Like just about every other church in town last Tuesday, ours hosted a Pancake Supper. About an hour before we were to leave, E.g. came to me with a package each of ladybugs, butterflies, mushrooms, and shamrocks from the Dollar store, plus three ten-packs of plastic flower pots from the same place, and smiled sweetly as she told me she had promised the Supper Committee some table decorations.
How many, I asked.
Twenty-five, she said.
No problem, I said.
To give her credit, E.g. didn’t think there was a problem, either. Her vision of these decorations was of empty pots with various creatures or plants stuck to the sides. The fauna and mushrooms are wooden and are furnished with adhesive dots. The shamrocks are peel-off stickers.
But seriously, an empty flower pot crawling with bugs and fungus?
Not to worry. I rounded up a few extra oddments and got going.
First, I peeled the adhesive backings off the mushrooms and stuck them together to make whole mushrooms.
The berries, roses, and pink flowers all came on stiff wire stems. I separated them into smaller stems and bent the end of each stem through a drain hole in the bottom of the pot, and kept it from wriggling too much with a bit of packing tape.
Then I cut a few green pipe cleaners in thirds, twisted them onto half-lengths of other-coloured “chenille sticks”, and threaded the non-green end through one drain hole and back inside where I twisted it onto itself so it wouldn’t run away.
The non-green pipe cleaners got covered by squashed-up squares of tissue paper which not only filled the pot, but also weighted it enough that it behaved itself, and furthermore kept the stem in one place.
The pipe cleaners were graced with either critters or shamrock leaves, the latter staying in place by putting two similar-sized ones sticky-to-sticky. The mushrooms received a spot of white glue on their bases to stand them up.
There weren’t quite enough plastic stems or green pipe cleaners to make twenty-five pots, so for the final few, I balled up the tissue paper and stuck a couple of six-footed on it. Just as well, because the clock was ticking.
But the decorations made it on time, as did we.