I would like you to believe I have never sewn the shirt I was wearing to the project I was making, yet I have. I would like for you to think I have not started a fire with polymer clay, but I have. I would like for you to think that my jewelry has never broken into a bazillion pieces at an important event, yet it has. Oh the joys of crafting. Just so I can save face and share a belly laugh with those of you with similar stories, Heather Mann has compiled an encyclopedia of handmade mishaps called, CRAFTFAIL, When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong (Workman; November 2014). I received this book in return for my honest thoughts which appear below, between raucous bouts of laughter!
The first time I opened this book I had to stop at page 19 because I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe. It really humanizes the craft process. In this visual world of Pinterest and Instagram, we see the perfectly rendered handwork of master craftspeople several time each day. We rarely see the OOPs and UH OHs. Heather’s take is a fresh look at the other side of crafting that we all have experienced.
CRAFTFAIL llustrates the hilariously gruesome underbelly of the creative process. Beautiful festive turkey cookies end in a sad, hot mess of icing. Cute, “easy-to-make” glitter pumpkins become a puddle of sparkling goop. A gingerbread house becomes what can only be described as a house of horrors. Like it or not, we’re all familiar with the crushed expectations of the creative process, because let’s face it, we’re not Martha.
My interview with Heather…
This little book is the perfect gift for the crafters in your life this holiday season. It will be the comic relief for those of us who are trying to handmake gifts, decor items, cards, etc. Inspired by her own craft experiences, Heather gathered real-life home decor fails, fashion fails, holiday fails, food fails, kid crafting fails, and best of all—EPIC fails (those projects that are so inspiring that they are attempted again and again by members of the crafty tribe to, quite frankly, disastrous results)!
CRAFTFAIL shares over 100 color photographs of the inspiration project and the not-so-perfect attempt to recreate it. The funny captions let you know what exactly went wrong with the embarrassing craft fails!! As Heather says, “You learn more from trying and failing than not trying at all. And when it does go wrong—as it inevitably will—you can always find solace in sitting back and laughing at the ridiculous results.” As one anonymous crafter said: “It wasn’t supposed to end this way.” Luckily for us, it did.
Heather Mann, the founder of CraftFail.com and DollarStoreCrafts.com, has been crafting with middling success all her life, but blogging expertly since 2000. She is also cofounder of The Blueprint Social, a social media consulting company and network of influential bloggers, and cohost of the web show Get a Little Creative. She lives and crafts in Salem, Oregon.
CRAFTFAIL When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong
By Heather Mann