I had a strange feeling wash over me in the grocery the other evening when I noticed an uncanny similarity in what I was spending a painstaking amount of time doing in the studio to a teaser item in the checkout line.

Earlier that day I had dragged out my collection of blob-like felt spheres and had begun work anew, yet after seeing the $4.99 handmade trivet boasting 100 handmade felted wool balls per piece, I’m having a tricky time motivating myself to resume, even though the prototype necklace was a huge hit with a friend’s five-month old.

What makes it even worse is I’d scoffed at the cheesiness of the nearby wine bottle planter succulent garden (Who’d buy that! ) just before my gaze fell on the trivets. If anything, the .49 cent balls look better than what I’ve done after untold hours of steady sewing, though to my credit—no one will ever think to use them on a hot pot of pasta sauce.