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Get Crafty: Hip Home Ec Paperback – September 14, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Thirty-three-year-old Railla has learned to balance her "life-long passion for feminism" with domesticity, and wholeheartedly embraces her "inner craftiness." This manifesto of what she calls the New Domesticity-"a movement committed to recognizing, exalting, and most of all enjoying the culture that women have built for millennia"-offers loads of projects for people who have crafty urges, but who aren't excited by cross-stitched bunnies and crocheted toilet paper cozies. Making something from nothing can be fun, relaxing and teach you a lot about yourself, says Railla, and she offers loads of relatively simple crafts for all levels. For knitters and sewers, there's an a-line skirt and a knit bikini. For home design hounds, there are tips for buying secondhand furniture and painting walls. Fashion buffs will find advice on shopping for vintage clothing, selling items at consignment shops and even picking through the trash. Railla also covers cooking and gives suggestions for throwing parties. Best used as a jumping-off point or a guide for those who want to do something themselves, but aren't sure what, this handbook is perfect for today's new wave of crafters.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Sewing circles aren’t extinct—they’re online.... A pioneer of the cybercraft movement is Get Crafty."
--Time Out New York

"Martha Stewart meets Patti Smith in this essential homemaking manual for the modern-day gal (and guy). With projects ranging from the straightforward (how to paint your room) to the sublime (Jean's grandmother's Madeleine recipe) as well as a keen sense of both the political and spiritual reasons for why young people are embracing the "New Domesticity," Get Crafty is the best proof yet that crafting is the new rock n' roll.”
--Debbie Stoller, author of Stitch n' Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook and Editor-in-Chief of BUST Magazine
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (September 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767917200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767917209
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,488,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Daneman #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is not your mom's Better-Homes-n-Gardens home ec manual. This is a funky little book with everything from shabby-chic style projects to practical home care and clothing care advice. All with an eye to minimizing the budget and maximizing the effect.

This would be great for a college-bound person who is going to live off-campus for the first time, or for a person who just got a new job and their first place on their own. It makes the idea of housework and crafts sound fun and creative, not scary or boring. And for those who crave a craft of their own, it has a Craft-Q Quiz to find what would suit a person best--gardening? knitting? Gourmet cooking? Woodworking?

Of particular interest; how to shop at a thrift store--is that STAIN you see going to budge, and if so, how do you do that? Or is the item going to be tacky and a waste of money? I also liked the home recipes for mildew-removing solution and the recipes included last-minute meals that look stylish but take very little energy if you stock the right things in your cupboard. There are even recipes for homemade facial scrubs and the like.

The book is very attractively-printed on excellent paper so that it is pleasant to hold and leaf through. I found it quite enjoyable to read and it had some very interesting recipes and ideas. I can't think of another book quite like it--great if you are youthful and bursting with energy--and want home ec to be hip ec. Go for it.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A. Genco on September 26, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been a peruser of Jean's fabulous website since its inception. She's really done a lot to bring the feminism of crafting back to light, and her book continues in just that vein. Not just another craft book, her essays on the hows and whys of crafting really set it apart and present us with a personal, modern perspective on what doing-it-yourself means. Jean encourages us to get past our outdated notions of domesticity, embrace it, and turn it into an expression of our creativity.

Jean's got some nifty features in here to help us do just that. There's a quiz to help you figure out what activities are right for you. This is probably the only craft book ever written that contains journaling exercises to help you get the most introspection out of your projects (who knew that introspection and crafting even went together!). Jean coaches you on how to reduce and reuse by thrifting, cook with a generous spirit, and cultivate "a crafty style". Community and cooperation are the name of the game here: resources on craft activism ("craftivism") are sprinkled throughout, and she has an entire chapter devoted to how you can connect with creative ladies of like mind -- a perfect remedy in an increasingly impersonal world.

My only complaint with this book is that I thought there could have been a little more in it. Getcrafty.com has always been packed with tips and projects and how-to's; this book was a little leaner than it could have been on all of those. On the other hand, that this book isn't just another overstuffed craft book is a good thing. The message is most important, and that shines through.

This book really goes a long way to explaining why crafting is back with a vengeance among younger women.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By laviva on September 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
jean railla has captured the essense of what it means to 'craft consiously.'

this book seemlessly merges theory and practice, reflecting railla's insightful

take on crafting as much more than something you do to while away the time -

this is crafting as lifestlye. extending far beyond the boundaries of a

traditional how-to-manual (which is not to say that there's not a plethora of

how-to tips throughout!), 'get crafty' is full of engaging anecdotes of jean's

colorful life and adventures. a must for those who want to weave community

through activity, I'm looking forward to future reads by jean railla!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Rose on September 6, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was an excellent book- entertaining and easy to follow. However, Hip Home Ec left much to be desired. It's kinda hard to explain. If you are already remotely crafty, the recommendations are relatively dull. If you haven't done any crafts, the "how-to" steps are not very helpful. Personally, I was looking for a fun book to get me in a crafting mood and this worked great. I am now inspired, but unfortunately I need to buy another book to find something to do.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Reaching... on November 1, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book inspired me to be crafty in so many areas of my life. It's not just about "making stuff" - it's about having an overall attitude of creating a nice life, even if you don't have much to start with. I really enjoyed reading about the author's own life and how she was inspired by friends and family members. I highly recommend this refreshing book for those who would like to make a positive change.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Anne on February 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you're interested in being more crafty but haven't really gotten into it much this book is a good starting point. The craft projects in the book aren't difficult and have good instructions. However, if you are a seasoned craftster you will probably find this book too elementary for the projects alone. It's more of an idea book and it gets you thinking about projects that aren't necessarily spelled out in the book. I refer to it often because I enjoy the author's writing style and philosophy.
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