“All men make mistakes, only fools repeat them.” – Ancient Proverb
There are countless proverbs warning you of the perils of not learning from past mistakes. Because I’m feeling extra proverbial today, I thought I’d offer a defense:
“The first step in learning from your mistakes is actually remembering your mistakes. And remembering things is really hard.” – Me
While I don’t like to make excuses, I believe my cripplingly short memory gives me a free pass. About three years ago I developed an obsession with epoxy. (You don’t know what epoxy is? Read on! It will change your life.) My obsession started simple with trays and picture frames, and it eventually culminated in the form of a pub table commemorating the trials of the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies. I saved newspaper articles from throughout the post season, clipping photos and scores and stories–in hopes of one day creating the most magnificant craft known to man. Those of you familar with Philadelphia sports will understand how precious those clippings were to me–especially once my beloved Phillies secured their first World Series trophy since 1980. I filed the clippings away in a folder, waiting until inspiration struck.
Six months later, it hit me. My boyfriend was moving into his new house, and I knew that a pub table with newspaper clippings tracking the Phils progress through the post season would be the best housewarming gift known to man. (Yes, it did come with a pre-nup)
I needed a way to make sure that the newspaper wouldn’t get damaged: Epoxy. So for those of you unfamiliar with epoxy, it is the clear coating that is used on bar and counter tops to make them water resistant and protect the surface underneath. I bought a gallon of epoxy online for this particular project, but for smaller projects (like cake stands…see i’m getting there) you can find small bottles of epoxy at craft stores.
I agonized for hours over the perfect layout of the table. Once all of the clippings were in their right place, I poured the epoxy. And in that moment, I realized my error. When using epoxy over paper, you need to coat the paper with a glue mixture or ModPodge to make sure the paper doesnt absorb the expoxy. I didn’t seal the newspaper well enough and the epoxy left wet stains in the newspaper, allowing the text on the reverse side to show through. My images of Philadelphia triumph were faded into the background of mirrored male enhancement ads. My newspaper clippings were ruined, and I almost fell into a deep depression.