39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Not for cheapskates like me,
This review is from: Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts: 225 Inspired Projects for Year-Round Celebrations (Hardcover)As always, the pictures are lovely and the completed crafts unique and dazzling, but sadly, I wasn't very inspired.
First off, there are a lot of thinsg to buy, many of them pricey and only found at craft stores and second, many of the crafts don't seem very durable, so basically you'd only have them for the one holiday and once you took them down they'd go straight into the garbage, frown.
Her are some examples of these disposable crafts:
Gilded pears - take some pears, cover them with real gold dust. Done. Not only am I skeezed out by the thought of making a perfectly edible food into a non edible art, GOLD DUST is frigging pricey! Not to mention people starving, sorry, it just made me mad, it seems wildy inappropriate right now.
Golden Walnut Ball - Stick walnuts, real ones, onto a ball, spray paint them gold. this one would probably last a holiday or two, but it is again, food being wasted. I grew up in a trailerpark and wasting food bothers me, I know, get over yourself, but old habits and all that.
Gourd Candles - Melt wax into a hollowed out gourd, light it on fire. Okay, okay, there is no directive to light it on fire, and I will admit the candles are pretty and props for the fact that people don't eat gourds (can they be eaten?) but these will be a one-dinner-party attraction and I'm kinda craft-challenged, if I go to the expense and time of making something, I'd like it to be around for more than a couple of hours.
But some of the crafts were genius, for example;
A paper Sail centerpiece for a Thankgiving feast, the pictures show a perfectly pristine craft stick, but I think a dry stick from the garden could work just as well, same with the tiny bucket of rocks - I like that it's easily found and cheap!
Pilgrim Hats and Bonnets - easily made by kids, talk about a real Thanksgiving celebration, you could really get into the spirit of Thanksgiving and everyone could make their own!
Napkin rings made of paper or felt or acorns(I have a few acorns in the yard, the ones the squirrels have missed). There's a big section at the back of the book with clip art for various crafts. Very helpful.
The crafts range in skill level from easy, pumkin pouch party favors (if you can use tape and scissors you're ready for this one) to the expert, pumpkin carving that DaVinci would approve of.
All in all, this is a pretty comprehensive book, I only found a few crafts to try out myself, felt fortune cookies, flower pop up cards and the excellent directions for papier mache. But mostly this is a book for the serious crafters who live next door to a Michaels Craft store.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 23, 2011 7:45:59 PM PST
Hi Jennifer! Loved your review!! Very funny sense of humor! And you gave a real nice selection of the crafts to back up your view; really gives a balanced idea of the book along with some funny lines. I totally agree with the wasting of perfectly good food. But I found another way around some of these type of projects: buy fake food such as fake pears at those dollar stores then use spray paint. (It's not exactly as dear ol' Martha might do or even approve of, but we don't all live on multi-million dollar estates). Same thing with the walnut project as well as the gourds. But if you need those mini-candles, buy those battery-run ones that can be used over and over; it's also another safety reason so that the fake gourd doesn't catch on fire. I like alot of what Martha does but like most folks, the price can keep us away so I figure I can use her idea's and just modify them a bit; they still turn out about the same. Anyways, thanks for a great review! Looking forward to more of your reviews with your witty writing style. Peace!
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2011 9:07:10 PM PST
Thanks a bunch, Toni.
I'm not sure if my local dollar store carries fake food, I might have to check.
I like those battery run mini candles, I have a perfume sensitivity and most candles are scented.
Posted on Dec 8, 2011 8:55:03 AM PST
G.A. Whitehead says:
These ideas, can still work without waisting food. Use faux fruit. Use old walnuts, if you ever find them in the back of the pantry that you forgot about. You would toss them, so now they are not waisted. substitute gold dust for gold glitter. Entertaining is an expense. I am surprised you even bought the book, the cost was high. Thats a lot of trees to waist, if you are not going to use it. It's for ideas and inspirations. Pricey is ok if it doesn't break the bank and it adds a personal touch, letting your guest feel that you wanted the evening or event to be special for them. If your worried about the cost choose less expensive ideas, or wait till you can afford to host a party.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2011 8:56:07 AM PST
G.A. Whitehead says:
Martha would approve. She likes inventive and original ideas.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2011 9:22:51 AM PST
I'm not even sure how to respond to this, it sounds like you are insulting me for being a cheapskate and for being a spendthrift.
I'm going to take this as a strangely worded comment, without any negativity, and point you to a link, http://www.marthastewart.com/how-to/cinna
This is what I'm working on today.
They fulfill all my requirements for a craft, 1)inexpensive, 2)durable and 3)the only thing I had to buy was glitter and craft glue, yay, craft'd!
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 11:50:59 AM PST
Constance Klein says:
If the walnut ball intrigues you, it's possible to open the walnuts without cracking the shell, (granted, not easy, but possible), remove the nutmeats for cooking or eating, glue the shells back together, and paint them. My parents did this during WWII and the resulting walnut ornaments hung on our Christmas trees for the following 50+ years. The hanging strings pulled out and the glue dried over the decades, but the shells lasted and lasted.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 12:47:47 PM PST
clever idea, I wish I'd thought of it. Not sure if I could manage to not crack that many shells.
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