fail friday :: a visit from *gypsy forest*

it’s that time.  time for the final fail friday.  I have thoroughly enjoyed running this series and feel so reassured that not only do we all make mistakes but we also know how to laugh at ourselves while we do it.

never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat ~~f. scott fitzgerald

this week, we are visited by stephinie from gypsy forest, who definitely knows how to laugh at herself.  stephinie is one of those lovely, thoughtful voices that is a true joy to read.  she brings a great calm to the chaos and whimsical, humorous tone to boot.  she is also a very talented maker of quilts and play silks and lots of other things that manage to elevate themselves from ordinary to infused with meaning under the great care of her hands.   here is stephinie:


“So,” my husband asked me. “What’s on tap for my Gypsy Mama this month?”
As a side note, my husband is a brewer and sailor. I might need to give you a translation book if you came for a visit.

“Welllll…..” I began. ”I’m going to share a post in another blogger’s space about failing and craftiness and why it’s all good.”

Immediately he had a smirk on his face.

“What?” I asked. “What is so funny about that.”
The smirk turned into a giggle. Then laughter.

I figured he must have thought of some great creative failure of mine that I must share with you.

“Is it the sweater I’ve ripped out three times?” I asked.

He shook his head.

“The satin dragon costumes?” I asked.

He laughed more and finally said “Pumpkins! Bahahahaha.”

fail friday guest post on happy stitch
So. In all honesty, and due to my husband’s most ridiculous behavior, I will tell you the truth. I gave up pumpkin carving about ten years ago. I did carve one that said “LUKE” one year, and put a plump baby boy inside for a photo-op. But that’s it. Why? I hate messing up. It’s not pretty, but it’s honest. I have a tendency to pick the most intricate design I can find. I line up my tools like a surgeon and begin carefully carving each piece. I hold my breath in the hardest of parts. I can only imagine my family thinks I look like a mad scientist as I carve. Inevitably, I get half way through it before one tiny little seemingly innocent slice ruins the whole thing. I screech, the husband laughs, and I want to throw the pumpkin in the street. I figured for the sake of my children I should give up this hobby. And you know? There is one less pumpkin harmed every October. But the joke? The joke is here to stay. Every autumn that sweet man of mine asks “Five pumpkins or six?” I don’t even answer. He teases to the kids “Mama doesn’t really do the pumpkin thing.” Only two of my four kids are old enough to remember when I last carved one, thank goodness. Joe loves this. I think it’s his favorite joke. “Well, it might be hard. But is it harder than carving a pumpkin.” I will never live this down.

So there you have it. My very not-so-pretty-or-grown-up-moment. We all have those. We all make mistakes. Again. And again. And if you’re lucky enough to have a supportive guy like mine behind you, you can learn to laugh at yourself. Which is really the best thing you can ever do. While I haven’t exactly picked pumpkin carving back up, I have learned to sew and knit. I’ve become a pretty darn good cook, I can use a camera, and some days I even call myself a writer.


fail friday guest post on happy stitch
So while some might look at the pumpkin thing as kind of a failure, I look at it as a jumping off point. I’m slowly learning to let go of my inner perfectionist. The first dozen or so pairs of pants I sewed had upside-down fabric on the pockets and uneven legs. But I promise, no one will notice when you put your adorable kiddo in the pants.


fail friday guest post on happy stitch
I have a smal business selling handmades, and I regularly sew the right and wrong side of the fabric together. This still causes me to screech sometimes, but I don’t give up. And neither should you. Keep encouraging yourself the same way you do your friend or your children. To live this creative life, you have to be okay when things go awry. Because they will. Once in awhile if you’re lucky, you’ll learn something awesome or amazing by it. More often than not, you’ll just have to laugh, pick up your seam ripper and tell yourself “this is easier than carving a pumpkin.


I think I have a new pumpkin motto.  thanks Stephinie!

and, there you have it.  the fail friday series….the official cheering section for this corner of blogland, is complete.  hope to have the occasional addition here and there but for now it’s time to focus on our upcoming holiday and the new year!  thanks everyone for joining in the fun.

6 Comments on fail friday :: a visit from *gypsy forest*

  1. TJ
    December 21, 2012 at 10:09 am (5 years ago)

    This is great! I’m still laughing! Thanks for sharing!

    • ahappystitch
      December 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm (5 years ago)

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. sophie
    December 21, 2012 at 10:12 am (5 years ago)

    I love this story! I almost went out and bought a new pumpkin this year because our little one decided HE should carve it and proceeded to marker it all up in his way…

    Oh and I’m failing to produce my dad a tuque for Christmas. The first attempt was with the wrong size yarn, the second was the right size but the same amount of stitches for a large head produced one just right for my 3yo. Oye. So I’m going to run to the yarn store (and no, I certainly don’t need anymore yarn) to get yet another ball of yarn and try to burn the midnight oil before it’s (already) too late.

    Thanks for this post, it was right on time!

    • ahappystitch
      December 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm (5 years ago)

      Yay for midnight oil. I’m pretty sure you are not alone no that one! I saw something recently about ‘last minute gifts’ and thought to myself “What! It’s not considered last minute yet, is it? I still have a quilt that I’m convinced I can finish!”

  3. Jill Frank
    January 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm (5 years ago)

    LOVE this idea! My father always says – ‘it is not a mistake. It is an opportunity for further achievement’. He has taught me to try to look at problems and solve them as if they were always planned. Yeah – I still FAIL completely at times. Other times I end up with something fantastic. Can’t wait to see how everyone handles their ‘failures’.

    • ahappystitch
      January 2, 2013 at 5:27 pm (5 years ago)

      I love your father’s saying! Nice approach.


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