Friday, December 3, 2010

Review: Simple Times

Summary: America's most delightfully unconventional hostess and the bestselling author of I Like You delivers a new book that will forever change the world of crafting. According to Amy Sedaris, it's often been said that ugly people craft and attractive people have sex. In her new book, SIMPLE TIMES, she sets the record straight. Demonstrating that crafting is one of life's more pleasurable and constructive leisure activities, Sedaris shows that anyone with a couple of hours to kill and access to pipe cleaners can join the elite society of crafters.

You will discover how to make popular crafts, such as: crab-claw roach clips, tinfoil balls, and crepe-paper moccasins, and learn how to: get inspired (Spend time at a Renaissance Fair; Buy fruit, let it get old, and see what shapes it turns into); remember which kind of glue to use with which material (Tacky with Furry, Gummy with Gritty, Paste with Prickly, and
always Gloppy with Sandy); create your own craft room and avoid the most common crafting accidents (sawdust fires, feather asphyxia, pine cone lodged in throat); and cook your own edible crafts, from a Crafty Candle Salad to Sugar Skulls, and many more recipes.

PLUS whole chapters full of more crafting ideas (Pompom Ringworms! Seashell Toilet Seat Covers!) that will inspire you to create your own hastily constructed obscure d'arts; and much, much more! -- Grand Central Publishing

Some of you might know that I like to make crafts. I'm not artistic in the slightest, but I will admit to being kind of crafty. I've gone through a lot of crafting trends in my life from scrapbooking, to knitting, to crocheting, to paper crafts, to sewing ... the list goes on and on. So when I heard that Amy Sedaris had written a craft book for people (well, actually poor people) called SIMPLE TIMES: CRAFTS FOR POOR PEOPLE, I have to say that my curiosity was piqued. I found Ms. Sedaris' last book I LIKE YOU: HOSPITALITY UNDER THE INFLUENCE to be an absolute hoot -- you can read my review here.

SIMPLE TIMES is a very, very funny book with tons of "craft ideas." In fact, each craft is more hilarious than the next! There must be dozens of (if not more) craft ideas -- many of which you will recognize from your childhood. Some of my personal favorites that brought back memories include the "crafty candle salad," the "tin can stilts," and the "stained-glass-effect candles." Of course, there were loads of other ones that made me chuckle. In fact, my husband was next to me when I was reading this book and he kept asking me "what is so funny?"

The book begins with a forward written by Ms. Sedaris that brought quite a few smiles to my face. One of my favorite parts was her definition of crafting because it's so darn true. Just ask my husband...

Crafting, or "making things," has always been a delightful pastime of mine because it requires putting common elements together in order to achieve a lovely something that nobody needs.

In addition to all of the crafting ideas, Ms. Sedaris also offers some valuable crafting advice for beginners (or poor people.) There are sections in this book on crafts for people with disabilities, easy recipes that anyone can make, and gift ideas for shut ins and nudists to name just a few. As funny as Ms. Sedaris' detailed crafts descriptions were, I thought the photographs were just a riot and actually made the book! There are hundreds of color pictures in this book that are guaranteed to entertain craft lovers.

Booking Daughter loves crafts too and was very interested in SIMPLE TIMES. Unfortunately, I had to grab it out of her hands because the book is not exactly appropriate for young kids. While there are some very fun crafts (and ones that she could make), there are also some rather "adult" ones. There is even one chapter called "Making Love" -- with pictures! For the most part, I thought SIMPLE TIMES was very funny and I loved many of the idea and concepts; however, I have to say that I did find some parts of this book to be a little crude. Maybe I'm just a prude, but I didn't always appreciate some of the humor.

It was difficult to pick just one project from this book to feature, so Booking Daughter and I thought we'd share a few of our craft projects:

Tissue Flowers - pg. 277

Seat Shield for Nudists - p. 192

Kit Potholders which are "ideal" for people with autism - p. 96
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed SIMPLE TIMES and I do recommend it as a great gift for craft lovers. I found most of the book to be hilarious and I just loved Amy Sedaris' sense of humor.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this fun book.


Amused said...

This sounds so funny! I totally need a copy of this!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Oh thank you for finding the perfect gift for my family! They do this sort of stuff all the time, and would also love the humor in it!

bermudaonion said...

I'm curious as to why you decided to make the seat cover for nudists. LOL I thought this book was a lot of fun, but agree with you that some parts are crude.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I suck at anything crafty. Don't even let me get near a glue gun or I will hurt myself. I can't decide whether this book would be right up my alley then, or whether I would fail at funny Amy Sedaris crafts too! Still it would be humorous just to see what she was up to.

Bookfool said...

I used to make tissue-paper flowers all the time, as a child! When my mother died, a bouquet of them was still in the back of one of the closets. Aren't they fun to make?

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I'm impressed with your crafty talents ...I'm with Kathy wondering about the seat cover for nudists!!

Beth F said...

Awesome crafty talent going on in your family!!