Left: An adorable wind-up paper butterfly from; Right: My flop attempt

Left: An adorable wind-up paper butterfly project from You Are My Fave Right: My failed attempt

Sometimes making something doesn’t quite work out.

Most of the time when trying new crafting projects they tend to work out. I credit this to the fact that I’m fairly detailed-orientated by nature, and I did make it through an undergraduate degree in art. [And so I can say that I don’t think art school teaches art so much as how to BS your way through anything. Accidentally run your pencil across your work as you hang it on the wall for critique? You’d be amazed at how quickly you can come up with some impressive rationale for that stray mark when the professor suddenly hones in on it. A skill that they should of actually taught in business school; which I guess they did, they just called it “cost accounting”.]

With the impending birthday of a friend, I thought I’d make a card and inspired by her very clever Twitter bio which reads: “Caterpillar in Chicago; Cocoon in NYC; Butterfly in Los Angeles.” I had seen a pin to this wind-up paper butterfly project a while back and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try it out. Except for a slightly larger rubber band than the project called for I had everything else on hand, and perusing the comments yielded a tip that as long as you made the butterfly body the length of the rubber band it should work. The comments were also filled with complaints of people who couldn’t get this project to work, but buoyed by my crafting track record, I was undettered. Smug even.

I cut and shaped my wire as the instructions indicated, affixed the rubber band, and cut out the butterfly wing shapes — leaving those undecorated until I confirmed the mechanics of the thing. After attaching the wings, I wound the little guy up and prepared to watch my creation soar. I let go and….nothing. The top wires got twisted in the bottom wires so much so the rubber band didn’t even untwist. Not even a sad flop. I made a few adjustments, re-crimping the wires here and there, held my breath as I tried again and let go. The top wings spun around wildly this time but only in a death spiral to the ground. Or more accurately, the whole thing just fell; a spiral would have been more interesting frankly.

I sent my friend a birthday email instead.