You remember those crafting support letters that Ali sent out?

Well, before I found out about them and had time to text everyone an apology and assure them that they didn’t need to send craft supplies to my beggar daughter, my Mom, who never sees any bad in anyone, had already interpreted the letter for herself.

When I texted her, she immediately called me (because texting is not her preferred method of communication, which is good, since she can’t figure out how to use punctuation, so her texts always leave me paranoid that she’s suffering from depression or worse, hates me.)

(There’s nothing like texting your Mom the best news in the world (“I’m in labor!”) and getting a Yay in return.)

So anyway. She called me and said, “I thought she was asking for a crafting project, you know – like she’s helped me make crafts for Cubbies. I figured she was offering to help me, and I thought it was so sweet of her! So I was thinking about what I need for my bible lessons at VBS that she could make for me.”

Every year, my Mom comes up with elaborate scenes and props and such to help keep the kid’s attention at Vacation Bible School.

Elaborate should have stopped me.

But my Mother’s optimism always rubs off on me (for a moment) and I said, “She can certainly help you with your VBS needs. What were you thinking?”

“Well, I need some sheep masks, but I don’t know if Ali could do them. Do you think she could cut them out of felt and glue fur onto them?”

“I’m sure she could. And if not, I’ll help her.”

Darn rubbing optimism.

She brought me two bags of supplies and an example sheep.


But I personally thought that her sheep looked like a cynical old man rabbit with some seriously loose jowls.

“I need twelve of these sheep.”


“Yes. Oh – and there’s only enough felt for ten white ones, so you’ll have to make two black sheep.”

“That’s so token, Mom.”

“Also, with the black felt – I need you to make a bear, too.”

“A bear?”

“Yes. Because the bear costume scares the children too much, and I was thinking a mask might be less traumatic.”

“Do you have a template?”

“No. Just make one up.”

Clearly, my Mother doesn’t remember raising me. Because if she did, she’d have no trouble recalling that I am the most un-artistic person to have ever lived. I cannot even draw a proper smiley face, let alone sculpt a bear face out of felt.

But whatever.

So I inventoried the supplies, and Ali and I decided to try and make a Sheep Mask during her craft time before bed.

We dumped all the stuff out on her craft table, stenciled a copy of Codger-Rabbit-Sheep, cut it out, then tried to style his ears with the felt and fur.

It took all night. And not a minor amount of frustration from me. And a major amount of frustration from Ali regarding the amount of fur flyaways littering her room.

We left all of our supplies on her craft desk in a heap, and I promised to add the eyeholes the next day when I was in a better frame of mind.

The only problem was, Ali decided to Sharpie an outline of eye holes sometime during the night – at all the wrong places.

And really, I couldn’t blame her – because when I walked into her room the next morning, I became immediately high from the scent of E6000 glue left over from the night before. And she had slept in that drug den. It’s amazing she hadn’t crafted our sheep into Puff the Magic Dragon.

So on that first fateful mask, I had to add three tufts of extra fur – to cover up her stoned eyeholes.

It was the least sheep-like costume I’ve ever seen.


And we had to make eleven more.

And a Bear.

In less than a week.

My Mom must have sensed my frustration from afar and called me.

“If it’s too much for you and Ali, I can get Mammaw to make them.”


(Or, that’s what I said in my head.)

To Mom, I simply said,

“Oh no!! It’s not a problem at all. We’ve got it all under control! You said…twelve sheep?”

I decided that the assembly line was the way to go.

Trace eleven masks,

Cut out eleven masks,

Cut out twenty-two ear felts,

Cut out eleven noses,

Get Ali to attach ear felts and noses (since that was pretty much all that was on her level to do),

Add annoying and messy fur accents.

I made a few edits, including rounding the ears in hopes of detracting from their rabbit-like persona. And I gave up on the outlining of said ears with fur, because it might have made me cuss once.

(Just a slight suggestion of damnation.)

(But one should never allow themselves to become profane while creating VBS crafts.)

(Or so I hear.)

Also, the constant leaking of the E6000? Was nearly my tipping point.


So I got our eleven masks to this level of success:


But what to do about the prescribed pink eye-markings stumped me. Mom’s template had eye-bags, and I didn’t want a flock of sheep with eye-bags.

So I experimented with eyebrows. But since I didn’t know the bible story in question, I didn’t know what sort of expressions the sheep needed.

Were they skeptical sheep?


Unamused sheep?


Anxious Sheep?


Belligerent sheep?


Depressed Sheep?


Unibrowed Sheep?


Dubious Sheep?

IMG_1738 - Copy

Nicholas Cage Sheep?

IMG_1737 - Copy

Sean Connery Sheep?


(The fumes from the dripping E6000 might have been to blame for the above exercise and uncontrollable giggles that accompanied it.)

Ultimately, I went with blank sheep. Because the whole analogy is that they’re stupid. Right?


(Or perhaps I was just too lazy and/or flustered to cut out twelve pairs of eyebrows by then.)


Ten White “Sheep” and Two Black “Sheep” completed.


And mine did, in my opinion, look 10% more like sheep than my Mom’s, especially when shown on children.

Sheep Models

(But mine still looked 45% like a rodent, 18% like a rabbit, and 22% like Sasquatch.)

Then came the bear.

Despite my horrible ability with shapes, I just began cutting.

I was, after all, spent.

But God shone onto my crafting, and I actually cut out a bear-like creature. On my first try. And then figured out how to add bear-like accents. Without any help.



I squealed to Chris and held up my mask.

“You did that. Without googling?”


I texted my Mom, excited to get some positive affirmation without the skeptical dubiousness that my husband offered.


She gave me nothing.

(She did call later and remind me that she was attempting to not scare the children. She doesn’t realize that sarcasm can be conveyed via text.)

But I didn’t care. Because it was indeed THE BEST BEAR EVER.


(At least until my E6000 buzz wore off.)


My mother was extremely gracious about my questionable sheep. The children, however, were not. When the sheep came onto the scene, Mom asked, “What are those?” And one of the children said in a confused voice, “Um…Mice?”

Sheep Masks

As for the bear, one of Mom’s teenage actresses decided to turn him upside down and become a Walrus.



…which made me even more proud of my original creation – because I had crafted such a fantastically versatile animal.

50 thoughts on “We All, Like Sheep, Have Crafted Astray.

  1. Just make one up? I don’t have the “just make one up” crafting gene, but you must have a little but, because that bear/walrus rocked!

  2. That first sheep is definitely Brain from “Pinky and the Brain” on “Animaniacs”! And this was a hilarious post! Thank you for not posting it until after VBS, though, because if I had read this before my VBS class did the sheep story, I would not have been able to keep a straight face.

  3. Jowly was what I thought when I saw your mom’s sheep too, although the black one looks like a sheep. Love your bear/walrus. This was amusing.

    1. The black ones were oddly more sheep-like. I guess there are too many white furry animals, thereby making the masks too ambiguous.

  4. Yes your mom’s template looked like Brain from pinky and the brain, I noticed it right away. Great job on the bear. I would have been in the same boat, as I did not inherit any crafting genes my sister got them all.

  5. I nearly died of laughter when I saw the skeptical sheep! And that first image? The one you talked about the old cynical rabbit jowls? Yeah, I immediately thought of that scene in “The Shining” (the Jack Nicholas version) where they quickly show a man dressed as a rabbit, and well, I won’t say what else was happening in that scene. Thank you again for a great blog post that left me laughing out loud.

    1. Yikes!! I love all the horror references people are making to this mask. Someone else referenced a monster from Pan’s Labyrinth. And she was worried about the BEAR scaring the children!

  6. Oh, those sheep eyebrow options made me lAUGH. And your bear was very successful!

    I would have stabbed my eyes out with scissors on the first sheep. Well done!

  7. VBS crafts will make exhausted, sweaty, cranky, slightly-swearing fools of us all. (One year, I had to make my sister a chef’s hat out of a piece of cardboard and a white pillowcase.) Your bear totally rocks…sometimes the low-tech way is best, I guess. :-)

    1. Thank you for the reassurances that I am not alone. Next time I do VBS crafts, I will have that old Michael Jackson tune playing in my head.

  8. Oh my word, my dad totally gives me a complex when we’re texting. In fact just yesterday I texted him some great news & all I got back was “yeah” …Can’t I get just one exclamation point?! And I’m still wondering if he meant “yay” or if he thought he was answering a question LOL! My sis & I have addressed the issue with him but obviously he’s unaffected by punctuation.

  9. RE: the title of the post
    Did you ever do the musical “all we like sheep?” The theme song had the line all we like sheep have gone astray.

  10. OMG!!! ROFLMBO!!! Bahahahahahahaa!!! Thanks for this…I sooo needed it today!!! Keep up the AWESOME work….LOVE IT!

  11. BAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!! That first sheep you made, just killed me! lol!

    I DO think leaving off the eye bags helped! I mean, who wants hungover sheep at VBS?

    The bear/walrus looks really good!

  12. Rachel, I laughed so hard! Loved the walrus picture and the teenage actress. Your mom is a saint to put up with said “actress” each year.

  13. Oh my. I cannot look at that picture of you in the sheep mask without laughing (it’s the kind of laugh that builds on itself until I’m convulsing a bit…shouldn’t be that funny, but it is).

    Also, your readers who pointed out the Pinky and the Brain similarity are brilliant. I KNEW there was something familiar about those “sheep!”

    Also, you may have already answered this, but I didn’t look through all the comments. Why are the “sheep” all doing the universal choking symbol in that group pic? Did you feed them the rest of the glue?

    1. I actually have no idea why they’re all choking. I was afraid to ask. And it certainly didn’t help me narrow down exactly what bible story we were aiming for.

  14. There should be a recorder on your blog. Start recording laughs from the time one starts reading…
    By the time I have finished in am in tears so there is too little to write except muoooohahahhaahahah!!!

    Love you as a sheep! you look good!! :D and as a bear too!!

  15. Thank you so much!!

    I’ve just found your blog (through pinterest) and I have been laughing out loud for the last 30 mins.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you…..I really needed that :-)

  16. I was laughing so hard when reading this I started crying and my husband had to read the post too, and then we were both giggling like school children. I don’t think one can truly appreciate your post until they have tried crafting with a child. Thanks for the laugh. We needed it tonight!

  17. I was laughing out loud. Thanks for putting it all out there! I am a terrible crafter- no talent whatsoever. Mine would have looked way worse. My poor 4 yr. old daughter- she will never be properly taught to craft! :)

  18. Bahahaha… or Baaah hahahaha! When I saw on FB that you had cussed while making VBS crafts, I totally understood and passed absolutely no judgment. Glad to now have “the rest of the story’!

  19. I just laughed until I cried actual tears all whilst trying not to wake up my sleeping toddlers and husband. That was one of the funniest stories I’ve ever read! Seems like VBS should be coming up again right about now… what are you making the kids this year? Please document every single bit of whatever you do! You have a new fan in me and I thank the Pinterest gods for sending me your way. ;)

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