Saturday, January 23, 2010

Learning from unwanted crafting skills

I have been surfing again. Most of what I see is inspiring, wonderful, amazing, makes me want to do that too etc, but every now and then I come across something that is not inspiring, wonderful and other such things but the very opposite.

"Precious Moments" - I assume these started as some sort of thought of how the childhood is short and we should be enjoying the time when our kids are small. Then it somehow developed into this:
Children marrying? I don't understand this. I really don't.
Then some people think these are SO CUTE and put them everywhere. Images like this are used as painting motif, decoupage, cake decoration...

To me these are akin to the "crying children" paintings... you know, the magical, mysterious paintings of a little street child, dirty, with tears running down their round cheeks; that start fires but never themselves burn. (Read through all 4 parts :-D)

Also, it doesn't need to be babies made to act like adults, it's also animals made to act like humans. Every one of them is butt-ugly, with big eyes, round cheeks and more or less miserable look on their face. Or then it's the wild, fake ear-to-ear smile.
Hundreds of people use their time, material, energy and skills to produce these things. Luckily, most of the time, the materials used are rubbish, like acrylic yarn, polyester satin, rubber foam and other fake fibers that are not much use for anything else, but sometimes, these things are made of good materials, like polymer or porcelain clay, sugar paste, quilting cotton or wood.

Something similar is the thousands and millions of cross stitch pictures. Egyptian queens, fairies, unicorns, bad copies of famous paintings and - yes - crying children. Good materials, hours of skillful craft, time, energy, money, spent on... I'm sorry to say this, pure crap.

Looking at these things, I fully understand something I didn't understood the first time I read it: In Finnish "Girls' Craft Book" there's an appendix on "good taste", that urges people to produce good things when they "potter" with crafts. *sigh*

Pink bunny (I assume) by "Miriam" and Nerina Roberts' Lindsay
You see what I mean? Which one would you take? Or make?
Miriam's bunny is well made, but...

I know, I know, who died and made me the Goddess of Good Taste?
No-one, but I'm talking about my preferences and opinions. If you are of another opinion, you are free to express that in your own blog or in the comments of my blog ;-)

But - the "foam" (fun foam, craft foam) is a craft I don't much appreciate, and if one is using pipe cleaners, crepe paper, plastic canvas, Styrofoam, pompoms, compressed paper balls and plastic (acrylic yarn, polyester, nylon...), one probably is producing something I would see as waste of time, money, materials, energy, effort and skills. Unless one is 15 or younger.

So - can anything be made with these materials I would consider worthwhile?

Here's recycled styrofoam robots. Amazing!
Carie combines polymer clay with pipe cleaners :-D
Pompom rug
Very easy and fun halloween ghost :-D
Old fashioned 4th of July crafts

There was a really cute plastic canvas box with fox and hens :-D

But "fun foam"... I spent almost a week trying to think what could be made of fun foam that was worth it. I came to the conclusion that anything that can be made with it, can be made better with something else... but then I stumbled over this tutorial, and I'm not so sure anymore :-D
There's also some potential if one glues several layers fun foam together and makes pet toys of it...

Just a cute picture I found when looking for things :-D

I found a couple of interesting blogs:
The adventures of bluegirlxo
Kitschy kitschy coo

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