“MAKE AND Take, this is Grant. What can we help you craft today?” Grant held the phone sandwiched between his ear and shoulder, freeing up his hands to gingerly grab the still-wet canvas that had just been thrust at him.
He angled his mouth away from the receiver and smiled at the artist. “Great job, buddy! I’ll keep it back here until it dries, okay?”
Grant received a beaming smile for his compliment, and he offered an exuberant thumbs-up after he’d put the painting on a ledge behind the counter to dry.
The woman on the other end of the phone was still whining when he tuned back in to the call. It didn’t sound like he’d missed much.
“I’m sorry,” he said, trying his hardest to sound like he gave a damn, “but what you saw on the website was correct. Our holiday gift craft series is full.”
The woman squawked. Honest-to-God squawked. Grant rubbed a hand over his temple, grimacing when he felt wet paint smear across his forehead as the caller protested.
“No, I understand. I do. But the classes filled up as soon as they were posted.”
Literally. He’d never had online enrollment go as fast as the one for the three-week Homemade from the Heart holiday craft series. It had been featured on a local parenting blog that apparently had a ridiculous number of followers, given how many calls they’d been fielding about the classes. They’d been sold out for weeks, but the calls kept coming.
Another painting sailed into his line of vision, and Grant snatched it by instinct before it could fall facedown on the counter. He righted it and grinned when he saw the turkey in the painting had battle armor instead of feathers.
“Nice social commentary on the holiday, Ash. I like it!” He accepted a slightly sticky high five from the artist before putting it next to the other painting on the ledge.
The caller was still ranting. Grant bit back a sigh as he listened to the woman go on and on.
“Ma’am,” he finally broke in. “I apologize. I’m truly sorry. We just don’t have any space left.” Grant braced himself for another diatribe, but a loud crash from the other end of the studio caught his attention.
Grant looked up, ready to dash to the back, but he was relieved to see that the instructor for the next class had already arrived and hurried over to help right a fallen easel and the pots of paint that had taken a tumble with it.
The irate woman on the phone offered a very colorful metaphor about Grant’s intelligence, which at this moment he could only agree with. What had he been thinking, starting a co-op art studio for kids? And then letting Krista talk him into doing the interview with the parenting blog—sheer idiocy.