Tuesday, November 11, 2014

When good crafts go bad

I received this adorable little book in the mail as a review copy and then promptly and mysteriously got black marker on the cover. Four days past deadline, two photo sessions and much dabbing in Photoshop later we have a review of sorts. CraftFail by a craft failure. Wha wha wha.

But it's OK. My idea for my pin-friendly top-of-the-post image got replaced with something else that ended up maybe being better. And that's the message of CraftFail: When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong by Heather Mann. You failed because you're a beginner. Because you probably don't have an aptitude for this. Because you even tried.

"In my eyes, craftfails are beautiful because they are tangible evidence of the learning process," says Mann, who many of you may know from her mega blogs Dollar Store Crafts and CraftFail. "I value my ability to fail - it's the most important thing I've taken 30 years to learn."

CraftFail the book is page after page of awful, hideous, horrible crafting.  Exploding food. Dripping paint. Obscene shapes. You may say, 'But Sam, why spend $10 on a book of ugly when I can float in the visual bubble bath of Pinterest every day for free?'

One simple reason: it's hilarious. LOL where LOL means what it stands for. I had to read this book in the toilet so my husband could hear the essential plot details of Law & Order without interruption.

The idea of good crafts gone bad could wear after awhile yet the book stays funny from beginning to end, all the way from Craparons to Napalm Cake in a Jar to Turdy Pavlova (a craftfail I have personally nailed as well). The real skill here is not in the crafting, it's in Mann's writing. She should receive some sort of award just for alliterative titles. The book is even funnier than the blog.

CraftFail is to Pinterest what Traveler Photos are to TripAdvisor - real people demolishing a perfectly styled and professionally photographed version of reality.

There's even a section devoted to the Queen of Craft Martha Stewart. Did you know it's possible to totally mess up a tissue paper flower? Consider yourself warned.

But Craftfail isn't all fun and games. Along with the fails, you also receive tips on how to actually execute those ridiculously popular DIYs like water marbled nail art or the Sharpie mug.

I was going to host a giveaway of my review copy but I like it too much to give away. Plus, it has marker on the front.