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July 27, 2012 / mrsdeboots

The Devil’s Balls

I cannot accurately express in words how I forever hate these stupid ass string balls.  If I ever have the brilliant idea to make these again, I hope I get run over by a car, and somehow just break my arms, rendering them useless. 

I’d love to post photos of the arduous process, but without having multiple arms, I cannot. You need at least 6 arms just to make the things, much less take a picture.

So I will attempt to paint a picture with words.

Day 1

You have a balloon, a slippery surface already. Then you add vaseline.  Your vaseline covered fingers grab the Stiffy….

Ok, I’m finished laughing.

Anyway, your vaseline covered fingers grab the Stiffy, pour it into a bowl, and throw the embroidery thread in.  This immediately turns to a glob of unmanageable knots covered in, well, what essentially amounts to watery glue.  You put the balloon between your knees so you can use both hands to untangle the knot. The balloon, being slippery,  darts away, escaping its captor, and is swept away by your 18 month old. 

Cursing quietly to yourself, you blow up another balloon, in attempt to get the greasy one back. 
A power struggle ensues.

Now you must wash your hands, make sure no Stiffy escaped the wax paper you’ve covered the table in, and Google this unfortunate phenomenon.  You find the same old junk you’ve already read,  finally stumbling upon someone who says to wind the string round your hand,  then drop it in the Stiffy.

Seems so obvious, you think.  You start again, realizing with frustration that the way the string is wound,  the roll must flop to and fro, grabbing the attention of the ever vigilant child,  who grabs it and takes off.

Realization hits you.   You cannot do this while the child is awake.

9:30 pm rolls around and you start again.  The rolled around the hand string trick works, in theory.  The mess of knots is more organized now, but more tightly wound, making it more difficult to untangle.

It is now 11:50 pm and you have 4 complete balls.  These must now sit for 12 hours. 

Day 2

Out of 4 complete balls, 2 have collapsed upon themselves for seemingly no reason. Anger bubbles, but does not surface.

These balls haven’t beaten me yet.

Day 4

Taking a day or so off to think,  you decide using ModPodge instead of Stiffy may be a good idea.  It’s easier to work with, thicker.  You develop a new system that involves running the string from the roll and dragging it thru the glue bowl.  You make 4 in 2 hours.  Feeling smug and successful, you go to bed.

Day 5

Heaviness of Mod Podge has collapsed balloons.  Heaping masses of damp string litter laundry room.   After being angry for several hours, have epiphany.  Reinflate damp balls with new balloons!
Idea works.  But ModPodge leaves white film between holes on string, rendering them ugly and useless.  Too tedious to cut out the film, throw them in trash.

Day 6

Start again with Stiffy.  Decide this time to apply vaseline,  then string,  then paint Stiffy on in layers. String, Stiffy, string, Stiffy.  Make 5 in record time.  Decide you actually are a genius. Go to bed.

Day 7

Not learning from ModPodge incident,  weight of adhearant vs balloon, wake to find 3 out of 5 deflated, dry, and misshapen.   Collapse into tears.  Pronounce yourself a failure.


Decide to try the ModPodge reinflation trick with the Stiffy balloons.  Working to blow up balloons inside of stiffened fabric proves tiresome to your lungs, and you almost lose consciousness several times.  After blowing new balloons up 6-7 times in each to work out all of the dents,  experience semi success.   Spray balloons with clear coat on deck,  bring in laundry room to dry.  Between recent oxygen loss and spray paint fumes, almost pass out again.

Day 8
Wake up.  String balls intact and stiff.

Vow to never ever EVER make again!!


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