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image (13)I believe there are two kind of gift givers in this world. Those who stay loyal to the registry and those that choose to go rogue. Almost everyone that I know is pro registry and very loyal to any gift list, wedding or otherwise. I am the exact opposite. I realize that there is a really good reason to make a registry or gift list. You get what you want that way. You don’t end up with a quesadilla maker taking up space in your kitchen cabinet (guilty). I, on the other hand like to be surprised by a gift. My nightmare is when someone asks what I want for a birthday or other occasion. I don’t know???? I was in charge of buying my folks Easter gifts for everyone this year and I ended up with a giant package of toilet paper. That’s what I really needed at that moment. Now toilet paper is very important and a wonderfully practical gift. I’m super happy I got that BUT it isn’t the most imaginative and fun gift out there.

As my friends and I get older I feel even less compelled to stay true to “the list.” After all we are all in our late 30s and 40s. What can we possibly register for that we don’t already have at this point (and that one of our broke guests can afford)? Not to mention registries are boring and impersonal (no offense to my pro-registry readers).

Since my friends John J and Emily got married this past weekend I had to contemplate the “on” or “off” registry question. I didn’t think long. I decided to make them a cross stitch sampler that was personalized for them.

Now stop for a second and read this before you continue … THIS is my nightmare http://jezebel.com/the-most-amazing-wedding-text-message-fight-of-our-time-514528769 WTF?????? Who are these people? I had already been fearful that the couple would think my gift wasn’t “good enough.” Close friends were given the leading questions of, “This is good right? This is enough? They will like this?” I only asked people who I knew would say “yes.” I read this horrifying article just after a had finished wrapping my handmade gift and started to shake with fear. I mean OMG. Admittedly all the people involved in those texts are off their rocker and horrible rude but COME ON LESBIANS … THAT IS NO WAY TO ACT!!!! I don’t care what you unwrap or what you pull out of a gift bag or envelope you ALWAYS SMILE AND SAY THANK YOU…. ALWAYS! Then you sit down and write a thank you note and stuff the quesadilla behind all your pots and pans.

It didn’t get better when I started reading the comments. Remember comments on online articles and blogs do bring out the crazy in people but the overwhelming majority of people were so pro registry I started to wimper a bit. I was the Sneetch with a star on my belly (or no stars — whichever group was originally in the minority). Then I remembered I like being a Sneetch with a star on my belly and unlike the weridos in that previous article my friends and I have manners. I proudly held my head high when I placed their gift on the gift table Saturday night.

photo (9)I got a little side tracked. Back to the gift. I used an old pattern my mom had in her cross-stitch pattern books, updated the colors to ones I actually liked, and made some other minor changes. It took me awhile to complete since I had to shelve it anytime I was watching a dog I was afraid could rip it apart! When I was finally finished I went over to Aaron Brothers and crossed my fingers that I’d find a frame and mat to match my creation. I kinda did. After some creative cutting of the pre-cut mat and a LOT of centering and pulling and taping and un-taping and centering again I finally got it “straight enough.” Ask anyone who has framed a cross stitch … it is much harder than actually making the thing in the first place. After getting everything in place I image (11)had to get the back put back on the frame … and it DID NOT want to fit. The cross-stitch and double mat had made the inside a little too fat for the frame’s liking. I did not give up. I kept at it until I had tamed that silly frame and showed it who was boss! I was sweating … a lot … way more than you think. I looked like I had just run a 5K not put a frame together. Whew!

Cross stitches are a ton of fun and pretty easy. If you are looking for a “starter” craft I suggest getting a cross-stitch set. You can buy this at craft/fabric stores but unless you like cats (they ALWAYS have ones with cats … may tell you a bit about those of us that do cross-stitch … don’t let that scare you) you are better off buying one online. A kit comes with everything you need. I promise you will be impressed with your final creating. Try it … you’ll like it.

CaptureIt was a wonderful wedding and I wish Emily and John J all the best! Congratulations. (I stole all the pictures of them from their Facebook page so “thanks” to whoever took them. Oh … and btw … I wasn’t the only one that laid down on the grass/floor. Come on … I was really tired … I just needed a short break …. who doesn’t?)