirt that I could and left the filthy ones on a plate for my dad. I picked up the ones that looked half decent and stacked them in the box, vowing never to mention the incident again.
I was, however, prompted to spill my guts when my boyfriend stated “I think I have hair in my mouth” upon eating said cookie, extracting a white puppy hair from his teeth. I have now been banned from baking since what is now called, the “floor cookie incident”.
Probably a good thing, really.