Friday, October 18, 2013

Craft Crap

Hey, remember last year when I started this blog and I attempted some craft projects? Mostly they turned out badly and I hope that made everyone feel better about themselves. In the last year, I've realized that my talents do not lie in the world of crafting. I'm not sure where my talents do lie, but at least I've eliminated one possibility. Thanks to Pinterest, I am completely convinced that I am in the bottom 10% of the populace in my crafting ability. One of the worst things about the Internet is how it lays bare our inadequacies in a very efficient manner. If I lived in 1913, I'd know that Mary (they were all named Mary) on the next farm churned butter better than I did or was a better seamstress, but I would have no idea about Mary in Minnesota or Mary in Texas or Marie in Paris. But we now have Pinterest to humble us. My lack of crafting skills has been reenforced recently as I try to help the Baby's class with a project to be auctioned at her school's fall festival. The class project must involve a pumpkin and recycled materials. Guys! What? This reminds me of like, Project Runway, where Heidi Klum or Tim Gunn (voice of Baileywick on Sofia the First) tells the designers that they have to construct a couture gown out of disposable diapers. And, somehow, they do it!

We don't need to get into what we decided to do for our recycled pumpkin craft because: 1. It will probably not work, and 2. If it's as bad as I think, I'll share pictures next week and we'll all get a good chuckle. Getting back to my main point (yes, I have one), the shear volume of stuff that people have figured out you can use to make other stuff is literally staggering. Yes, for all you people who hate when people use "literally" when they really mean "figuratively," I totally stumbled away from my laptop and fell on the floor when I saw this:

Pumpkin made of a dryer vent.
Now, I just have one question: Why? Look, dryer venting costs $9.99 at Home Depot, Krylon orange glitter spray paint is $9.61 on Amazon, a bottle of cinnamon sticks (the stem) is $5.48 at Walmart, and I'll just spot you the rustic moss stuff. So, you're spending over $25 on materials to make these guys, while you can buy three pumpkins (real, live pumpkins) for $12 at Whole Paycheck. Plus, you'll save yourself a bunch of time and you're not causing a run on dryer vents so that the people who actually need dryer venting for, oh say, their dryers will be able to buy them when they need them!

And there are a ton of other things that people looked at and said, "Hmm, I could make a pumpkin out of that:"

A Slinky

An old book
Toilet Paper
Toilet paper and toilet paper rolls are huge on Pinterest the way David Hasselhoff was/is huge in Germany. Aside: Have you been in New England and seen the Cumberland Farm ads featuring DH? Love them:
It takes a big man to poke fun at his own image like this. Bravo, Hoff!
 Back to Pinterest and its users fascination with toilet paper rolls. This is a crazy thing, Guys. Look what someone figured out you can make out of toilet paper rolls and horse chestnuts (yes, you read that correctly):

It's a flying unicorn mobile. I mean, very interesting, but I don't know how it even occurred to someone to make this.

Or this:


Or this:

All out of old toilet paper rolls. Basically, this:

I think I'm just impressed that so many people find inspiration in empty toilet paper rolls, while I just find them to be a reminder that I am the only one in the house who replaces the toilet paper.

I can see, though, that crafty people are able to construct some pretty amazing things out of stuff that I (try to remember to) recycle. Along those same lines, stop tossing all that hair your pet is shedding, because...

Lest you think that this is a book about sitting down for a little crafting session with your cat (maybe he holds the ribbon down with his paw when you tie a knot), that's not this book. This is about taking all that cat hair that you Swiffer up each day (or not, I'm not here to judge your housekeeping) and weaving, knitting, felting it into a teeny-tiny cat finger puppet. 

Also available for all you dog people, get this book and learn how to make a teeny-tiny dog doll out of your dog's hair:

I see that the Crafting With Cat Hair book was translated from the Japanese, and yet all we have is the Japanese language version of the dog hair book. My conclusion: the translation market for the dog hair book wasn't there because cat people are less conventional and more creative than dog people, and less likely to be repulsed by the prospect of knitting their pet's hair into a voodoo doll version of their pet. Also, how unsurprising is it that the Japanese thought of the Kappa (my all-time favorite mythical creature) and knitting things out of pet hair?

But, while dog people might not want to make mini dogs out of dog hair, there's always the option of knitting something else from the hair of the dog:

The skills acquired reading that book will come in handy for that subset of dog owners who are also huge Downton Abbey fans:

Masterpiece didn't sign on to this marketing tie-in? Shocking! 
I totally know what everyone would be getting for Christmas if only I knew how to knit and Dog weren't low-shed!

How about you all? Have you come across any craft projects that made you wonder, "Why, just why?"

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