Saturday, April 17, 2010

Book Recommendation - Bazaar Bizarre: Not Your Granny's Craft Book by Greg Der Ananian

I ALWAYS have my eye out for craft and art how-to books, both new and vintage. I was surprised to find I had overlooked this book from 2005, in our local library. Bazaar Bizarre: Not Your Granny's Craft Book by Greg Der Ananian is worth a read. In fact I was more impressed by the writing in the book than in the actual crafts. This book is unique in its format. I like that it was written by a guy, that there are fun photos of the contributing crafters, that he gave the same interview to each of them, that he takes a historical look at crafting between each how-to craft, and that he suggests good music and movies to watch while making each craft and that there are even some recipes. What I don't like are that the steps of the projects are drawings and that the middle section that features color photos of some of the finished crafts only features SOME of them. I am a photographer by trade and I prefer photographs of the step by step and finished crafts. But at $16.95 US, the price is right.

As for the crafts, they are pretty mediocre, but maybe that is because this book is 5 years old so a lot of these crafts are old news (sock monkeys, vinyl cuffs, dirty cross stitch, and marble magnets). Or too involved for me (why would I take the time to MAKE my own set of playing cards that look JUST LIKE an old deck I got at the thrift store?!). I adored Der Ananian from the moment I read the dedication page, which had a big "I Love You Mom" graphic faded behind a hand written like font that reads, "This book is for my mother, Priscilla Der Ananian, who once told me I was the closest thing to a daughter she'd ever have. I love you, Mom." His two pages of acknowledgments are sweet, sincere, and funny. He reveals that he found out he had a golf-ball sized tumor in his brain during the late stages of this book. I am grateful he is ok now, because aside from boring (sorry) crafts, this book is one that I would add to my collection. It is extremely funny, at times laugh out loud funny, both thanks to Der Ananian's humor and that of his contributing crafters.

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