Back in the fall, my awesome friend Amber and I did a Parks and Recreation craft exchange together. I didn’t blog about it then because I was saving it for today… the day that the new season premieres! This is a bittersweet day for a hardcore Pawneean like myself. In just a few short weeks, the series will be over and my life will be forever changed. While I realize that most people will think it’s ridiculous for me to be so emotionally invested in a television series, I am here to tell you that I don’t care what they think. When The Office ended, I felt a giant hole in my heart that has yet to be filled. Sure, I’ve gone on to fall in love with another show and I might even love it as much as if not more than The Office but that hasn’t had any impact on how much I miss my friends in Scranton. It’s simply given me something to do while dealing with my despair.
I wanted to show off the things that I made for my friend in our craft exchange and hopefully inspire you to get crafty as well! It all started when I asked Amber to make me a Pawnee Goddess vest, half joking, half serious. Then I remembered that she’d been doing some awesome geeky craft exchanges with another friend and I realized that while she was making my vest, I could make her some fun stuff too! And I have to say that I really like the stuff that I made and I had a blast while making them.
I made five different items for the craft exchange: needle felted bacon and egg brooch, Ron Swanson original drawing (by me) printed on card stock and cut into post card shape, laminated book marks… Star Trek and Harry Potter quotes from Parks (gotta love a geeky mash up and Amber is a Trekkie and she’s totally enrolled at Hogwarts), a Cones of Dunshire painting in acrylic on a small canvas, and, finally, a decoupaged Li’l Sebastian vase/candle holder. Basically she can remember that magnificent beast by lighting one of five thousand candles in the wind or she can place a bouquet of flowers inside for a different type of memorial. It’s really up to her.
Here are some closer looks at the items.
Not bad for a first craft exchange if I do say so myself!
Of course, none of my items come anywhere close to matching the awesomeness of the items that Amber made for me.
A Pawnee Goddess vest, a Shrinky Dink Pendant of my favorite Ron Swanson quote, a mug which says to “Treat yo’ self”, and a hand-stitched wall hanging of my favorite Leslie Knope quote: “
In times of stress or moments of transition, sometimes it can feel like the whole world is closing in on you. When that happens, you should close your eyes, take a deep breath, listen to the people who love you when they give you advice, and remember what really matters.”
I have amazing friends.
And I make a totes adorbs Pawnee Goddess, don’tcha think?
Anyway, craft exchanges are a ton of fun. Amber says that she likes craft exchanges because they help her feel closer to the friend with whom she’s doing the exchange, force her to set aside time to work on something she enjoys that she might not otherwise work on, and she gets to geek out on the chosen theme. I can say that I liked the craft exchange for the exact same reasons. I also enjoyed thinking up ways to incorporate Amber’s specific interests into my gifts (for instance, she loves to read so making her the mash up book marks made me really excited).
When preparing for the exchange, Amber and I swapped favorite quotes, characters and episodes before we got started in order to maybe spark some ideas for projects. We also decided on three items: a wearable, a household item, and a wild card. Clearly, neither of us followed this guideline very well.
While this was my first exchange, Amber has participated in exchanges for Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Star Trek, and is about to start one centered around Studio Ghibli (what is this? I must find out!). She and I both have daughters who are in love with Bob’s Burgers so I’ve suggested that be our next exchange, and we can get our girls involved. So four girl friends/two mother daughter pairs exchanging! Weeeee!!! Can’t wait so stay tuned for that!
Anyway, I hope that this post has inspired you and has given you some ideas for creative ways to process your grief as you prepare to say goodbye to our Pawnee family. I must wrap this up now so that I can put in my Andy Dwyer earrings (yes, that’s a thing) and start working on dinner (waffles with whipped cream and bacon, I kid you not).
Above all, I am hoping that Ron Swanson was right when she said this:
In fact, I’m downright counting on it.