Friday, November 16, 2012

One-Minute Warning

It started innocently enough when I read this afternoon tweet:

Do you have 60 seconds?  Then you have all the time in the world 
to create one of these DIY centerpieces

Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy.

Now, I understand that a pictorial like this (I cannot in good faith call it an "article") from my crifty, crafty, handy, dandy 60-seconds-to-spare friends at Real Simple magazine is supposed to be uplifting and encouraging.  My response to this is supposed to be either "Wow!  Of course I have 60 spare seconds to make this beautiful centerpiece" or "Well, even though my strongpoint isn't home decorative arts and I still have nightmares about my high school ceramics class, if YOU say I can do it AND it's on the Internet, then surely it must be true!"

Unsurprisingly, their enthusiasm was entirely lost on me, because instead of inspiration, I took one look at that tweet and felt a one-two punch of guilt ganged up with a double-dog-dare-NOT-to-have-60-measley-seconds-to-make-this.   So, half curious, half annoyed and filled to the brim with delicious sarcasm, I thought, for your sake, I would go take a look.


 60 Second All The Time In The World DIY Centerpiece Number 1
Their title:  "Natural"
My title:  "Leaves and Crap"

I am fairly certain I can beat the 60-second clock on this one, if you ignore the "tip" that says "Make sure the stems aren't all the same length. The arrangement should mimic the natural, free-flowing form of the leaves themselves."  Now, I have neither the time nor the inclination to measure the stems of dead foliage (and how could you with the clock running?) but if you stand outside in 50 mph winds, the leaves will magically come right at to you, natural and free-flowing, ready or not.  Real Simple tells me to use a galvanized tub or any opaque container that hides the stems.  I can only assume that a neon orange Home Depot "Homer" Bucket or Yellow Kitty Litter pail counts.

60 Second All The Time In The World DIY Centerpiece Number 2
Their title:  "Glowing"
My title:  "FIRE!"

The good news here is that I have large stashes of candles.  The bad news here is that they are in my basement, and that factoid alone is going to put some serious hurt into the 60-second rule.  The tips says, " Make sure no candles of the same height sit side by side."  I have to say, Real Simple is REAL PICKY about how big and tall things are and are not.  Even if I DO find the candles in my basement (and honestly, I think Jesus has better things to do than help me on this one), how will I ever get them arranged in a shallow platter, tray, bowl, or pan with no candles of the same height sitting side by side in under sixty seconds?  And what about lighting all these suckers?  Sixty seconds is unfair expectations here, Real Simple.  Way to make me feel like a slacker.

60 Second All The Time In The World DIY Centerpieces Numbers 3 and 4
Their titles:  "Sunlit" (above) and "Fruitful" (below)
My title:  "WHATEVER" (both) 

Already I've saved time by crafting a one-title-fits-all for these arrangements of kitchen crap.  The tip for "Sunlit" teaches me "Juxtaposing large, smooth, shiny objects (lemons) with smaller, textured ones (nuts) creates a compelling composition."  "Fruitful" implores me to use fruit with similar hues and "any white bowl with a sensuous line." Among my many, many problems here:  Although I may or may not have a lemon at home, I know I don't have twelve.  Hazelnuts are a no-go, and sadly I've used up all my leaves and crap in an earlier arrangement.  I could juxtapose large, smooth, shiny sticks of butter with smaller, textured hot and spicy peanuts, but I'm not sure how compelling it would be.  As for the bottom centerpiece, I'm totally at a loss.  Do fruits have their colors done?  Bowls with a sensuous line?  All mine are rated G.  Would a decidedly non-sensual Peter Rabbit cereal bowl filled with fruity pebbles suffice? Could I have a 60-second therapy session if I fail?

60 Second All The Time In The World DIY Centerpiece Number 5
  Their title:  "Bountiful"
My title: "No way in hell am I buying 8-dozen carnations at $7.99 a pop"

Problem solved with 51 seconds to spare.
Thanks, Real Simple!  I guess you were right!

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