I’m hitting the panic button craft alert because I’ve been invited to a dinner party and the bottle of wine that I want to unload on the host is naked.
“Where were you raised? A saloon?”—is not what I want the dinner party host to say to me when I thrust a bottle of wine in her face. No. Where I come from, people say, “Serve no wine, unless it’s at least wrapped in some kind of twine.”
So, I grab a nice bottle of red wine and tell it, “Cover up, Buttercup. I’m taking you out tonight.”
Then, I raid my crafting “super nook” and go fall colors crazy on what I call a “multiple-use wine cozy.”
The wine cozy basically consists of a sturdy, white linen napkin, which serves as a “canvas” for fall colors. At first, my plan is to take a small pumpkin gourd, dip it in various colors of paint, and “stamp” it onto the napkin. I’m imagining cute little “pumpkin butt” designs all over the napkin, but when I try it out on paper first, it does look like some kind of butt—definitely not pumpkin, though.
“This is not going to work. It looks terrible,” I tell Nate.
“Right—a gourd is not a stamp.”
“No. No it is not.”
So, I search the house for a sponge, thinking I can do spongy abstract designs all over the napkin. I try really hard to get Nate and Alex to join me in the search, but they do not share my enthusiasm for multiple-use wine cozies.
My search starts to look fruitless, until I find some sponge brushes that real painters and artists use.
And now, like a real artist, I need to spread all of my supplies out onto a counter—preferably the kitchen counter. I start by tearing off pieces of aluminum foil to serve as my palette for the paint, but everywhere I try to set down supplies, the counter is full of water.
“Did a gang of seals crawl up from the kitchen sink and slide around our counter while I was looking for sponges?” I ask Nate. Nate pretends he doesn’t hear me. I pretend that cleaning up before and after a crafts project is fun.
I’ve never used a spongy artist brush before, but I have watched plenty of Bob Ross episodes, so I just go at the napkin with flicks of the wrist and a lot hope.
“Hey! It looks kind of nice!” I shout—to no one. Everyone has left the kitchen, so I’m forced to take pictures of the napkin for posterity. I send at least 50 photos to Nate and Alex on their phones. I can hear lots of pinging noises upstairs.
Once the napkin dries, I try to figure out how to wrap the wine bottle artistically with it, before finishing it off with a piece of green yarn from a crochet project attempt that lasted five minutes. (I see a pattern here. I can only do crafts in spurts of five or ten minutes.)
By this time, Nate has returned to the kitchen.
“Hey, Nate. Does this look right?”
“I don’t know. I have no idea what you’re trying to do here.”
“I’m trying to wrap the bottle up nicely, but the fabric is bunching up and now the bottle looks like it has been invited to a toga party or something. What do you think? How would you do it?”
“I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t do it.”
But I’m in too deep to stop now, so I begin to roll the bottle into the napkin. However, the top of the napkin extends way up over the top of the bottle.
“What do you think now?”
“I think if you handed that to the host, she’d wonder what the heck it was.”
Then, it occurs to me to fold the napkin in half and then roll the bottle in it and tie it up with the yarn.
“It looks great now!” I shout. “It looks amazing!”
“Mmmhmm,” Nate says.
“Now, I can present this nice little package of a wine bottle AND a fancy napkin to use for the dinner table.”
“Is it washer safe? Will the host know of its many uses?”
Nate has me there. It is not washer safe and the multiple uses will not be immediately clear to gifts recipient. So, if you decide to make this craft, I would suggest presenting it to the dinner party host with a neatly typed card of instructions, such as the following:
“Congratulations! You are now the owner of a lovingly crafted multiple-use wine cozy. The “cozy” itself is cleverly doubling as a napkin that you can use to treat yourself to a special, unique meal at home or on-the-go at the office. Since it is a distinct creation, carefully fashioned with fancy spongy artist brushes and real paint, do not directly apply the napkin to the hands or face. Do not use water or soap on the napkin, either. Placing the napkin into the laundry, in direct contact with other clothes, is not recommended, either. Do enjoy the wine and perhaps lovingly gaze at the napkin/cozy every once in a while. Cheers!”
Your Turn: Have you ever hosted a dinner party? Has a guest ever given you a thoughtful—or terrible gift? Discuss.