When I was much younger, I loved fiddling and tinkering with things, building little trinkets, putting bits and pieces together, deconstructing toys and objects to see how they worked, and trying to get them back together afterwards — not always successfully I might add. Duct tape and scissors were my very good friends, and I loved using my mother’s sewing machine to assemble miniature purses or hair scrunchies (I know, I know, but this was the 80′s remember?) with fabric chosen from her big treasure chest of scraps. And scoubidous, of course, I really liked scoubidous.
I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a crafty person, as nothing admirable ever emerged from my little fingers, but I loved how these activities sucked you in, making you lose all sense of time until suddenly you looked up, night had fallen, and it was time for dinner. Time also to show your family what you had made, and they oohed and aahed because they loved you very much.
As I grew older I gradually stopped doing those things, mostly for lack of time, but I realize now that it is this same urge to create things with my hands that drew me to cooking. That, and the fact that you get to eat the fruits of your labor, which did not work so well with the scrunchies.
I haven’t quite abandoned my crafty ambitions though, and I have drawerfulls of beads and strings and fabric, but to be truthful I don’t do much with them. Naturally, this doesn’t stop me from buying more when I see pretty things. But I did recently manage to complete one small project, and since it is somewhat related to the main topic of this blog, I thought I would share it with you. Ladies and gentlemen, I made wine charms.
If you’re not familiar with the concept, let me explain. I’m sure you’ve all been in this situation: you have guests over at your place, you give everyone a glass so they can drink some of that fine little wine you bought at your favorite winestore, and after about ten minutes of conversation nobody knows which glass is which. Sometimes telltale traces of lipstick might settle the case, but mostly everyone just laughs it off and adopts a random glass, assuring that they don’t have cooties (in French: “Ça va, j’ai pas la gale.”). And this is when wine charms come in handy, helping you identify each glass with a little thing that dangles from its foot. Smart, no?
Here’s the recipe. (Of course in my case, it might have helped to choose beads that were more clearly different from one another. Bead and learn, right?)
On each headpin, slip one tiny bead, one color bead, and another tiny bead. Use round- or flat-nosed pliers to curl the end of the headpin around one of the metal rings. Cut the extra length of headpin with a wire cutter if you like (I didn’t, I just curled it around and around). Repeat with the remaining ingredients. To attach each wine charm to a glass, simply open the metal ring and clasp it around the foot of the glass.
FYI, I got the gear at the Parisian bead emporium La Droguerie, located at 9 rue du Jour in the 1st (01 45 08 93 27).