Sunday, May 31, 2015

"Simple Times - Crafts For Poor People": A Review

Amy Sedaris, crafts, DIY, do it yourself, books, craft book, book revew, crafting, rocks, paint, painted rocks

    If you love making crafts and have a sense of humor, then this book is for you.  In "Simple Times - Crafts For Poor People", actress and author Amy Sedaris combines her knack for comedy and her love of making things, in an entertaining and very funny way.

I have to agree with Ms Sedaris when she states "…there is one urge that should always be encouraged to blossom - the creative urge!"  In our family, each of us has a creative side and we all enjoy sharing humorous insights and observations about life with each other.  My daughter Audrey, a crafter, artist, and avid reader, gifted me this book last Christmas, and as I paged through it that day I immediately got the joke - each themed chapter is a spoof on traditional craft projects that most of us know and have loved at some point in our lives.  

Recently, when Audrey's birthday was getting close, I knew that she would love to receive not just a homemade gift, but something inspired by "Simple Times". How about rock painting?

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What I like about this book is that it is not necessarily a step by step 'how-to' kind of book.  It is more an illustrated collection of ideas: each chapter opens with an introduction to a crafting concept, followed by example photos of items made utilizing each basic idea.  You will no doubt revisit some of your childhood favorites, albeit grown up here and colored with Amy's fresh perspective and irreverent (and hilarious) attitude.

For example, in the chapter 'Nature's Way', Amy outlines her thoughts on making crafts using items found in nature, asking "...what is it about foraging in the wild that is conducive to crafting?"  And during the course of answering that question, describing how nature provides the simple raw materials that 'can be used to create', she suddenly and humorously starts telling jokes about loggers, clear cuts and spotted owls!

I had a lot of fun foraging in my backyard for just the right rocks, coming up with ideas for how to paint them, and then allowing my own creative urge to blossom!  And the best part of all is that when Audrey opened her gift during her birthday celebration, she immediately knew where I'd gotten the idea, and got the joke behind it!  

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I highly recommend "Simple Times - Crafts For Poor People"!  Whether you are just curious about seeing a new twist on timeless crafts, need some ideas for humor writing, or are searching for designs to create party and holiday decorations, there is truly something for everyone here.  


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