The Sedaris gene pool was indeed blessed by the Gods! Amy Sedaris is not only a talented comedic actress and author, she is also the little sister of renowned author and the closest thing America currently has to Mark Twain – David Sedaris. Whereas David Sedaris concentrates on writing short stories, monologues, and observational essays; Amy has claimed home comfort (crafts, cooking, and entertainment) as her territory.
Listen, no one buys a book like Simple Times Crafts for Poor People in hopes of learning any legitimate craft (although the few recipes she threw in looked promising). You have to have absolutely no sense of irony to view its cover or obvious title as anything else but hobby loving satire. Then again, it’s not as if there aren’t sincere books on crafting in the marketplace that have the same color scheme as well as fugly demonstrations of talent. But hey if you can’t detect the too earnest look on Sedaris’ face, or side pony tail with desperately placed ribbon, not to mention her too loud dress which matches whatever that thing is she is pulling yarn from than stick to Martha Stewart…or better yet see what book series Lauren Conrad is demolishing in the name of creating shelf storage space.
Speaking of the Conrad debacle, I believe there is something innate in a crafter’s DNA that makes us strive to transform one thing into something else which we believe is much more cool and useful. Martha Stewart is the queen of this concept. I know she has assistants and stagehands galore, but when she is demonstrating a craft she always has just the right castoff buttons and vintage wrapping paper. She does everything ever so precise never accidently folding where she shouldn’t or misplacing things like her scissors. However we all know she is the Freudian definition of anal and rumored to be a pill but perhaps that is what is needed if one is to keep the most organized junk drawer in town. The truth is we crafters aim to be Stewart yet in reality our crafting ideas tend to transform us into hoarders. If you are a crafter and have come to the same conclusion then Sedaris’ book is a must read.
Simple Times takes aim at every assortment of craft and crafter types. Within the pages are several bon mots dropped by aging crafting couple Gene and Jean Woodchuck. Often they give contradictory advice while passively aggressively insulting each other. They seem so Midwestern they may live next door.
The book contained a lot of giggles to flat out laughs. It has been two weeks since I finished Simple Times and I’m chuckling again over the names of the chapters; The Joy of Poverty, Handicraftable, Unreturnable Gift Giving, and Shut-ins. Of course what makes it a keeper (as in no selling it to a used bookstore) are the photo essays starring Sedaris. Give the woman a Carol Brady wig and red and pink color-blocked leotards then stand back as she demonstrates the crucial need to stretch before crafting. Further, I don’t have words to describe the pictures accompanying the concept of “fornicrafting” besides to testify that they will leave readers satisfied.
This passage made me laugh after just attending a funeral before reading it.
It is always awkward attempting to find words to comfort a griever. There are the somewhat soothing but obvious clichés. “I’m sorry for your loss”; “I always thought you’d go first”; I hope you’re not blaming yourself – if it was your fault, you’d probably be in jail right now”; or “I don’t mean to second guess, but, do you think and open casket was the appropriate way to go?” I believe everything that needs to be said to anyone who has just lost a loved one can be easily summed up with some sequins, a fistful of Popsicle sticks, and household glue. (page 131)
I recommend Simple Times Crafts for Poor People for all craft oriented people who have sense of humor. It is the ideal gift for any crafter you know. BTW, they don’t care what you want for a birthday present because they knitted you yet another scarf!