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Trauma Mama: Respect the Hot Knife

This Walnut Hollow Creative HotKnife
has been my FAVORITE new crafting tool lately. It slices so smooth – like butter – through foam core, rubber, light wood, all kinds of things. I was so addicted I started thinking of things to make, just so I could use my nifty HotKnife.

BTW – a HotKnife is like a heated E-Xcto knife, with a cord and all. You plug it in, it heats up, and you slice away!

I don’t think I’ll be using it much anymore. Today while cutting out some patterns from thick foamcore, I found myself daydreaming about how much I loved this tool. I watched the blade glide through the paper-covered foam – and all of a sudden the dang thing was protruding out of my thumb! Like an idiot, I didn’t realize I gripped the bottom of the foamcore with my hand. As I was pressing the knife downwards, I didn’t stop in time to move my fingers.

Patrick was away teaching art classes on the other side of town. DeAngelo was at summer school and Maya was home sick with a cold (on NyQuil) from math camp.

“HELP!!!! I cut my finger! I’m bleeding!” I screamed.

Maya, who is 14, had been – up until that moment – crashed on the couch, surrounded by crumpled tissues, her cell phone and two TV remotes. She jumped up and ran over, while B-lined to the sink. I rinsed my thumb, but it kept bleeding. Seconds later, Maya came up with a big bottle of hydrogen peroxide. We started arguing about what to do next. I held my finger over the cut to stop the squrting, but it didn’t help.

I’m not good with stuff like this. I once made my mom take me to the ER to remove a splinter. I fainted when they removed it. My mom stepped out of the room, embarrassed that they needed smelling salts to being me back. I was 18. Just last year, my dad had a triple bypass and they allowed us in to see him when he came out of surgery. One look at the fresh scar on his chest and I fainted. It took two people to lift me up and carry me out.

My daughter Maya isn’t so good with wounds either. The other day we were driving down the street and she saw a man’s nose bleeding. We had to go straight home because she felt sick.

So yeah, we were both slightly (majorly) freaking at this injury.

Maya ran and locked herself in the bathroom. I heard her vomit, and she stayed in there for about 10 minutes. I tried to call Patrick, and then Theresa. No answer! I finally called my sister-in-law for her to take me to emergency. Patrick returned my call and instructed me how to bandage the wound properly.

I’m so glad this was me and not one of my kids. I suck at nurse stuff!

Maya came out of the bathroom, bravely lifted the paper towel from my hand and inspected the gash. We agreed the bleeding had slowed down. She took a long piece of gauze and wrapped it around and tied a huge, pretty knot on top. My sister-in-law came over and once she realzied I was going to live, and really didn’t need an emergency room visit, she had this expression on her face like she wanted to giggle. She looked at me, pale from the shock of being cut and then at Maya, pale from seeing blood and throwing up.

After my sister-in-law left, Maya did research on the Internet, while I laid in bed holding my arm in the air. Somewhere on there, she read that a maxipad works wonders for cuts. Next thing I know, she is sitting next to me, removing the guaze and wrapping a maxipad around my thumb. It worked really good!

There is more to the story – I did eventually make it to Urgent Care (yes, wearing a maxipad on my thumb) – but I won’t bore you with the details. Really, I just don’t feel like embarrassing myself any further. Maybe another time. Not now, the wound is too fresh. Not to mention – Maya sent out a bulletin to all her Myspace friends about the ordeal!

All is well. I’m here typing, right? I can’t use my thumb for a while, but at least I still have a thumb. Most important, Maya is feeling better too. She says she is for sure going to school tomorrow. I don’t blame her.

The moral of the story?

Pay attention to the details when you are using heated cutting instruments!

Author of Crafty Chica’s Art de la Soul: Glittery Ideas to Liven Up Your Life ($19.95, Rayo Books, an imprint of Harper Collins).

Patrick’s family portrait

Beehive Wig


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